Representing the world famous Fairtex Gym in Pattaya, Thailand, Yohann Fairtex Drai will make his ONE Super Series debut at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, 13 July.
The Frenchman will be thrust onto a huge platform for his first performance in ONE Championship, as he competes in the co-main event of a monumental show at the Axiata Arena.
He is delighted to get such a high-profile opportunity to showcase his skills, but more than anything, he is thrilled about the level of opposition he will face.
His opponent this weekend, “Smokin” Jo Nattawut, is the sort of world-class athlete he wants to test himself against.
“The level in ONE is very, very high,” he says. “They have only Thai Champions, and from the fights I saw, it’s a very high level with good matchmaking.
“At this level, all the fighters are strong, so if you are not prepared, you cannot win, for sure.”
Training alongside fellow ONE superstars Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex and Saemapetch Fairtex, Drai has the best possible teammates to help him get ready for the planet’s most talented martial artists, so he knows he will be all set for the two-division Lion Fight World Champion.
The 26-year-old Super Muay Thai Champion brings an impressive record of 42-6 to the cage, though his opponent has an even stronger 66-7-2 professional slate.
He may have more experience than Drai, but the French athlete has already proven his worth against several of Nattawut’s compatriots.
In his last bout, he defeated three-time Rajadamnern Stadium Champion World Champion Jomthong Chuwattana, so the Pattaya resident knows he brings more to the bout than mere statistics can suggest.
He also believes his physical and mental strength will make him a threat to “Smokin” Jo, and push him all the way in their three-round contest.
“I’m not the strongest kicker like [Yodsanklai] or other fighters, I’m not the strongest puncher, but I have the gas tank to fight anybody,” Drai offers.
“I will fight until I die.”
To match an opponent that will not quit, Nattawut will have to be able to compete with the same intensity or risk being overwhelmed.
Drai believes his opponent is capable of that kind of performance. The Thai is no stranger to the sort of toe-to-toe battle the French athlete wants to impose, and he expects fans in the Axiata Arena will see something special.
“I think it will be a very intense, non-stop fight, because he will do everything to win, and I will do everything to win, also,” Drai says.
There is every chance this ONE Super Series bout could steal the show at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER.
If Drai can combine a ‘Bout Of The Night’ performance with a win – especially if it is by knockout – he can look forward to facing more of the best striking athletes in the world’s biggest martial arts organization.
He can also look forward to being talked about as one of the leading contenders for a World Title when one is created in his division.