“Still Up There at the Top” – Motivated Jo Nattawut Aims to Start a Final Run for the World Title

Published 12/04/2023, 10:03 AM EST

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“Smokin” Jo Nattawut knows that he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning, and he’s hoping to catch a wave of momentum to leave on a high note. On Friday, December 8, the Thai star will welcome American striker Luke Lessei to the world’s largest martial arts organization in a pivotal featherweight Muay Thai bout at ONE Fight Night 17: Kryklia vs. Roberts. 

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The all-striking card is set to go down inside the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and will be broadcast live and for free on Amazon Prime Video for all subscribers in North America. 

Jo Nattawut feels he is ready to go for a fight

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Nattawut heads into the match on a three-fight losing skid, most recently dropping a narrow kickboxing loss against ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Tawanchai PK Saenchai at ONE Fight Night 15 just last month. Still, he was quick to accept the offer to fight after not suffering any injuries in his previous bout. 

“To me, my body is still ready. It’s still good. So I can see my body is still up there at the top. So after the fight, you know, I didn’t feel pain at all. I just got ready and jumped right into training camp, which is good,” he told ONE in an interview. 

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A veteran of over 80 fights, “Smokin” Jo has only won half of his 10 fights in his ONE tenure. However, four of his losses came at the hands of generational talents like Giorgio Petrosyan, Chingiz Allazov, and the aforementioned Tawanchai. 

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A modern-era legend coming toward the end of his career

He remains a force in the stacked division nonetheless and holds the #4-ranked contender spot for a reason. Ahead of his upcoming tussle, Nattawut hopes to prove that he still has what it takes to rise through the ranks and challenge for gold before calling time on his career.

“I just turned 34, and I’m at my last gas tank right now. Any fight can be my last fight. So my ultimate goal, the goal is I want to fight – I really want to fight for the title before I retire,” he said. 

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Read More: WATCH:- Nong-O Gaiyanghadao Flatlines Felipe Lobo in the Third Round With an Uppercut From Hell to Retain His Belt at ONE X

“Because I’m not the guy saying, ‘Oh, I’m gonna fight until 40, until 38.’ No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Me? Maybe like one year, maybe another half year. Who knows? “And again, this is the last gas tank for me. So fighting for the title would be really nice.”

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Written by:

Anirban Chatterjee

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I am Anirban, an MMA enthusiast with the opportunity to combine my fascination for the sport with my professional adventures as a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Apart from being a professional athlete, MMA and Soccer are sports that I have always enjoyed following. I am a huge fan of ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, and Israel Adesanya.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar Das

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