ONE Warrior Series product Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada of Japan is ready to make his long-awaited return to the ONE Championship Circle after suffering his first defeat in the promotion last December.
The 24-year-old dropped a unanimous decision loss to South African Bokang Masunyane, and after analyzing his performance, discovered where he needed to plug holes in his game.
“I am very happy to be fighting again after many months dealing with the pandemic, and working around the lockdown,” said Sawada.
“It was very difficult during the lockdown. But I maintained my fitness by training at home to get ready for this fight. I watched the video of my previous fight. And I’ve learned and trained to improve where I needed to.”
Sawada is set to take on Chinese firebrand Miao Li Tao in a three round mixed martial arts contest at ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES II, a previously-recorded event in Singapore set for global broadcast on Friday, 16 October.
“Dragon Boy” believes it’s an important event, not just because it provides athletes an avenue to make a living and continue in their profession, but also because it will give many fans around the world an entertaining night of action — which could help boost morale especially in these difficult times.
Against Miao, Sawada faces a tough and fearless opponent, with well-rounded skills. Sawada wants to put forth a thrilling battle, and knows exactly what he has to do to win.
“I think many fans in Japan and all over the world want to see the martial arts event and get excited, so I would like to fight with a performance that gives courage and hope to the fans,” said Sawada.
“His biggest strengths are his striking and wrestling, but he may have a little trouble in the grappling department. My game plan is to impose my style and will, and to fight at my own pace. I need to avoid fight at his pace.”
ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES II is a previously-recorded global broadcast featuring the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. The audience-free, behind-closed-doors event took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, with strict Covid-19 protocols in place.
The main event features a showdown between WFKO Karate World Champion Hiroki Akimoto of Japan and Top King Muay Thai World Champion Zhang Chenglong of China.
Both Sawada and Miao are coming off recent losses, so each man has more than a good reason to want to win. But the 24-year-old Japanese warrior feels he has just the right strategy heading into this matchup, and fully expects to leave the arena with a notch in the win column.
“Yes, I think my opponent is also motivated as well. So I will focus on my game plan. We’ve come up with a solid game plan to combat his strengths, and now I just need to execute,” said Sawada.
“My ultimate goal is to knockout or submit him.”