Brazilian star Guto Inocente considers himself a true combat sports veteran, and he’s willing to step into the Circle against any opponent in any discipline to showcase his skills, including MMA.
The 35-year-old heavyweight, who faces Serbia’s Rade Opacic in a kickboxing bout at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on 20 May, wants to be featured in ONE Championship as a three-sport athlete.
“I’m a complete fighter, and I want to show that in ONE Championship. I believe that ONE is the perfect place to work hard and fight kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. That’s what I want.”
ONE Championship has recently bolstered its heavyweight offering in MMA.
It’s currently one of the hottest divisions in the promotion and teeming with elite talent, which includes reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan Bhullar and ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly Malykhin. Coincidentally, both of those guys are on Inocente’s radar.
The Brazilian, who has 10 victories in MMA, added:
“Bhullar and Malykhin are very good, very strong fighters. I really want to face them. I want to work, I want to fight. I want to fight everyone in the division. I’m at my best, I’m full of health, so it’s time to test myself.”
Inocente, however, knows he would need to climb the ladder if he were to make the jump back into MMA – and from the sounds of it, he wouldn’t necessarily mind that.
Aside from the two heavyweight kingpins, he’s also interested in locking horns with other big names to stake his claim, including 13-time BJJ World Champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, who also makes his return at ONE 157.
“Marcus Buchecha is standing out a lot. I’m following his fights. Even though he comes from jiu-jitsu, he’s already shown that he’s not afraid to get punched in the face. But, if I go to MMA, his dream of being champion won’t work out.”
Guto Inocente Confident He Has Rade Opacic All Figured Out
Before Guto Inocente can even think about donning the 4-ounce gloves in the Circle and stepping up against the cream of the crop in MMA, he first has to get past Rade Opacic in their kickboxing battle at ONE 157.
That certainly will not be an easy task. The Serbian powerhouse owns a 16-5 record, is riding a four-bout winning streak, and co-holds the record for most finishes in ONE Super Series history.
Though the Belgrade native has yet to lose in the Circle, Inocente is confident he can change that.
“Rade Opacic is a guy who combines punches well with kicks, low kicks and high kicks. So, I have to be smart with those kicks and also with the body shots. He likes to attack the liver a lot with punches, but I believe that it is very difficult for him to fit this blow on me.”Guto Inocente told ONE Championship
Whether it’s kickboxing, Muay Thai, or MMA, Inocente is ready to face any challenge.
But while the thought of competing in multiple disciplines has certainly crossed his mind, the Brazilian insists that he’s completely focused on the task at hand.
“The fact that ONE gave me this opportunity is a big step for me. If I beat him, I’ll be at the top of the division too. So, I’m very happy with this opportunity. He is a guy who has a very orthodox game, so I believe my game is perfect to beat his game.”