“Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park has steamrolled the competition ever since he joined ONE Championship’s main roster in 2018, and he plans to showcase that dominance once again this Friday.
The South Korean juggernaut will go head-to-head with Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan in a lightweight showdown at ONE: COLLISION COURSE II, which was previously recorded at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
While he respects Khan’s achievements and extensive skill set, Park believes his own fighting style will be overwhelming.
“I believe this fight will end before the second round,” the 27-year-old says.
“I see myself finishing him, but if not, I think this will be a very dominant fight where I crush Amir Khan with my pressure, with my wrestling, and with my grappling.”
Park has every right to feel confident.
After spending the first five years of his mixed martial arts career primarily competing in the South Korean scene, ONE Championship Vice President and multiple-time Mixed Martial Arts World Champion Rich “Ace” Franklin recruited “Crazy Dog” for ONE Warrior Series in 2018, which the Seoul native calls “the turning point of my MMA career.”
During that time, the middleweight legend also gave Park some advice that would inspire him – and ultimately change his life.
“Rich Franklin is a champion, so I learned how to become a champion and he showed me the path to becoming a champion,” the South Korean says.
“He told me I have to control things in life in order to become a champion, so that’s the biggest thing I learned from him.”
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Those words of wisdom altered Park’s mindset and approach to his career.
In the main event of ONE Warrior Series’ inaugural live show back in March 2018, Park defeated Kimihiro Eto via first-round TKO.
With the victory, he became one of the first three athletes from ONE’s developmental league to earn a six-figure contract to compete on the main roster.
Since that promotion, Park has quickly proven to be a success story.
He decimated Trestle Tan en route to a unanimous decision in his main roster debut in July 2018, finished Eto in their rematch via second-round TKO in July 2019, and then routed former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario via unanimous decision a month later.
On Christmas Day, Park intends to extend his dominant winning streak to five, but he knows Khan will be the toughest test of his young career.
The Singaporean, who is a former ONE Lightweight World Title challenger, most recently finished Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju via first-round KO and is tied for the most total knockouts in ONE Championship history at nine.
The South Korean knows Khan will be extra motivated to deliver fireworks in honor of his late father, Tajudeen, who passed away last week after a tough battle with Stage IV brain cancer.
Still, “Crazy Dog” thinks he has the Singaporean figured out inside the Circle.
“His strength would be his elbows – he knows how to use his elbows very well. [As] for his weaknesses, I believe he is weak to athletes who come forward and pressure him, and also an athlete who has good wrestling and who can outpower him,” Park offers.
“I respect his power. I know his striking power is very strong, and he knows how to finish his opponents, but I believe when it comes to clinching, grappling, and wrestling, I am a bit stronger than him. And I believe if I close that distance, I can come out on top.”
Park knows that a victory over ONE Championship’s co-knockout king would elevate his profile and set himself up for a colossal year in 2021 – and he’s prepared to make it happen.
“I know Amir Khan is a veteran in ONE Championship, and I know he is very tough,” the South Korean says.
“But I trained very hard for this bout, and I hope we will show fans a very good performance.”