SUNDAY, April 21, 2024
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ONE 166: Qatar press conference key takeaways 

ONE 166: Qatar press conference key takeaways 

ONE Championship held its final pre-fight press conference for ONE 166: Qatar on Tuesday night, and everyone in attendance was eager to give their thoughts about the historic event. 

ONE’s on-ground debut in Qatar takes place this Friday, March 1, at Lusail Sports Arena, and the promotion has duly come with a stacked card headlined by three MMA world title rematches. 

In the main event, ONE middleweight MMA world champion Reinier de Ridder is out for revenge after opponent Anatoly Malykhin snatched his light heavyweight strap with a dramatic one-round demolition back in 2022. 

As the pair prepare to clash at the middleweight limit, “The Dutch Knight” said that this time will be very different. 

“(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,” he said.  

“I’m planning to be a bit more humble this time. I believe I have the skills to finish him.”  

If two-weight ONE MMA world champion Malykhin can dethrone De Ridder once again, he will become the first MMA athlete ever to win world titles in three weight classes.  

“Sladkiy” was the picture of confidence ahead of his date with history. 

“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 am to be here on Friday and show everybody what I’ve got,” he said. 

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

In the co-main event, ONE featherweight MMA world champion makes his highly anticipated return from injury to defend his throne against interim divisional king Thanh Le. 

The Chinese star was also brimming with confidence when he got his chance on the mic. 

“I’m so proud to be the first (male) Chinese MMA World Champion and, for this Friday, I’m going to win this rematch against Thanh Le,” he said. 

“I love Qatar as a country, I’m so proud to be here, and on Friday night, I’ll put on an epic show against Thanh Le and for the fans.”  

Le captured the interim featherweight MMA gold last year in the continued absence of Tang, after coming up short in a razor-thin decision loss to the reigning champion in 2022. 

The American star, however, is in no mood to leave his fate in the hands of the judges this time. 

“Y’all know I’m going to be bringing the fireworks. This 100 percent finish rate is not going down at all. He is getting finished, round one, round two. We have unfinished business, that last fight is not done,” he said.  

ONE strawweight MMA world champion Jarred Brooks has lofty goals in the sport. 

“The Monkey God” claimed the strawweight MMA strap with an impressive unanimous decision win over long-time king Joshua Pacio last year.  

This time, he says, he wants to put a stamp on proceedings and go on about proving that he is the best strawweight mixed martial artist on the planet. 

“I think I beat Joshua Pacio pretty [definitively] last time. I’m willing to do that again and again and again until Joshua Pacio’s name is completely out of the picture, and I am the best strawweight ever. I am the GOAT of the strawweights,” he said.  

“People are underestimating my hunger and my goals in ONE Championship. Now, I’m here to show Joshua Pacio who is the best. I want to knock him out, and I want to finish him. I’m going to finish him this time.”

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