This Friday, 7 December, ONE Championship newcomer Sovannahry Em will make her promotional debut in front of thousands at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and millions watching around the globe.
She is scheduled to face Ukrainian mixed martial arts veteran Iryna “Delsa” Kyselova on the preliminary card of ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS. The anticipated flyweight clash will kick off the action-packed 13-bout card.
Both Em and her trainer Justen Hamilton have been brimming with excitement, and they are looking forward to showcasing what they have been working on during the Cambodian-American’s training camp.
“Our biggest priority was getting Sovannahry as prepared as possible to be able to defeat any opponent. We feel very confident that we did that,” Hamilton shares.
“Additionally, there are other considerations in terms of our opponent’s height and style, and we certainly incorporated those things into the training camp as well.”
While Em has made a name for herself as a knockout artist with finishing power, her Ukrainian opponent has racked up an impressive 11 wins inside the cage, with 90 percent of those victories coming by way of submission or knockout.
Hamilton, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, says his pupil is not looking past Kyselova’s skill set.
“We certainly have a lot of respect for Iryna,” he states. “She is very tough and experienced, so we’re expecting a very, very tough contest.”
Despite an apparent discrepancy in experience, Hamilton is pleased with the 26-year-old trainee’s development.
He believes the young Cambodian-American is a versatile martial artist who can challenge “Delsa” both standing and on the ground.
“Sovannahry has a number of tools at her disposal that I feel very confident she can use,” the coach explains.
“In a perfect scenario, she just goes out there, feels comfortable to execute whichever of those tools she feels necessary at the time, and puts on a very good performance.
“If all goes well, I think you guys will see a finish.”
Ahead of her promotional debut, Em and Hamilton have enjoyed a couple of free days in Malaysia.
They have had the opportunity to explore Kuala Lumpur and meet Cambodian superstar Chan Rothana, who will also be competing at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS.
Joining for the world’s largest martial arts organization in Asia has given Em the opportunity to reconnect with her Cambodian roots, which is something very close to her heart.
Hamilton states they are hoping to visit “The Kingdom Of Wonder” as soon as possible.
“I know Sovannahry is very proud to represent Cambodia in this fight,” he says. “We’re really looking forward to visiting Cambodia in the future.”
But first, they are focused on her upcoming match in Malaysia, and Hamilton expects his student to impress in her first ONE appearance.
“I feel very confident that Sovannahry will put on a really good show for everybody on Friday,” he says.