Kulabdam hoping to unearth next star

Kulabdam hoping to unearth next star

Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai celebrates his win over Julio Lobo.
Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai celebrates his win over Julio Lobo.

Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai is enjoying the fruits of his labour under the ONE Championship banner, and now he plans to pay it forward.

Ahead of his blockbuster clash with former ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion Nong-O Hama at ONE Lumpinee 58 on April 5, "Left Meteorite" has revealed that he has opened a gym of his own in his native Surin province.

Like many Muay Thai athletes in the sport's heartland, Kulabdam used fighting to overcome an impoverished childhood.

Through his gym, Sombunfarm, he hopes to provide the means for young fighters from the area to carve out successful fighting careers.

"I wanted to give opportunities for underprivileged children in the neighbourhood to have a career and earn money," he said.

"It's like making up for what I lacked when I was a child. When I was young, I wanted to be a Muay Thai fighter, but I couldn't find any gyms in my area. So, I packed soil into fertiliser sacks to make a DIY sandbag. I want to build a gym that meets standards for kids.

"The most rewarding part is that I can bring the children in my community to learn Muay Thai and take them to compete in local rings, so that they can get fight money to support their families."

Kulabdam has set ONE Championship alight in his 11 fights since joining the roster in 2019, with his punishing left hand striking fear into his opponents.

The 25-year-old knockout artist has scored 350,000-baht performance bonuses in his two most recent wins, both first-round finishes over Fariyar Aminipour and Julio Lobo.

The earning capacity that he now enjoys as a star on the global stage has helped him bring his vision to life. Now he hopes that he can use his platform to pave the way for a new generation of fighters from Surin to follow in his footsteps.

"The main problem was lack of funds, so I collected money gradually until I achieved my goal. The bonus money I got from the previous two fights helped a lot," he said.

"I have no partner. It's me alone. I can tell you all the money I invest in the gym comes from the money I earn from competing in ONE.

"In the next five to 10 years, I would like to see representative athletes from my gym competing in the capital, Bangkok. I would be more than happy if I could support those fighters to have the opportunity to compete in ONE and change their lives."

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