Antonio Faria: A look back at greatest battles of lethwei champion
Light Welterweight world lethwei champion Antonio Faria is considered one of the greatest champions in the sport’s history. Judging by his past three fights, it is easy to see why.
The Portuguese athlete has been dubbed “the knockout king of lethwei”, having finish all three of his opponents in devastating fashion. We look back at each of these bouts as we reminisce on Faria’s rise to fame.
Antonio Faria vs Mite Yine
Antonio Faria made an immediate impact upon arrival in the lethwei circuit at WLC: Knockout War in Jun 2018. This bout is one of the most historic fights to date. Mite Yine was widely considered a legend of lethwei, and this fight did not disappoint.
From the opening bell, the two athletes traded strike for strike with no respite in between. The action was so fast and intense and is arguably the greatest seven minutes of martial arts ever. Soon after, footage of this fight went viral and till date, it has been viewed by more than 20 million viewers.
Antonio Faria vs Nguyen Thanh Trung
Faria welcomed newcomer Nguyen Thanh Trung to World Lethwei Championship at WLC: Heartless Tigers in September 2018. It was as systematic and methodical a dismantling of his opponent as you will ever ever.
Faria dropped Nguyen in each of the rounds. He ended the bout with a textbook right kick to the midsection of his opponent to win by knockout.
Antonio Faria vs Saw Htoo Aung
Having competed in lightweight for his first two bouts, Faria jumped at the chance to move up a weight class for a chance at World Lethwei light welterweight gold in February 2019 at WLC: Mighty Warriors. His opponent was rising star and Myanmar national champion Saw Htoo Aung.
Faria unleashed a big right hand in the third round that had his opponent stumbling against the ring ropes. The referee jumped in to start the count. Saw Htoo Aung tried battling back, but Faria smelled blood in the water. With a quick left-right punch combo, he dropped Saw Htoo Aung again, this time for good. He became the inaugural Light Welterweight World Lethwei Champion.
On September 25, Antonio Faria will defend his title for the first time. He takes on Jose Francisco Vinuelas of Spain in the main event of WLC: Lethwei Showcase.
The event airs on UFC Fight Pass, Canal+, and other broadcast partners across 100 countries. The start time is scheduled for 6.30 pm Myanmar time, 5 am Pacific Time, 8 am Eastern time, 1 pm London time, 10 pm Sydney time.
In the newly announced co-main event at WLC 14: Lethwei Showcase, two of the world’s best middleweights will go to battle as Spain’s Nicolas Mendes takes on Thailand’s Saensuek. The event airs on September 25 on UFC Fight Pass and Canal+, and other World Lethwei Championship broadcast partners across 100 countries.
When muay Thai specialist Souris Manfredi returns to the World Lethwei Championship ring on Friday, she will be a part of history, as one half of the organization’s first women’s title fight at WLC: Hideout Battle. For this special occasion, the native of France plans to not only bring her best effort, she also expects to display some fire and brimstone for her opponent Maisha Katz.
On the 28th August 2020, World Lethwei Championship returns to action with their first Lethwei spectacle since the pandemic shut down the World.
One of the most eagerly anticipated bouts on this card is the co-main event featuring Myanmar fan favourite So Mi Ong Luktupfah and Artur Te. These bantamweights are both aggressive and fast and have all the ingredients for an unforgettable contest.
World Lethwei Championship (WLC), the world’s largest Lethwei fighting organization, has released the full card for WLC: Hideout Battle, set to broadcast to over 100 countries from an undisclosed location on 28 August.