29-year-old ONE Championship lightweight Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju of India is beaming with confidence, after spending months in Singapore’s ‘Circuit Breaker’ gradually healing his body and re-evaluating his career.
Now completely focused on making a run up the lightweight ladder, Raju will take on perhaps the toughest challenge of his career thus far in his next bout.
Raju looks to continue his momentum, and guns for his third straight victory when he takes on former ONE World Title challenger Amir Khan in a three round mixed martial arts contest at ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES, scheduled for Friday, 9 October, live from Singapore.
Similar to what the NBA has done in Orlando, FL for the 2020 NBA Playoffs, ONE Championship has put together a stringent set of protocols to ensure the health and safety of its athletes and staff in it’s own ‘Singapore bubble.’
Raju boldly claims he will make ‘easy work’ of Khan, and bring himself into the title conversation.
“Khan’s experience is an asset, of course. And his striking will always be his strength. But I think his grappling is a weakness, and so is his gas tank,” said Raju.
“I am completely confident that I can dominate him throughout the fight, because I believe in my training. I am very fortunate to have some good coaches and training partners, and I’m in the best shape of my career. On the technical side, I can’t see any weakness in me. It’s going to be easy work.”
The former Ultimate Satira Champion originally from Kerala, India moved to Singapore in 2011 to further his studies. He began training in Chinese kung fu at age 14, but soon picked up a mix of other disciplines.
He joined Juggernaut Fight Club in 2013 and made his professional debut just three years later. Raju has never looked back since.
Working hard at home, honing his skills while having to deal with the effects of Covid-19 has not been easy, however. But Raju says he was fortunate to be able to spend the lockdown period at home to rest and recover. Now feeling stronger than ever, a confident Raju is looking to put a beatdown on Khan.
“I am very happy to be competing again soon, fortunate and blessed to have this opportunity. I worked really hard, and I am a hundred percent ready to get the job done,” said Raju.
“The Covid situation was a very different time period for me. I am blessed to have food on my table, as well as being able to stay busy with short home workouts and all. It was a very good rest and a good time to fully heal all my injuries.”
ONE Championship returns for its next big blockbuster with ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES, scheduled for Friday, 9 October, and once again, the world’s greatest martial artists are ready to take the stage and showcase their incredible skills in the ONE Circle.
In the main event, reigning ONE Strawweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand will defend his Muay Thai title against top contender Josh “Timebomb” Tonna of Australia.
Raju is excited to make the familiar walk down the ramp all the way to the ONE Circle, and promises fans he will try his best to put on a good show for the fans.
“This event is really important for the fans. Entertainment that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home right now, is very important. And to get it done by a world-class martial arts organization, it’s amazing. Fans will be happy to watch it live and for free,” said Raju.
“I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this. A win over Khan will be a huge step towards my dream of becoming a World Champion.”