Rothana aiming to make nation proud

Chan Rothana has high hopes of securing the first overseas ONE FC win for a Cambodian fighter in  ONE FC
Chan Rothana has high hopes of securing the first overseas ONE FC win for a Cambodian fighter in ONE FC: Age of Champions in Malaysia tonight. He will fight Ramon Gonzalez (inset). Sreng Meng Srun

Rothana aiming to make nation proud

Home mixed martial artist Chan Rothana is confident of securing the first overseas ONE FC win for a Cambodian fighter in tonight’s Age of Champions event in Malaysia.

The 29-year-old from Phnom Penh’s Selapak stable meets Filipino debutante Ramon Gonzalez in Kuala Lumpur’s Putra Stadium in his second event with the Singapore-based promotion, and he is eager to join Thai Rithy and Chen Heng, who won in Bangkok’s Full Metal Dojo last month, and win on foreign soil as the Kingdom’s MMA warriors begin to make inroads abroad.

In preparation for tonight’s bout, Rothana spent a month at Thailand’s world-famous Tiger Muay Thai and MMA gym in Phuket after receiving sponsorship from NagaWorld.

“The experience was hugely rewarding and I am grateful for the opportunity to train at the respected training centre,” he said.

“The standing fight is my strength – my kicks and punches. The training there focused on ground fighting and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“I respect my opponent, but I will use my standing skills and the techniques honed in training to dominate the fight. I aim to finish the fight before the third round.”

Gonzalez is a karate trainer and exponent of Filipino kickboxing discipline yaw yan, with a strength in submissions. Rothana’s manager Benoit Rigallaud said: We don’t know much about [Gonzalez].

“We’ve seen a few videos and, from what we do know, we are confident Rothana that can beat him.”

Rothana, who comes off a hugely successful career in Kun Khmer kickboxing, with 99 professional bouts and just 16 losses, and who boasts a 3-1 professional MMA record, is normally a featherweight but will meet Gonzalez at bantamwight.

He is unconcerned, however, by the drop down in weight. “I am used to fighting at bantamweight and have achieved victories in this category,” he said. “It won’t be a problem for me.

ONE Championship announced yesterday that all the fighters competing tonight made their weights.

‘Defending honour’

Ramon Gonzalez
Ramon Gonzalez. Photo Supplied

ONE FC: Age of Champions is headlined by Adriano Moraes who puts his ONE FC flyweight championship, which he won at Rise of the Kingdom on September 12, on the line when he takes on Japan’s Riku Shibuya.

The Brazilian, 25, with a record of 12 wins and 1 loss, said: “I’m ready to defend the honour of this world championship. I carry the championship with pride and I do not plan on giving it up. Riku Shibuya is not going to take the championship from me, I can assure everybody of that.”

Challenger Riku Shibuya, with an 11-2-1 record said: “I am in ONE FC to be the champion. I plan on beating Moraes and bring the title back to Japan, where it belongs.”

Excitement will reach a pitch for Malaysian fans when home star Peter Davis steps into the cage in the co-main fight to face MMA veteran Rajinder Singh Meena of India in a lightweight encounter. With nine wins and three losses under his belt, Davis, 33, is a true hero for Malyasian MMA fans and he will do his best to reward his home supporters with victory over Meena (eight wins and one loss).

Ann Osman (2-1) will also showcase her skills in front of her home fans when she meets Walaa Abbas (2-2) of Egypt at flyweight, while countryman Ev Ting meets Cary Bullos of the Philippines in a tough featherweight contest.

Another women’s fight tonight sees Singapore’s Kirstie Gannaway take on April Osenio of the Philippines in an atomweight clash.

Malaysia’s Gianni Subba faces Australian strongman Thanh Vu in a fascinating featherweight matchup. Young Malaysian Agilan Thani, 19, will be aiming to overcome a huge difference age when he takes on debutante Reant Febriza, 26, from Indonesia.

You can watch the fight live at onefc.com/livestream at 6pm tonight. MyTV will rerun the full bout tomorrow morning at 8am.

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