Vietnamese-American sensation Thanh Le is quickly becoming a household name in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Le is on the verge of breaking into the ONE Featherweight World Title picture, and a victory in his upcoming match will nudge him a step closer to the gold.
This Friday, 10 January, Le faces Ryogo “Kaitai” Takahashi on the main card of ONE: A NEW TOMORROW.
The 34-year-old promises an entertaining battle in Bangkok, Thailand, and he is confident he will get the win.
“I’m going to beat him up for three rounds. If he wants to push the fight and bring the fight to me, then he might get laid out easily,” Le said.
The New Orleans, Louisiana resident has emerged as a dominant force in the featherweight division.
Le made an impact in his ONE debut when he knocked out Dagestani contender Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev with a highlight-reel flying knee in May.
Later in August, he scored a finish in his next match, knocking out former ONE Lightweight World Champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku in 88 seconds.
“Yusup was a monster, and Boku was a titleholder and an excellent counter fighter. So we got into those realms, ran the game the way we knew how, and did what we do best,” he said.
“I’ve tried to put on the best shows that I can for the fans, and I think it just happened to work out that I got a couple of pretty nice knockouts.”
In Takahashi, Le faces a powerful striker – a veteran who owns thirteen career victories, nine of which came by way of knockout.
Knowing this, the Vietnamese-American has devised a game plan that he believes will surprise his Japanese opponent when they face off this Friday.
“Takahashi does a really good job of sticking to – and executing – his game plan. He doesn’t easily break, and he is not undisciplined in his approach, so I’m going to continue to make him move his feet, and get out of his realm and comfortability,” Le said.
“Being able to adapt in the ring, having a high fight IQ, and having an understanding of where certain things fit in the fight game [is important]. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve done martial arts for a long time, so I’m quick off the line and defensively sound as far as footwork and movement.”
A win over Takahashi will push Le closer towards an opportunity at Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen’s ONE Featherweight World Championship. However, the LFA Featherweight Champion believes in paying his dues to earn his shot.
“It’s obviously nice to hear my name [being mentioned with possibly] getting a title shot, but I’m not trying to rush anything,” he said.
“I’m trying to beat all the best dudes in the division. I don’t want to skip anybody. I don’t want to take a shortcut to the title.”
Le continues his division climb this Friday, 10 January, at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
To watch the prime card, tune-in to Toggle at 7:30pm SGT.
The main card starts on Toggle at 9:30pm SGT.
Also, Channel 5 will cut to the live broadcast at 10:00pm SGT.
Or download the ONE Super App to catch all the action live and for free.
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