Japanese Muay Thai Star Yukinori Ogasawara Looking to Keep Momentum Going in ONE Championship

Japanese Muay Thai star Yukinori Ogasawara’s ONE Championship debut was nothing short of spectacular.

The former WBC Japan Super Bantamweight Muay Thai Champion went through a bit of adversity in the early moments of his ONE Super Series matchup against Brazilian stalwart Rui Botelho, but he managed to land a well-placed spinning back elbow in the second round that delivered a highlight-reel worthy knockout victory at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in Macau this past June.

Fresh off a successful maiden performance under the promotion’s banner, Ogasawara is looking to keep his momentum going.

At ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON on 8 September in Shanghai, China, he makes his return to the ONE Championship ring against France’s Hakim Hamech.

Always looking to improve on what is an already impressive skill set, Ogasawara revealed that leading up to his showdown against Hamech, he has been focusing on a couple of specific aspects of his game.

“There are two things I have been working on relentlessly in my training,” Ogasawara explained in an interview with ONE Championship’s official website. “One is to learn to utilize my reach better since I have been unsuccessful in doing so in my [previous fights]. The second is to fight with controlled aggression.”

Boasting a 15-4-4 professional record, Ogasawara stressed that he used to approach his matches with too much aggression and paid the price for it.

“Early in my career, I went out guns blazing in every fight, but paid the price by eating counters, and leaving myself open,” he shared.

The adjustment left Ogasawara a bit gun-shy.

“Since then, I have tended to go on the defensive, and struggle to pull the trigger in fights. I want to change that, and strike the right balance between aggression and defense,” he continued.

As Ogasawara aims to keep getting better, his martial arts journey will not get any easier as he is slated to lock horn with a more seasoned competitor in his second ONE Super Series outing.

Lyon, France’s Hamech will be making his ONE Championship debut and will be bringing with him a remarkable 42-8 professional record, which includes two Muay Thai world championship reigns.

While on paper Hamech may have the advantage in youth as well as experience, Ogasawara believes that he will be ready for anything that the Frenchman has to offer.

“I do not think Hamech offers anything I have not seen. I need to be ready for his fast hands, but otherwise, I do not think he is superior to me in any respect,” he stated.

“I think he and I are stylistically similar, so I am looking to prevail over him with the improvement I have been making in my game,” Ogasawara added.

A win over a high-caliber opponent such as Hamech will certainly elevate Ogasawara’s status as one of the ONE Super Series’ top flyweight competitors, and the Japanese star is dedicated on making the most of any opportunity that ONE Championship grants him.

“I would love to participate in a tournament, or any other opportunity ONE gives me to climb up the ladder in the organization,” he pointed out.

Competing in the world’s biggest martial arts promotion, Ogasawara finds himself on the perfect stage to achieve his dream of global stardom.

“However, more than anything, I want to put on fights that would elevate my name value among the kickboxing fans around the world,” he vowed.

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Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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