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UFC Bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath raises thousands of dollars for Laos flood relief

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Andre Soukhamthath has already been involved in four-straight bangers in the UFC. His most recent bout against Sean O’Malley earning him Fight of the Night honors. Heading into the fifth bout of his UFC contract, Soukhamthath has been tasked with welcoming promotional newcomer Jonathan Murphy to the Octagon at UFC Moncton this Saturday night, after original opponent Gavin Tucker was forced off of the card due to health issues.

Before stepping into the cage on Saturday, Soukhamthath caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his exciting FOTN outing, as well as his thoughts on O’Malley’s failed drug test. Soukhamthath also detailed the various ways in which the Laotian-American was able to earn thousands of dollars to help aid the flood victims of Laos. The interview wraps up with the “Asian Sensation” giving his prediction for his UFC Moncton main card matchup.

**The complete interview video can be seen at the top of the page.

Saturday’s UFC Moncton main card will air live on FS1 at 10:00 P.M. ET with the prelims starting at 8:00 P.M. ET on the same station. The Exclusive Fight Pass prelims will begin at 6:30 P.M. ET.

  • Earlier this summer, there was series of flash floods in Laos, caused by a dam giving way. You being Laotian, I saw on your social media that you took part in various fund raising activities and was able to send some relief that way. How much were you able to generate and what was your overall takeaway from that unfortunate event?

“Through whatever happened in Laos to my people, once I heard about it, my heart just sank to the floor. They already have nothing, and then to lose everything when you already have nothing. Man, I can’t imagine that. Families were separated, people passed away who were inured. People lost their belongings. I just thought one day, I was driving in the car and then I was just like, ‘You know what, I’m going to do something to raise some money. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do something.’ Especially with me being somebody in my position. I’m not the richest guy in the world. I don’t make a lot of money, even though people think I’m in the UFC. No, I don’t make a lot of money right now in the UFC, I’m not a millionaire, so I can’t just donate thousands and thousands of dollars, so what can I do?

“So what I did was earned the money. I earned the money. First, I started off, me and my wife put our heads together and some of our friends gave us ideas. I decided to raffle off all of my UFC walkout gear, my hats, my shorts, fight shorts that I actually fought in, and my walkout shirts. so, I raffled that off online and Facebook and made about $1200 from all my stuff. So that was pretty cool that people helped me out and supported that. A friend of mine actually matched that donation because he liked what I was doing. Wow, that’s pretty amazing.

“I was just like, ‘I’m going to earn the rest of the money.’ So, I decided to train people. Usually, a private training session will be $50 or $75 right. So what I did was I’ll do a half-hour for $50 and I’ll do five rounds for $25, so that people could afford it but still have the experience to train with a UFC fighter like myself, and give to a good cause. I raised about $1800 to $2000 with my private sessions. I held about 22 sessions from Florida to Rhode Island. So that was all my time, money that I worked for, that I earned.”

  • That’s incredible! Hats off to you for taking it upon yourself to go through all of that and put in the time, effort, and work just to give back. Things like this need to be celebrated.

“I appreciate you keeping up with that, man and mentioning it. You’re probably the first person to ever ask me a question about it.”

  • So, the last time we saw you in the Octagon was at UFC 222 against Sean O’Malley. He injured his leg in that final round and had some serious trouble standing on it. It looked as if you could have just backed away and maybe have gotten the finish. What was going through your head at the time when you saw him injured, but went after takedowns?

“I just felt like I had the advantage on the ground. I felt like I was better than him on the ground, so I decided to take him down in the third round. I knew that he was hurt, like when he kicked me. He actually broke, or hurt himself whatever on my forearm when he kicked me. I didn’t realize how bad he was actually hurt. So, I just figured out, let’s get this fight back to the ground. He did some damage to me standing up. At the same time, I’m a little rocked. It’s a 15 minute fight. I just got rocked like 10 minutes before that and I couldn’t find my corner. I took some other shots in the second round and the third round.

Honestly, I should have just backed up and stood up and won the fight that way, but what can you do, man? I went through the phase, through that time. I’m over it. I’m done with that chapter, and now it’s time to move one. The most important thing is I learn from my losses and my mistakes, and I try to do better.”

  • Recently, O’Malley has openly admitted to failing a USADA drug test, citing tainted supplements. Do you have any thoughts on that situation?

“I’m just keeping my mouth shut with that whole situation, because I don’t know what the situation is. I’m not going to go out and assume Sean O’Malley was using PED’s or whatever during our fight. That’s not in my character. He’s a talented kid and he knows how to work a crowd. He knows how to get his opponents emotional, and that’s what he did to me. He won fair and square.

“If I could say anything, listen, O’Malley’s got a big following. I’m sure he’s making a lot of bread. I’m sure he’s got a strong team behind him of nutritionists and trainers. I’m sure he’s got people making sure he’s taking the right things. So, for a tainted supplement, I don’t know. I could probably say, if you look at his body he’s not the most diesel ripped guy anyway, but he is tall. So, maybe he’s taking something to help him make 135? That’s all I’m thinking. Or the weed or something. But, they said it had nothing to do with the weed. That’s the only thing I could be thinking of, if it’s not a tainted supplement, that he’s taking something to make 35. Because he’s freakishly big for the division.”

  • He’s definitely really tall and long for that division.

“Like a diuretic or something, but that’s just what I think. I’m not assuming, saying he is, but if it wasn’t a tainted supplement, it was probably that. Who knows? I’m interested to find out too.”

  • Now, you’re headed into UFC Moncton this Saturday night to take on short notice replacement Jonathan Martinez, who will be making his promotional debut. What’s your take on your new opponent?

“It’s only my fifth fight in the UFC and I learned a lot last year. It’s his first fight. I have plans to put him away, first round. Show the whole world. I have a lot of people to shut up, show the whole world that I’m still going to do damage to the 135 division. Fully focused, I’m going to be a problem.”

“I did my first-four weeks down in Florida at Hard Knocks 365 like usually, with Henry Hooft and the crew, Greg Jones. I decided to come back home for five weeks of my camp. I’ve been back in Rhode Island since mid-September. I’ve been back in Rhode Island training with my old team at Tri-Force MMA, Diamond Dave, and my father, and Lauzon MMA.”

  • I know you said first-round; knockout or submission?

“It’s going to be a knockout for sure. I’m going back to what I’m good at, and that’s throwing these hands, throwing these knees, throwing these kicks.“

Watch “The Asian Sensation” Andre Soukhamthath got toe to toe with the UFC newcomer Jonathan Martinez at UFC Fight Night 138 on October 27, 2018. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!

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