‘I’m More Agile And Faster’ – Kickboxing Superstar Wei Rui Breaks Down Massive ONE Debut Against Hiroki Akimoto

Wei Rui

Chinese megastar “Demon Blade” Wei Rui is set to make his hotly anticipated ONE debut on May 3 in U.S. primetime at ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova on Prime Video.

That night, the 32-year-old striker will square off with former ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Hiroki Akimoto at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

A former K-1 World Champion, Wei enters his promotional debut riding an incredible 20-fight winning streak with no shortage of hype surrounding him.

Given his accomplishments outside of ONE, it’s no surprise that “Demon Blade” is facing one of the division’s most dangerous athletes in his first appearance.

Wei spoke to onefc.com about the key differences between himself and Akimoto:

“I think I’m more agile and faster than him. His hits harder, and with output in his striking offense.”

With his extensive background in the Chinese art of sanda, Wei possesses a dynamic and well-rounded striking game that focuses on movement, footwork, and blazing speed in both his kicks and punches.

For his part, Akimoto is a hard-hitting karate expert, and “Demon Blade” admits the Japanese fighter is likely to have a more versatile kicking game:

“Karate has more kicking techniques, so I think he has advantage on that. As a sanda student, my movement will be more agile.”

A lifelong martial artist devoted to his craft, Wei is coming into this massive showdown with a surprisingly open mind and calm demeanor.

Rather than guaranteeing a knockout or promising to run through the former titleholder with ease, he’s keeping a zen-like mindset – ready for whatever happens in the ring:

“There will always be winners and losers, and I will be very open to the results. Because if I over-pursue a result, the pressure will actually be very high. So in every match, I keep a normal mind, and failure is acceptable to me.”

Wei Rui Open To Muay Thai Fights In ONE

Wei Rui is already one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound kickboxers, so it’s no surprise that fans and pundits have begun thinking up dream matchups that would pit him against several ONE superstars.

While he admits to keeping an eye on reigning ONE World Champions like Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Jonathan “The General” Haggerty, Wei won’t look past Hiroki Akimoto at ONE Fight Night 22.

Still, he’s open to trying 4-ounce Muay Thai in the future:

“I want to stay focused on the current fight now. If it’s a perfect fight, I will consider Muay Thai later.”

If Wei takes out Akimoto – particularly if he does so in dominant fashion – he could jump the line and secure a crack at reigning ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Haggerty, who also owns the bantamweight Muay Thai crown.

The Chinese star declined to call out “The General” but was quick to give the British superstar plenty of respect:

“I think he is one of the most noteworthy athletes of the new generation.”

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