Andre Soukhamthath Says Win at UFC Moncton Takes “A Lot Off My Back”

UFC bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath was in a tough spot heading into UFC Moncton, but with an impressive win, he’s bought himself some breathing room.

Moncton, NB — For a while, it looked like Andre Soukhamthath was going to run away with it in his scrap Saturday with octagon newcomer Jonathan Martinez at UFC Moncton. A striking clinic early in the fight. Connecting seemingly at will. A knockdown, the first of three in the fight. Keep that number in mind, while you’re at it.

Then Martinez battled back. Put Soukhamthath in a bad position against the fence, dropping elbows. “I felt good at first, until he put me in half guard and started pounding on me,” Soukhamthath later commented. Yet he stayed the course, picked up a solid win against a spirited opponent, and hopefully put to rest the criticism he received after his last fight, a loss to Sean O’Malley.

Following Saturday’s win in Moncton, Soukhamthath spoke about the fight back stage, giving credit to his opponent for hanging in there. “He’s a tough kid. He recovered after I knocked him down three times. It was a good fight. Back and forth.”

“Three times,” he said in regards to the knockdowns he scored. “I’m sure you guys remember that.” It’s hard not to. Soukhamthath earned three knockdowns in a fight once before, against Alejandro Perez just over a year ago. Despite that, he’d go on to lose a split decision.

History did not repeat itself on Saturday. While Martinez showed heart, he was outclassed by Soukhamthath, who utilized both flashy striking including a slick spinning elbow, and wrestling to earn the hard-fought win.

“No excuses, I’m just glad I got the decision win this time. Because I feel like I got robbed a couple times from decisions.” This time, however, the win brings relief with it. Soukhamthath (13-6) was 1-3 heading into UFC Moncton, and desperately needed to avoid another loss. “I’ll tell you what, it takes a lot off my back,” he admitted. “But I just can’t wait to go home and see my kids. Spend some time with my family. Regroup, and do this all again.”

Despite Martinez battling back for a bit, Soukhamthath never really felt in any danger. “Not bad,” he said when asked how bad a situation he was really in when Martinez was dropping elbows. “Even when it was on my face, I was fine the whole time.”

Overall, of his flashy performance, he allowed that “I made some cool highlights, when they show my fight next time they can show some more flying knees and spinning elbows.” They didn’t have the effect he wanted, however. “I throw those to finish guys, and I didn’t finish him this time with them,” Soukhamthath said. “So just some more practice.”

The lack of a finish, mind you, can be attributed to the “super tough” Jonathan Martinez. “I told him I was proud of him in the cage, because I am,” ‘The Asian Sensation’ told reporters backstage. “He took the fight, three weeks notice. I’m proud of the kid. He stood there and fought a veteran like me.”

What comes next will be “little steps. I’ll let my manager do the work. I’m here to fight, I’m in no rush. Obviously I’ve got a lot to work on, and I know that.” Still, Soukhamthath laid a foundation at UFC Moncton that he can build upon.

October also marks an important month for Andre Soukhamthath. It’s EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa) Awareness Month, something that has impacted the fighter’s life on a very personal level. A genetic disorder that causes blistering of the skin, Soukhamthath lost his infant son to the disorder, and has been working to raise awareness about the condition.

“I was 18 when I had him, I was 19 when I lost him. He lives through me,” the bantamweight said of the child he lost far too young. “He’s the reason that I’m fighting now. If he wasn’t born into this world, I don’t know where I’d be. He’s the reason I got into fighting. I wouldn’t be here without him.”