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On WLC 12: Hideout Battle, Souris Manfredi made claim to the inaugural WLC Women’s Bantamweight World Championship. She defeated Maisha Katz in the fourth round via retirement. If you’ve followed the site for some time, you will remember our previous article with Souris Manfredi entitled The Belt Chaser. If you’d like to get to know Souris a little more, please take some time and read that below!
Read Souris Manfredi: The Belt Chaser Below
Souris Manfredi is coming off of a win at WLC 11, the world’s hottest Lethwei promotion. We spoke with Manfredi about her fight, career goals and much more!
Souris Manfredi, Women’s WLC Bantamweight Champion
As mentioned earlier, Manfredi became the WLC women’s bantamweight champion on Hideout Battle. She battered Katz for four rounds that saw Katz and her corner decide to not let the fight go on any longer out of the safety of their fighter. Becoming the champion was something that Manfredi and her camp have been working towards for some time. Finally achieving that goal is a great accomplishment for her and her team.
“It feels great. I am happy not only being the first female bantamweight champion, but I believe we had an amazing fight to watch with Maisha. So I’m really glad for that. It was not only the victory, but it was also the fight in itself that was really good.”
WLC 12 was the first time Manfredi was the main event of a fight card. She was once the co-main event but nothing she’s done was on the stage she has ever been on. For Manfredi, it was truly a dream come true.
“It was the first time. I have been the co-main event once in MMA, but it was four years ago already. But, it is nothing to compare with WLC. It was a big chance, a beautiful opportunity.”
Getting the call from the WLC was the culmination of a life’s hard work from Manfredi and her camp. She called it a blessing and it truly was for Souris Manfredi.
“When my coach saw the message that said, ‘Hey, we would like to propose the first female bantamweight championship as a main event.’ My coach was like, ‘Finally!’ I’m really training hard, I am a hard worker. I was really looking for such a big opportunity and being the first female champion, it is like finally, it is a big gift from WLC and from the world of fighting. I was really amazed by that.”
Manfredi the World Champion
Winning the belt wasn’t a cakewalk for Manfredi. Maisha Katz brought the fight and wasn’t easy to put away. Katz took a beating and brought a great pace to Manfredi. But, that didn’t surprise Manfredi. Going into a title fight, Manfredi knew she was in for a dog fight.
“I was expecting that for a belt and for a World Title, especially that one, you put on a show. You put fire on the ring. There is no otherwise. I knew it would be a very engaged fight. I knew from the beginning, from the first bell ring, it would be explosion. I knew she would have a few kilos more than me and she would be a little heavier than me. But this, I don’t care about. I was very well prepared, mentally. I knew it was going to be from the first bell it would be the beginning of a big war.”
From our past interview with Manfredi, we know that she’s very active as a fighter. She’s doing lethwei, now the champion, and fights Muay Thai and MMA. She isn’t having much rest time in between her lethwei fight and her next Thai boxing bout.
“I got an offer next month. I’m happy for that because obviously Muay Thai and lethwei aren’t so far apart. So I’m happy because next month I will fight again. I got a month and a half to prepare for the fight. So, it’s fine.”
Recovery isn’t an issue for Souris Manfredi. While she did have some bruising and sported a nice shiner on her right eye, but it’s all superficial for the newly minted champion.
“It’s only a few bruises on my face. I was a little bit scared because right after the fight she accidentally put her finger in my eyes very deep. I was a bit afraid but nothing wrong. This is the only thing that scared me a little bit. I’m fine, though, only a few bruises. But, when you box without gloves, obviously this happens,” Manfredi said with a laugh.
When is the first defense?
Manfredi is looking to get back to action as soon as possible. Souris Manfredi said she would love to defend her title as soon as possible but knows that with the pandemic, things aren’t as easy as they normally are to get rolling.
“I know that I will defend my title, I hope as soon as possible. WLC is making a lot of fights, but with the situation of COVID and borders closed, it can be a bit complicated for the organization to make the next show. Whenever, and whoever though.”
Manfredi hasn’t had any issues training in the pandemic, however. She has a great situation and is living with her coach at camp and gets to train as normal.
“I am living in Thailand. I am living in a village in Pattaya with my coach and his wife at the camp. No issues for me because I’m living in the camp with the coach.”
As far as where, Souris Manfredi says that the United States is a dream of hers. With the WLC rumored to make their American debut soon, and potentially in California, Manfredi lit up when asked about fighting in the United States.
“Of course this is something I’m looking for. I think it’s in California. When I saw that, I knew I have to do something. I don’t know, pray to the world or pray to the WLC god or whatever. But I want to go to California. Obviously, wow. Beautiful opportunity. I’m looking for that. But I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it with the pandemic.”
Manfredi loves lethwei. She plans on fighting lethwei and Muay Thai as long as she can. She says that lethwei is truly her favorite fight style.
“As long as that I can, lethwei is close to Muay Thai, but it’s definitely my favorite style of fighting. For a few reasons, actually. There is no restriction on the takedown, I can do judo or wrestling which is not possible in Muay Thai. I can use the headbutt and fighting without gloves is something that I really, really like. As long as I can.”