Every ONE Championship newcomer must contend with nerves as they step onto the global stage of martial arts for the first time, but Murat “The Butcher” Aygun will be feeling an extra slice of pressure.
Not only will the Dutch-Turkish striker be making his debut this Friday at ONE: BIG BANG in Singapore, but he’ll also be challenging for Roman Kryklia’s ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title in the evening’s main event.
Despite being greener than Kryklia when it comes to competing in ONE, Aygun is not lacking in confidence.
“I’m going to do better than he is,” he said. “I’m going to counter. I’m going to be faster than him. I hope I will win by knockout.”
Given the power on both sides of this contest, a knockout could certainly be in the cards.
For his part, Aygun fancies a good old-fashioned scrap, and he plans to bring nonstop pressure against the reigning ONE World Champion.
“What I really like is to stay in the pocket with not too much movement — you stay in front of me and you fight. You punch back together,” he said.
“I’m a fighter. I don’t go back. You can punch me, but you can’t put me down. I have a strong head, and I have the feelings in my stomach that say I cannot lose. I cannot get knocked out.
“My fighting style is aggressive,” Aygun added. “I like to go to my opponent, and I take a shot to give a shot. But like I said, you cannot knock me down. I stay up. That’s my style. That’s what makes me different, that I’m not giving up. You know I’m not giving up.”
Aygun may be confident, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be careless against Kryklia. In fact, the challenger knows just how dangerous the Ukrainian kickboxer can be – whether fighting from the outside or the inside.
“Roman Kryklia is a good fighter. He is tall. He likes fighting at distance and giving space, and his biggest weapon is his knee,” Aygun said.
Those strong points are what “The Butcher” will try to avoid on Friday as he attempts to dice up the divisional king and sling the gold over his own shoulder.
“This ONE Championship belt means a lot to me, and I’m going to win it,” Aygun said.
“ONE is a great organization, and I want to be the best where I am — so I want to be the best in ONE Championship.”
Catch Aygun and Kryklia in the main event of ONE: BIG BANG this Friday, 4 December, on the ONE Super App or meWATCH at 8:30 p.m. Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Channel 5 will also join the live action at 10 p.m. SGT.
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