It has been a couple of years since Cebu native Jimmy Yabo tasted victory inside the ONE Championship cage.
After nearly a year-long layoff and four consecutive setbacks, the 37-year-old Filipino featherweight striker is scheduled for his first cage appearance this year against Zach Zane on the undercard of ONE: WARRIOR'S DREAM at Stadium Istora in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, 17 November.
Yabo entered the world's largest martial arts organization in 2015 as an unbeaten athlete, bowing to Team Lakay's Edward Kelly and now lightweight contender Amir Khan in his first two matches under the promotion’s banner.
In his third bout, Yabo showcased his trademark striking with a perfectly-timed punch that stopped Bashir Ahmad just 21 seconds into the opening round.
His upset victory over the Pakistani still lingers in his mind to this day, and Yabo simply cannot wait to get back inside the cage and display what he's capable of.
"I am so happy to finally get back inside the cage after resting for nearly a year. I am beyond grateful to ONE Championship for including me on this big card in Jakarta," said the thankful Yabo.
"I'm so eager to showcase the things I've worked and improved on during my layoff. I may have been away from the cage, but I was training and working all the time at the gym to become a better martial artist when I return to competition," he added.
The former Philippine National Taekwondo Champion is mainly a striker having won all of his five victories by stoppage inside two rounds.
Zane, meanwhile, is a well-rounded martial artist who finished nine of his previous foes by either knockout or submission.
Yabo is confident that he has the upper hand in the striking department heading into the bout, but he has no qualms in having grappling exchanges on the mat with his opponent.
"Zach Zane is a veteran and is really good on the ground. I have nothing but respect for him, but I've vigorously worked on my grappling since my last bout. Let's see if what he can offer when we battle standing up," he ended.
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