Last year, Mia Kang won the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search, which made her one of the magazine’s 2017 Swimsuit rookies. The bikini model’s next challenge: Making her professional debut as a Muay Thai fighter in Thailand. Sports Illustrated has been following along as Kang trains to compete in her first official bout, and plans to feature her in an upcoming documentary.
Kang, 29, began practicing Muay Thai four years ago, and told People the sport helped her see herself in a new light. “I can do things with my body that I never thought I could do in terms of athleticism and fitness. As I developed and progressed in the sport, everything that has happened to my body, I’ve embraced it and welcomed it. The self-love and appreciation that I learned from Muay Thai coupled with booking Sports Illustrated gave me confidence.”
In the ring, she goes by “Killa Kang,” and she has been killin’ it on Instagram lately. She looks equally hot, whether she’s in boxing gloves or a bikini:
Don’t miss this short film, Kang vs. Kong: