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Thanh Le: “it’s going to be a finish” at ONE Fight Night 15

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Thanh Le and Ilya Freymanov will see their faces on the marquee on Friday, October 6th, when ONE Championship brings ONE Fight Night 15 to Prime Video. With Tang Kai on the sideline due to injury, the division will move forward. The two featherweights will do battle for the ONE Interim Featherweight MMA World Championship.

Thanh Le: “. . .this is everything I’ve worked for. . .”

“You’ve got to keep the division going. You’ve got to keep the title fights going to keep everything moving. Because having it stale for a year plus is an issue for the company and for us [contenders] lingering at the top,” Le told ONE Championship.

The title tilt is important for Le. The Louisiana resident once stood atop the mountain until a narrow decision loss to Tang last year. Now, he has a chance to get gold back around his waist and lead the division into the new year.

But the matchup with Freymanov did not surprise him. The 38-year-old always expected he would one day meet the talented Russian. Whether it was for a title or not, Le wanted to face one of the brightest rising stars in the featherweight division.

“Now, since it’s a title fight, Freymanov sees me as a way to get to the title, but even before that, he saw it as, ‘Hey, this dude was champion. I’ve gotta beat him and he’s going to get me to my dreams.’ But this is everything I’ve worked for, and it’s obviously the most important thing to him too. So he’s going to get the best Thanh Le, I am guaranteed to get the best Ilya, and it’s going to make for fireworks,” Le stated.

It has also been a match that Freymanov has coveted. After his latest victory in June, the Russian called out for a match with Le, not the reigning ONE Featherweight MMA World Champion. Those back-to-back wins in ONE caught the attention of Le, who expects a blistering battle in Bangkok.

“He’s very good. He’s done some damage in the division, so that’s very appealing to me that he puts a hurting on people. He comes forward. He’s aggressive. He’s very skilled. So it’s really nice to get a name like that. I think it’s going to be a relatively quick and difficult fight. And I like that a lot. That’s what it says on paper, and that’s what my brain tells me, and that’s what I think his brain tells him based on some of the interviews I’ve heard,” the 38-year-old said.

The prediction was what one would expect from the New Orleans athlete. Le has become known as a highlight-reel knockout artist and predicts another finish in this Friday’s main event. However, he pinpointed just how he thinks this matchup could play out before he takes the interim crown.

“I’ll give you a two-part prediction. I think if he comes out, feels a little bit of movement and power and doesn’t change his game plan, then it’ll be a first-rounder. If he is a smart fighter, if he makes his adjustments and doesn’t get put out early, I think it’s maybe a late third-round finish. But it’s going to be a finish. I say this every fight. And I was right, except for the last fight. That’s the first time I’ve ever gone to a decision. It was nasty. I didn’t like it. We are not going to a decision. I promise you this.”

ONE Fight Night 15 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, October 6th. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.

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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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