On 9 October, Josh “Timebomb” Tonna will get the opportunity of a lifetime.
The 32-year-old will face two-sport ONE World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao for the latter’s ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title at ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES, and the Australia native is well aware of the challenge that lies ahead.
“He has been able to find a way to very quickly figure out how to dismantle everyone,” Tonna said of Sam-A.
“His timing and his ability to read his opponents [is sharp]. And his left kick and his left cross are dangerous. Those two together, along with his tricking, his feinting, and his teeping – those will be the hardest things to deal with.”
However, Tonna will come into the ONE World Title clash plenty prepared. The man from Canberra has his game plan laid out to a T, and he’s even predicting precisely how the matchup will end.
“At the start, it’s going to be kicking him. And then later on, it’s going to be changing those kicks every now and then to knees. [I’ll need to] disguise them as knees,” Tonna said.
“The knees will really hurt him because he drops his hands a lot when he checks. And then, I’m going to kick his head. That’s the end – I think I’ll kick or punch him and knock him out.
“I think I’m going to stop him. That’s the plan. I’ve only trained to smash him.”
Along with getting the belt, Tonna knows that defeating a storied World Champion would create a ripple effect that positively impacts his life away from the Circle.
“There are so many things that could come out of it, like building a legacy,” he said.
“There is also building up the gym that I train at and help [coach] Kieran [Walsh] run, and I want to bring ONE Championship to Australia. I want to be the face of ONE in Australia for Muay Thai and kickboxing, and I want a career in ONE afterwards.
“I feel like there are a lot of potential things that could come out of this. The fight is bigger than I am, and a lot of people can benefit.
“I know how skilled Sam-A is and all that stuff, but I think when it gets really hard, it’s going to be who wants it more, and I’m telling you, I’m willing to die in the cage. There is too much on the line.”
Will Tonna be able to hold the line in his battle with Sam-A? Find out when the action goes down on 9 October at ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES.
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