Coming off a decision loss to Robin van Roosmalen for the featherweight title, Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao made the short hop from Thailand to China to win a unanimous decision over home fighter Lei Xie, who was making his debut for the organization.
This was an interesting clash of national styles: Xie has trained in Sanda since his childhood years and Petchpanomrung was raised in the art of Muay Thai, the native striking art of Thailand.
Sanda and Muay Thai share some similarities: both are striking systems which also allow for fighters to score by throwing their opponents to the floor.
GLORY rules disallow this, but that didn’t stop both fighters looking to throw the other to the floor anyway. From these encounters it was clear that Petchpanomrung was both physically stronger and more adept in his clinch work.
He was also sharper in the striking, his notorious left kick cracking out like a whip again and again into Xie’s right side. Xie’s counterpart to this kick was his own left side-kick, a trademark weapon of Sanda stylists and one which scored for him several times.
Despite fighting at a higher than usual weight - this was a 68kg/149lb catchweight bout - Petchpanomrung showed himself just as powerful as when he is fighting at featherweight. In fact, not having to cut weight possibly added a power advantage for him.
Xie’s never stopped attacking Petchpanomrung, even when it became clear the Thai was operating at a higher level this evening. His resilinence paid off in the third round when he cracked Petchpanomrung with a jumping knee strike that rocked him.
A barrage of punches followed and Petchpanomrung looked troubled for the first time in the fight. But he held on and managed to clear his head before firing back with venomous blows of his own. Xie’s best chance of the fight passed by and the seconds ticked away towards a decision in Petchpanomrung’s favor.
Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao def. Lei Xie, Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)