Earlier this year, the rising featherweight star stunned Jakarta, Indonesia with an incredible head kick KO of “The Terminator” Sunoto after just 31 seconds.
Remarkably, the 23-year-old believes there is room for improvement, and he promises to use the lessons from his recent training to thrill the fans in Shanghai, China next Saturday, 15 June when he takes on Eric “The Natural” Kelly.
Niu Kang Kang puts “The Terminator” to sleep with a THUNDEROUS kick at 0:31 of Round 1!Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, January 19, 2019
Niu’s match with Sunoto at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY was his first on the global stage for martial arts, and sixth professional contest overall, but he barely showed any sign of nerves after the first bell rang.
Despite the scale of the occasion, he looked relaxed and came in with a plan, though perhaps not even he thought it would play out so perfectly. The sanda specialist found his range quickly and unleashed a single strike that put his opponent out cold.
“I built my experience and my game plan day by day. I did some research on his previous fights, I watched a lot of his videos, and respected him a lot, so when it came to the fight, it went very naturally,” he says.
The worrying thing for Kelly could be that his rival says he was not at his best on that night.
Though his preparation was on point, he still had a lot to learn about his approach to competition at the highest level.
However, now he has experienced life in the world’s largest martial arts organization, he believes his mental preparation will match his physical training, and he will be ready to take on the veteran former ONE Featherweight World Title challenger.
“I developed a good mentality that has improved a lot after my last match. I feel more peaceful and won’t react emotionally in the ring that easily,” he explains.
“My opponent has a lot of experience. That makes me interested to face him, and also gives me the motivation to put on an exciting fight.
“He is a good fighter and a ONE veteran. I like his style, and I have already developed a strategy and have practiced it. It might not be an easy fight, but we will see.
“I won’t talk too much about [my game plan], but I promise I will seize any opportunity to take advantage of his weaknesses. I will wait for him to make mistakes, and I will go all-out to win.”
Another factor that is motivating the rising star is the opportunity to compete close to his home in Shanghai.
Though Niu comes from Henan, he moved to train at the renowned Dragon Warrior Gym in 2015, and he has promised to give his local fans in the Baoshan Arena a great show.
“I will change my style to adapt to different opponents, but I will focus more on a hard, attacking style this time, and I will bring a wonderful fight to my audience,” he adds.
“I train in Shanghai, and it feels like home. That will give me more confidence to show the global fans how well-trained I am here in China!
“I hope that everyone will remember me after this fight.”