News: UFC and ONE close to finalizing trade between Askren and DJ

Posted only a short while ago via ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC and ONE Championship are close to finalizing what could be considered the first major trade in mixed martial arts history. As per multiple sources, a deal has been proposed in which the UFC would release former flyweight champion Demetrious ‘Might Mouse’ Johnson from his contract in order to allow him to sign with ONE. In exchange, ONE Championship will release former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren from his contract so he could finally join the UFC.

This is something that has came from basically nowhere and while it is still young in the MMA news at the minute, it is hard to really get our heads around it and properly understand as to what it will mean for MMA as we know it. Both are huge names within the MMA ‘die hard’ fan base, however they may not be favorable within the ‘casual’ fan base, particularly Askren who is fairly unknown to that kind of audience.

Sources say the “trade” isn’t finalized just yet, however, it has been discussed at length and is categorized by multiple sources as close to getting done. All parties involved are hopeful it will be finalized soon. On Monday, Askren tweeted that there was a “98 percent” chance of him joining the UFC, catching many off guard considering he has not exactly seen ‘eye to eye’ a few occasions with UFC president Dana White.



Johnson (27-3-1) recently lost the flyweight title to Henry Cejudo in August. The loss snapped his 13-fight winning streak, as well his record-breaking 11-fight successful title defense streak and saw him drop significantly in the UFC P4P Rankings. Following his win, Henry Cejudo has called for a super-fight with 135 pound champion TJ Dillashaw. As a result of this and the recent rumours of the creation of a 165 pound division, this makes all the more sense for the deal to take place.

It is also worth noting, Matt Hume, Johnson’s head coach at AMC Pankration in Kirkland, Washington, also serves as ONE’s vice president of operations.

For anyone who isnt familiar with Ben Askren, he is 18-0 and has held the welterweight belts in both Bellator and ONE Championship. While he is one of the very best grapplers in the world, people have always questioned the level of competition he has faced. However, he has dominated top fighters such as Douglas Lima, Andrey Koreshkov and Shinaya Aoki. Askren has also competed as Olympic level and was also Pan-American and United States champion in Freestyle Wrestling.

It is clear to anyone that has followed MMA both in and outside that both these fighters are very special and among the very best in the world. This is a deal that favours all four parties involved and one that will very much be a positive for both fighters, both in monetary gain and for their legacy. It will be very exciting to see how this plays out and I for one am very much excited about finally seeing Ben Askren in the UFC, taking on the best such as Georges Saint-Pierre, Khabib Nurmagomedov etc.

News: ONE FC: CONQUEST OF HEROES Initial Bouts Released

The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™, has just announced its return to Indonesia’s bustling capital city of Jakarta. On the 17th August 2018, the Jakarta Convention Center will once again play host to another exciting evening of world-class martial arts action. ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES, set for Saturday, 22 September will see the biggest and brightest stars take to the ONE Championship cage to showcase their incredible skills. In the main event, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito of Japan will defend his title against rising star Joshua Pacio of the Philippines.

Continue reading “News: ONE FC: CONQUEST OF HEROES Initial Bouts Released”

Results: ONE: Pinnacle of Power – 23 June 2018

23 June 2018 – Macau, China: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), returned to the glamorous entertainment capital of Asia with another evening of authentic world-class martial arts action. The packed Studio City Event Center in Macau, China played host to ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, featuring the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. In the main event, Geje Eustaquio became the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion, defeating Adriano Moraes via split decision. In the co-main event, Xiong Jing Nan retained the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship by dominating Laura Balin in five rounds to claim a unanimous decision win.

Continue reading “Results: ONE: Pinnacle of Power – 23 June 2018”

Fighter Profile: Muay Thai Legend Singtongnoi Por Telakun & his battle with Cancer

The life of a martial arts legend is never easy as the path to greatness is typically laden with a myriad of seemingly impossible challenges. For multiple-time Muay Thai world champion Singtongnoi Por Telakun, the hardships came early in life.

Growing up in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, he was raised in extreme poverty and experienced the trials and tribulations of going through day-to-day life with very little. The grim reality became the driving force to dig his family out of the trenches and pursue martial arts in the hopes of a brighter future.

