The group stage bouts of the 2023 Rajadamnern World Series were contested over the past four months. Four of the eight fighters who entered the group stage advanced to the semifinals of the 3,000,000 baht ($84,435.69) tournament and are now just two fights away from capturing both the prestigious belt and one of the biggest purses in Muay Thai currently available.
In the Lightweight division, last year's tournament winner Lamnamoonlek Tded99 will take on Buakhiao Por.Paoin, while former ONE and Lumpinee Stadium champion Petchdam Petchyindee Academy will face one-time Rajadamnern Stadium champion Samingdet Nor.Anuwatgym. Lamnamoonlek should be considered not only the favorite in this bout, but a favorite to once against win the tournament. This will most likely devolve into a kicking battle, with the southpaw looking to outpoint Buakhiao.
Petchdam will be the favorite on the other side of the bracket. Samingdet, one of the sharpest elbow fighters in the game, has struggled with slick outfighters in the past. While Petchdam isn't the slickest Muay Femur out there, he likes to stay in control of fights with a solid outfighting kicking game and should be considered a slight favorite here – especially considering his recent form.
SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION
Over at Super Lightweight, former ONE and Lumpinee Stadium champion Capitan Petchyindee Academy has been pitted against Chujaroen Dabransarakarm, while Nuenglanlek Jitmuangnon will measure himself up against Petchtongchai. Capitan is a slight favorite here, as he beat Chujaroen just four months ago in a stadium Muay Thai bout. That being said, Chujareon is perhaps the most elite knee fighter in the game right now, with a sizable reach and height advantage, meaning he's never an easy win for anyone.
The other semifinal should be a pick-'em fight. Nuenglanlek is the more credentialed fighter, but seems to be exiting his prime, giving the rising Petchtongchai the perfect opportunity to score the biggest win of his career.
The Welterweight division will see Rittewada Petchyindee Academy face Saenpon Sor.Sommai and Hercules Phetsimean face Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai. Rittewada has looked picture perfect in the group stage, with four wins and two stoppages so far this year. While an ever so slight an underdog, Saenpon is an elite clinch fighter, a style which Rittewada hasn't faced in nearly four years, who furthermore eliminated the reigning Rajadamnern champion Sajad Sattari from the tournament.
As close as this encounter might be, Hercules versus Yodkhunpon should be even closer. Hercules was the beneficiary of several late notice opponent changes, which granted him an easy path to the final four, while Yodkhunpon had a much tougher road to the semifinals. The contest is hard to predict: Hercules could outwork Yodkhunpon in the clinch, but Yodkhunpon could also knock him out in the first round. It is by far the most difficult fight to read and thus should also prove to be the most interesting to watch.
SUPER WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION
Last, but not least, are the Super Welterweights. Last year's World Series winner Daniel Rodriguez will face Yodwicha Por Boonsit in a trilogy fight, in what promises to be the best fight of the evening, if their first two meetings are anything to go by. Rodriguez is currently 2-0 up in that particular series, although both bouts ended in a close split decision. The second semifinal bout in the Super Welterweight division between Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy and Thananchai Rachanon will be a fight between an elite knee fighter in Petchmorakot and an elite clinch fighter in Thanachai. Petchmorakot was able to beat Yodwicha in the group stages of the World Series a month ago, which made many fans of the sport hope for a Petchmorakot/Rodriguez final.
The entire event will be streamed on DAZN for the international viewers and on Workpoint Facebook and YouTube channels for the Thai audience. Beginning on August 19, events will be broadcast every Saturday at 13.05 PM GMT, until October 7.