‘Only One More Man For The Job’ – Haggerty Confident He Can End Nong-O’s Long World Title Reign
Jonathan Haggerty’s shot at the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title might have arrived sooner than he anticipated, but he plans to make the most of it.
The former flyweight Muay Thai king will challenge Nong-O Hama for the belt at ONE Fight Night 9 on Prime Video, and he’s embracing this chance to finally unseat the striking legend at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Haggerty is entering this battle following a catchweight win over Vladimir Kuzmin and planned to prove himself in the bantamweight ranks first.
But when ONE matchmakers asked him to face Nong-O on April 21 in U.S. primetime, he saw a golden opportunity that he couldn’t turn down.
“The General” explained:
“I wasn’t expecting to get the World Title shot straight away. I thought we were going to have one more fight. But obviously, they decided it was my turn and there was only one more man for the job – and they thought that was me.
“I wouldn’t say I’m the only option, but I’d say I’m the most dangerous fight that he’s going to come across. I’ve been looking forward to getting that second World Title. It’s here now, and I’ve got to grab it with both hands.”
After moving up from flyweight, Haggerty says he is feeling like a new man.
Although his issues with the scales weren’t completely behind him for the Kuzmin bout, the Londoner felt the benefit inside the Circle, having weighed in at 148 pounds.
He thinks this step up will bring out his best – both mentally and physically – putting him in a good place to deal with the seemingly unstoppable bantamweight Muay Thai titleholder.
“At 61 kilos (the 135-pound flyweight limit), I just felt so fatigued. Getting up off the stool was an effort in-between rounds, but now we’re hydrated, we feel stronger, and I’m just having a lot more to eat as well.
“So fight camp’s a lot easier, less stressful. And you know what they say? A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter. So yeah, we’re ready. We’ve got more in the tank.”
Haggerty Thinks Nong-O Will Be In For A ‘Shock’
Nong-O Hama is the most decorated World Champion in the history of ONE’s all-striking divisions, posting a perfect 10-0 slate with eight ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title victories.
The Thai icon has also gotten stronger with every appearance, knocking out his last five challengers inside the distance.
This dominance doesn’t deter Jonathan Haggerty, though. The slick Englishman thinks his opponent is underestimating him and plans to turn the tables when they square off in Bangkok.
“It gives you more fuel knowing that he knocks everybody out. That makes me train harder. I honestly think this is my time and we’re going to stop him. I’m going to say the third round.
“At flyweight, I was drained and I was still running the show. I was tired and I still managed to carry all the power. I’m moving up now. I’m feeling better than ever. So I’m going to be more dangerous than ever.
“I think it’s going to be a long night for Nong-O. I think he’s going to take me a bit lightly. I hope he does because he’s going to have a shock. We’re coming with all the power and we’re coming for the stoppage.”
Haggerty is confident that he can halt Nong-O’s relentless assault on the bantamweight Muay Thai division, and he already has some big plans for his future on the throne.
More than anything, he’d love to bring the world’s largest martial arts organization to his home city and fight for UK Muay Thai’s GOAT status with Leeds legend Liam Harrison, who lost his own World Title shot to Nong-O after a brutal leg kick.
“The General” added:
“I feel like Liam Harrison didn’t really get a fair shot at the title because of his leg, so once I beat Nong-O, let’s give him a real opportunity at Wembley Stadium [in London, England].
“It’s just giving the UK fans what they want, that’s the main thing. I feel like that’s what they’ve been calling for, and that’s what I want really as well.”