Jonathan Haggerty was set to compete in the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix before withdrawing due to illness. Now, “The General” is ready to take charge in his return in an alternate bout for the tournament.
The #2-ranked contender in the flyweight division will meet Amir Naseri on the lead card of ONE Championship’s Prime Video debut on Friday, August 26, at ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II.
“The tournament was definitely missing something, and I think that might have been me. I was excited when they said [I could come back as an alternate],” admitted Haggerty to ONE.
“It felt like they were thinking about me. They’re noticing the hard work I’ve put in, and they want me there to take part.”
And Haggerty is extremely motivated to take out his latest opponent.
Why? Naseri has made remarks about the Brit, including that he does not think he is anything special. Haggerty plans to use those words as motivation and snuff out Naseri in the featured lead card contest.
“I think it’s a bad idea him saying that because it’s only going to make me want to hurt him even more,” said Haggerty.
“The last time someone spoke like that it was Mongkolpetch [Petchyindee], and he paid for it. So, I’m going to go out there in the first round and try and obliterate him to show that I am one step ahead of Savvas, and I am more dangerous than him by stopping Naseri.”
Haggerty had equally as harsh words for Naseri ahead of their alternate’s battle.
The former divisional king lauded his ability to be innovative inside the Circle’s confines but does not believe Naseri has the same ability to construct a gameplan against the elite.
“I feel like he doesn’t have game plans; he just goes in there and fights. He overextends. He’s quite a scrappy fighter. He makes mistakes, which is very dangerous against someone like myself,” claimed “The General.”
“This time around, I’ve done a 12-week fight camp. I’ve done strength and conditioning, I’ve done things differently. I am not looking past Naseri, but I am training as if I’m going to fight [tournament semifinalists] Savvas [Michael] or Rodtang [Jitmuangnon]. That’s my mentality. I’m preparing to step in if anything happens.
“Like I said, I’m not looking past Naseri, but it’s a bit unfortunate for him because I’m training my absolute [hardest]. I’m not preparing for Naseri – I’m getting ready for Rodtang, I’m getting ready for Savvas, so good luck to them all.”
ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II airs live on Friday, August 26, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Prime Video.