The end goal for Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo has always been a shot at the ONE Bantamweight World Title, but one man is standing in his way – undefeated “Pretty Boy” Troy Worthen.
This Friday, 28 February, Abelardo plans to be the first man to beat the American as they clash in the lead card of ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The Filipino-Kiwi sensation has been in the sport for nearly a decade, but he has never come this close to contention, especially since the bantamweight division is wide open following the conclusion of Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes’ rivalry with Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon.
“I’ve been through a lot in my mixed martial arts journey, but I think my mindset to handle certain situations will also play a huge factor in our match,” Abelardo said.
“Fighting Troy and taking a win against the undefeated prospect in his hometown of Singapore would throw my name out there for more recognition and surely boost my ranking in the bantamweight division.”
Abelardo admits Worthen will not be an easy conquest, especially with the Evolve MMA star’s pedigree in grappling.
But if he truly wants to get his name out there, “Tyson” knows he has to hurdle the National All-American wrestler.
“Troy is a dangerous fighter with strong wrestling and grappling but he is yet to face a test with me. I always like to put on a show with my striking so the fans will see a lot of that. Fairtex has improved my striking more so I believe it will be superior to his,” Abelardo said.
“I want to continue the momentum and climb the ladder in the bantamweight rankings, taking all fights that are presented to me. I’m very hungry to win – expect fireworks in this one.”
If Abelardo has one thing over the unbeaten Worthen, it is his experience with competing all over the world and facing a variety of disciplined athletes.
“I have faced all types of fighters, whether they’re high-level wrestlers, BJJ black belts, or high-level strikers. With that said, nothing will be new to me,” Abelardo said.
“I believe my experience will play a big factor on 28 February.”
ONE Championship returns to The Lion City with ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE on 28 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Two more Filipinos take centerstage that night as Honorio “The Rock” Banario battles Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, and Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga takes on Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi all on the lead card.
The lead card begins at 5:30 PHT on ONE’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, or the ONE Super App.
The main card starts at 8:30 PHT on ABS CBN S+A.
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