Yodkaikaew Fairtex Vs. Hu Yong: 4 Keys To Victory
Burgeoning Thai star Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex and Chinese standout “Wolf Warrior” Hu Yong will open the show in style when ONE: FISTS OF FURY III airs this Friday, 19 March.
Both fast-rising fighters are potential superstars in the flyweight mixed martial arts division, and they’ll be looking to derail each other’s momentum at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Before the action goes down, we look at the skill sets and paths to victory for both Yodkaikaew and Hu.
#1 Hu’s Crushing Right Hand
Hu is a sanda specialist who likes to stand and trade and never takes a backward step, as he showed in his phenomenal 4-0 run in ONE Hero Series.
The man from Beijing relies a lot on his looping right hand to score damage. He primarily sets it up by using his jab to probe and feint before unleashing the power strike, but he also steps in close behind his left hook to shorten the distance and follow it up with a right.
“Wolf Warrior’s” bullish style is aided by his faith in his ability to absorb strikes as he traverses the distance, and he will happily take one on the chin to create an opening for his overhand right.
When the Fighting Bros Club representative sees that his opponent is wary of his power, he grows in confidence and will wade in aggressively — a trait that’s led him to a 50 percent knockout ratio.
Fortunately for fans, the forward-moving Chinese striker will meet a willing adversary in MAX Muay Thai Champion Yodkaikaew.
#2 Yodkaikaew’s Southpaw Left
Yodkaikaew is also an aggressive front-runner. However, his background in “the art of eight limbs” means he also owns the patience of a five-round stadium fighter when he needs it.
Against an opponent like Hu who can charge in with reckless abandon, “Y2K” can make the most of his counter-striking prowess with his southpaw left hand.
As he showed when he drilled John Shink at ONE: NO SURRENDER II in August 2020, that left is a concussive tool – one that is all the more potent against a rival who’s willing to run into its path.
Hu rarely throws his right hand straight, so expect the Fairtex man to look for arrow-like channels inside the Chinese athlete’s looping punches.
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#3 ‘Wolf Warrior’s’ Unrelenting Top Game
Though both men are primarily strikers — and Hu has stated that he wants to stand and bang with his foe — “Wolf Warrior” does have the added asset of a strong clinch and top game.
If he is getting lit up on the feet, the ONE Hero Series contract winner could close the distance behind his punches to get into the clinch, where he has a quick and effective knee-block takedown.
If the fight goes to the canvas, he’ll look to resume his fire-and-fury offense, as he won’t want to miss a chance to rain down heavy ground-and-pound.
While “Y2K” has proven to be strong in scrambles, Hu will make sure he constantly punishes his foe with punches, making it more dangerous for the Thai to post his hands and try to scurry back to his feet.
#4 ‘Y2K’s’ Leg Destruction
Yodkaikaew has shown that his best strategy against a grappler is to stop them from the ground up. When facing Alex Schild at ONE: A NEW BREED last August, the American found some success with his wrestling in the early running. But then, “Y2K’s” kicking damage started to accumulate.
As a southpaw facing an orthodox opponent, the Thai warrior used thudding low kicks from his power side to score damage to the inside thigh and knee. He also used his right kick to chop at the calf and outside thigh.
Those kicks quickly shut down Schild’s movement and his ability to shoot in for takedowns — and, in the end, even his ability to stand up.
If Hu marches forward on the front foot and doesn’t prevent kicks from smashing into his lead leg time after time, then he’ll find himself in a similar position – unable to launch explosive attacks when his base has been severely compromised.
That’s when Yodkaikaew can turn up the heat with the rest of his weapons.
Read more: 5 Incredible Knockouts From The Stars Of ONE: FISTS OF FURY III