MANILA, Philippines – Ernesto “Iron” Montilla Jr. might be making his ONE Championship debut as a heavy underdog, but the Filipino champion is ready to take on the challenge.
Montilla makes his long-awaited entrance into The Home of Martial Arts against Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in a three-round flyweight MMA match at ONE Friday Fights 9 on Friday, March 17, inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Not many people favor the ONE Warrior Series Philippines alumnus in his debut against the Japanese veteran, but “Iron” isn’t fazed.
“I don’t care about being the underdog because I came to win,” he responded curtly when asked about his underdog status.
But he’s going to need more than just confidence if he wants to surpass Wada – a 35-fight veteran who’s faced the who’s who of ONE Championship’s flyweight division, including the king of the hill, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
Wada’s craftiness on the mat actually saw him survive the full three rounds against “Mighty Mouse,” and if that’s any indication of the Japanese man’s skill set, Montilla should be wary.
But Montilla is unfazed. He’s not only prepared for his opponents strengths, he’s ready to expose his flaws.
“I see some holes in his striking, and I think I can get him there. I prepared for his weakness, which is his striking,” he said.
“But, I didn’t sleep on my grappling too. He will be surprised, not just in the standup.”
At the end of the day, Montilla sees this match as a golden opportunity to introduce himself to the world, an opportunity he doesn’t plan on wasting.
“My goal is to win,” he said, “by either knockout or submission [in] whichever round.” – Rappler
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