Narantungalag Jadambaa: ‘it’s not about age’
Narantungalag Jadambaa will be bidding to become the oldest man to ever hold a ONE Championship title tomorrow night. The 43 year old is looking to recapture the featherweight belt at the MOA Arena in Manila.
“This is not about age, this is about passion. I improved my techniques, and will show you a powerful and strong mixed martial arts style in the fight.”
The only man to ever beat Jadambaa in a ONE Championship fight is former champion Marat Gafurov. The Mongolian has won back to back fights since suffering his second defeat to the former champion.
He earned his third title shot on the back of wins over Edward Kelly and Kazuki Tokudome and Jadambaa admits he was surprised to be offered an opportunity to challenge Nguyen,
“To tell the truth, I didn’t expect to get a title shot so soon (but) I feel that the fighters in this division have improved,” he said.
Jadambaa’s first two ONE Championship wins came courtesy of a decision. But three of his last four victories have come inside the distance and he draws inspiration from those performances going into this bout,
“I learned from (fighting Eric Kelly) that if I landed my punch, I could knock out any opponent. Beating a famous and strong fighter like (Kotetsu Boku) was important for my mixed martial arts career and (Edward Kelly) was also an important fight for me, as it brought back my confidence,” he said.
There are a few contenders currently emerging in the featherweight division including Koyomi Matsushima and Yoshiki Nakahara. So Jadambaa was pleasantly surprised when the champion called him out,
“I was very surprised by his offer. It will give me the greatest of pleasure to face him,” he said.
Nguyen has established himself as one of the promotion’s biggest stars with wins over the likes of Eduard Folayang, Marat Gafurov and Christian Lee. Jadambaa has been keeping a careful eye on the Australian’s progress,
“His offense, fighting style and ability to make a game plan are all dangerous (but) I will try to exploit his weaknesses,” he said.
This will be the third time Jadambaa has come into a ONE Championship title fight as the challenger. He beat Koji Oishi by decision in 2014 to win the belt but came up short a couple of years later when he rematched Gafurov.
Last year he fought two times in the space of three weeks and won both bouts. It gives Jadambaa a lot of confidence as he looks to make history by becoming the oldest man to win a ONE Championship title,
“Of course, I’m very glad to challenge for the title again. I felt great returning to ONE Championship last year and getting the two wins.”
Jadambaa really announced himself to the MMA world by beating Akihiro Gono in 2010. Nine years later the Mongolian has been handed another opportunity to prove he can hold his own against the top fighters competing in the continent.