ONE Championship will bring more heat to ONE Friday Fights 18 on May 26 with the return of Smilla Sundell. The Swedish star made waves last year with two wins on the global stage and collecting the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship. Now, the 18-year-old will eye kickboxing glory inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
Smilla Sundell Set to Return in Kickboxing Debut at ONE Friday Fights 18
“This will be my first kickboxing fight. I’m so excited and also nervous for this fight. It feels like it’s been a long year. I had an injury and had some other problems, so that’s why I have been out,” Sundell told ONE.
The reigning Muay Thai queen does not expect a big shift in her game because of the difference in rule sets. “The Hurricane” fully plans to remain aggressive and put her opponent, Milana Bjelogrlic, on her back foot. In preparing for her return, she is leaning on the expertise of one of the best two-sport phenoms.
“I think it will be ok transitioning into kickboxing. I have been training normally. The only thing is skipping elbows and clinch, which I like. But I think my knees are enough. Now, I train with Stamp Fairtex. I also got a boxing coach. I train a lot with different trainers. I switch around between three or four people,” Sundell said.
With her highly-anticipated return approaching, Sundell is breaking down her opponent’s game. The teenage sensation sees some of the issues Bjelogrlic poses with her skills. However, that will not deter the 18-year-old from firing back and trying to make a statement as a two-sport threat.
“I think she’s an aggressive fighter, and she looks strong, too. I think she’s got good boxing and low kicks. She’s fast,” Sundell said.
Sundell’s biggest attribute may be her physical size. It helped her to win the Muay Thai gold over Jackie Buntan, as “The Hurricane” kept the American out of range while still being able to press the action. It is a similar game plan she expects to employ in Bangkok.
“She might have more experience in kickboxing than me. Maybe that’s her advantage. But I think I should be ok. I’ve had so many Muay Thai fights already. I think it’s similar, so I think it won’t be a problem to switch over to kickboxing. And I think I’m taller than her. I will use my range,” Sundell said.
ONE Friday Fights 18 airs live on May 26. The event will air for free across all ONE platforms. The action gets underway at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT.