The Japanese athlete will challenge for the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday, 10 May, and he wants to hand the reigning World Champion his first defeat in ONE Championship.
Nong-O has looked infallible en route to his perfect 3-0 slate on the global stage for martial arts, but Suzuki is not fazed by his task at the Impact Arena.
“There is no competitor without weakness,” he insists.
“There is always a chance to win in a one-on-one battle. Of course, I have a risk of losing too. The fight is one-on-one, so the situation is even.”
Those back-to-back wins earned him the first shot at his upcoming opponent’s World Title, and also showcased the skills that could make him a match for the Thai icon – lightning speed, incredible power, and the stamina to sustain offense throughout a match.
Now, he has the chance to set the benchmark for his countrymen in ONE Super Series. There have been many Japanese mixed martial arts World Champions in The Home Of Martial Arts, but Suzuki is the first to even contest for the gold in either Muay Thai or kickboxing.
It would mean a lot to the 34-year-old to become the first athlete from his homeland to go all the way, and he hopes he can inspire a new generation with his success.
“By winning the World Championship, I think I can make a path for my juniors and for the people who want to become martial artists.
“I want to pass on the ‘Yamato spirit.’ That’s my dream,” he says.
Suzuki may have to deliver a career-best performance to overcome the four-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion in front of his home crowd. Nong-O is a well-rounded striker that poses a threat with every limb.
The Toyohashi, Japan native recognizes this, but he is up for the challenge of testing his skills against the Thai.
The Japanese warrior spirit flows through “Kaibutsukun’s” veins and, no matter how colossal the challenge, he will meet it head on and display his courage.
“Nong-O is a complete Muay Thai fighter. His punches, kicks, knees, and elbows are great, but my attacks developed in Japan are also great,” says Suzuki.
“The Japanese fight with unbreakable, strong hearts even in tough situations. That is the ‘Yamato spirit,’ I will fight with responsibility as a representative of Japan, and [I will] win.”
Suzuki has enough firepower to cause problems to any bantamweight in the world, and he plans to hold nothing back in Bangkok as he aims to put on a show on 10 May.
“On the ONE Championship stage, my priority is to have an exciting fight. I can’t tell you which attacks I will use, but I will aim for a knockout,” he adds.
“I want to say Nong-O, let’s try to knock each other out. Let’s try to give the fans an exciting match on the ONE stage in which one of us goes down.”