Welcome to today’s edition of the daily Sportskeeda ONE Championship News Roundup, where we present the promotion’s most important stories.
We’ll be discussing Itsuki Hirata’s admission about her weight-cutting issues, Janet Todd’s invitation for Takeru to join ONE Championship, and Liam Harrison’s supposed big-name opponent prior to getting injured.
#3. Itsuki Hirata says criticism from missed weight has affected her mentally
The constant criticism of her failure to make weight has taken its toll on Itsuki Hirata. The burgeoning Japanese MMA star has shown great promise early in her career by winning six of her first seven matches inside the circle.
However, ‘Android 18’ has had trouble with her responsibilities with the scales. Her latest kerfuffle led to the postponement of her scheduled match against Ham Seo Hee last year.
Ahead of her rebooked fight with ‘Hamzzang’ at ONE Fight Night 8, Itsuki opened up about dealing with the public’s criticism while preparing herself to fight the second-ranked ONE women’s atomweight fighter in the promotion:
“It’s always tough [to be criticized]. I wanted to take a break for about a month, and I wanted to start the new year with a fresh mindset.”
The 23-year-old added:
“I am full of anxiety [about returning and making the weight], but I believe in myself and see it through.”
Will Itsuki Hirata redeem herself by making the weight and beating Ham Seo Hee? We’ll find out soon enough.
#2. Janet Todd wants ONE Championship to sign Takeru and pit him against Rodtang
ONE Championship is always on the lookout for amazing talents in the free-agent market. Two-sport ONE world champion Janet Todd has one name in mind that would be perfect for the Singapore-based promotion.
Japanese kickboxer Takeru is a free man right now. The former K-1 multi-division world champion recently spent time training at Boxing Works in California, which Todd calls her home.
After witnessing what the Japanese superstar brings to the table up close, ‘JT’ has concluded that Takeru is certainly ONE Championship material.
She told ONE Championship in an exclusive interview:
“I sure hope so. I mean, I hope that ONE finds him. He’s one of the best. He’s been working with one of our other fighters. Yeah, I heard his videos went viral. And I hope he gets on the ONE Championship roster. He’d be a really good addition.”
Furthermore, Todd even suggested a trial by fire for Takeru against the promotion’s flyweight Muay Thai king, Rodtang Jitmuangnon:
“They should just make it happen. They’re both strong, tough fighters and like to stay in the pocket, so that’ll be an interesting fight.”
For sure, a Rodtang vs. Takeru showdown certainly has all the makings of an epic fight.
#1. Liam Harrison reveals he was supposed to fight Rodtang before unfortunate injury
The injury bug cost us one hell of a Muay Thai match.
According to fourth-ranked bantamweight contender Liam Harrison, he had discussions with ONE Chairman Chatri Sityodtong about possibly trading leather with ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a catchweight bout.
‘Hitman,’ though, had to have surgery on his knee after injuring it in his match with bantamweight Muay Thai kingpin Nong-O Hama last January. The British KO artist told The MMA Superfan:
“Yeah. I mean, before my injury, before I realized I needed surgery, Chatri asked me if I would fight on that card and it was even mentioned to be a catchweight fight against Rodtang, which would’ve been unbelievable. Well obviously I needed the surgery and that’s that.”
There’s still no timetable for Harrison’s return at the moment. ONE fans, however, would be thrilled to know that his road to recovery is going as planned and is getting stronger by the day. The promotion could revisit this idea once Harrison gets back to 100%.
Watch the full interview here: