All eyes will be on ONE Championship in Tokyo, Japan, this weekend, when Takeru Segawa makes his debut in the main event of ONE 165.
On Sunday, Jan. 28, the spectacular Japanese striker will have a chance to become the ONE flyweight kickboxing world champion when he challenges Superlek Kiatmoo9 – but that wasn’t always the plan.
He was originally supposed to figure in a long-awaited dream fight with Rodtang Jitmuangnon., until the Thai star had to withdraw due to injury. Luckily, “The Kicking Machine” became available to put his title on the line, so Takeru saw an even bigger opportunity cross his path.
“I had been preparing for months to face Rodtang, so there were feelings of frustration when he couldn’t participate. However, considering that an exceptional opponent like Superlek was arranged and it’s a World Title match, I felt there was no reason to decline this offer,” Takeru told ONE.
Seeing gold within striking distance, “The Natural Born Crusher” is preparing himself like never before. Going up against the hottest flyweight in the world is not small feat, and he doesn’t want to have any excuses for not putting on a show in his promotional bow.
“I’m approaching each fight like it could be my last. I have been training intensely. Even if this match marks the end of my career as a fighter, I believe I can still wear the belt proudly after the match, so I will give it my all,” Takeru said.
The multiple-time kickboxing world champion will need every weapon he has when he takes on Superlek, and the flyweight kickboxing king is on a remarkable run.
He has won his last 10 fights and most recently defeated Rodtang by unanimous decision. That caliber of opponent is why Takeru signed with ONE in the first place, and it is why he will count himself as the best in the world if he can get his hand raised on Jan. 28.
“I consider ONE the best in the world, so by defeating their champion, I will prove that I am the strongest in the world. I will definitely win,” the 32-year-old flatly stated.
Takeru sees this matchup as punches vs. kicks. It is not an unsurprising evaluation, considering he is going up against “The Kicking Machine.”
With both men looking to show off their strengths and finish the star-studded event with a knockout, Takeru is ready to go five full rounds until one man can no longer stand.
“He has been fighting in Muay Thai for a long time [before kickboxing], possessing Muay Thai techniques and strong kicks. In terms of the match content, I believe it will be a battle between my punches and Superlek’s kicks,” he said.
“Since this match has five rounds, it may become a match where one of us falls. I absolutely want to KO Superlek and win the belt.”
ONE 165 airs live from Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, Jan. 28. The action is available on global pay-per-view at watch.onefc.com for $39.99.
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