MMA fighters exude confidence ahead of Friday's ONE 166: Qatar showdown

MMA fighters exude confidence ahead of Friday's ONE 166: Qatar showdown

QLNews
By QLNews

ONE Championship — the world’s largest martial arts organization — held an official pre-event Press conference for ONE 166: Qatar, presented by Visit Qatar, at the Mondrian Doha Ballroom on Wednesday.

A number of martial arts stars competing on the blockbuster card on Friday, along with ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, addressed the media.

“Qatar has become one of my favorite countries in the world. Their history, culture, tradition, and people’s kindness are truly remarkable. I’ve travelled all over the Middle East and the world with ONE Championship, and I can’t speak highly enough of Qatar,” said Sityodtong.

“Qatar represents the very best in the world. They’ll get to see our World Champions and three World Title fights, that I’m so excited for,” he added.

Three World Title rematches headline the card. In the main event, ONE Middleweight MMA World Champion Reinier de Ridder will defend his gold against ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight MMA World Champion Anatoly Malykhin.

De Ridder said he was ready for the fight.  

“(This fight) is about one thing — he beat me last time, he hurt me. I’ve got a year to prepare for this. I ground every single day and I’m ready to showcase my skills this time. I’m planning to be a bit more humble this time. I believe I’ve the skills to finish him,” he said.

Anatoly Malykhin, ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion, said: “I’m ready for this Friday. I’m going to go and get my third belt. I’m going to knock him out the same way I did before. I’m thankful for this opportunity. I cannot explain how excited I’m to be here and show everybody what I’ve got.”

“Three-belt time, three-belt time. Look at this right hand — this is going to knock him back out to sleep this Friday,” he said.

Tang Kai, ONE Featherweight MMA World Champion, stated: “I’m so proud to be the first Chinese MMA World Champion. On Friday, I’m going to win the rematch against Thanh Le. I love Qatar and I’m proud to be here. I’ll put on an epic show against Thanh Le,” he said.

Thanh Le, ONE Interim Featherweight MMA World Champion, said: “You all know I’m going to be bringing the fireworks. This 100% finish rate isn’t going down at all. He’s getting finished, round one, round two. We’ve unfinished business.”

Jarred Brooks, ONE Strawweight MMA World Champion, stated: “I think I beat Joshua Pacio pretty (definitively) last time. I’m willing to do that again, and again, and again, until Pacio’s name is completely out of the picture and I am the best strawweight ever. I’m the GOAT of the straw weights.”

Pacio, former ONE Strawweight MMA World Champion, hit back in right earnest.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m in Manila right now. There’re a lot of Filipinos. In every country that I compete in, there’re a lot of Filipinos. Being one of the athletes in ONE Championship makes me so proud. I believe God put me on this platform to inspire the next generation. If you’ve dreams, go chase them. To the Filipinos, expect that I’ll bring home the gold belt,” he said.

Arjan Bhullar, Former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion, stated: “This is Hanuman’s Gada. It’s presented to champion wrestlers from Indian culture. This was gifted to me after one of my wins by the great Dara Singh, who is a legend. It’s a great honour for me to represent that lineage and carry this into battle.”

Amir Aliakbari, ONE Heavyweight MMA contender, was also full of confidence.

“I’m on a redemption road. I can fight anyone they put in front of me. I can fight Kang Ji Won, it could be next week, then I can fight Anatoly right after that,” he said.

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