Amir Khan had a difficult start to last year, but after ending 2019 on a high, he believes he has rediscovered his confidence.
Khan returned to winning ways after a close battle against Ev “ET” Ting at ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS, but his last performance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium left him with mixed feelings.
Although the young lion was happy with the result, he admits he would have liked to have had a more decisive conclusion for his fans, and that is driving him to restore his reputation as one of the lightweight division’s most dangerous finishers.
“I was playing it too safe. We did train to be more offensive on the outside but for some reason I couldn’t find any momentum to pull that trigger,” he reveals.
“I want to go back to my finishing ways, people have forgotten that I used to be a knockout artist. I will go back and prove to myself and everyone that I still have what it takes.”
Khan, a Singaporean Muay Thai Champion, parlayed his skills in “the art of eight limbs” into mixed martial arts, where he has earned eight of his 12 wins via knockout, and another two via submission for an impressive 83-percent stoppage rate.
His history proves that he has the skill and power to return to his most dangerous form, and now he says he has made the changes in training to make that a reality.
- Ritu Phogat Returns To India Ahead Of Second ONE Bout
- Top 5 KOs From The Stars Of ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE
- How Rocky Ogden Proved His Mettle To Become A Muay Thai Star
“The biggest thing so far is committing to my shots. I feel I have the arsenal but I’m just not committing enough to my strikes and my attacks,” he admits.
“We’ve been really working on tweaking it. Whenever I throw strikes now, I’m throwing with intent. I feel I have more intent in my moves. It makes a difference, are you punching him to touch him or are you punching him to hurt him?”
In Eto, Khan also believes he will face the perfect opponent to rediscover his finishing touch.
However, the Japanese athlete is dangerous – he won his OWS contract thanks to a trio of wins via submission – and the Evolve representative is well aware of his rival’s formidable grappling abilities after they spent some time training together a couple of years ago.
“He is not so comfortable in striking exchanges. He doesn’t have a good eye on movements especially when it comes to incoming shots,” Khan explains.
“What he really excels at, though, is his wrestling, which I’ve trained with him. He even taught me some moves, so I am familiar with his moves. His wrestling is definitely better [than mine], but on the offensive side. I feel my takedown defense is better, so that would be the only advantage he has.
“I’m definitely not underestimating his striking, though – he could have made improvements from two years ago when we trained together, but I don’t feel it will be too big a threat for this contest. He has to take me down one way or another if he hopes to have a shot at winning.”
With just a couple of weeks to go until his return to action, Khan is feeling confident and is determined to bring the excitement his fans are used to from him.
“I just want to go in there and get the first hard shot in. I want to start strong, and I just imagine I want to punch hard, break the ice and then everything will flow after,” he adds.
“I feel I am capable of finishing him within one or two rounds, I’m planning to start strong – but I’m also going to be smart about it, not overusing my energy but just trying to land hard shots, intimidate him and from there, I will see where the fight goes.”