Filipino standout Rockie Bactol (1-1) looks for redemption in the ONE Championship stage after losing in his promotional debut against Akihiro “Superjap” Fujisawa of Japan at ONE: Conquest of Champions last November in Manila.
The ONE Warrior Series winner admitted that his fellow OWS alumnus had outworked him in his last bout, when he tasted his first defeat as a professional.
But despite starting his career in the Home of the Martial Arts on the wrong foot, Bactol believes that the things he learned from the loss will make him a better athlete moving forward.
“I learned a lot of things when I lost to Akihiro. These things gave me added motivation to become a better mixed martial artist and to succeed in this sport,” said Bactol, who is just 20 years young.
“Not everyone is destined to be successful, but you always have the option to become one if you want to. It’s all about your determination.”
Bactol is now looking forward to his next match inside the ONE Circle. He also promises to perform better than his initial showing.
“I’m really excited for my next match. [I] Hope to receive a call from the bosses of ONE anytime soon,” the former MFC Bantamweight Champion shared.
“I really miss the competition. I want to go back in the cage, dominate and win.”
For Bactol, one of his downfalls in his debut was his cardio. He faded in the third round and gave Fujisawa the opening to snatch the victory.
It’s something that he’s been working on during the off-days.
“I’ve been training very hard to improve every aspect of my game especially my cardio. I’m a very positive person and I know that I can come back to my winning ways.”
For Bactol, his loss to Fujisawa was a simple reminder in his young career that the road to becoming a successful athlete in ONE is not an easy one.
“I learned that I must have a strong mind in the cage no matter what happens,” said Bactol
“If I know that I’m losing and I feel exhausted, I must have that strong mind to keep on going like it’s my last fight.”
The loss may be a tough one, but Bactol is not losing sleep over it.
“I have a great career ahead of me. The loss will make me a better competitor moving forward.”