ONE: Warriors of the World is set for Dec. 9 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. It will be headlined by a lightweight bout between Shannon Wiratchai and Rasul Yakhyaev. The winner of the fight is guaranteed a shot at the title currently held by Eduard Folayang, who is fighting in November.
The two fighters went face to face at a press conference in Bangkok on Thursday. Also in attendance were strawweights Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and Kritsada Krongsrichai, lightweight Saketdao Petpayathai, and atomweight Rika Ishige.
Wiratchai (8-1-0-1) has won six consecutive fights and has been rewarded with the headline slot in ONE Championship’s third event in Thailand. Yakhyaev (10-6-0-1) returns to the promotion following a three-year absence and will be hoping to snap a three-fight losing skid.
Wiratchai was on fine form at the press conference, addressing the media in both Thai and English.
“I would like to thank all the Thai people, and all fans of martial arts for the support. If you’re a fan of non-stop action and excitement, come and see us at the Impact Arena on December 9. It’s going to be an amazing show. I am preparing very hard so that I can make Thailand proud. I know my opponent is incredibly well-rounded and highly-skilled, so I will surely not be taking him lightly. It’s going to be an absolute battle from beginning to end.”
Yakhyaev told the Thai media that he had watched Wiratchai’s fights and thought the Thai fighter was “nothing special.” The Russian has the opportunity to secure an unlikely title shot against the winner of Eduard Folayang’s fight with Martin Nguyen.
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)