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Chatri Sityodtong Supports Smilla Sundell, Addresses Weight Issues and Future Plans

Smilla Sundell

ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong understands the hardships fighters face throughout their careers. His empathy and wisdom were on full display recently, as he addressed the situation surrounding Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell, a young Muay Thai prodigy.

In the main event of ONE Fight Night 22 earlier this month, Sundell staged a remarkable comeback, knocking out the surging Russian, Natalia Diachkova, at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. Despite this victory, Sundell faced significant disappointment just hours before the fight. She was stripped of the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title for missing weight, rendering her ineligible to reclaim the title that night.

Following her win, Sundell expressed her desire to reclaim the belt in her next fight and called for the creation of a women’s flyweight division. Responding to Sundell’s plea, Sityodtong offered insights during an interview with Nic Atkin of SK MMA.

“We have been looking at the flyweight division for quite some time now, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we did something within the next few months or something,” Sityodtong stated. “But at the same time, my agreement with Smilla, for her own legacy and her own brand, she shouldn’t leave the division and leave the title the way she did, right? Missing weight, losing on the scales, so to speak.”

Sundell made history by becoming the youngest World Champion in ONE Championship when she won the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title at just 17 years old in April 2022. Sityodtong reflected on the challenges and pressures of such early success.

“At the same time, I empathize. When she won the title, she was 17 years old, 5-foot-8. Today, she’s 5-foot-11, you know. I think we all remember what our teenage growth spurts were like,” he said, highlighting the physical changes that contributed to her weight issues.

Despite her recent setback, Sundell remains determined to pursue two-sport glory. Her interest in moving up a weight class is evident, especially if ONE Championship introduces a suitable division. Meanwhile, she’ll likely keep a close eye on the ONE Fight Night 23 main event on Friday, July 5. On that night, her former rival, Jackie Buntan, will face striking legend Anissa Meksen for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight Kickboxing World Title.

Regardless of the outcome of that bout, fans can be sure that “The Hurricane” will be evaluating her options in the weight class, ready to storm back into the championship scene.


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