'Momotaro' Kodera Ready To Unleash His Best Weapons In Manila

Despite an impressive debut performance in ONE Championship, Kohei “Momotaro” Kodera says he has even more to offer at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR

The Japanese star wants to bring the fans to their feet at the Mall Of Asia Arena, but he admits that might be easier said than done in the toughest bout of his career.

His opponent this Friday, 12 April in Manila, Philippines will be a legend of Muay Thai with multiple World Titles and almost 200 wins to his name – Lerdsila Phuket Top Team.

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Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, April 8, 2019

Momotaro” showed what he is capable of last month in his first ONE Super Series contest when he put on a stylish display of his trademark unorthodox striking against Kenny Tse.

Jumping front kicks, ax kicks, and lightning-fast knees were part of the WBC Muay Thai International Champion’s repertoire at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR as he took an exciting unanimous decision, but he believes he is capable of even more.

“I was able to celebrate my ONE debut with a victory, so that was a relief,” he says.

“I wasn’t able to use my kicks very much, and they are my best weapons, so I still have some techniques in reserve.

“In my next bout against Lerdsila, I want to bring out a variety of techniques and energize the crowd.”

The 28-year-old is renowned for the flashy maneuvers he can unleash thanks to his rangy frame, as well as his powerful knees when he dominates in the clinch.

Those are weapons Lerdsila is wary of, and the Thai hero says he will have to adjust his approach to counteract them.

Momotaro” also has a healthy respect for his opponent and knows he will have his work cut out for him in Manila.

“He is an athlete whose bouts I have watched to learn from his style and movement, a guy I admire. I never thought I would face him,” says Kodera.

“In terms of his accomplishments and his style, there is no question he is my toughest opponent so far. He’s really good at avoiding getting hit. I have to watch out for his counters after exchanges.”

However, buoyed by his success in Yangon, Myanmar, the Tokyo native sees a path to victory.

It sounds like “Momotaro” will come out aggressively with some of his most spectacular strikes to get an early advantage against his elusive opponent, which should make for some unmissable opening exchanges.

This ONE Super Series flyweight Muay Thai contest already has the makings of a show-stealing encounter, but if Kodera acts on his hunch about a match-winning approach, fans could be treated to an all-time classic.

“I think my advantage lies in that my style is different from any opponent he has faced before, so it might present challenges for him,” the Tokyo native adds.

“I think it comes down to who takes the first round. I don’t know what will happen until I get in there with him. I’m excited to see how well I can perform against him.”