5 Things To Know About Katsuki Kitano Before He Fights Liam Harrison At ONE 167

Katsuki Kitano Halil Kutukcu ONE Friday Fights 38 25

Decorated Japanese striker Katsuki Kitano will soon return for his second fight in the world’s largest martial arts organization when he takes on British legend Liam “Hitman” Harrison in U.S. primetime on June 7 at ONE 167 on Prime Video.

That highly anticipated bantamweight Muay Thai clash will go down at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand, and it will be Kitano’s chance to announce himself as a key player in the division.

Before the biggest fight of his career, here are five fast facts about the Japanese slugger known as “Bong.”

He’s A Road To ONE Tournament Winner

After an impressive run through the ultra-competitive Asian Muay Thai and kickboxing scene, Kitano punched his ticket to ONE Championship by winning the Road to ONE: Japan tournament.

While the 27-year-old had already established himself as one of Japan’s top talents, his Road to ONE victory cemented his status as an elite fighter deserving of a spot on ONE’s global roster.

He’s Collected Plenty Of Titles

Before winning the Road to ONE: Japan tournament – and before making his successful promotional debut last October at ONE Friday Fights 38 – “Bong” had racked up no shortage of hardware at an elite level.

Among his many accomplishments, he is a Hoost Cup Kickboxing Champion, a New Japan Kickboxing Federation Champion, a WBC Muay Thai Japanese Champion, a WPMF Intercontinental Champion, and an ICO Intercontinental Champion.

He Started In Karate

Not unlike other Japanese superstars, such as former ONE bantamweight kickboxing king Hiroki Akimoto and beloved fan favorite Takeru “The Natural Born Crusher” Segawa, Kitano started his martial arts journey in karate.

He began learning the art at the tender age of 3, winning multiple junior competitions around Japan before transitioning to Muay Thai at 14 years old.

He Trains With The Best At Tiger Muay Thai

“Bong” continues to hone his craft at Osaka’s Seishikai Gym, where he first learned karate, but he’s since branched out his training to the famed Tiger Muay Thai camp in Phuket, Thailand.

It’s there that Kitano regularly learns from and trains alongside other elite ONE athletes, including three-division MMA kingpin Anatoly “Sladky” Malykhin, reigning ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade, and former ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title challenger Felipe “Demolition Man” Lobo.

He Worked As A Caregiver For The Disabled

Despite his ultra-aggressive style and ruthless intentions in competition, Kitano possesses a softer, gentler side.

Early in his martial arts career, he made ends meet by working as a professional caregiver for the physically disabled.

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