Top King Muay Thai World Champion Han Zi Hao (57-14) became the first athlete to represent China in ONE Super Series last month.
Now, just a few weeks removed from his first promotional outing, he is primed for a swift return to action.
Han is confident he can achieve victory inside the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China, after getting used to his new surroundings from his last outing.
“I am not that nervous, like the first time,” the 23-year-old reveals.
“There were so many people watching me – I did not have the experience of competing in front of a huge crowd before.”
It was the biggest audience he ever competed in front of, and though he took some time to get into his rhythm, he flourished in the second half of the closely-contested battle, and came close to a spectacular comeback knockout in the final moments.
The Chinese Muay Thai specialist gained a lot of knowledge from his maiden ONE Super Series match-up, and believes he can hit the ground running in Shanghai.
“I reviewed the video, again and again, to make sure I am 100 percent ready this time,” he says
Han will meet a different stylistic challenge in the form of Mikkios, a striker who is known for his aggressive, boxing-heavy style.
The Chinese athlete has done his homework, and he feels comfortable with whatever his adversary brings to the table.
“I watched his videos and studied his movements, so this time I am very prepared,” he says.
“His fists are strong and powerful, and his legs are strong too, but he is not a fast attacker. I am taller and faster than him, and I will control him when I see the opportunity.
“In training camp, I have been more focused on boxing and explosive power. That has really helped me to gain more confidence.”
Now training out of Mad Muay Thai Gym in Bangkok, Thailand, Han says he has focused on the skills to give him the best chance of success in ONE Super Series.
He is sure he will be able to finish Mikkios inside the distance, and prove that he belongs with the rest of the elite competitors on the talent-rich roster.
He will have the added motivation of competing in front of his compatriots – including some of his family members in attendance at the Baoshan Arena.
With that in mind, he wants to put on a world-class performance his country will be proud of.
“I have lots of family members who are working in Shanghai, so they will come to support me. I will not be nervous. I will be supported,” he declares.
“Victory to me is a testament to myself and pride for my country, for which I will do my best. I will show you the pride of China, and become the best Muay Thai fighter from China.”
Shanghai | 8 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast