Asian MMA

Experience The Difference Between Duy Nhat, Ghazali At ONE 167 Says Sityodtong

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Johan Ghazali broke out as a star with an impeccable start to his ONE Championship career. At ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II, he stepped up in competition against Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat. Although he put forth a valiant effort, the Vietnamese star slowed his ascent with a unanimous decision win.

The Malaysian-American is taking the loss in stride. Ghazali remains disappointed in the result, but he knows that “No. 1” held a decided experience advantage heading into the match. There is nothing to do but learn and apply lessons from the match to the future.

“It was frustrating because Nguyen is a technical fighter. He has a lot of experience. He knew what was coming before it came,” Ghazali admitted to ONE.

The teen star will only get better from competing against someone of Duy Nhat’s caliber. He will learn valuable lessons in and out of the Circle that will only serve to make him a more formidable opponent when he returns to action. That is the same message he is delivering to his fans after ONE 167.

“Sorry to all the Malaysian fans who came out from Malaysia all the way to Bangkok to support me. I 100 percent felt their support in there. Keep on supporting me. I do it for the fans. I’ll be back. I’ve lost before. I’ve lost in life. Losing is a part of life. Don’t judge me on my wins. Judge me on how I come back from my losses,” the Malaysian-American said.

Duy Nhat came away from the win even more impressed with the young gun. Even though he edged him on the scorecards, the Vietnamese star could see the bright future ahead for his opponent — so much so that he predicted gold for “Jojo” down the line.

“Johan is young and strong. He has a strong mind as well, and he will certainly be a future World Champion of ONE Championship,” Duy Nhat said.

ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong also remained impressed with Ghazali. After watching the Muay Thai contest, he could see the difference in experience. As “Jojo” continues to grow on the global stage, he will come into his own as an elite striker and major threat to the upper echelon of the flyweight division.

“‘ Jojo’ is still young. He is still 17. He has less experience. His opponent is the number one fighter from Vietnam. He’s 35 and he has a lot more experience. I think that ‘Jojo’ needs to gain a lot more experience in the future,” Sityodtong stated.

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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.