‘Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain’ – Nabil Anane Aims To Shock Superlek In ONE Debut
Teenage Muay Thai phenom Nabil Anane is ready to embark on what could be a very long and prosperous career in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
At ONE Friday Fights 22 this week, the 19-year-old striker will make his first ONE appearance against reigning ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 in a massive Muay Thai matchup that has fans and fellow athletes salivating.
When he walks to the legendary ring at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Anane knows it will be his chance to show he belongs among the best of the best in ONE.
That’s especially true against #1-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender Superlek, who is making a high-profile return to the sport as he continues to chase a second ONE World Title belt. But while it won’t be easy to defeat such a decorated opponent, the Thai-Algerian prodigy is embracing the moment.
Anane told ONEFC.com:
“I see a lot of big names in ONE Championship, so this is a really good opportunity for me to prove myself. I’m really happy to be in this organization. I just want to prove that I can compete with the best, even though I’m still very young. I still have a lot of time and room to grow like a lot of the World Champions in this organization.”
That training has also brought him into the gym alongside other ONE athletes, including 2019 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix runner-up Samy “AK47” Sana and former ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Alaverdi Ramazanov.
Along with the chance to learn from those veterans, the rising star has been inspired to compete under ONE’s bright lights and pursue great things in the promotion:
“When I saw that a lot of fighters from my camp started to join ONE Championship, that’s when I dreamed of joining too, like Alaverdi and Samy. I saw them fight in ONE, and I was like, ‘Wow, this organization is a very big organization. I want to fight there one day when I grow up.’ And now, the time has come. I’m very happy to be chasing my dreams in ONE, step by step.”
But while he’s thrilled to be making his ONE debut this week in his home country of Thailand, make no mistake about it – Anane is here to win.
To that end, he sent a chilling message to the established superstars of the organization:
“I’m coming. My name will be beside you guys, and it won’t be long. I’m coming for all of you.”
Anane Thinks His Size Will Pose ‘Big Problem’ For Superlek
Nabil Anane is certainly being thrown straight into the deep end for his promotional debut.
With a 133-29-4 professional record, seven consecutive victories, and flyweight kickboxing gold firmly wrapped around his waist, opponent Superlek Kiatmoo9 is undeniably one of the world’s top pound-for-pound strikers.
Anane is quick to recognize – and respect – what “The Kicking Machine” brings to the table. By that same token, he believes the 27-year-old legend will be weighed down by expectations in their matchup:
“Superlek is already a master. He’s so good. He knows what he needs to do. I think, when he fights, he doesn’t even need a cornerman. He already knows. He just fights. He knows what to do in there. Like I said, he’s a master. And yeah, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Well aware that he’ll enter Friday’s bout as the underdog, Anane will be able to fight freely – letting his concussive kicks, knees, elbows, and punches fly from the opening bell.
And given his towering 6-foot-2 frame, the teenager knows he possesses a significant physical edge over the entire flyweight Muay Thai division, including his 5-foot-7 foe:
“My advantage against every opponent is my height. I have this huge advantage, and it will be a great disadvantage for him. It’s a very big problem for all of my opponents.”
Now just days away from the biggest opportunity of his life, Anane truly believes he can spring the upset and take out one of the striking world’s biggest stars.
“With 4-ounce gloves, anything is possible. You know, anything is possible.”