Smilla Sundell: Rise of the Youngest Champion

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Every now and then in Muay Thai, a prodigal talent separates itself from the rest of the crowd. Smilla Sundell is no different and at the age of 18 is on her way towards becoming a Muay Thai legend. Currently, she’s the One Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion and has the honor of being the youngest person to ever win a Muay Thai world championship. 

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Smilla is all set to defend her title against the uber talented Alycia Rodrigues next in a fight that promises to be an all out war. Before her next fight, let’s take a look at her career up till now. 

Early Life 

Smilla was born in Stockholm, Sweden on the 12th of November 2004. She developed a liking for combat sport at a young age. Sundell began practicing Karate at the age of 5 as a means of learning how to defend herself.

It wasn’t until a family trip to Thailand that she got introduced to the art of Muay Thai. After the initial introduction, there was no looking back for the young Smilla. Her parents moved to
Thailand after falling in love with the country. 

Both her and her younger sister began training. Initially, the both of them were learning Muay Thai for self defense. Neither sister had any intention to pursue a professional fighting career. However, seeing Smilla’s obvious talent for the sport her parents encouraged her to engage in a proper fight. She won her first fight at the age of 12 by KO.

Even after the first success, Smilla wasn’t sure about pursuing Muay Thai in a professional capacity. However, she persisted and continued to win fights. After her fourth or fifth win, she realized that she actually quite enjoys fighting and Smilla continued to rise meteorically. 

Her dedication to Muay Thai was so great, that when her family decided to move back Sweden, she decided to stay and pursue a career in Muay Thai. Smilla was only 15 when her parents moved back to Sweden. For a 15 year old living in a country alone, things can get quite challenging. However, Smilla isn’t your average 15 year old. 

After running out of opponents to beat in Koh Samui, Smilla decided to move to Pattaya and join the fairtex training gym. One of her inspirations for moving to Pattaya and picking fairtex as a training center was Stamp Fairtex. 

Rise at Fairtex

The Fairtex gym is one of the most popular and prestigious gyms in Thailand. It boasts a collection of both thai and international fighters. The exposure to high quality training partners is what Smilla needed to progress her career further.  

Soon after joining fairtex, Smilla continued her ascent towards being one of the best young Muay Thai fighters. It didn’t take her that long to earn the honor as at the age of 16, she became the number one ranked female featherweight according to WBC Muay Thai. 

In her fairly short career, she already has victories over Sawsing Sor Sopit and Po npan Por.Muengpetch. Her record in 2021 stood at 31-5-1 and that’s when she decided to join One Championship.

She made her One Championship debut on 25 February 2022 going up against Australian Diandra Martin. Immediately, it was clear that ONE FC had a very prodigious talent on their hands and she ended up finishing the Australian in the third round. All of a sudden, One FC realised that they have a genuine diamond on their hands.

The Youngest Champion 

Her spectacular performance and high standing in the Muay Thai world meant that Smila was straight into the title picture. A fight was set up against fellow rising Muay Thai prospect Jackie Buntan. 

The fight was scheduled for the 22 April 2022. Many in the fight world were questioning whether such a young talent could handle the pressure of a big night. Well, Smilla answered all those questions with aplomb and put up an absolute Muay Thai clinic. 

She outstruck and outclassed Jackie in all five rounds on her way to a unanimous decision victory. Her win meant that she was the youngest to win a world championship in One FCs Muay Thai division. 

At the young age of 17 Smilla had finally arrived at the world stage and done so with aplomb. Her outstanding performance also earned her a $50,000 performance of the night bonus. All of a sudden Smilla went from young upstart to a Muay Thai superstar. 

After her championship winning performance, Smilla decided to test her skills in kickboxing. A fight was scheduled against Milana Bjelogrlic for ONE Friday Fights 18 on the 26th of May 2023. The result was another convincing unanimous decision victory for Smilla for whom the sky seems like to be the limit. 

She’s scheduled to defend her Strawweight World title against Allycia Rodrigues at ONE Fight Night 14! 


Smilla rise to a World Champion level Muay Thai fighter has been nothing short of meteoric. She’s following the same trajectory as her training partner and inspiration Stamp Fairtex. It’s fair to expect that with her domination in Muay Thai and penchant for combat sports, we can see a switch to MMA in the near future. 

Regardless of what path she decides to choose, the future will definitely by littered with glory for the young Muay Thai queen!

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