ONE Super Series striking superstar Fabio Pinca of France will be stepping back into the ONE Championship ring this Friday night, but it won’t be in the discipline of Muay Thai, which he has been so accustomed to doing in his nearly two-decade-long professional career.
The French-Italian striker is making his much-awaited debut in the realm of mixed martial arts. It’s a move he’s planned for a long time, and now that he’s just about ready to step into a new world, Pinca is more confident than ever.
“I’m really excited to be on this card. I haven’t fought in such a long time, but I haven’t stopped training since my last fight. I’ve been preparing for my transition to mixed martial arts for a while. I’m sharp and ready,” said Pinca.
Against Wiratchai, Pinca faces one of ONE’s most experienced athletes. “OneShin” has faced some of the biggest names in the Circle, including Mitch Chilson, Amir Khan, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki, and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario, among others.
Pinca, however, feels he has more experience overall, having begun his professional martial arts career in 2003. His accolades include a European Kickboxing Championship, two-division WBC Muay Thai World Championships, and even a Rajadamnern Stadium World Championship.
Having done his homework on Wiratchai, Pinca is aware of his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and is fully prepared to handle whatever the Thai warrior brings into the ring.
“I’ve watched some of his (Wiratchai) fights. He’s an experienced MMA fighter, but I have more experience in the fight game. I have a lot of experience, facing all kinds of fighters in the past. I feel confident that I am ready to counter any strategy from him,” said Pinca.
“I don’t like to make predictions, but I will do my best to put on a great show. That being said, of course, I am going to do everything I can to win. I am sure of victory.”
ONE: NO SURRENDER III is the third iteration of the high-profile event series in Bangkok. The headline bout features a ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament Semifinal showdown between Muay Thai athletes Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort and Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai.
The event is scheduled for global broadcast to over 150 countries, and Pinca is extra motivated to put together a spectacular performance.
“After over 20 years of fighting and competing in Muay Thai, I needed a new challenge. That’s what has kept me motivated to push myself to the limit every day. MMA is a new game for me, and there is a lot to learn. But I love learning new tricks, and I love this game so I am excited to finally go in there and fight,” Pinca concluded.
“I am very confident heading into this fight. I just want to have fun and fight the best in my division.”
Catch ONE: NO SURRENDER III on meWATCH, the ONE Championship YouTube channel, or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Also, Channel 5 will broadcast the event on a next-day delay at 1 a.m. SGT on Saturday, 22 August.
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