The successful rescue of the 12 young members of a soccer team and their coach trapped in a cave in Thailand was a collaborative effort of volunteers from around the world. One of the volunteer rescuers was Thai mixed martial artist Pongsiri Mitsatit, 22.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be able to help find these kids alive,” Mitsatit said. “It didn’t matter if I was in training for a big fight. I wanted to do everything I could to help those boys.”
“This was bigger than everything else,” the Thai fighter added. “The British divers saw them first and sent back photos and videos, I was so relieved. Just seeing them alive and well, it makes my heart feel full.”
An undefeated MMA fighter, Mitsatit knows what it is like to face adversity. He has been competing in ONE Championship since 2016 and he is now holding a professional MMA record of 9 wins and 0 loss.
Widely considered one of the fastest rising stars in the world of martial arts, Pongsiri had much to lose in risking his life but he would not have had it any other way. He shared, “When we are given the ability to help others who are in dire need, we must do everything we can.”
“It doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor,” Mitsatit said. “We do what we can.”
“In my mind, I wanted to find those kids as soon as possible,” the undefeated Thai MMA fighter added. “Then to see them strong and doing well, it motivates me to be as strong as them.”
On July 10, 2018, rescue operations concluded, as teams worked round the clock to rescue the victims at the soonest possible time. All 12 boys and their coach are well and in good spirits after being airlifted to the nearest hospital as soon as they got out of the cave.
Mitsatit’s role in rescue operations has concluded but he is more than willing to offer more help if need be. He said, “I would do anything if it meant saving those boys.”
After helping in a successful rescue operation, Mitsatit will return to the cage and put his unblemished professional MMA record on the line. On July 27, 2018, he will compete at “ONE: Reign of Kings” against Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 22, of the Philippines in the strawweight division at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Learn more about Mitsatit’s experience in rescuing the soccer team in Thailand on Conan Daily. Meanwhile, watch a live coverage of the successful Thai cave rescue here: