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Smilla Sundell: ONE Championship’s history-making teenager plots world domination after staggering rise | WWE Information

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Smilla Sundell did not wish to struggle. Now she is a world champion. 

The 19-year-old at present reigns as ONE Ladies’s Strawweight Muay Thai world champion and is ready to defend her title towards Natalya Dyachkova at ONE Battle Night time 22 in Bangkok, Thailand within the early hours of Saturday Could 4, dwell on Sky Sports activities.

Sundell’s emphatic rise has seen her turn into the WBC’s top-ranked girls’s Muay Thai competitor on the age of 16, earlier than turning into ONE’s youngest Muay Thai world champion aged 17.

Baddest teenager on the planet? Fairly probably.

“I believe it is enjoyable to listen to that,” laughed Sundell, talking to Sky Sports activities. “I heard completely different sorts like that. I believe I nonetheless have rather a lot to develop on.”

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Smilla Sundell in motion towards Allycia Hellen Rodrigues at ONE Battle Night time 14

Sundell grew up in Sweden and commenced studying karate on the age of 5 earlier than being launched to Muay Thai whereas on vacation in Thailand, the place she would finally transfer on account of her dad and mom’ jobs. The remainder was gold commonplace historical past, with one of the best little question nonetheless to come back.

“I moved to Thailand after I was 11-12 years {old}, and I’ve all the time been into sports activities and stuff and once we moved to the small island in Thailand there was not many sports activities to do and solely Muay Thai,” she defined. “So I began off coaching for enjoyable with my household and afterward the trainers and my dad and mom thought that I used to be adequate to struggle.

“However I did not actually wish to do it so. In the future they advised me just like the night earlier than that I had a struggle the following day, and that is the way it began. I did not wish to do it. I used to be very indignant and p***** off at everybody as a result of I did not wish to get harm.

“It was not for me. It took me three fights to actually get into it. It was identical for the primary three fights. They advised me like sooner or later earlier than. However I like profitable and I gained my first three fights, I just like the profitable feeling, so I stored going and now I am a world champion.”

Natalia Diachkova., ONE Championship
Natalia Diachkova., ONE Championship

Sundell jokes that she has turn into considerably accustomed to the common dose of ache. Profitable in commanding vogue, as she so typically has, helps restrict as a lot.

She made her Muay Thai debut again in 2018, prevailing with a first-round stoppage in a contest which will have by no means taken place.

“I used to be truly planning on cancelling my first struggle, as a result of I actually did not wish to get harm,” she continued. “However then I obtained to the following day, I used to be like ‘she’s a small woman too’ and if the trainers tells me I am good I’ve to belief them.

“I see the woman on the stadium. ‘I am like, ah, she’s small too’, and we agreed to not do elbows, in order that was good. However I used to be like ‘oh she seems nervous, too, let’s simply get it achieved after which not should do it once more’.”

Sundell was left with a choice to make on the age of 15 when her household determined to maneuver again residence to Sweden. She had discovered Muay Thai, and did not wish to let it go.

“I do not assume I’d have been doing Muay Thai in Sweden and and in addition I’d carry on finding out and be like anybody else,” she mentioned. “Perhaps work in a clothes store or a restaurant, so I am very glad I discovered Muay Thai.

“I simply had began a Fairtex Gymnasium and I do know they’ve large alternatives right here so I might select to dwell my dream or return to Sweden and simply begin like anybody else, and my household was very supportive of my selection and.

“We thought they might come again even sooner to go to me however their flights have been cancelled on a regular basis so I did not see my mum for a year-and-a-half. They arrive to each struggle now.”

Teenager sensation Smilla Sundell will defend her world title on Sky Sports on May 3
Teenager sensation Smilla Sundell will defend her world title on Sky Sports activities on Could 3

Sundell’s father, specifically, is as shut as anyone to The Hurricane’s blossoming profession, serving as one in all his daughter’s cornermen.

“He is very supportive and retains pushing me, he is aware of that I can do it,” she says. “He simply tells me to relax, often as a result of I get too aggressive, I do not focus within the first spherical, I get too many hits and he says ‘okay, relax now’.”

Sundell made her ONE Championship debut in February 2022 as she beat Australia’s Diandra Martin by way of third-round TKO, earlier than clinching the Ladies’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship two months later with a unanimous determination victory over Jackie Buntan.

In doing so she turned the youngest fighter to win a world title, which she efficiently defended final September with a third-round stoppage win over Allycia Rodrigues having additionally made her kickboxing debut in Could 2023.

“I used to be shocked a bit that it occurred so rapidly, however I additionally sort of knew that I might do it. It was my largest dream coming true,” she mentioned.

Together with her emergence has come the chance to cross paths with different greats of fight sport, together with WBC heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, with whom Sundell not too long ago grabbed an image whereas the Gypsy King was coaching in her health club.

“I took a photograph with him earlier than coaching, however I did not like that picture sufficient. I used to be like ‘no, I do not look good on that one, so I let him prepare,” she laughed. “I did my very own coaching, then I did some weights ready for him to complete after which I obtained to take one other image with him.”

Smilla Sundell takes aim at Allycia Hellen Rodrigues
Smilla Sundell takes intention at Allycia Hellen Rodrigues

Whereas she is relishing the possibility to work together with different sporting stars, she admits she is but to really feel like one herself.

“Nah, I do not really feel like a famous person,” she mentioned. “However then individuals come as much as me and desire a image, in order that’s sort of like a famous person, however in my eyes I am similar to a standard particular person.”

Regardless of being so early on in her personal profession, Sundell hopes to encourage different younger feminine fighters to comply with in her footsteps by pursuing success in fight sport.

“I believe it’s totally good that folks look as much as me,” she mentioned. “Like individuals come to me coaching and so they’re like, ‘Oh my god’ and they’re star struck, and I can not actually imagine it.

“That simply make me so glad. And I simply wish to carry on pushing extra and turn into even higher.”

Having already taken a seat on the world champion desk, Sundell is not able to cease there.

Dyachkova awaits as the following stride in direction of dominance.

“I wish to be a world champion in all three classes, so kickboxing and MMA and Muay Thai, I wish to have all of the belts on the identical time,” she defined.

“However my first step shall be to defend my belt every now and then get the kickboxing belt, after which MMA will come sooner or later.”

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