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ONE championships’ Poe Thaw injured in bomb blast in Myanmar

Poe Thaw, who protested against the military coup in Myanmar, was injured when a bomb went off outside his gym.

People protesting the military coup in Myanmar on May 7, 2021.
Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

Poe Thaw, a 36-year old MMA fighter who has appeared for ONE Championship was recently pictures on Myawaddy TV, a Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) operated TV station, protesting the military coup that seized power away from country’s elected leaders on February 1. Since the coup by the Tatmadaw mass protests have erupted across Myanmar. The Tatmadaw, along with the police, have responded violently: leading to the deaths of at least 700 civilians, some of whom were children.

According to Al Jazeera Poe Thaw was shown at a protest in the capital city of Yangon, holding a sign that challenged General Min Aung Hlaing—the leader of the coup—to a cage fight.

Days later Poe Thaw was injured in a bombing that occurred outside of his gym. Poe Thaw was arrested in hospital while receiving treatment for leg wounds sustained in the blast. Security forces have since claimed that Poe Thaw was part of a cell who were colluding to commit violent acts. Those forces also claimed that they discovered bomb-making materials, guns and ammunition at the gym.

A source who spoke to Reuters news agency, on condition of anonymity, said that the homemade bomb that injured Poe Thaw was left in the gym parking lot by a policeman posing as a civilian.

Phoe Thaw, aka Bushido, has appeared exclusively for ONE Championship in his 8-2 pro MMA career. Phoe Thaw’s most recent appearance was at ONE Championship: Century - Part 1 on December 10, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

Since news broke of Phoe Thaw’s injury, former ONE Championship middleweight and light heavyweight champion Aung La N Sang has spoken out about the incident and the situation currently ongoing in Myanmar.

Aung La N Sang, a national hero in Myanmar who currently resides in Florida, has already condemned the military coup and pleaded for the US government to step in to end the violence. Yesterday, on Instagram, he wrote that he was saddened by the news about his “good friend” Phoe Taw.

I’m sadden by the news about my good friend ko Phoe Thaw. According to News sources, he was involved in a bombing accident. As long as I’ve known him, he’s a gentleman and a good hearted human being. He regularly donates his blood and gives his time and energy to help others around him.

I pray for your safety and for your speedy recovery. The fighting that we do in the circle is nothing compared to what’s going on with the people in Myanmar right now. Stay strong and stay united.

P.S. Please try not to spread fake news and hate. The world needs less of that.

Aung La N Sang went on to vouch for Phoe Thaw’s character and pray for his safety and recovery. Aung La N Sang also asked that people not “spread fake news and hate.” Given the context around this situation, Aung La N Sang may be advocating for people to not believe the claims, made by the Tatmadaw and state media, that Phoe Thaw was making bombs.