By The Nation
Despite having had a long lay-off, Nong-O did not miss a beat as he engaged in a spirited Muay Thai contest with the Frenchman in Manila.
The two traded their best shots in three solid rounds of action but it was Nong-O who showcased superior technique, plastering Pinca with thudding left kicks to the midsection and scoring with his patented sweeps.
In the end, all three judges ruled the bout in favour of Nong-O, earning the five-division Lumphini Stadium champion a unanimous victory.
“I felt very happy. I was excited for my ONE Championship debut. I felt great in the ring, and I really enjoyed myself,” he says.
“It was my first bout in a long time, so I was not 100 percent sharp yet. I will be better in my next bout.”
Although he has nothing to prove the legendary Muay Thai competitor plans to be around for a while yet.
Nong-O says he has a couple of new goals he wants to accomplish.
The notable absentee from his trophy cabinet is a gold-plated ONE Championship strap.
“I want to win a ONE World Title. The goal that brought me back to compete is to become a ONE World Champion. I want to win the title and defend it many times,” he said.
Nong-O returns to action on October 6, when he takes on another Frenchman, Mehdi Zatout, on the undercard of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, at the Impact Arena in Nonthaburi, near Bangkok.
If Nong-O can can beat a man who has more than 100 competitive matches under kickboxing and Muay Thai rules, a world title shot in ONE Super Series may not be too far away.
“A victory will be another step up in my career. It will push me onto bigger and better things. I am very excited to step back in the ring,” he said.