Tarik Khbabez has experienced a roaring start to his career in ONE Super Series, and he is adamant that nobody will derail him on his way to a ONE World Title.
The Dutch-Moroccan star returns to competition against Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica in a light heavyweight kickboxing clash at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR this coming Friday, 8 March, but the man from the Netherlands does not believe his Romanian adversary can stop him.
“He has nothing he can bring that will make an impression on me,” says the 26-year-old, who is called “The Tank” because of his relentless style.
“I know Andre, and he is a great fighter. But on 8 March, I hope he will be ready.”
Tarik Khbabez turned up the heat on "Mr. Cool!"Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, December 31, 2018
Khbabez — a Heavyweight SUPERKOMBAT World Champion — last competed at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS in Yangon, Myanmar nearly five months ago, and he experienced good fortune inside the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.
The 26-year-old picked up an impressive TKO victory over his countryman Ibrahim “Mr. Cool” El Bouni in his sophomore outing under the ONE Championship banner, and the fervent support of the Myanmar faithful left a strong impression.
As a result, he feels even more compelled to deliver a career-best performance when he returns to the iconic arena for his upcoming bout with his hard-hitting rival on Friday evening.
“Honestly, I had no idea of what to expect from the fight fans over there, but I fell in love with them,” he admits.
“[They have] so much passion and they gave so much energy. I love them for that, so I am really happy that my fight is in Myanmar again. With them on my side, for sure I will bring it.”
Tarik Khbabez's incredible journey to ONE Super Series ⤵️Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, October 13, 2018
Buoyed by the crowd, Khbabez is eager to build on his win streak, which has seen him knock out both of his opponents in The Home Of Martial Arts.
His victories over Alain “The Panther” Ngalani and El Bouni have given him a perfect slate, but “The Tank” is self-critical and believes the two outings were far from perfect.
The ARJ Trainingen representative wants to continue showcasing his vast improvements so he can extend his promotional record to 3-0 and put himself in the top contender spot for a World Title match.
“My last bout was okay. I should have finished it in the second round, but in each fight, I am getting better and better,” he says.
“I am going for my third win. After this, it will only be fair for ONE to give me a World Title shot.”
Move aside Hulk, there's a new beast in town! Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 14, 2018
The Dutch-Moroccan is motivated by the allure of championship gold and the unrivaled support of the crowd in Yangon, but neither compares to the burning desire from within that spurs him toward success.
Knowing there is a fire inside of him that others cannot match, Khbabez is willing to walk through any rival’s offense to land his hands on them.
So far, his opponents have not been able to handle this ferocity, and he is confident that Stoica will meet the same fate.
“My advantage in each fight is my will to hunt to eat. I see a lot of nice stories from all the fighters, [they are] beautiful,” Khbabez says.
“But they don’t know my story. They don’t know what I have been through. To be able to be here on this stage is a miracle, so in each fight, I am prepared to die. There will be a KO, 100 percent.”