‘He Can Be Reckless’ – Zakaria El Jamari Ready To Put The Pressure On Thongpoon At ONE Fight Night 22

Zakaria El Jamari

Moroccan Muay Thai standout Zakaria El Jamari hopes to live up to the significant hype surrounding him in his second ONE Championship appearance.

The 34-year-old striker will face Thai star Thongpoon PK Saenchai at ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova on Prime Video, which broadcasts live in U.S. primetime from the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, on Friday, May 3.

The bout comes just two months after El Jamari’s promotional debut at ONE 166: Qatar, where he suffered a stunning knockout loss to Ali Saldoev.

Widely regarded as one of the Middle East’s top martial arts competitors, the Moroccan ace looks to return to the win column – and he’ll attempt to accomplish that in enemy territory against one of Bangkok’s favorite sons. Even though the crowd might be against him, El Jamari can’t wait to compete at the “Madison Square Garden of the East.”

He told onefc.com:

“I am extremely excited for the fight. It’s in Thailand against a strong Thai fighter inside the greatest Muay Thai stadium in the world. It is a wonderful thing and a huge added value for a Muay Thai fighter to perform at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.”

When El Jamari steps into the ring, he’ll be standing toe-to-toe with someone who offers more than just a flamboyant personality. Thongpoon holds a 79-23 career record, which includes a trio of first-round knockouts in ONE.

A skilled counter-striker and ruthless finisher in his own right, El Jamari concedes that the 26-year-old throws with massive power. However, he believes the Thai’s overly aggressive style will be his undoing.

The Moroccan explained:

“Thongpoon is a very good fighter. He has powerful hands and feet. But he also has weak points. I think he can be reckless at times, and I will look to take advantage of that. 

“My game plan is to continuously press him and wait for the opening. Whenever he feels the pressure, he will attack recklessly, and I’ll be waiting to capitalize on that.”

El Jamari knows that he can hang with the best of the best in the world’s largest martial arts organization, and a victory over the dangerous Thongpoon would remove any doubt.

But he isn’t just looking for a win. He is aiming for a highlight-reel finish that will send a message to the rest of the Muay Thai strawweight division.

He predicted:

“My feeling is that I will beat him. I believe it will be a second-round knockout.”

El Jamari Reveals Lessons Learned From His ONE Debut

Taking out Thongpoon PK Saenchai is critical for Zakaria El Jamari because he knows that he didn’t put his best foot forward in his ONE Championship debut.

With multiple Arab titles in both Muay Thai and kickboxing, as well as experience in professional boxing, the Moroccan arrived at the world’s largest martial arts organization with justifiably high expectations. But he admits his tough loss against Ali Saldoev was due to poor conditioning.

El Jamari said:

“I took the fight 14 days ahead of the event. I wasn’t fit enough to fight at a high pace for several rounds. I started out well in the first round, and the round was action-packed. We traded strikes continuously. But in the second round, I was already tired when I received a powerful strike that ended the fight. It was a fitness issue. I lost the fight because I wasn’t ready for it.”

After reflecting on his shortcomings in his promotional debut, El Jamari isn’t about to make the same mistake against Thongpoon at ONE Fight Night 22.

The Moroccan is positive that this time around, he’ll be in peak form and ready to showcase his elite talent against one of Thailand’s finest.

He added:

“My performance is now at an excellent level. I am fit and ready. I have prepared a game plan for my next fight, and everything is going as it should. I am mentally and physically ready.”

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