Penek Sitnumnoi: My Life as a Fighter
The Prodigy Who Beat Saenchai
Most fighters push themselves to the limit to get the win, but Penek is not “most.” Penek pushes the limit to win.
When Penek’s willpower is pushed to the limit, he says, “this is my cue to go 100% and finish the fight.” His path to championships, however, did not begin this way. His path began, like most Thai greats, humble.
As one of 9 children, money was scarce in his household. His parents had a heavy burden on their shoulders. However, little did they know that their middle boy, Penek, would come to lighten their load. Penek began training in Muay Thai at the age of 10 and in his neighborhood. Two years later, he had 30 fights. His friends stopped training long before his 30th fight, but Penek saw what the other kids didn’t. Whereas his friends were pestering their parents for money, Penek sought to provide his parents with money.
Years passed, Penek graduated from training in his neighborhood to Sor Jor Suwit camp, where Penek’s will would be put to the test.
A year into training, Penek ran away. He went the next year without training nor schooling. Money became an even bigger issue. However, Penek’s friend found him one day and invited him back into the fold of Muay Thai and into the camp of Singpatong. Penek agreed.
It was here that Penek was reunited with his trainer Pi Noom who no doubt is a factor in Penek’s work ethic. Pi Noom’s philosophy was simple: work hard to achieve success, then work even harder to keep it.
As the years went by, Penek, 19 at this time, was set to face Sam-A, an already established superstar. The fight ended in Penek getting knocked out for the first time in his career. But this wouldn’t deter him. Penek would go on to win his first Lumpinee champion the very next year. And as fate would have it in the coming years, Sam-A and Penek were set to fight once again. And to avenge his prior loss, as you would expect, would take a colossal effort from Penek.
Now, Penek is an instructor at Evolve MMA. His passion for learning Muay Thai has now transferred over to his passion for its instruction. Should you find yourself under Penek’s instruction, you can be damned sure that he’ll be putting your willpower to the test, and it will be at that moment where you may answer the question: will you only be pushed to the limit, or will you set a new boundary and push the limit?
Find out more about the story of the all-time great flyweight
Check out Penek’s rematch with Sam-A below: