After two back-to-back wins on Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo earned a six-figure contract to compete on the main roster of ONE Championship, where he’s made quite the name for himself.
It hasn’t been an easy run for “Tyson,” however. In February of this year, Abelardo came across his toughest challenge to date – Evolve MMA‘s Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen – and succumbed to the American’s grappling prowess.
Ahead of his upcoming match-up with ONE debutant Fabrício “Wonder Boy” Andrade at ONE: NO SURRENDER in Bangkok, Thailand, the New Zealand native recalls what he learned from the loss and how it will make him a better athlete on Friday, 31 July.
“You can’t win them all – you just got to get better, prove yourself, and put on a better performance in the next fight, and that’s what I am about to do,” Abelardo said.
“Troy was very good. His game plan was to utilize his wrestling well, and that’s something I look to improve. I don’t want to be put on the fence like I was in that fight.
“I want to be the one doing that, and [against Andrade], I want to be the one putting on more pressure and looking to finish as usual.”
The 28-year-old is confident that he can implement the game plan that Worthen used against him, and if “Tyson” has it his way, he will make the contest as uncomfortable as possible for his rival – no matter where the two men find themselves.
“I’ll be looking to mix it all up, both standing and on the ground. I want to pressure him everywhere and just look to break him,” Abelardo said.
“I want to utilize a lot of my wrestling, take him down when the opportunity comes, just wear him out, and look for the finish from there.”
Abelardo knows, however, that “Wonder Boy” will be no pushover. The Brazilian will enter the Circle riding a two-bout win streak outside of ONE, and he does have dangerous hands. Yet it still won’t deter “Tyson” from working his own game.
“He’s a high-level striker, but I don’t think he’s on my level, overall. It’s mixed martial arts, so I’m going to be looking to mix it up, whether it’s standing or on the ground,” he continued.
“I want to look for a finish like I always do. I want to wear him down, put some pressure on him, and look to finish him in the second, or if not, the third round.”
The New Zealander is more than ready to redeem himself for his last outing against Worthen, and he had strong words for the man who will stand across the ring from him on Friday, 31, July.
“I wish him all the best and for him to keep safe during training camp,” Abelardo said. “Because when the fight comes, I am going to bring it, so I hope he’s ready.”
ONE Championship returns to live action for the first time in nearly five months with ONE: NO SURRENDER, a closed-door, audience-free card set for Friday, 31 July, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Catch the event live and for free by downloading the ONE Super App.
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