This Sunday, 13 October, the South Korean athlete will face “The Terminator” Sunoto, and he hopes to get the show started in trademark style.
His game plan for the 68-kilogram catch weight match-up has been built around scoring another spectacular knockout.
To get the stoppage he wants in Tokyo, Japan, the Extreme Combat and Top Gym BF representative knows he first must stay on his feet, and that is easier said than done against the veteran from Indonesia.
Sunoto has more experience in ONE Championship than all but five athletes, and no Indonesian can match his number of wins in the Circle.
The man from Jakarta has set these impressive records with a well-rounded skill set that is a product of a background in various martial arts, including his time as a member of Indonesia’s national sambo team.
The Indogym and Team Phantom representative is adept at taking his rivals down, controlling them, unleashing his ground and pound, and working for submissions.
However, Kwon says he has built up his strength so he can dictate where the contest plays out, and honed his ground skills to dominate if it ends up on the canvas.
“I’ve been training with weights and sharpening my takedown and defensive skills,” he says.
“Sunoto appears to be a strong athlete who excels more on the ground than in striking.”
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The 24-year-old has also made some big changes in his training to adjust to an abnormal call time. Because his encounter with “The Terminator” is first on the bill of this historic, two-card event, he will enter the Circle shortly after 9am.
That will create a huge difference in his normal competition schedule, so Kwon has adjusted his training to ensure he will step under the lights sharp, and in peak physical condition.
“Fighting early definitely has an impact,” Kwon says.
“I have been training early, getting up at 5am, and starting off my daily regimen by jogging.”
“Pretty Boy” earned his nickname before he arrived on the global stage because he has emerged from so many of his bouts without a scratch on his face – including a pro debut he won via KO in just 36 seconds.
The Daejeon native has lived up to his reputation when he has had his hand raised in the Circle. His pair of wins have lasted a combined 86 seconds as he struck first, and with great power.
Once again, the 24-year-old predicts he will not need the judges at the Ryogoku Kokugikan, but he anticipates he may need a little longer to find some holes in Sunoto’s defenses.
“I haven’t been able to spot many weaknesses in him, but he seems to be a bit tense. I intend to take advantage of that,” he explains.
“I plan to keep up my strikes throughout the first, second, and even third rounds, and I hope to score another KO if the opportunity arises.
“I expect my opponent to be wary of my punches, and I’ve prepared to deal with that as well.”
Though he is not underestimating his next opponent, Kwon is so full of confidence, he cannot help but look ahead in his career.
The chance to share the bill with so many World Champions has got him dreaming about what victory might propel him toward, and what he might achieve in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“Defeating Sunoto will be a major achievement in my professional career because he’s such a strong athlete,” he adds.
“However, I have my sights set beyond him. I want to come back to Korea one day wearing the World Championship belt.”
- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.