Tang Kai takes on Ryogo Takahashi at ONE: ‘Fists of Fury’ Part II. After winning his first three fights for the promotion the Chinese featherweight feels he is within touching distance of the top five.

It is a goal which Kai has his sights firmly set on,

“I think winning would put me in the top five (and) being a top five fighter would means a lot to me. It means in the near future I will be a contender for the title.”

Big name

Takahashi has won two fights out of three for ONE Championship. He will be the biggest name Kai has faced in his career so far and the Chinese fighter welcomes the challenge,

“My opponents are getting tougher and tougher so this is the most exciting thing for me. He is a big name in my division but I think I could beat them all the top five fighters and hopefully I can get in the top five and be a contender for the title.”

There is one fighter in the top five who Kai does hope to avoid, at least for the time being. Takahashi’s only ONE Championship loss came at the hands of Garry Tonon and the Chinese fighter is in no hurry to face the BJJ black belt,

“If I had to pick (the best featherweight) I would say Garry Tonon because everyone knows he is a master at jiu jitsu. in striking I don’t think anyone can match with me but, when it comes to jiu jitsu, Garry Tonon would give me a huge problem.”

Superior technique

He does not expect Takahashi to pose him too many problems. Kai is more impressed by his opponent’s physique than his fighting style,

“I’ve been studying this opponent a lot, watching a lot of fighting videos and training videos and I think he’s strong, you can see it from his body shape, he can punch hard and his muscles are bigger than mine but when you talk about speed, position, all the technical things I don’t think he can match with me.”

However Kai is adamant that he will not be underestimating the Japanese fighter,

“I think i am definitely better technically. When you talk about speed, movement, I think I will knock him out in this fight. Every opponent, no matter who, I always consider them the toughest challenge of my career so mentally and physically I am fully prepared and will win by knockout.”

Stoppage streak

His first nine wins all came inside the distance. But Kai is coming off back to back decision victories in ONE Championship which could simply be a reflection of the superior standard of opposition.

He would like to rekindle the form which saw him start his career with nine stoppages in succession and plans to finish his Japanese foe in the latter stages of the fight,

“I think my opponent will go to throw pinches with me like he always does but I will keep the distance and find the opportunity to punch him and knock him out in the second or third rounds.”