“I would help out around the house to lighten my parents’ workload. After that, I trained hard every single day. It was tiring and torturous, I wanted to quit, but I thought about my future and the people that I love. I couldn’t quit. I had to fight for the people that I love,” he recalled.

Despite the financial obstacles, Singtongnoi still found a way to train and maximize the resources that he had back then.

“I would train at home, kicking an old sack of rice filled with sand. I also trained at the local sala with the other children,” he shared.

The kind of dedication that he exhibited soon became synonymous with the type of work ethic Singtongnoi showcased as an elite athlete. With determination and dedication, success was something that he would build with his own two hands as Singtongnoi became one of the most popular Muay Thai practitioners in Thailand, winning numerous prestigious titles throughout his celebrated career such as the Lumpinee Muay Thai world championship.

Famous for his relentless style in the ring, Singtongnoi has beaten some of Thailand’s biggest Muay Thai superstars, having 300 professional bouts under his belt.

3S6A2909 (1)

Things took a turn for the worse when his Muay Thai career came to an end, and he had to go back to selling goat milk to make ends meet. Fortunately, Singtongnoi received an offer to join the Evolve MMA in Singapore as an instructor, and since then, he had been able to support his family.

Just when things started to look promising in the life of Singtongnoi, a devastating news came his way, revealing that he was diagnosed with stage three cancer.

“I was stunned and I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I started to cry. I was in disbelief. I thought I was going to die for sure. The cancerous tumor was about two centimeters long. It went through my whole nasal cavity, all the way down to the lymph nodes in my neck,” Singtongnoi described.

Singtongnoi had to undergo several medical procedures in Singapore to treat his severe condition.

“After undergoing the radiation therapy and chemotherapy, my throat hurt and I had burns from the radiation all over my neck. It was hard for me to walk and all I wanted to do was throw up,” he bared.

With his teammates, friends and family by his side, Singtongnoi persevered through all the bleak thoughts and negative feelings with every fiber of his being. Receiving the best treatment possible, it all paid off months later when the doctor told him that he is cancer-free.

“I was ecstatic,” he recollected. “I could once again see a bright future for myself and my family. “It’s important to love yourself and take care of your loved ones, as you don’t know when you’ll die,” he mused.

Through this battle against cancer, Singtongnoi learned that life is valuable and should not be taken for granted. After overcoming the life-threatening illness, Muay Thai was out of the question going forward for Singtongnoi.

However, Singtongnoi valued his second shot at life, awakening his willpower to not only make a full physical recovery but to get back to the sport that he loved.

Singtongnoi is set to return to action on 18 May as part of ONE Super Series, ONE Championship’s global platform that provides the world’s best martial artists to showcase and celebrate the beauty of Asia’s striking arts.

The 37-year-old Thai kickboxer is slated to square off with Italian dynamo Joseph Lasiri on the undercard of ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS, which takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Singtongnoi received an opportunity to showcase his incredible skills to the largest audience he has ever performed for. According to Singtongnoi, to become a true martial artist, he believes that he must continue fighting for the people he loves.


“I believe a great martial artist is someone who knows his responsibilities – someone who is disciplined, and can stick to a schedule and work hard,” he stressed.

Singtongnoi asserted that he does not need any more motivation to capture a victory because all he has to do is reflect on his rough experience nearly two years ago and think about his beloved family back home.

“I will fight for my future the best way I know how. And come 18th of May in Singapore, I will take on a talented competitor and win,” he guaranteed.

News: ONE Championship provide worldwide access for fans to watch all events for free

ONE Championship have announced the launch of their new mobile app which will provide free, high definition access to live events in addition to their complete library of digital content.

The industry leading move by the promotion sets a new standard in how MMA fans access digital content in a world where TV distribution rights and piracy are hot topics. With promotions worldwide battling for TV ratings and looking to improve PPV numbers, ONE Championship have broken the mold and instead are working on making their content as accessible as possible to as many fans as possible.

It is a bold move from the largest global sports media property in Asian history. With no shortage of stars on the roster, the promotion has a truely world wide fan base. With this innovative move, these fans now have access to all things ONE Championship at any time, anywhere in the world.

You can download the ONE Championship app for either iOS or Android here.


