It was a worthy encore to his debut demolition of “The Ghost” Chen Rui three months ago.
Worthen’s high-pressure wrestling style has been effective in The Home Of Martial Arts, but the Florida native thinks he is only beginning to show his full potential.
“I could have stayed on my feet a bit longer and had some more success there, had I decided to. It just felt right to get into the grappling exchanges once I got there,” he explained.
“I always look to improve, and there were a few moments that I could have put the fight away a little bit more, but I’m happy with the win and finish.”
Initially, when looking for the takedown, “Pretty Boy” had to deal with some nifty maneuvering from his Chinese rival.
“During the first exchange, when we got to the corner and I got the double underhooks, he did a rope grab to stop himself from falling the first time,” Worthen said.
“Then, he hooked the rope with his foot the second time just as I was going for the takedown again, and he used his elbow the third time. So it would have been a much easier and quicker takedown had those situations not arisen.”
The Evolve star had to adjust to the crafty Chen, but he was confident his wrestling ability would steer him to victory.
“Once you have lost the momentum on the takedown, it’s a little bit harder because now, I have to beat his hips. I have to get passes for arms and stuff to get to the takedown. That slowed me down a little,” he said.
However, once he brought “Rock Man” down, it was a mere formality for the NCWA Wrestling Champion to do his best work.
“It may have looked like it was taking a bit longer for me, but I like that exchange because I’m very comfortable with such situations, unlike most people,” he said.
“I’m ok with getting into those battles and grappling because they are not too big of an issue for me.”
The American is his own harshest critic and holds nothing back when it comes to assessing his performance. But since he is training with the Muay Thai World Champions at Evolve, fans can only expect his stand-up game to improve.
“I’m not super impressed with myself. I do think I could have done a bit more damage while we were inside the clinch. Getting a little more active inside that clinch is something that I will definitely be adding to my repertoire next time,” he said.
“A part of the game plan has always been to use these strikes to set up my takedowns, but I am very comfortable on the feet too. Time and again, I get to spar with the best guys in the world, like Nong-O, who I probably sparred with 20 times throughout the whole of fight camp.
“When I have the best Muay Thai athletes in the world training with me, there’s not much a typical MMA fighter can throw that I will be truly concerned with.”
Fresh off his win, Worthen will head back to the United States to visit family and friends. However, he assures fans it will not be too long before they see him back inside the ONE Circle.
“I’m going to take a few weeks off, enjoy vacation, and get right back to it early next year,” the American said.
“It’s always been a dream to fight in Japan, so the 4 April Tokyo card would be awesome for me. I’m willing to wait if I could get on that one, so let’s see.”
For one last time this year, ONE Championship returns to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS at the Axiata Arena on 6 December.
Catch all the action live and for free on the ONE Super App.
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