Jonathan “The General” Haggerty will make his long-awaited return to the ONE Championship Circle on Friday, Nov. 18, at ONE on Prime Video 4: Abbasov vs. Lee, and he will be doing it while making his debut in the bantamweight Muay Thai division against Vladimir Kuzmin.
The British striking star decided to move up in weight as it has become increasingly more difficult for him to make the flyweight limit. Haggerty embraces the move, however, as he feels he has already accomplished most of what he wanted to at flyweight.
“I feel that I left flyweight on top. I still think there’s unfinished business, who knows, I might go from flyweight to bantamweight and keep going up and down. I’m not too sure yet. I’m going to see how the bantamweight division goes for me first. I’m just going to take it step by step,” he said.
“I was making flyweight pretty easily before during COVID times. But then obviously, my body or muscle just got a lot bigger. And the last few times I attempted it, I managed to get to 61kg. But it was the hydration tests more than anything really. But yeah, I probably miss flyweight, but who knows, I can go back down one day.”
Although “The General” has had many great performances in his career, he is setting those aside for a new chapter in his career. The Brit doesn’t want to apply his previous experience to his future matches just yet, as the more powerful opponents he’ll meet at bantamweight pose different challenges than those at flyweight.
Haggerty has faith in his new strength and conditioning, and he plans to deliver more damaging results in his new division.
“I’m not going to take anything from them, to be honest, because they were flyweights. I know stepping up a division, it’s going to be harder to put them away. But I’ve got a saying: in the flyweight division, I was struggling to keep them on the canvas. But now that I’m in the bantamweight division and I’m bigger, they’re going to stay down and they’re not going to get back up,” He said.
Pressure is what Haggerty is expecting from the opening bell of his upcoming match. Not just pressure to perform, but pressure from Kuzmin. The former flyweight Muay Thai king expects his Russian foe to test his strength and try to impose his will during their three-round affair.
But Haggerty plans to use his years of experience to earn a decisive result and send a message to everyone in the division – as well as those handing out the evening’s bonuses.
“You know, it is a tricky opponent for my first bantamweight fight, but like I said, I’m always ready. I will be ready. But I’m expecting him to come out and put the pressure on me with his hands. He can try outmuscling me, but I feel like the counter strikes and my Muay Thai experience will kick in,” he said.
“I feel like it will be tough to get him out of there. You know, I might go to points. But I am looking for the stoppage and I’m also looking for a $50k bonus. If it’s there, then I’m going to take it. You don’t get paid by the hour.”
ONE on Prime Video 4: Abbasov vs. Lee airs live and free to all Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. and Canada at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 18, on Prime Video.
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