‘We Both Have Strong KO Abilities’ – Xie Wei Predicts Exciting Flyweight Clash With Yuya Wakamatsu
At ONE Fight Night 12: Superlek vs. Khalilov on Prime Video, Chinese mixed martial artist “The Hunter” Xie Wei will look to become the next man in line to challenge Demetrious Johnson for his ONE Flyweight World Title.
But first, the #5-ranked contender will have to get past former flyweight title challenger Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu live in U.S. primetime on Friday, July 14, at the revered Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 26-year-old told ONEFC.com:
“The last defeat was mostly due to losing my [game plan], because I was too eager to end my opponent and wanted to get the bonus, so I fought too impatiently. The impact on me is more of encouragement. I have some deficiencies on the ground, so I have been strengthening my training and learning.”
Despite missing out on a crucial win that could’ve moved him up the flyweight division, the Chinese star took the result on the chin and is now focused on improving his shortcomings on the canvas.
But although he has been bettering his wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, the Sunkin International Fight Club representative suggests that he won’t have to ransack his newfound grappling textbook to muster a win over the Japanese household name.
Case in point, his 28-year-old rival has achieved 11 knockout wins from 15 victories. Xie, on the other hand, has amassed 12 highlight-reel finishes from 17 wins.
With 23 knockouts between them, “The Hunter’s” judgment could prove to be true when the pair collide in a little under two weeks.
“Yuya is a very good kickboxer. His throws and defense are great. I (usually) stand in the middle or near [my opponent], and he stays in the middle or far away. I believe this match will be very exciting. Although he has the ability to finish, I also have [a similarly good finishing rate].”
Despite praising his rival, the martial artist with a 100 percent finishing rate in the organization remains confident that his striking will be superior to that of his opposite number on the July 14 bill.
“We both have strong KO abilities. But since I entered ONE, all the matches, no matter whether strong or weak, have been finishes. So I think I’m stronger than him.”
Xie Wei Wants Demetrious Johnson’s ONE Flyweight World Title Next
With eight knockouts from as many victories throughout his tenure both in ONE Hero Series and ONE Championship, Xie Wei believes he deserves to share the ring with his idol and ONE Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson if he leaves Lumpinee Stadium with a win against Yuya Wakamatsu.
After all, his only promotional defeats have come from former World Title contenders McLaren and #3-ranked Danny Kingad. So, he thinks he could be ready for his next big gig in the form of the MMA GOAT.
“If I win [against] Yuya, I will be calling for a fight against DJ, and I’m one of his biggest fans. This is what I will be expecting.”
His path to “Mighty Mouse’s” gold isn’t going to be a straightforward journey, though.
Johnson scored back-to-back victories over longtime flyweight king Adriano Moraes, most recently defeating the Brazilian in their ONE Flyweight World Title trilogy match at ONE Fight Night 10 on Prime Video this past May.
In addition to that, Xie might have to avenge his losses to Kingad and McLaren or register a victory over top-ranked Moraes before he could realize his dream against the 14-time Flyweight World Champion.
But whoever stands across from him, “The Hunter” is game to work his way to the top, starting with Wakamatsu at ONE Fight Night 12.