UFC bantamweight Andre Soukhamthath is the biggest underdog on Saturday’s UFC 236 card in Atlanta. According to Best Fight Odds, Soukhamthath is sitting at an average money line of +389 on average across all major online sportsbooks.
Being doubted is nothing new for Soukhamthath. In fact, it’s become the norm.
Skepticism has followed the Rhode Island native since his UFC 222 bout last year against Sean O’Malley. Soukhamthath admittedly made costly mental errors late in the fight, which led to a decision loss. The vital errors turned many in the MMA community against him.
The negativity hit a pinnacle in the weeks following the bout, with social media users constantly harassing Soukhamthath. At one point, the pessimism became so vapid, “The Asian Sensation” publicly stated he would be deleting his social media accounts.
Last October, Soukhamthath rebounded from the O’Malley loss, defeating Jonathan Martinez by unanimous decision at UFC Moncton. Despite getting back in the win column, Soukhamthath doesn’t think the win shook any doubters off his back.
“I’m always going to be known in the MMA community as the dumbest fighter in the UFC, a soccer mom, stuff like that,” Soukhamthath told BJPenn.com. “If people want to make fun of me, then they can make fun of me. They are either losers or they have no kids. But when they do, they’ll see I’m real.
“I’m the real guy who has a real life and takes care of his real responsibilities. That’s number one and that’s my kids. The soccer dad or soccer mom they still call me all the time — it’s whatever man. I made a mistake and I beat myself up for that.
“If I just sit there and dwell about it, I’m going nowhere in life. My UFC career will be over. I’m just making moves to better myself mentally and physically. I’m trying to do my best.”
With time, Soukhamthath believes fans will eventually fall in love with him, much like New England fans did during his time fighting for regional promotion CES MMA. Until then, Soukhamthath is focusing on the positivity in his life — and there’s a lot of it.
“I’m a likeable guy and I have a nice fighting style,” Soukahtamtath said. “So I think I’ll gain a lot of fans. I’m getting more fans everyday. My following is growing everyday. It’s all good. The people who don’t like me, it’s whatever. But I’ve got people in this world that do like me too. There’s more love than hate at the end of the day.”
Saturday night, Soukhamthath will take on surging 135-pound prospect Montel Jackson on the undercard of UFC 236. Coming off of a four-month layoff, Soukhamthath feels phenomenal.
“Now, my mind is refreshed and my body is refreshed,” Soukhamthath said. “I think my body really needed that recovery time. Montel Jackson is a very tough opponent. He doesn’t have much experience in the cage, but he fights like he does. His body, his length is very awkward and long. It makes it hard for anybody at 135 pounds to deal with.”
“I see myself winning this fight, for sure. Then, I’m bringing the UFC to the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence. Mark my words.”