Chris Shaw has had to wait almost six months to make his debut in ONE Super Series, but now he is more prepared and more motivated to go to war against one of the toughest men in Muay Thai.
The Scottish striker was ruled out of his contest with Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym for medical reasons when it was first booked last August, but now he is healthy, the pair will duke it out at ONE: FIRE AND FURY next Friday, 31 January.
There is no change in the opponent or venue – the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines – so Shaw feels like he has come full-circle and the delay was just a part of his journey he had to overcome.
“I’m really looking forward to the fight, it’s been a long time coming,” reveals the 29-year-old from Glasgow.
“I believe everything happens for a reason, and now I’m fighting Rodlek again in Manila, it seems like fate. I’m a better version of myself. I had a lot of time to prepare for this, and I became a better fighter and athlete.”
Shaw is prepared for an exciting battle against one of the most dangerous and highly-regarded men in “the art of eight limbs.” Rodlek is a three-time Muay Thai World Champion with an exemplary 127-40-5 record and he has posted a perfect 2-0 slate in The Home Of Martial Arts to date.
However, it is not just the Surat Thani native’s résumé that is impressive – he is also one of the toughest, hardest-hitting, and most relentless competitors on the planet.
The Scot is well aware of the kind of pressure his upcoming foe will bring, but he has had the extra time to perfect his strategy against it.
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“He’s a really, really tough opponent. He just marches forward and he’s a big puncher – that’s his biggest threat,” Shaw explains.
“He’s really aggressive. It’s more his toughness and his heart. I watched his fight with Liam Harrison and he can take shots and doesn’t flinch, but after watching that fight, we worked out a really good game plan.
“I know what I need to do – I need to be smart against this guy – but there are times I will need to fight fire with fire.”
The POS Fight Team and Boxfit Glasgow representative knows that, whichever way the bout plays out, the fans inside the Mall Of Asia Arena will be entertained, and in his first assignment, that is what he wants to do.
“At the end of the day, I live by the sword and die by the sword, so I will be in there swinging as well – if I need to do that I will, and it will be a good fight for everybody,” he adds.
“Normally, these 4-ounce gloves would suit a Westerner against a Thai, but he throws the script out of the window. They really suit his style as he soaks up your punches to move forward, and his toughness will make it entertaining!”
The task ahead of Shaw is a formidable one, but he has not come to the pinnacle of martial arts to simply play a bit-part. The IMF Muay Thai World Champion wants to make the most of his chance to take on the best of the best and prove that he belongs on the global stage with his sport’s royalty.
While he was gutted to see his debut delayed last year, Shaw is now locked, loaded, and ready to pull the trigger in Manila.
“This is what you’ve worked hard for, for years and years. You’ve got to the big stage you’ve just got to go up there and give it your all, and give your best,” he says.
“I know what I need to do to win this fight – I just need to perform. There have been no shortcuts in training, I’m ready, and I’ve prepared to the best of my abilities. All the boxes are ticked and I’m just ready to go now.
“The perfect way to win would be a flawless performance for three rounds – be untouchable, dominate him, and win by points.”