Japanese firecracker and fourth-ranked flyweight contender Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu doesn’t believe he’s the star everyone’s hoping him to be just yet.
The humble 25-year-old from Tokyo wants to string together a couple more impressive performances in the ONE Circle before he even thinks about making a run at the top — wise words from a true martial artist.
“I am only on a two fight winning streak, so I don’t think it really makes me a star yet,” said Wakamatsu.
“I think I’m a few more big wins away from a title shot. I’m working very hard and not trying to rush things. I’ll take it one fight at a time and do my best. When the timing is right, I’ll be in line for a title shot.”
Wakamatsu is set to face Singapore-based South Korean Kim Kyu Sung at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, a previously-recorded event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium scheduled for air this Friday, 6 November.
Kim is a former kickboxer who moved to Singapore to train at Evolve MMA. His exciting, dynamic style has produced six exciting knockouts in his career. Wakamatsu himself is a feared puncher, with 10 knockouts out of 12 victories to his name, making this fight against Kim almost guaranteed to be an explosive contest.
Wakamatsu knows this bout could end at any moment, which is why he has prepared himself very well in order to deal with Kim’s different strengths.
“He is taller than me. It’s hard to believe he’s in the same division as I am. Also, he is a striker, he has some good boxing. But I think we have different styles. When the cage door shuts, I don’t think I am in there with him. I always think the fight is against myself,” said Wakamatsu.
“I’ve already watched videos of him and his past fights, as usual. My team and I have come up with a good game plan. Once we get into the Circle, it’s time to execute.”
ONE Championship returns with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, a previously-recorded event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore scheduled for air this Friday night, 6 November.
In the main event, reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov of Kyrgyzstan makes the first defense of his world title against undefeated top contender James Nakashima of the United States.
With recent victories over Dae Hwan Kim and former flyweight world champion Geje Eustaquio, as well as incredible experience facing top rate athletes Danny Kingad, Senzo Ikeda, and even legendary UFC flyweight Demetrious Johnson, Wakamatsu is slowly coming into his own in the division, whether he would claim it or not.
He’s coming into this next bout with a little extra motivation, too.
“After that fight against Demetrious Johnson, I gained a lot of experience. That experience gave me more confidence in my other fights. I also recently became a father, and my son gives me extra motivation to win,” said Wakamatsu.
A win over Kim this Friday night would no doubt boost him up the rankings, and put him in line to compete for the flyweight throne sooner rather than later.