Lethwei is now one of the fastest growing sports globally with the promotion of the world, led by the flagship organization, World Lethwei Championship (WLC). The likes of Dave Leduc and Too Too have blazed a trail to lethwei superstardom, and today, we take a look at five of the best young talent poised to break out.
5. Nicola ‘The Burmese Python’ Barke
Nicola Barke was immensely popular in Myanmar even before she joined World Lethwei Championship, thanks to her kickboxing exploits globally while representing Myanmar and with her nickname “The Burmese Python”. She is a karate world champion and kickboxing British champion prior to transitioning to lethwei. Her mother is of Burmese heritage.
Since joining WLC, she has experienced even greater popularity. She won her debut against Bianka Balajtiby unanimous decision.
4. Thway Thit Maung
Thway Thit Maung is one of the best athletes in WLC’s lght welterweight division. He has faced adversity at every step of his career and bounced back to get to greater heights.
In his first World Lethwei Championship match, he was knocked out and it was looking grim at the middle stanza of his second match, when his opponent was piling on the strikes. Thway Thit Maung, resilient as ever, recovered and knocked his opponent out, accomplishing one of the best comeback stories in history.
He has since strung together an undefeated streak, including an incredibly tough victory over Moroccan champion Omar Elouers.
3. So Mi Ong
The diminutive So Mi Ong is only 158 cm tall, but in the ring, he is one of the world’s best fighters. Although born in Myanmar, he has spent most of his life in neighboring Thailand.
World Lethwei Championship made his dream of competing in his birth country a reality and he is now committed to becoming a world champion in the sport. His speed is reminiscent of MMA champion Demetrious Johnson and for a smaller athlete, he still has incredible knockout power and he can finish his opponent with strikes to any part of the body. He is a fan favorite and could be the inspirational face for lethwei’s global expansion.
2. Matias Jonsson
Matias Jonsson is a recently signed fighter to WLC athlete roster, but fans already know his skill-set in the ring. He will be competing in the welterweight division, which already packed with some of the world’s best fighters. Jonsson is looking to rise up among them like he did in the past.
After the announcement was made, the news of him in Lethwei ring is a hit story for the combat sports. There is no doubt that he is a must-watch athlete.
1. Souris Manfredi
World Lethwei Championship committed to growing the female division by committing to one female bout at each event. Through the first year, the biggest female lethwei superstar is Souris Manfredi.
She is a fearless and aggressive female fighter that has captivated fans by demonstrating the tenacity and toughness required to success in the sport. Earlier this year she became the first female athlete to win via knockout. Now is looks poised to compete for the first lethwei women’s world championship belt.