5 Things To Know About Flyweight Kickboxing World Title Challenger Daniel Puertas
On January 13, Spanish sensation Daniel Puertas will walk into the Circle for the biggest fight of his life.
Previously scheduled to face Rodtang Jitmuangnon at this event in Thailand, Puertas will now replace former flyweight kickboxing king Ilias Ennahachi, who vacated the belt when he was unable to make the 135-pound limit while hydrated.
Following that last-minute change, fans are dying to know more about the explosive athlete from the Spanish coast. Here, we lay out five key facts about Puertas.
#1 He’s An Accomplished International Champion
Puertas had firmly established himself as one of the world’s best kickboxers well before he joined ONE Championship in late 2021.
While still in his early 20s, he won his first of two ISKA World Championships in 2015. His second came in 2018, and in between those victories, he racked up title belts across both Europe and Asia.
Simply put, the Spaniard comes into this ONE World Title contest with a wealth of international, elite-level experience well beyond his pair of bouts inside the Circle.
#2 He Cemented His Status With A Flawless Two-Year Run
Puertas knows what it’s like to win – and win often.
He exploded onto the international scene between 2016 and 2018, as he compiled an impressive unbeaten streak against progressively more challenging opponents.
That run of dominance caught the attention of fans around the globe and ultimately brought him face-to-face with the sport’s best fighters in ONE Championship.
#3 His First Martial Art Was Judo
Surprisingly, the Ultimate Fight School athlete began his combat sports journey in a grappling-based martial art.
Long before he started kickboxing with his friends around the age of 15, Puertas dabbled in the Japanese art of judo.
And while he’s proven to have the toughness and athleticism to make it as a professional fighter in any combat sport, we’re happy he chose to lace up the gloves and bring his thunderous power to kickboxing.
#4 His ‘Dekkers’ Nickname Is An Ode To His Dutch Style
While he’s a proud Spaniard, Puertas utilizes a ferocious approach to striking that is Dutch through and through. As a result, he earned the moniker “Dekkers” as a homage to the late, great Dutch kickboxing and Muay Thai legend Ramon Dekkers.
With his seemingly impenetrable defensive guard, ultra-powerful punches, and endless, vicious leg kicks, Puertas is the poster child for Dutch kickboxing, despite his Spanish roots.
That simple yet brutally effective style will clash with the more open, dynamic striking of the Muay Thai-based Superlek.
#5 He’s The Division’s Top Pressure Fighter
More than just a Dutch-style striker, Puertas is an indomitable pressure fighter who refuses to take a step backward.
Naturally, this makes for electrifying, action-packed fights.
Marching forward behind a tucked chin and high guard, Puertas typically needs just seconds before he’s backed his foe into the Circle Wall, where he can unload his massive punches and trademark low kicks.