Andre Soukhamthath is back, and he’s fighting for the first time in more than a year. Soukhamthath (13-8 MMA) is set to fight Guilherme Faria (16-8 MMA, 3-0 XFC) at XFC 43 on Nov. 11.
Soukhamthath said the bantamweight match-up is sure to be exciting.
“If you look at both of our styles, we really don’t play it safe, we don’t care,” he told MMASucka. “We just go out there and throw, trying to knock our opponents out. I think it’s very dangerous, but obviously, I’ve got a good chin … It’s gonna be bloody. Someone’s gonna get knocked out.”
Soukhamthath is making his XFC debut. It also marks his first fight since he was cut by the UFC after his August 2019 loss to Su Mudaerji in Shenzhen, China. Soukhamthath broke his hand and finger in that fight and found out he was released soon after he got home.
The coronavirus pandemic happened, and “The Asian Sensation” had trouble finding a fight anywhere.
“These other big promotions didn’t want to sign me,” he said. “Maybe they were afraid I would beat their superstars.”
Soukhamtath eventually was in contact with XFC. He signed a three-fight deal with the promotion, which offered him much-desired job security.
“I’m really thankful that XFC stepped in, was interested in me and really saw my worth,” he said. “They saw what I could do as a fighter and saw my potential. I’m very excited to grow with them. I know they’re coming back, re-branding, and they’re coming back really strong.”
XFC President Myron Molotky, in a September interview with MMASucka, discussed his promotion’s three-point business model: its Young Guns series, tournaments, and its Superfight series.
Soukhamthath said he’s excited by the idea of tournaments, as those could lead to a championship fight.
“All my years I’ve done MMA, I’ve been training for a decade now, and I never did a tournament-style. That definitely would interest me. We’ll see. I’m taking it one fight at a time.”
Soukhamtath has his eyes on the Nov. 11 date with Faria, who is a former XFC featherweight champion. Faria is 1-3 since his title run, but will return to the XFC cage for the first time since September 2015. However, this fight will be at 135.
“A win over [Faria], period, no matter where it’s at, is a strong win,” Soukhamthath said. “I respect the guy. We’ll see how he does at bantamweight … He’s coming in my territory. I might be going into his cage, but he’s coming into my weight class.”
Despite his UFC release, Soukhamtath, 32, is adamant that he has not lost his passion for fighting, and said that his match-up with Faria is UFC-caliber. He’s also excited to be competing as the main event.
“My parents told me I was way too pretty to be a fighter. And, it’s true, but I’m still fighting,” Soukhamthath said. “Why am I still fighting? Because I feel like it. It doesn’t matter what cage. I’m just going to keep doing what I do. I’m a martial artist, and I like to compete. I like to punch people in the face, and I like to knock people out.”
Andre Soukhamthath vs. Guilherme Faria
Soukhamthath predicts the first two rounds will be fast-paced action. In the end, though, he believes his durability advantage will reign supreme over Faria.
“He’s been stopped before, and I’ve never been stopped, and I don’t plan on being stopped. We’ll see how tough he is. If he can’t match my toughness, he’s probably going to be sleeping in the end.”
XFC 43: Guilherme Faria vs. Andre Soukhamthath is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 11 from the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. The card will air live on NBC Sports.
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