ONE Championship welterweight top contender James Nakashima does not feel any pressure entering the biggest bout of his career.
The undefeated American will challenge Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov for the latter’s ONE Welterweight World Title at the previously recorded ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, which airs this Friday, 6 November.
Save for the usual pre-match nerves, the 32-year-old’s not overthinking the contest that takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I don’t, honestly, feel like this stuff is pressure. I’ve been quarantined in this hotel room ever since I got to Singapore, but I’m having fun. I’m super, super grateful for this opportunity,” Nakashima told ONEFC.com.
“Real pressure is, I feel, growing up with parents that aren’t feeding you and you’re starving. Real pressure is, during this coronavirus, you lose your job, and you can’t afford to eat or feed your family.
“Obviously, there’s going to be excitement, and there’s going to be nerves [days] before the fight. But I’ve been doing sports for so long that I just don’t look too much into the pressure or the spotlight as being a big deal.”
For Nakashima, the pressure comes outside of the Circle – not inside of it.
“The pressure to me is getting up every single day, holding myself as accountable as possible, and making sure I do my spiritual practice first thing when I wake up,” he said.
“Spending time with my daughter every day and trying to help her become a whole person. Being good to my girlfriend. That’s the pressure, the day-to-day grind.
“All the pressure is off me now.”
This match will certainly be the biggest for Nakashima since debuting in 2015, and he’s gunning for coronation come Friday.
While the spotlight will be on him if he beats Abbasov, Nakashima says everyone around him is a World Champion, simply because of how much they have helped.
“That belt will be around me, but it’s so much more. It’s been a giant project with my parents, my family, my gym, and my coaches.
“Nothing in this world with greatness is done alone. It’s a lot bigger than me. Obviously, hard work has come along, but the support system for me is what has gotten me to this title fight. Without the support, I would be nothing.”
Catch the previously recorded ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II this Friday, November 6, on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT).
One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT while TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT on Saturday, November 7.
The event will also air on ONE’s YouTube channel and the ONE Super App, while the first two bouts will be streamed on ONE’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
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