In an article published by the South China Morning Post today Garry Tonon has confirmed he will be facing Koyomi Matsushima at ONE: ‘Next Generation’. The event is set for November 20th and is likely to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Tonon (5-0) is ranked at #5 in the featherweight division despite having won five fights out of five for ONE Championship. Meanwhile Matsushima (12-4), who has already challenged unsuccessfully for the title once, is the #2 contender.

The American told SCMP that he had watched Matsushima’s fight with featherweight champion Martin Nguyen at ONE: ‘Dawn of Heroes’,

“He’s one of the tougher guys up there. He gave Martin quite a good run for his money. Early on in the fight he was giving Martin a really tough time. It just goes to show he’s a tough guy. It also shows a lot about Martin.”

At ONE: ‘Inside the Matrix’ next week Thanh Le faces Nguyen in a featherweight title fight. Tonon believes he could be one win away from a shot at the champion,

“I guess this is my next step up, I gotta be able to beat the guy that challenged Martin for the title and maybe we’ll see me fighting for the title soon.”

Tonon also revealed he had signed up to fight undefeated Ruslan Emilbek on this card. The Kyrgyz lightweight holds a 12-0 record and has signed with ONE Championship but couldn’t find a way to compete in Singapore,

“There was a change because I’m guessing they just couldn’t find a way to get him out of the country. The Covid restrictions were in such a way he couldn’t travel. I feel bad for him, I’m sure he wants to fight. We were actually scheduled to fight before Covid. We had a contract signed and everything.”

Tonon has spent several months visualizing a fight with Emilbek and was impressed by the footage he found,

“I was really looking forward to that fight. Just a super tough fighter, really tough to take down. Anybody that tried to take him down in all this footage I studied, I maybe only found one guy that took him down and it was maybe off a scramble situation.”

However he doesn’t expect to be in for an easy ride against Matsushima,

“He (Emilbek) is a really tough opponent. But the next guy coming up is tough too, so it is what it is. We just move on.”

No fights have been officially confirmed for ONE: ‘Next Generation’ but Nieky Holzken told a Dutch newsaper he would be facing Elliot Compton in a kickboxing contest.