Christian Holley has one of the best records in the lightweight division, but the 10-0 Englishman is not a big name yet. That could all change on Aug. 29 because he is taking on one of the most recognizable fighters in the sport at ONE FC: Reign of Champions in Dubai.
Roger Huerta was the first mixed martial artist to ever appear on the front cover of Sports Illustrated and a star for both Bellator and the UFC, whose fights with the like of Clay Guida and Leonard Garcia will long be remembered even if his recent form has been somewhat indifferent.
Huerta is a major scalp for any lightweight and Holley says that “El Matador” will be by far the toughest opponent he has ever faced.
“For sure he is! He has a CV many would like to have in the world of MMA and I’m so grateful for Huerta accepting the challenge,” he told MMAWeekly.com.
Holley moved to Spain as a child and started practising Karate at an early age, receiving his black belt by the time he was 14. He is now training back in his native UK, but says that those early days helped prepare him for a career in the cage.
“Karate isn’t the best sport in the world for the physical side of MMA, in my opinion, but if you train traditional Karate, you train the mind and that is the most important tool in MMA.”
His first few fights were in Spain, but he moved back to the UK a couple of years ago in order to take his MMA career to the next level. The decision paid off, securing him a contract with Asia’s most prominent promotion. He sees ONE FC as the perfect platform to showcase his talents to the world.
“I signed with ONE FC because I think it’s a great stage to propel myself to be the best in the 155-pound division and I’m so excited to fight in Asia. I know that in Asia MMA is a big sport with a huge fan base and I’m really looking forward to putting on a show.”
Holley is an aggressive fighter who can finish opponents either standing or on the ground and rarely goes the distance. His opponent at the World Trade Centre in Dubai is also known for getting involved in “Fight of the Night” contenders and the Englishman is forecasting fireworks.
“This is going to be a bloody battle! Not one to be missed.”
With two of ONE FC’s biggest names, Shinya Aoki and Ben Askren, booked for title tilts, Aug. 29 promises to be the biggest night in the promotion’s history and the most star-studded card to take place in Asia so far this year.
As always, the action will be broadcast live across Asia on Star Sports and Holley feels the fight with Huerta is his reward for years of hard work, training and competing.
“To be honest, I’m not nervous, I’m excited! It’s what I have been training for since I started fighting and now is my time.”
With Aoki defending his 155-pound title for the first time against Kamal Shalorus at ONE FC: Reign of Champions, a win for Holley would potentially leave him in line for an immediate shot at the winner of that fight.
It’s an incredible opportunity for him and Holley says fans who haven’t seen him fight before should expect the following: “Aggressive, non-stop action. That’s why they call me ‘The Animal!’”
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