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Mixed Martial Arts

Chen Rui expects to spoil Jeremy Pacatiw’s ONE debut on Battleground

Chen Rui plans to rain on debuting Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw’s parade when they clash in a three-round bantamweight bout at ONE: Battleground this Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Pacatiw has long been waiting for his shot in ONE Championship, but Chen doesn’t plan on giving him a warm welcome. In fact, he expects the Filipino to have it rough during his first time out.

And Chen plans to capitalize on that need for adjustment when he takes on Team Lakay’s newest addition to The Home Of Martial Arts.

“I’ve got five fights in ONE Championship already, so of course I’m much more experienced than Jeremy,” Chen said.

“This is his first time inside the ONE Circle and I, for one, know that he still needs some time to get used to it.”

Chen is also hellbent on getting his name back in the winner’s circle. After all, he’s coming off a third-round knockout loss to Kwon Won Il in January, a loss which snapped his back-to-back wins.

It was an exciting match that showed Chen’s toughness and never-say-die attitude. And while it wasn’t enough to overcome the South Korean, it did point out the things he needs to work on.

“After I lost my last fight, I felt like I needed to start over to get more victories as much as I can,” Chen said. “Since I last fought, I believe that I got more powerful in my strength in fighting standing up, and that is still my biggest advantage in the bantamweight division. What I’ve learned is that I must work super hard on my skills fighting on the ground.

“The biggest adjustment I’ve made is to put a lot more training on my body strength. I got hurt in my lower back and around my waist in my last fight and it took me a long time to recover. But now I feel much stronger, and I’ve put a lot of work on my wrestling and ground control skills.”

With all the adjustments made over the past few months, Chen believes he can beat Pacatiw wherever this match goes to further show his continuous growth inside the Circle.

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In fact, he doesn’t expect Pacatiw to last long against him.

“I’ll keep my own pace on fighting and push forward to make him feel pressured. I’ll try to control him in my own distance and find my best shot to finish him with my stand-up fighting skills,” he said.

“I think I can finish him with my punch and fist because he’s not a powerful striker. I’ll try to take him to the ground too, to prove to everyone that I’ve got a huge improvement on my ground control,” he continued.

“I plan to finish this fight as soon as I can. I will knock him out when he still finds his way in the ONE Circle.”

Catch ONE: BATTLEGROUND at One Sports and One Sports+ this Friday, July 30. It will cut to live broadcast at 9 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT) or following the conclusion of the preceding live PVL (Premier Volleyball League) game. 

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