Dae Sung Park says Rich Franklin has been a major influence in his MMA career. The Korean says the former UFC middleweight champion has been a source of inspiration as he rises through the ONE Championship ranks.

Park, who faces Amir Khan at ONE: ‘Collision Course’ Part II on Friday, cut his teeth on the ONE Warrior Series which is where he benefitted from the advice of the middleweight legend,

“Rich Franklin is a champion, so I learned how to become a champion and he showed me the path to becoming a champion. He told me I have to control things in life in order to become a champion, so that’s the biggest thing I learned from him.”

Winning streak

He has won three ONE Championship out of three and is very confident of registering another victory this week,

“I believe this fight will end before the second round. I see myself finishing him, but if not, I think this will be a very dominant fight where I crush Amir Khan with my pressure, with my wrestling, and with my grappling.”

Khan’s ONE Championship career has been so extensive that the Singaporean is no mystery. Park believe he has worked him out and the 27 year old was willing to share his blueprint for victory,

“His strength would be his elbows – he knows how to use his elbows very well. But I believe he is weak to (opponents) who come forward and pressure him, who have good wrestling and who can outpower him,” he said.

Closing the distance

Khan has won some tight decisions by staying on the outside and refusing to engage. Park will aim to set the pace and ensure this simply isn’t an option at the Singapore Indoor Stadium,

“I respect his power. I know his striking power is very strong and he knows how to finish his opponents but I believe when it comes to clinching, grappling, and wrestling I am a bit stronger than him. I believe, if I close that distance, I can come out on top.”

A place in the top five surely awaits the winner. Park has been impeccable throughout his ONE Championship and ONE Warrior Series career and will be looking to take a big step towards title contention with another win his week.

ONE Championship has not had a Korean champion since Soo Chul Kim lost his bantamweight crown in 2013. Sung has his sights firmly set on the lightweight crown and believe some words of wisdom from Rich Franklin could help him reach his goal.