News: Rome Trinidad taps Filipino legend’s services in second ONE Championship outing

Filipina warrior Rome “Rebel” Trinidad will walk to the ONE Championship cage on Saturday, May 12 with a mixed martial arts legend by her side.

Andrew Benibe, a household name in the established local mixed martial arts scene in the Philippines, will be part of the entourage of Trinidad as she is scheduled to square off with hometown hero Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol on the undercard of ONE: GRIT AND GLORY in Jakarta, Indonesia.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for a young and dedicated cage competitor like Trinidad when she yielded to Thai standout Rika Ishige in her promotional debut this past December.

Trinidad suffered a second-round submission loss to Ishige at ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD in the Thai dynamo’s homebase of Bangkok, failing to ace her maiden assignment under the ONE Championship banner.


Although the thrilling atomweight bout against Ishige put fans at the state-of-the-art Impact Arena on the edge of their seats, Trinidad was left disappointed with the outcome of the match.

“I believe that I could have done better in that match, but I came up short. I just realized that there was something missing,” she admitted.

“It was my first time to fight internationally, and I lost. It gave me motivation to keep going, get better, and be more aggressive. Most of all, it taught me to be humble in all aspects of my life,” Trinidad added.

The submission defeat to Ishige forced Trinidad to reassess on how she handles her training camp when she prepares for an upcoming bout.

During her time of contemplation, Trinidad found a much-needed help in Benibe, a former Philippine bantamweight champion who currently works a mixed martial arts trainer at Maic’s Gym in Marikina City.

“Right now, I have a tremendous support system in my training, especially with the help of my coach Andrew Benibe. He knows how to bring out the best in me,” Trinidad said of Benibe.

Having 17 professional bouts under his belt, Benibe has been a staple of the Philippine mixed martial arts circuit since 2006 and has shared the stage with the industry’s notable figures such as Mark Eddiva, Jessie Rafols, Will Chope, Reysaldo Transmonte and Mark Striegl.


Moreover, Benibe made a one-off appearance inside the ONE Championship cage when he took on Team Lakay’s Honorio Banario at the organization’s first event on Philippine soil in August 2012.

Now sitting on the coach’s stool to oversee Trinidad’s training, Benibe claimed that his pupil is ready for anything as they have been working on all elements of the game in preparation of her cage encounter with Gaol.

“We have trained her for both stand-up and grappling in anticipation of anything,” he shared. “But whatever the condition, Rome Trinidad’s best bet is a stand-up game and finishing the match with striking.”

The partnership between Trinidad and Benibe will be tested for the very first time as the Filipina combatant returns to action on Saturday to face the hot-streaking Gaol at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY.

Gaol has won two-straight matches to kick off her 2018, defeating Malaysia’s Audreylaura Boniface via first-round stoppage last January before submitting Filipina newcomer Krisna Limbaga a month later.

The 21-year-old Marikina City resident seeks to make an astonishing statement in her second ONE Championship outing as she battles Gaol at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY.

“I want to win so bad. I have dreams and aspirations as a competitor. In order to turn those into a reality, I have to win first. This is the first step,” she stated.

With the desire to reinsert her name into the winner’s column, Trinidad is confident that her support system has geared her up splendidly for her three-round clash with Gaol on Saturday

“I have the best coach in my corner. I trained with the most talented athletes in the sport for this bout. With that said, I’m oozing with confidence coming into this match because I have my team behind me,” she concluded.

The Warrior Spirit, MMA culture, and Anime: The Yoshitaka Naito interview.

With ONE: Grits and Glory drawing near, one cannot help but wonder what goes into the mind of the fighters as they prepare themselves for battle. Fortunately, the opportunity to interview one of the main event fighters has presented to us here at MMAMotion. We interview former strawweight champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito (12-1) to ask him questions of varying subjects, including his thoughts on once again facing Alex “Little Rock” Silva (7-1) with the title on the line.

Gregory Dorvil: What did you love about the culture of MMA when you were growing up?

Yoshitaka Naito: There were plenty of exciting action that I have never seen and the atmosphere at the venue was great. I seemed like both athletes and fans were having a good time together.

