Mixed Martial Arts

Tatsumitsu Wada: ‘Manila Is Calling Me, And I Will Answer The Call!’

Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada won many new fans in Manila, Philippines, with his displays of samurai spirit last year, and he promises to bring his best again to take out a dangerous, undefeated opponent at ONE: FIRE AND FURY.

Next Friday, 31 January, the DEEP Flyweight World Champion will return to the Mall Of Asia Arena to face Brazil’s Ivanildo “Monstrinho” Delfino in a high-level flyweight clash.

Just like in his previous bouts against some of his division’s top competitors, Wada suggests his strategy will be based around non-stop action to overwhelm his opponent and entertain the fans.

“The Sweeper’s” calling cards are a fluid boxing style and a dominating grappling game, which have already taken him to a pair of wins on the global stage. 

He has also emerged with a ton of respect from his other bouts – including against ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who he gave more problems than arguably anyone he has faced in the past several years.

Whatever game plan that Delfino employs, “The Sweeper” says he can adapt and overcome to get his hand raised.

“I want to keep it moving. I’m going to force the scramble,” he says.

“My strengths are boxing and scrambling. Depending on the situation and the flow I might switch [stances on the feet]. It depends on his level, but I can grapple, so I’ll grapple, depending on what happens, I’ll change my style.

“I haven’t seen any video of his matches. I have no idea what his style is. I’m going to respond to his movement and force my game on him.”

On paper, Wada has a huge experience advantage – more than four times as many professional contests as “Monstrinho” – but he does not give too much weight to that.

The Brazilian may only have eight bouts on his record, but he has won them all, finished six of them, and claimed the Jungle Fight Flyweight Championship, so the 31-year-old from Tokyo expects a stiff test.

“I don’t think [my experience] will play into it. He hasn’t lost yet, so I think he has some momentum,” he says.

Wada may play it cool about whether he will have an advantage, but when he contemplates how he might get his hand raised, he sounds confident that he can go for the knockout.

Japan's Tatsumitsu Wada connects with an inside leg kick at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES

However, if Delfino makes it difficult to engage in a stand-up battle, “The Sweeper” also backs his ability to thrill the fans at the Mall Of Asia Arena with a slick display of grappling.

“I was able to focus and show some good points in the DJ bout. If I can use my strengths in this next match and give a solid fight, it’ll go well for me.

“If I get the chance, I want to use my cross-body ride. I’ve prepared thoroughly for this. I want to show everyone how well I move and leave a good impression. Manila is calling me, and I will answer the call!”

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