Singapore: ONE Championship™ (ONE) athletes, #5-ranked strawweight contender Lito Adiwang, promotional newcomer Jarred Brooks, former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex Silva, Filipino veteran Rene Catalan, and Dutch lightweight Pieter Buist spoke to ONE Championship ahead of their respective matchups at ONE: NEXTGEN III.
ONE: NEXTGEN III is a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium which broadcasts via tape delay this Friday, 26 November.
This is what the fighters had to say during their interviews (quotes):
Lito Adiwang: I believe I’m the better fighter here because I really believe that I am one of the best in the world. My mindset, the whole team, me — I really believe that I am here for a reason and that this is my destiny, to become a champion. If Jarred decides to make a mistake and tries to strike with me, I believe it’s going to be an early night for him. If he tries to wrestle and tries to control me on the ground, yeah, I’ll fight. I’ll showcase my wrestling and ground game also. I’m not looking past Jarred but after this fight, I’m really going to push for the [Rodtang] fight.
Jarred Brooks: He’s in the top five and he seems like a gatekeeper in the division right now. I think that beating him would definitely put me in the top five. Beating Lito Adiwang, everybody’s here like ‘Oh, you’re going against Adiwang?’ Like he’s a boogeyman or something like that. But I’m excited to fight him and I’m excited to show everybody that I can beat the king of the division. People can watch me all they want and have their say on how they think I fight, but at the end of the day, they have to feel me. They have to literally feel me and see, one, how strong I am and two, my fight IQ is very, very high. I’ve studied the game since I was pretty much born. I think I’m the best in the division and the reason why is because of those two. I’m super strong. If I get a hold of you, I feel like I’m 200 pounds on top of you. And any opponent that has gone against me will attest to that.
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Alex Silva: Definitely, both of us are completely different fighters now. You know, we fought a long time ago. In my mind, we’re kind of like a white belt in MMA when we first fought but we improved a lot. Of course, he has improved a lot, his grappling, his wrestling, and his striking is outstanding but I improved a lot too. I can strike now. Even if he improved his grappling, I don’t think he’s up to par with my grappling. I have been watching him for a long time. I’m very confident in my skills and my grappling skills. Like I said, back to when we fought for the first time, I couldn’t strike well. I couldn’t even strike. I’m just like 100 percent pure grappling. Now I feel that I can stay more on the feet if I have to and use my grappling.
Rene Catalan: When I fought against Alex Silva it was a really good experience for me. It made me more eager to come back, to win the fight in ONE Championship. It was my first time in MMA even though I have been a world champion in Wushu for many times but in the world of MMA it was my first bout and I fought with a BJJ world champion. It’s a big lesson for me to keep moving, to move forward, and train harder. Alex Silva if I would compare him to our first fight to now in the present, he improved well. He improved his striking, his wrestling. He has good experience. It would be hard to fight with Alex SIlva.
Pieter Buist: He’s a striker like me but everybody knows that I’m the best striker. I think he will try to wrestle me but I wrestle with the best. I train with Reinier de Ridder, the double champ. I train with Gegard Mousasi with my trainer, Harun [Kina]…with the best fighters in the world. The only thing I have to do is to focus on myself, that’s the only thing I have to do. Ruslan can have four arms, six legs, he can have everything he wants but I’m better. I only have to show that on that day. My mental state is powerful. I’m blessed and on Friday I will show it again. This fight is very important for me. I think it’s a way for me to come back in the top five, because I still believe I should be in the top five…so I have to show them that they made a big mistake. That’s the only thing I think, they made a really big mistake putting me out of the top five.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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