Thailand-based Mark Abelardo is eager to show the Filipino warrior in him against Daichi Takenaka of Japan in ONE: Clash of Legends on Saturday at Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Abelardo, who is fighting out of Team Quest Thailand, is born and raised in New Zealand to Filipino parents.
“I am based in Thailand, but I will be out to show the fans that I possess the Filipino fighting spirit that Pinoys are known for. I proudly represent the Philippines in ONE Championship,” he said.
Fondly called as “Tyson” due to his punching power, Abelardo believes he ripe for the next level.
“I feel ready to display the product of my hard work on the global stage. This is what I dreamed and trained for all my life, and I will make sure to make the most out of it on fight night,” he said.
The 27-year-old Abelardo anticipates a back-and-forth battle against Takenaka, who is a former Shooto featherweight world champion.
Takenaka is also undefeated after 11 fights.
“He is a well-rounded athlete capable of winning by knockout, submission or even going the distance. He is yet to taste defeat for a good reason,” he said of Takenaka.
“A difficult fight is exactly what I wished for. I feel that Takenaka is the kind of opponent I needed in order to step up my level and go up the rankings in the bantamweight division. Fans will surely see fireworks between us.”
Despite the tough challenge that awaits, Abelardo is eyeing for a convincing win.
“The goal is to win in highlight-reel fashion, get my name out there, and represent the Philippine flag on a global stage.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.