From Mountain Boy to Smiling Assassin: Pongsiri “Piak” Mitsatit enters the big stage

ONE Championship Flyweight Pongsiri "Piak" Mitsatit
ONE Championship Strawweight Pongsiri “Piak” Mitsatit

On May 27th, 2016, undefeated Muay Thai juggernaut Pongsiri “Piak” Mitsatit will be making his ONE Championship debut at Kingdom of Champions in Bangkok, Thailand against Ye Thway Ne. “Piak” talks about transitioning from strictly Muay Thai to mixed martial arts, fighting for Full Metal Dojo, and his goals as a fighter.

By Max Rapkin, Special Contributor

Pongsiri Mitsatit is one of the last people you would ever expect to be a fighter. He’s affable, relaxed and has a very unimposing demeanour. His good looks are natural; there are no veins popping out of his skin nor do his arms bulge with glorious gusto. He hails from a very small village in the northern mountains of Chiang Mai, Thailand and he volunteers for a rescue service in the city when he’s not training. However, when he enters the cage he becomes an extremely dangerous man. He is a 19-year-old on the cusp of stardom, who has evolved from Muay Thai fighter to mixed martial artist. The Chiang Mai native, nicknamed “Piak” is carving a new direction for aspiring Thai athletes, to earn an alternative, and perhaps more lucrative income.

“Before I started in MMA I would fight in Muay Thai 1-2 times every week, at the same time as working long hours and making very little money, it was a very difficult time. When I joined Team Quest Thailand everything changed. They gave me a safe place to stay, a job as a Muay Thai trainer teaching foreigners and meanwhile I trained in MMA”

Piak diversified his skills to become a MMA fighter, incorporating wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, through coaches Dylan Fussell and Bruno Carvalho. With these added weapons to his arsenal, together with his explosive Muay Thai striking ability, he has become a force to be reckoned with in the cage. If you are bold enough to enter the Dojo with him, you must be aware that your night could end at any moment, in a thousand different ways. Mitsatit has racked up six straight victories, with five of those ending early via vicious punches, kicks or chokes. Most of these victories came in the Full Metal Dojo promotion, which is owned by American Jon Nutt and is spearheading the MMA scene in Bangkok.

"Piak" in action
“Piak” in action

“I still love FMD and what it has done for me and other Thai fighters. The show is exciting and gives Thai fighters a chance to showcase their skills.”

His first fight in FMD was his baptism of fire – a grueling three round decision victory over fellow Thai MMA debutant, Payoongsak Singchalad. This would be Piak’s rite-of-passage in MMA.

“I will always remember that night. That was the hardest fight I’ve ever had. It taught me that I needed to take my MMA training seriously, and that I must be well rounded, and have another level of fitness to compete in MMA”

Following this test, Piak has put together a blistering three-fight win-streak, all first round finishes, which caught the attention of Asian MMA kingpins ONE Championship. Now he will fight in this prestigious promotion on May 27th, flying the flag for Thai MMA and serving as a fine role model for the youth of Thailand, or any of his fellow countrymen who are experiencing hardship. For any normal human being this would be a high pressure situation, a heavy load to carry on the shoulders. For the Smiling Assassin, who always enters the cage exuding confidence and happiness, this is where he’s meant to be.

Pongsiri "Piak" Mitsatit
Pongsiri “Piak” Mitsatit

“Fighting is very natural for me, and I already have many Muay Thai fights under my belt so for me it’s an exciting feeling, I feel no pressure or nerves. I have already visualized my fight, and my goal is to remain undefeated and become world champion. I will be a superstar in MMA to secure a future for my mother and father.”

Piak’s rise is the tip of the iceberg as MMA in Thailand is experiencing exponential growth, with multiple gyms across the country offering expert training in mixed martial arts. His gym at Team Quest sits in the jaw dropping, mountainous splendour of Chiang Mai, where the air is crisp and the atmosphere calm and peaceful. He will fight at the Impact Arena on May 27th in ONE: Kingdom of Champions – a show headlined by Thailand’s reigning World Strawweight Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.