Thanh Le has been a knockout machine since arriving in ONE Championship, and with one defense of the ONE Featherweight World Championship under his belt, the 36-year-old is ready to take out his next challenger.
At ONE 160, on August 26, Le will face off against Tang Kai.
Thanh Le Predicts Another Knockout Finish at ONE 160
And the matchup excites the Louisiana native as it’s another leather-slinging KO artist who he believes will play right into his hands.
“[Tang] has a lot of the same strengths I do. He’s sharp. His movement is good and developed. His evasiveness is pretty good when he wants to be slick. He’ll engage when he thinks he has the advantage, and he’ll bail when he thinks he is on even footing or in a negative position. So some of the things that I do well, he does well also, but I do them better,” Le explained to ONE.
“If [Tang] wants to be a sniper and a ninja from the outside, that’s my game. He dies 10 times out of 10.”
“If he wants to go in there and mix it up and make it hectic and crazy, then that is his best chance. But I’m really good at that stuff too, so that’s going to be a problem for him as well. If I hit him, he’s going to sleep.”
Le may be right in his analysis. The two stars have been electric in ONE competition with nine KO/TKO finishes combined.
The Chinese star has earned his shot at the ONE Featherweight World Championship by reeling off nine consecutive wins, with three straight knockout finishes inside the Circle. His latest finish, a stunning 2:07 ousting of Kim Jae Woong, earned him the top spot among the contenders.
“He looks for the finish everywhere. That’s why he’s an exciting fighter. That’s why he’s fun to match up against. He could be more disciplined. In order to send some of your defenses out to go attack, they’re not at home protecting the castle, right,” said Le.
“Because he’s a younger, inexperienced guy trying to go and get this belt that means so much to him, he’s going to act like it, and that’s what we’re going to take advantage of.”
Le understands Tang’s power but is more than willing to step into the pocket and exchange to offer his own return.
It is the exact fearless style that led Le to the promised land to begin with after dueling it out with Martin Nguyen last year.
With the two bulls running into each other in the center of the Circle, Le is giving a more cautious prediction ahead of the matchup next month. He foresees a defense happening in the championship rounds.
“[My prediction is] we go into the fourth round, he throws that two-three combo and misses. I come up on the backside, and he catches a right hand down the pipe and goes to sleep, fourth round,” said Le.
Le battles Tang in the ONE 160 co-main event on Friday, August 26, at 6:30 a.m. EST/3:30 a.m. PST on watch.onefc.com.