After beating almost everyone in his weight class, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio doesn’t have a challenger in mind.
On August 14, all of that could change.
At ONE: No Surrender II, Akihiro “Superjap” Fujisawa battles Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit in a strawweight mixed martial arts matchup in Bangkok, Thailand, and the winner may put himself in a good position to challenge Pacio in the future.
Both men have experienced setbacks in 2019, but they can prove their worthiness with a convincing performance this Friday.
“It was simply a frustrating experience,” Fujisawa told ONEFC.com when asked about his struggles in the Circle.
“After all, it’s a contact sport. Sometimes we have a good time, and sometimes we have a bad one, and I had a bad one last year. It’s no use crying over what has happened already, and I learned a lot from it. To look back, I think the year 2019 was a year of learning.”
Like Fujisawa, Mitsatit has been on a slide as of late and knows the importance of this bout in relation to his career.
“This win is really important to me because it will help me climb the ladder to a championship,” Mitsatit said.
After being submitted by the fifth-ranked Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang in January, the 24-year-old Muay Thai specialist went back to the drawing board to deepen his skills, and when he recently got the call to face with Fujisawa, “The Smiling Assassin” worked twice as hard.
“I prepared for this fight around a month ago with my coach George Hickman at Tiger Muay Thai,” he said.
“I concentrated on attacking and defending by training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, and also Muay Thai. I tried hard to develop my ground game together with my striking to make both stronger, especially my knee strikes and flying knees.”
But “Superjap” won’t allow Mitsatit to rain down on his comeback parade as he plans not only to win this for himself, but for everyone affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to win in an impressive way so that I can carry on my journey to cheer up the world,” Fujisawa said.
“In Thailand, many people are stressed out due to the pandemic, including Japanese residents. I want to cheer those people up.”
Watch the event live on One Sports or One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). Also, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.
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