Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Narantungalag “Tunga” Jadambaa is glad to be back.
After a year and a half away from mixed martial arts, the Mongolian made a triumphant return to ONE Championship in late June.
Jadambaa consistently took the surging Filipino contender to the canvas, and late in the second round, he pummeled his rival with devastating ground strikes en route to a TKO.
“It felt great to return to ONE, and the win increased my confidence to fight again,” the former ONE Featherweight World Champion says.
The 42-year-old had not competed since his loss to Marat Gafurov in their November 2016 ONE Featherweight World Title rematch, so there it was reasonable to wonder whether his skills would still be sharp.
“Tungaa,” however, silenced his critics, and proved he is just as dangerous as ever with his recent win.
“I proved to myself that continuous training improves my power and speed,” he explains. “Also, to the critics, I think I proved that age is not important – as long as you train continuously without giving up.”
Now, Jadambaa wants to make up for lost time.
Just days after returning to his hometown of Bugat, Mongolia, he was offered a bout against promotional newcomer and Pancrase Lightweight Champion Kazuki Tokudome at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER, which is set for Friday, 13 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Although this will be a quick turnaround for “Tungaa,” he did not hesitate to accept the contest.
“It is a good opportunity to show my skills again. I am very excited. I had not fought for 19 months before the fight against Edward Kelly, and I did not want to wait so long again,” he says.
Tokudome may be new to ONE, but he brings a wealth of experience to the cage.
The 31-year-old from Tokyo, Japan, is a judo black belt who also has a BJJ purple belt and formidable kickboxing skills. Throughout his 11-year career, he has amassed an 18-8-1 professional record, with half of his victories coming by way of knockout.
Despite his opponent’s credentials, the Mongolian believes he possesses a more robust skill set. He feels like his instincts are sharper, he is physically stronger, and he has superior grappling and striking.
Jadambaa wants to reclaim the ONE Featherweight World Championship in 2018, and he knows a victory over a well-established competitor like Tokudome will bring him closer to fulfilling his goal.
“If I can beat him, my confidence would improve even more, and I would be ready to fight for the title once again,” he says. “I want to face the featherweight champion at some point by the end of this year.”
Kuala Lumpur | 13 July | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onepursuit18