The surging Chinese mixed martial artist and “Thunder Kid” will do battle this Friday, 24 September, and it’s the perfect chance to make some noise in the division with the ONE Strawweight World Title being contested later in the evening.
Hexigetu is entering this massive bout on a three-fight winning streak, and he hopes to propel himself toward the gold with an impressive showing against the Team Lakay standout.
“I feel very good ahead of this matchup. I feel very excited. I have prepared for a very long time for this fight, and I’m ready to do whatever the fans want me to do,” he says.
The China Top Team representative has also taken inspiration from his compatriot “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, who successfully defended her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title for the fifth time at ONE: EMPOWER earlier this month.
“It’s more motivation for me because our sister, Jing Nan, got [China’s] first World Championship belt, and we haven’t had male athletes with a championship belt,” Hexigetu says.
The decision win added to his impressive run of form and earned him this matchup with another highly touted rising star — exactly what he needs if he wants to progress.
Like “Wolf of the Grasslands,” Adiwang is on an upward trajectory, and Hexigetu thinks a win would be enough to earn a spot in the rankings.
“Yes, for sure [it would put me in the rankings]. I want to be in the top five,” he says. “My opponent is a very good opponent. I respect him a lot, but I have also prepared in camp for him.”
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Looking at his rival’s skill set, Hexigetu knows “Thunder Kid” is dangerous in every area. However, he believes his own tools are more developed than the Filipino’s across the board.
“[Adiwang] has the ability to finish people, whether by striking or by submission,” the Chinese athlete says.
“Although he’s good, I’m fully prepared for his punches, his kicks, and his wrestling. I think I’m a little bit better at all of those than he is.”
With the ONE Strawweight World Championship trilogy bout between titleholder Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and #1 contender Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta co-headlining Friday’s event, “Wolf of the Grasslands” wants to use his lead card spot to send a message that he’s coming for the gold.
His current hot streak has already pushed him closer to the top. Another emphatic victory would put the division’s biggest names on notice — and he believes he can go all the way if given the opportunity.
“I will take my chances, and I’m going to finish Adiwang by one-punch knockout,” Hexigetu adds.
“I predict that the new strawweight king will rise [in the co-main event], but I am fully confident I can defeat [Saruta], too.”
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