Indian mixed martial arts star Himanshu Kaushik will return to ONE Championship to score the biggest win of his career.
Kaushik will face former ONE Strawweight World Champion and Muay Thai hero Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore on Friday, 9 November.
It is a huge test for the 26-year-old Indian star, who will be making his the second appearance in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“I am very excited to fight with this great fighter,” the Dehli native says.
“He is a former ONE World Title holder, [and fighting him] is a big achievement for me.”
Kaushik is a seven-time Indian national wushu-sanda champion, with an impressive record of 71-7 in the sport.
He made the switch to mixed martial arts in 2013 and got off to a flying start, winning four of his first five contests, leading to a call-up to the big stage with ONE.
But his debut did not go as planned, as he lost out to Indonesian star and strawweight contender Stefer Rahardian at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY in Jakarta.
Rahardian’s grappling superiority proved too much for Kaushik to handle and after the bout, the Indian star immediately set about improving his ground game.
“After the fight, I went directly to Phuket Top Team and started learning some BJJ to get better,” he explains.
“In sports, nobody loses – they win, or they learn some good lessons, so that was a lesson for me. I keep that loss in my mind, and I started working on it. My family and friends helped me with this.
“I have closed the last chapter, and it’s time to start again.”
Now, having faced a grappling expert on his debut, Kaushik is preparing to face a martial artist from the other end of the spectrum.
Dejdamrong is one of the most decorated strikers in ONE Championship, having captured Lumpinee Stadium World Titles in three different weight divisions and amassed a stellar 282-65-3 record in Muay Thai.
On top of those incredible striking credentials, “Kru Rong” made the switch to mixed martial arts and captured the ONE Strawweight World Title.
Kaushik is full of admiration for his 38-year-old opponent, but that will not stop him from chasing a stoppage victory against the former world champion.
He has been working hard in Thailand, where he has faced a plethora of Muay Thai stylists in his preparation for the contest.
Now Kaushik believes he is ready to step up, defeat an icon and claim his first win in ONE Championship in spectacular fashion.
“He is best in Muay Thai, and my best [strength] is sanda. We both are strikers, however, this time I am confident I can give my best,” the Indian says.
“Before this match-up, I watched his fights as a fan. But this time, I am looking at him as my opponent. On the other side, I have huge respect for him as a star fighter.
“This time, I am fighting with a legend, and if I win, it’s a big achievement in my life.
“I will do a sanda takedown, and then finish him with ground and pound.”