GD: You mention that you liked Sakuraba when he performed in MMA, because of his use of strategy. What made that strategy the most appealing to you out of, say, teeth-gritting brawling?

YN: Sakuraba won against the best fighters by a submission that no one has ever seen so it was mind blowing and it fascinating me.

GD: Do you still read manga, if so what titles do you currently read. Are there any manga characters that resonate with you today, or is Nobita still your top favorite?

YN: I still read comics. I’m currently into this coming called ‘Golden Kamui.’ It’s a bit scary but it has lots of nature in it so I like it. Nobita is always my favorite character.

GD: How would you describe your fighter spirit, that which fuels you and guides you in every fight?

YN: I don’t know if I have the fighters spirit but I always try to show everything that I got in every bout.
That is what I was taught from hero’s in comic books.


GD: What culture, attidues, or values do you think ONE FC or its roster brings to the world of MMA?

YN: ONE has the best athletes in their roster and is expanding the possibility of the fighters.

GD: Do you approach the MMA world from a classic warrior’s perspective or business perspective? Or a little of both?

YN: I try to approach in both classic warrior’s perspective or business perspective. If both perspective match, I want the organization to gather the best fighters and also succeed in business and be sustainable.

GD: How different do you think the culture of MMA is today as opposed to what it was when you first watched Sakabura, or even when you joined MMA in your adult years?

YN: I feel MMA is expanding to the world and everyone is aware of the sports.


GD: You mentioned in your biography promo video that fear is what motivates you in your training and in your fights. What is it that you fear, even when you were champion, and how does it affect your fighter spirit, if at all?

YN: One win and one loss can dramatically change your life. It’s a thankful thing but scary at the same time. Fierce never went away even after I became champion but a tough situation is always a chance.

GD: When you became champion, was that your only goal, or one goal of many?

YN: I want become a person who is appropriate to be a champion. Someone who behaves and can be a role model.

GD: What was the reception with your friends and family like after receiving it?

YN: Everyone was happy about me becoming champion and celebrated.

GD: What did you want to accomplish once you attained the status of a champion, either legacy-wise or business wise?

YN: Money is important, but I was proud that I become champion in an organization big as ONE.


GD: What was your thought process before the fight with Silva, as you studied him, in terms of fighting prowess and mentality?

YN: I knew Alex was good so I was expecting an exciting fight against him.

GD: During the fight, in between rounds, what did you gauge from his skills, his mentality?

YN: I felt spirit from him during the fight but dont remember much because I was totally focussed.

GD: Where is your mind coming into the rematch with Silva?

YN: Same opponent but the big difference is that I dont have a belt to protect. This I will take it as a positive thing and challenge aggressively.

GD: If you win the belt, what are your future plans? Continuation?

YN: I’m only thinking about becoming a champion again at the moment so I will think about the future after get back my belt.

GD: Do you see any fighters within your division or the divisions above that you would like to fight?

YN: I want to fight against someone like Gian! [Gian is the bully character in Doraemon].

Catch ONE: Grits and Glory This Saturday May 12th in the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia, as Yoshitaka Naito faces Alex Silva in a main event rematch for the Strawweight championship of the world.

News: Vitaly Bigdash and Leandro Ataides look to steal the show at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY

Perhaps the one of the most intriguing matchups on the undercard of ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia on 12 May, is the three-round middleweight encounter between Vitaly Bigdash and Leandro Ataides.

There may be little local interest in the aforementioned 93-kilogram collision, but both Russia and Brazil can be very hopeful that a world title shot will befall their countryman if either one of them will walk away with the victory.

Bigdash may be displaying more of his grappling as of late, but the 33-year-old native of Rostov, Russia originally made his name in the striking department.

Having started out in his martial arts journey with Kyokushin karate, Bigdash won several tournaments in the aforementioned tough discipline before transitioning to Muay Thai in 2012.

In that same year, Bigdash made his cage debut and racked up eight consecutive victories en route to capturing the ONE Middleweight World Championship in October 2015.


Of his nine wins, four of them have come by way of knockout, including his thrilling stoppage of former ONE Middleweight World Champion Igor Svirid to claim the gold-plated strap in October 2015.

