Smokin’ Jo Nattawut is ready to put on a show in his return to the Circle and feels he has a dance partner who can help deliver fireworks.
The decorated Thai star will face off against Yurik “Mee Khao Jomhot” Davtyan at ONE: NEXTGEN II on Friday, 12 November, and he expects the Armenian-Russian slugger to play his part in a thrilling ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix alternate bout.
“I think we will both use a press-forward style,” Nattawut says.
“I walk forward. He walks forward. But we have to wait and see what will happen in the Circle.”
After living in the United States since 2013, Nattawut spent some time back in his native Thailand during the COVID-19 pandemic. But he returned to his adopted home this past March and has been focused on his next ONE appearance since then.
“Right now, I’m training at Thai Top Team and American Top Team in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. My preparation is almost the same. I just give it my best, give it my all,” he says.
For his part, Davtyan is coming off the biggest win of his career.
The Revolution Muay Thai Phuket man knocked out Bangpleenoi Petchyindee Academy in his promotional debut at ONE: A NEW BREED III in September 2020, showing that he’s a definite threat to the division’s top names.
However, Nattawut has already tussled with the elite on the global stage, so he’s not fazed by “Mee Khao Jomhot” and hasn’t focused too much on his rival while preparing for their bout.
“I rarely study my opponent from the videos. I just watch them for 5-10 minutes to see what they have got,” he says.
“I think all kickboxers are not much different. We all have the same weapons, like punches and kicks, so I never seriously make a game plan for any opponent.
“I don’t give much importance to it. Although you might have the best-ever game plan, on the stage it will be different, and not everything goes to plan.”
Instead of concentrating on Davtyan, the former WMC Muay Thai World Champion is prioritizing the things he can control so that he’s the best version of himself on fight night.
He remains confident in his world-class abilities and believes conditioning is the key to exhibiting those skills for the full duration of the bout.
“I don’t have any critical weaknesses at all. My strength is that I’m a well-rounded boxer. I have heavy strikes,” Nattawut says.
“What I have focused on are strength and endurance, so I can fight until the last round without running out of gas – like every fight.
“I just focus on my self-preparation to be the best, and always stick to my fighting style.”
With a stellar 70-8-2 career record across Muay Thai and kickboxing, Smokin’ Jo doesn’t need to say much more ahead of fight night. Instead, he plans to let his game do the talking when he meets Davtyan in Singapore.
And while a potential spot in the biggest tournament in kickboxing offers some extra fuel for the fire, Nattawut says his main goal is to leave everything in the Circle and entertain the fans – whatever the outcome.
“I always give my all to every fight throughout my fighting career. I always do my best. 100 percent in training. 100 percent in fighting,” he adds.
“Win or lose, it doesn’t matter for me. I guarantee that all my fights will be exciting, this one included.“