The mixed martial arts stars of ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE were given their final chance to spar verbally before meeting in battle this Friday, 28 January – and they made the most of that opportunity.
Some of them offered a dose of respect to their opponents, while others continued their heated war of words.
In any case, the time for talking is nearly over. Before these combatants throw down in pivotal showdowns at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, let’s revisit their most notable quotes from media day interviews.
Jarred Brooks Vs. Hiroba Minowa
“I think Hiroba is a very tough test for me, he has a lot of good qualities about him. He is a little bit Jarred Brooks-esque, he reminds me of a younger me,” Brooks said.
“He has a lot of really good tests that have been put in front of him, and he’s done well with those tests. I’m looking forward to seeing how he feels. And I want to be surprised. I don’t want to feel weakness; I want to feel like he’s strong, like I have a true test in front of me. So, Hiroba, I’m glad that I get to fight you.”
The 23-year-old Minowa also recognizes his opponent’s elite talent, but he believes he’ll find a way to win.
“I think Jarred has no weakness, and that’s his weakness. He’s a good wrestler and is physically strong. I think he has no [clear] weakness, but when I actually fight him, I’ll find something,” the Japanese athlete said.
“The Monkey God” took that comment as an extra boost of confidence for this crucial clash. He thinks that his foe could be missing a trick – and he expects to capitalize.
“He’s a smart fighter but for him to say I have no weakness and he’ll try to find one, it makes me feel like he has no game plan for this fight, and he’d need a really good game plan to beat me, so good luck with that,” Brooks responded.
“I’m ready to put my life on the line to come out and beat you and be #1 in this division. You are fair warned.”
Still, Minowa feels like he will get the job done and plans to make a big statement when they square off.
“I do have a game plan. I have several plans for Friday night,” he stated.
“It’s good to think you’re a strong fighter, but on Friday, I’ll beat you and prove I’m the better fighter.”
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Tang Kai Vs. Kim Jae Woong
This massive battle of featherweight strikers has really heated up, with Tang Kai and “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong trading verbal blows that are just as aggressive as the ones they’ll swap inside the Circle.
“You know you’re scared. And I know, deep inside you, you know that I’m better than you. You know I have more tools, I have more weapons, and I’m just better than you all over,” #1-ranked Kim said.
“Who have you ever beat? I really want to ask you. I’ll give you a chance right now – tell me one name that you beat who was legit. And who was ranked or really good. Give me one name.”
Those words did not faze the Chinese star, as he fired back at his new rival.
“Who have you ever beaten? You fought Martin Nguyen once, and you mention it all the time, even when you are alseep,” fourth-ranked Tang replied.
“You know I’ve knocked out all my opponents, I don’t remember them. I don’t even remember their names. And when I knock you out on Friday night, I won’t remember you either.”
While these heavy hitters don’t see eye to eye, they agree that Friday’s clash will be an epic encounter.
“It’s a battle of two strikers, no matter what happens, even if it goes the distance, it will be an exciting fight. It’s not going to be easy for any of us,” Kim said.
Tang added: “He got one point right – this will definitely be the Fight of the Night, there’s no doubt about that.
“But he shouldn’t keep saying it could go the distance. It will be a knockout for sure.”
Wang Shuo Vs. Tatsumitsu Wada
He knows Wada is a skilled and durably adversary, but he expects to continue knocking out whoever stands in front of him.
“My opponent is very experienced. I respect him a lot. He’s more of a grappler, so I plan to finish this fight while we’re striking,” Wang said.
“I feel like I am in KO mode, and I have been preparing my striking game specifically in this camp, so I feel like this is going to be another knockout from me.”
With 38 bouts on his resume, “The Sweeper” shook off his foe’s prediction and stated that his all-around game will propel him to victory.
“Wang was talking about finishing me with his striking, but I’m an MMA fighter. I’ll just show my MMA, and I’ll finish him,” he said.
“I have to go into the Circle first to see what happens, but what I’m going to do is mix my grappling and my striking, show my MMA, and I’ll be the winner.”
Both men are on the hunt for a top-five spot in their division, and they can each make their case on Friday.
“The Sweeper” has already battled the best in the weight class wants to get back there, while “Little Whirlwind” hopes to take the upper echelon by storm.
“It’s important for me to win. If I keep on winning them I’m sure it will get me a matchup against a ranked opponent, I’m not considering anything [too far ahead], I’m just focused on each match,” Wada said.
Wang added: “I think that, because my current opponent is very strong, if I beat him, I should be in the rankings for sure.
“First, I want to get into the top five before the end of this year. Then, the biggest dream for my career: I would like to have a chance to fight [flyweight legend and #1 contender] Demetrious Johnson. That’s my dream.”