Nong-O Gaiyanghadao knows martial arts will always be built around being respectful and he’s just that when it comes to his new challenger Liam Harrison.
The ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion will next defend his strap against Harrison, but there has been no official word yet of their title match. Nevertheless, Nong-O is looking forward to his showdown with the British bomber.
In an interview with ONE Championship, Nong-O said he has pure admiration for Harrison and that they are each other’s favorite strikers.
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao said:
“It might seem ridiculous to say that my favorite Muay Thai fighter and kickboxer is Liam Harrison, my next challenger. I’ve been following him for quite a long time. I love his style. His fights are always exciting and fun to watch. Also, he is a good guy in the circle. He doesn’t take advantage of his opponents.”
The Thai superstar said he and Harrison first met each other at the ONE Elite Retreat in 2019 and it was there that their respect for each other grew. Nong-O recalled how he was surprised that Harrison knew who he was, making their relationship start in the smoothest of ways.
“I first put him at the [ONE Elite Retreat] in Phuket. He walked up to greet me. At that time, I still didn’t know him, so I introduced myself. I said, ‘My name is Nong-O.’ And he said, ‘Oh, I know you well!’ I was quite surprised that he recognized me. Since then, we have started to talk whenever we meet at ONE [events]. I respect him so much.”
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao plans to remain perfect in ONE Championship
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao is one of the best fighters of his generation, holding an incredible 262-54-10 professional record in Muay Thai and kickboxing. He’s also on a perfect 8-0 run in ONE Championship.
The Evolve MMA fighter ran roughshod in ONE Championship and became the first ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion when he defeated Han Zi Hao via unanimous decision in February 2019.
Since his victory over Han, Nong-O has defended the strap five times, with his latest victory a third-round knockout of Felipe Lobo at ONE Championship’s 10th-anniversary show, ONE X, this past March.
There’s no doubt that Nong-O wants to remain as champion and maintain his perfect record. No matter how much he holds Harrison in high regard, he cannot be argued that Nong-O wants nothing more than to beat his next challenger.