Yuya Wakamatsu has made the mistake of letting an opponent’s reputation get the better of him.
This time, the Japanese knockout artist says he won’t be overawed by the man standing in front of him. Instead, he plans to make a powerful statement when he steps into the Circle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Riding an impressive five-fight winning streak, Wakamatsu has a newfound confidence that makes him believe he can usher in a new era for the flyweight MMA division.
He tells ONE Championship:
“I really respect and admire Moraes, but it’s time for a new generation to take over. I’m coming for his head. I’m going to give it my all, and I want him to give it his all, too. I want a fierce fight.
“The confidence is half a change in attitude and half true confidence. Of course, I have doubts. But I think I can showcase a culmination of my life’s work in this fight to see if I’m on the right track. If I’m not, then I’ll probably lose, but I truly believe I’ll become World Champion.”
Wakamatsu felt like he gave the 12-time MMA World Champion too much credit and wrote himself off too early. As a result, he couldn’t quite get back on track once the match was underway.
The Japanese athlete recalls:
“My fight against DJ is a prime example. I definitely overestimated him, and when we actually fought, I thought, ‘I can do this.’
“No matter how much you study your opponent, you won’t truly know them until you come face to face with them on fight day, so I’m not concerned. The reason I lost to DJ was because I was too concerned with [what he was going to do], although it was still good experience.”
Yuya Wakamatsu Plans To Aggressively Chase A Knockout
Although Yuya Wakamatsu is full of self-belief ahead of his ONE Flyweight World Championship bout against Adriano Moraes, he knows it will come down to the attributes and skills that he’s prepared for battle.
The 27-year-old recognizes that “Mikinho” has been the dominant force in the division for a reason, but he also sees faults that could open up opportunities at ONE X.
“His ground game and his grappling are what he has in his arsenal, but his biggest weapon is that he has successfully defended his [World] Title numerous times. I don’t think I can even imagine what kind of mentality it takes for a man to continuously reign as champion.
“I’d say his weakness is his habit of taking blows. That’ll be what I aim for. I think my strikes are pretty dangerous.”
The game-changing power in Wakamatsu’s fists means that Moraes won’t get away with letting too many shots land, and the challenger thinks that’s his key to victory.
He wants to push the pace on “Mikinho” through a combination of concussive striking and unflinching willpower – with the ultimate goal of leaving the Brazilian superstar down and out.
“My strength is my youth, my striking, my power, and my samurai spirit. My plan is to be aggressive, to always have the upper hand, and to make him give up.
“My ideal scenario would be to break his jaw, make him lose consciousness, and win by KO as early as possible.”
From the sounds of it, Wakamatsu won’t let the World Champion’s reputation get the best of him on 26 March.