After spending the last three years in the now-defunct Legend FC, where he captured the promotion’s lightweight title, “Commander” Koji Ando is ready to take the next step in his career.
And while Ando is sad to see his time with Legend end, he’s excited for the new opportunities afforded him by his new promotion, ONE FC.
“Legend provided a stage for me to compete, and the fact that they’re now gone is unfortunate,” Ando told MMAWeekly.com. “But after I found out about this, I was ready to embrace the next step with ONE FC.
“ONE FC is Asia’s largest promotion with 90-percent of market share and they are expanding really fast. It is truly a great opportunity to be able to compete in the ONE FC cage and showcase myself.”
Though he’s won his last three fights in a row heading into his ONE FC debut on July 11, Ando feels he can do better.
“I’m not wholly satisfied with these performances,” said Ando. “I need to keep improving so that I’m constantly evolving as a fighter.”
For his first fight in ONE FC, Ando (9-3) will be taking on undefeated up-and-comer Rafael Nunes (10-0) in what could be a lightweight title eliminator fight in Taipei, Taiwan, on July 11.
“Nunes is a really tough fighter and I’ll need to throw everything I have at him,” said Ando. “If I can use my strengths and fight my fight, I think I’ll definitely win.”
With a fresh start in a new promotion, Ando is not only looking to win and keep his current streak alive, but to win impressively and make a mark in ONE FC.
“(I’m) taking it one fight at a time, (but) in my next match I’d like to fight at full throttle and get the W,” he said. “As this is my first fight in ONE FC, I’d like to win and leave a big impression, so that fans remember Koji Ando the fighter.”