In that bout which has come to be widely regarded as the most exciting in ONE Championship history, Bigdash showed both his ability to absorb and dispense damage, coming back from several knockdowns to dethrone the champion.

Since he dropped the belt to Aung La N Sang in their June 2017 rematch, Bigdash is on the comeback trail, and the first opponent in his path to redemption is Ataides.

“I’ve never been more prepared both mentally and physically to take out my opponent like Leandro Ataides. I will shut down the doubters on May 12. It’s going to be an exciting fight, one that I have definitely been looking forward to for a long time now,” Bigdash declared.

On the other hand, Ataides is re-emerging as a top contender in ONE Championship’s exhilarating middleweight division.

As a five-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, Ataides has always had the advantage on the ground, but he has also grown into a truly complete martial artist, blending powerful striking and one-punch knockout power with his submission arsenal.

After spending a few years under the guidance of Evolve MMA’s many Muay Thai world champions, the 31-year-old Brazilian brute has won half of his bouts via knockout, which includes his 47-second destruction of Japan’s Tatsuya Mizuno and his flying knee knockout of Mohamed Ali that earned him the honor of ONE Championship’s Best Knockout of 2016.

Even though he has hit roadblocks in his career, it have only made him stronger as he will now take a two-bout winning streak into his upcoming clash with Bigdash at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY.

Ataides believes that his upcoming cage meeting with Bigdash could be the one to catapult him towards a shot at Aung La N Sang’s ONE Middleweight World Championship.

“For me, every match is important. Every match is a title shot for me. Every time I step into the cage, it is a big deal for me. All my matches are important, and I always give 100 percent,” Ataides said.

“I know I will be champion eventually, but actually my goal is to be the number one martial artist in my division in the world. That is what I focus on, but obviously, with that comes the belt,” he added.

Like Ataides, Bigdash hopes that if he gets his hand raised in triumph against his Brazilian foe, it could lead him to a title date with Aung La N Sang.

“I will be very active, and I am going to aim for a knockout or a submission, nothing else. Winning is the minimum result. Once I win this bout, everyone will understand that I am qualified for a title shot,” Bigdash stated. “I want a title shot, period.”

Yet despite the high ceiling for Bigdash, Ataides has the extensive professional background between the two combatants, giving him the advantage in experience and making the bout dead even on paper.

“This fight is going to be a treat for the fans,” Ataides guaranteed. “We’re both hungry warriors, and we are probably just a win away from a title shot. Whatever happened previously in our careers doesn’t matter much anymore because what’s important is what happens next. I believe I’m ahead of the game because of how much I have improved as a martial artist.”

With the middleweight clash between Bigdash and Ataides promising to be an action-packed affair, fans are definitely riled up to see the colossal showdown.

Both Bigdash and Ataides have great enough potential that a loss for either of them would reap the same benefits as a win.

“He wants to win, and I want to win as well. We know what is at stake in this bout. Fans should expect fireworks inside the cage on May 12. We will be going at it,” Bigdash assured.

News: Yoshitaka Naito plans to seize his opportunity to reclaim gold in Jakarta

After relinquishing possession of the ONE Strawweight World Championship this past December, Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito has been handed an opportunity to win back the gold-plated strap that he once called his, against the only man to ever defeat him.

The 34-year-old native of Matsudo, Japan has been granted a rematch against newly-minted division kingpin Alex “Little Rock” Silva in the main event of ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center on 12 May.

It is now almost five months since Naito bowed down to Silva, who demonstrated his rapidly-evolving striking game to beat the then-undefeated Japanese champion by unanimous decision at ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Alex had more superiority in the cage on that night. I could not dictate the pace and do what I wanted to do. I was adapting throughout the match. In every aspect, my game plan failed,” he recalled.

Naito admitted that he was caught off guard by the striking arsenal of Silva. The Brazilian is a Jiu-Jitsu world champion who previously exhibited his grappling prowess with five consecutive submission victories as he surged into world title contention last year.

“In the beginning, I thought his weakness was striking since he is a multi-titled Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. However, it turned out that his strikes hurt a lot,” he confessed. “That was my first time meeting an athlete who is good at everything. After the loss, I felt I was not good enough at anything.”

