Mark Abelardo banks on experience vs unbeaten American
MANILA, Philippines – Experience is something Mark "Tyson" Fairtex Abelardo will lean on when he makes his return to the ONE Championship Circle.
The Filipino-Kiwi rising star takes on American phenom "Pretty Boy" Troy Worthen in one of the much awaited bouts on the lead card of ONE: King of the Jungle set on February 28 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Having competed professionally for almost a decade, Abelardo is confident that Worthen offers nothing he has not seen before. (READ: Two world title bouts confirmed for ONE: King of the Jungle)
"I have faced all types of fighters, whether they're high-level wrestlers, BJJ black belts, or high-level strikers. With that said, nothing will be new to me," Abelardo said.
"I believe my experience will play a big factor on February 28."
With a record of 19-6, there is little doubt about the experience that the ONE Warrior Series Season 3 contract winner brings to the table, and he needs to use every bit of it in this matchup.
Against Worthen, not only will Abelardo be facing an accomplished All-American wrestler, he will also battle a guy who is competing in the comforts of his adopted country of Singapore. (READ: Troy Worthen expects war, KO in Singapore)
But instead of feeling pressured, Abelardo uses that as added motivation.
"I've been through a lot in my mixed martial arts journey, but I think my mindset to handle certain situations will also play a huge factor in our match," Abelardo said.
"Fighting Troy and taking a win against the undefeated prospect in his hometown of Singapore would throw my name out there for more recognition and surely boost my ranking in the bantamweight division."
Though confident, the product of the famed Fairtex gym in Thailand remains wary of his opponent's strengths, particularly his grappling.
But that would not stop Abelardo from walking into the Lion City and trying to put on a show to remember. (READ: How to watch ONE: King of the Jungle)
"Troy is a dangerous fighter with strong wrestling and grappling but he has yet to face a test like me," Abelardo said.
"I always like to put on a show with my striking so the fans will see a lot of that. Fairtex has improved my striking more so I believe it will be superior to his.
"I want to continue the momentum and climb the ladder in the bantamweight rankings, taking all fights that are presented to me. I'm very hungry to win – expect fireworks in this one."
Two more Filipinos take center stage that night as Honorio "The Rock" Banario faces Shannon "OneShin" Wiratchai, while Denice "The Menace Fairtex" Zamboanga takes on Mei "V.V" Yamaguchi – all on the lead card.
The lead card will be broadcast on ONE's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts and the ONE Super App starting 5:30 pm, while the main card starts at 8:30 pm on ABS-CBN S+A. – Rappler.com