THE RISE OF THE ASIAN SENSATION
Barely out of high school, Andre was faced with a series of life-altering experiences that turned his expected path from soccer player to father to grieving father to fighter. While in high school, his girlfriend became pregnant. They were in love, and it changed his priority from looking for a college opportunity as a soccer goalie to becoming a full-time worker and a father. Then, soon after son LeAndre was born, he was diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare skin disease that causes severe blistering. His son would live only nine months, just as Soukhamthath found an interest in training in MMA. The experience of first-time fatherhood was a memorable, rewarding and sometimes-painful one for Soukhamthath. It also caused him to need a positive outlet in his life, which fighting filled.