Yohan Legowo made his pro debut in 2002. He’s been a stalwart of the Indonesian MMA scene since virtually its inception despite going on a six year hiatus.

Legowo established himself as one of the top fighters with the now defunct TPIFC promotion. After the aforementioned hiatus he relaunched his career with Legend FC and went on to sign for ONE Championship.

However recent results have not always gone Legowo’s way. The 38 year old, who fights Phoe Thaw at ONE: ‘Reign of Valor’, has lost six out of his last seven fights and says he simply lost focus on his fighting career,

“I probably wasn’t too focused since I was too busy. Recently, this team has been working in order, so you can say that I am already more focused to enter the cage.”

Glory days

His team is the Han Academy. In the past much of the burden for training the fighters has fallen on Legowo but now that the camp is up and running he has rediscovered his desire to compete,

“My passion and spirit are burning, just like in my early days,” he says.

At 38 years old he might be coming towards the end of his competitive career. But 43 year old Jadambaa Narantungalag is challenging for the featherweight title next month and Legowo still feels the surge of excitement that all athletes need,

“I am very excited. I have been wanting to return to the cage.”

Mixed blessing

In 2014 Legowo fought in Jakarta for the first time in a decade. He was submitted by Ev Ting and knows all about the pressure and expectation that comes from fighting in front of a local audience.

For this reason the 38 year old thinks the Yangon crowd could be a mixed blessing for his opponent,

“That is not much of a problem for me. He might enjoy (it) as he may feel that he has more friends. But somehow, it can also become a burden.”

The fans at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium are notoriously loud but Legowo’s fighting philosophy is simple,

“No matter how many supporters he has, I am only fighting against one person.”

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Clash of styles

This has been advertised as a matchup which pits the lethwei of Thaw against the BJJ of Legowo and the Indonesian goes along with this description,

“He actually has great kickboxing basics, which he utilizes with his taller posture. He has a better striking range, too. I think I can be better in terms of ground play,” he said.

Legowo has competed in Muay Thai in the past but does not want to spend too much time trading strikes with Thaw,

“I have to find the perfect timing and not strike abruptly. It will be dangerous for me to strike recklessly, as he may throw some elbow or knee strikes.”

Refocused and ready

Legowo will be looking to recapture the form that saw him win his first six fights. By his own admission recent training camps have not always been conducted to the highest standards but this time around he is refocused and ready.

The Indonesian is determined to show ONE Championship fans what he is really capable of by upsetting the hometown hero in Yangon.