Although Naito revealed that it took some time for him to accept the outcome of his unsuccessful title defense against Silva last December, the disappointing defeat to the Brazilian produced a renewed hunger to improve his craft.

“At first, it was very hard to accept. You can say that it was a rude awakening, but the loss gave me a fresh perspective. The heartbreak was transformed into a drive to win again,” he said.

While Naito has rededicated himself to progressing both his striking and his grappling skills, perhaps the biggest evolution is one that cannot be physically seen.

“I hope I got stronger. But what I am sure about is that my heart is definitely stronger than before,” he stated.

As he prepares to step inside the ONE Championship cage with Silva once more on 12 May, Naito now holds his Brazilian rival in high esteem as he vows to capitalize on the golden chance that lies before him.

“I am so happy to get another chance to have a rematch against him. I really respect him. He is a great athlete,”

“The championship belt is special for me. I am so honored to be able to fight the strongest athlete in the division whether I win or not. I can fight the strongest athlete, and I have a chance to get the championship belt. That makes it very special for me,” Naito added.

Almost five months since losing his coveted title belt to Silva, Naito’s competitive fire is burning intensely and he is more driven than ever to return to glory.

“I will get my belt back. My ultimate goal is to become a champion again.” Naito insisted.

Alex Silva eyes encore performance in rematch against Yoshitaka Naito

After fireworks erupted at the state-of-the-art SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines nearly a week ago, ONE Championship shifts focus immediately to its next blockbuster event in Jakarta, Indonesia on 12 May.

Taking place at the Jakarta Convention Center, ONE: GRIT AND GLORY features a highly-anticipated strawweight championship rematch between newly-minted division kingpin Alex Silva and Yoshitaka Naito as its headliner.

Both men initially crossed paths this past December when Silva shocked the world by dethroning Naito for the ONE strawweight World Championship by unanimous decision.

“I was very emotional and excited. I talked to my cornermen after every round, and they said I was doing okay and doing good, so I was pretty confident I would be the winner. I was very emotional and happy by the time they announced my name as the winner,” Silva recalled.

Silva wrapped the coveted gold-plated strap around his waist following a dominant striking performance, unveiling a new dimension to his evolving skill set by putting together dynamic combinations.

Figuring in an offensive clinic against his Japanese counterpart, Silva overwhelmed Naito from the beginning of the bout, peppering his opponent with lashing leg kicks and rocking right hands.

Although Silva had the upper hand in the first three rounds of the championship clash, he had to overcome a spirited performance from Naito, who did his best effort to wear down the Brazilian challenger in the last two periods of the contest.

Relying on his exquisite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background, Silva managed to defend Naito’s grappling advances to walk out of the Impact Arena with the unanimous decision victory and the prestigious ONE strawweight World Championship in his possession.

“I am very happy about my performance because people usually see me as a grappling guy. I know my skills, and I know I can strike. Because I was competing in Thailand, I wanted to put on a good show for people, so I came up with this plan to strike with him,” said Silva.

“I was having fun with my striking. I would just keep all the rounds striking. I wanted to show I could strike. I think it is going to be good for my future. I want people to see I am more than just a grappler. I want people to see I am a complete martial artist,” he added.

The 35-year-old submission specialist from Brazil will be looking for a repeat performance against Naito, who has been handed a golden opportunity to win back the title he once called his and against the only man to ever defeat him.

“He was the champion for a good reason. He is tough as nails. Giving up is not his style. But with all due respect, I am determined to keep my belt. I am confident of my skills. My martial arts, my grappling, my conditioning – all of that makes me confident,” Silva stated.

Silva respects his opponent’s skill set and is quick to offer that Natio’s ground game remains as his best attribute.

“I can’t be complacent against Yoshitaka Naito. He has a great ground game. Plus, he has a big heart. Even I if I won the first encounter, this match on May 12th is going to be a tough one,” he explained.

As he expects another tough encounter with Naito at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, Silva is looking to take his championship stature to the next level.

“I do not want to just be the world champion. I want to be the best ever in this division. I work hard, I have the discipline, and I have everything on my side to do it. I have a good team around me, I have the dedication, I have the skills, and I am hungry. So that is my new goal, to become the best athlete to ever compete in this division,” he ended.