After MMA Debut, Walter Goncalves Eager To Resume Quest For Muay Thai Gold At ONE Fight Night 17
Success in mixed martial arts is still a goal for Walter “Iron Hands” Goncalves, but first, he wants to continue his charge toward the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title.
After making his MMA debut in July, the Brazilian striker will return to “the art of eight limbs” with a renewed passion at ONE Fight Night 17: Kryklia vs. Roberts on Prime Video on December 8, knowing that a win over England’s Jacob Smith would push him closer to that goal.
Despite his loss to Banma Duoji under MMA rules at ONE Fight Night 12, Goncalves was not deterred by the experience. The 25-year-old loved competing in the all-around sport and is adamant that he’ll be back to test himself in the future.
He spoke to onefc.com ahead of his matchup with Smith:
“As it was my first MMA fight, it was an incredible feeling. There’s no way to describe it. I just know that I want to fight MMA more often, and I’m going to train a lot more for that. One day, I want to be an MMA World Champion.
“I don’t think anything went wrong [in the fight]. He was better than me that day because in MMA he is much more experienced than me. But that didn’t frustrate me at all. It just made me want to pursue my dream more.”
As the #2-ranked contender in ONE’s flyweight Muay Thai division, Goncalves is already sitting among the top tier. So, while he’s not giving up on mixed martial arts, he’s eager to compete for gold in the striking world.
The Blackthai CT representative is also motivated by the desire to support his family, and the sooner he can reach the pinnacle of his sport, the sooner he can make that a reality.
“I want to achieve my goal of becoming a Muay Thai World Champion. I feel like it’s something that’s closest to me as it’s where I feel most confident and comfortable.
“I hope to be able to fulfill my dream of becoming a ONE Championship World Champion and then being able to buy a house for my family.”
Goncalves Thinks Speed Is The Key Against Smith
Walter Goncalves knows that Jacob Smith will be a tough test in their U.S. primetime matchup on December 8.
Both men have gone the distance with ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon, and Goncalves was impressed with Smith’s gutsy display on late notice.
After watching that battle, “Iron Hands” got a good idea about what his upcoming opponent will bring to the ring and is expecting Smith to come at him aggressively in Bangkok, Thailand:
“I watched Jacob Smith’s fight against Rodtang, and I saw that he is a strong guy, that he moves forward all the time, that wherever he hits, he hurts his opponent, and that he also takes hits well.
“I believe that his strong points are his kicks and punches.”
Despite his respect for Smith’s power and intensity, Goncalves is not convinced that the Englishman is fast enough to catch him.
In fact, the Brazilian thinks his speed will make the difference, allowing him to score with concussive strikes as he hunts for a life-changing US$50,000 performance bonus.
“I think his weak point is his speed. I think he fights a lot standing still, and I’m faster than him. So, I think this could be a good path to explore in this fight. I believe it will be a good game for me.
“In addition to my agility, I believe that the strength of my blows will make a difference in this fight in my favor.
“I’ll try to explore the gaps in his game. I don’t know how it will play out, but I really hope that I can get a knockout victory.”