ONE Championship athlete Vy Srey “Pretty Punch” Khouch has not been competing in well over a year, but the talented 28-year-old is looking to make a statement in 2019.
A Kun Khmer Flyweight Champion and life-long martial artist, Srey Khouch has been a regular training partner of rising ONE Championship star Nou Srey Pov, and “Pretty Punch” was by her friend’s side in Bangkok when she defeated Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige in mid-February.
Inspired by her friend’s success, Srey Khouch hopes to have the opportunity to shortly compete in the cage, as well as in the ring.
“I haven’t had any fight for a whole year, but this month they will be selecting a national boxing team to compete in [the 2019 Southeast Asian Games],” Srey Khouch explains.
“I want to train much harder for the SEA Games. I want to do better than I did before.”
“I did not get what I wanted in my last competition, so this time I’ll make sure I will get a medal!”
Setting her sight on a medal in the SEA Games that start in late November, Srey Khouch also has a higher motive for pushing herself to excellence.
“I want to show everyone that women can fight and that women can bring home medals too. Any medal is fine,” she says with a laugh.
Srey Pov’s victory in Bangkok was a huge motivational boost for Cambodian martial arts, especially for the women of the country, and Srey Khouch hopes to be one of the leading female competitors making their way to the top.
She used to regard grappling as her biggest weakness, but after training at Cambodian Top Team, she feels much more assured in her mixed martial arts skills.
“[When I competed in ONE Championship] I was nervous because my grappling skills were not very good,” she remembers.
“Before, I had had very little training, and I had to divide my time between training boxing at the Olympic stadium and training MMA at [Chan] Rothana’s gym Selapak.”
“Now, I have been training on my ground game at CTT, and I have been learning a lot. So I’m not afraid anymore.”
A return to the ONE Championship cage and a shot at an Olympic medal during 2019 might seem like a lot, but Srey Khouch sets the bar high for herself because she knows she can handle it.
Behind her is a strong team of family, friends, and teammates that are equally excited for 2019, a year that many feel is going to be a breakout year for Cambodia.
“My coach told me this year is huge,” she says. “So be ready!