No jitters for Gonzales as he makes Manila debut
Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales will be competing in Manila for the first time in his ONE Championship career next month and although it will be an emotional occasion, he promises there will be no “first-time jitters” when he steps into the cage in front of his countrymen.
Gonzales will be taking on Akihiro “Superjap” Fujisawa in a three-round strawweight contest when ONE returns to the Mall Of Asia Arena for ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR on Friday, 12 April.
“This is my first time to be part of a Manila card, and I’m very excited to compete in front of my countrymen,” Gonzales said.
“I’m very happy to get back to the ONE Championship stage to continue where I left off and to showcase my talent.”
Instead of feeling the pressure, the 31-year-old is relishing the opportunity of finally displaying his wide-ranging skill set in front of his home crowd.
A National Kyokushin Karate Champion, Gonzales’ start in ONE left a lot to be desired as he dropped his first two contests.
However, it did not take long for Gonzales to gain his footing in The Home Of Martial Arts. Following his rough start, he posted back-to-back wins, both via submission.
“I’m a more improved athlete now, and I’ll be ready for whatever strategy he will impose when we face each other at the center of the cage,” he continued.
“I will display everything we worked inside the gym, and I’ll make sure that my hand will be raised again in front of my countrymen after the match.”
To secure his third straight victory, he will need to do what nobody else has been able to do — beat the undefeated Fujisawa, who is coming off an impressive stoppage victory of Filipino Rockie Bacto last November.
Though the Japanese strawweight will provide a stiff test, “The Bicolano” is not doubting his skills heading into the contest.
“Fujisawa is a great a fighter, and I'm aware of the challenge that I'll be facing on the 12th of April, but I'm confident in my skills. My motivation is to prove that I am one of the big guns in this deep division,” Gonzales said.
“This is another great opportunity for me to show everyone that I'm improving as an athlete. I respect Fujisawa as a mixed martial arts competitor, but I'm here to solidify my status as one of the best in the strawweight division.”
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