Initially, Superlek Kiatmoo9 was set to rematch with Ilias Ennahachi for the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship at ONE Fight Night 6 on Prime Video. However, Ennahachi vacated the title after being unable to make the weight while hydrated. Superlek still gets a crack at the gold, but now he’ll face Daniel Puertas.
ONE Championship kicks off its 2023 campaign on Friday, January 13. Although the Thai star wanted his shot at Ennahachi, he respects the former titleholder’s decision and looks toward his latest challenge.
“I feel a bit disappointed that I can’t have a showdown with Ilias. I have been waiting for this rematch for two years. But I respect his decision,” Superlek told ONE.
“He realizes that he couldn’t make weight. If he ignores this, it may adversely affect the organization, and his fans may be disappointed by him. But if we have a chance to face each other again, I am happy with that.”
Superlek is riding a five-bout win streak into his title opportunity and is coming off a narrow split decision win against Panpayak Jitmuangnon in December at ONE 164. After his Muay Thai bout, it did not take Superlek long to get back into training to remain in peak form ahead of ONE Fight Night 6.
“It’s not a problem at all. I started the fight camp shortly after my last fight. I had about one month of preparation. And I’ve prepared myself for both offensive and defensive games. So, I think I can switch my style and adapt effectively in the Circle, despite this change of opponent,” said Superlek.
Puertas, who was slated against Rodtang for the event before jumping at the golden opportunity, is coming off of a split-decision win of his own. At ONE: Full Circle last February, Puertas defeated Jiduo Yibu. Now with an unexpected shot at glory, he is hoping to shock the world with an upset.
But Superlek is prepared for the change in opponent. The Thai talent knows the skills that Puertas will bring into the Circle with him and believes he is superior in almost every way. And he was clear in stating that he thinks it is an easier challenge.
“Daniel Puertas is an aggressive fighter who loves to walk toward his foe, while Ilias’ style is hit-and-move. I think it is easier to fight with Daniel than Ilias because I can choose what I should hit and I can read his movement easier,” said Superlek.
“Puertas’ strength is his fearsome punches. I have to watch his movement closely and prepare for an impact. But at the same time, he will leave a gap after he punches. This is his weakness. He can’t defend himself well after he throws a big punch, and that’s my chance to counter.”
Superlek may think he is getting an easier matchup with Puertas, but he will not allow himself to take it easy with the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship on the line. The 27-year-old says he won’t get careless while seeking the knockout victory.
“I don’t know how hard this guy can hit me, but I think I’m one of the heaviest hitters in the world. I think that I may have a high chance to knock him out if I get a nice, clean, heavy shot,” said Superlek.
“Personally, I think he is not a big deal for me, but I won’t be careless. I will try my best to treat the fans with an exciting match. And I hope to get my second KO in ONE.”
ONE Fight Night 6 airs live and free on Prime Video on Friday, January 13. The action begins at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.
Superlek Kiatmoo9 vs. Panpayak Jitmuangnon | ONE Championship Full Fight
A tightly contested catchweight Muay Thai bout ensued between long-term rivals Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Panpayak Jitmuangnon at ONE 164! Subscribe and turn on n…
Mma, Superlek kiatmoo9, Mixed martial arts, One championship
Black Belt Magazine
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