Tang Kai has won four fights out of four for ONE Championship. The Chinese featherweight thinks he should be facing ranked opponents and does not sound particularly enthusiastic of going up against Yoon Chang Min.
The two will face off at ONE: ‘NextGen’ Part II which is being broadcast this Friday. Kai is not pleased about being asked to face an opponent he says is ‘unknown’,
“I thought I should be matched up with a top-five fighter to compete against. I don’t know why I’m matched up against some unknown fighter,” he said.
He stopped Ryogo Takahashi in the first round at ONE: ‘Fists of Fury’ Part II earlier this year. Kai is surprised hat win did not earn him a spot in the featherweight rankings,
“I think Takahashi is still a great fighter in Japan, so I thought I would be able to enter the top five after beating him. Maybe ONE Championship wants to give me more tests, let me KO more opponents, and then let me enter the ranking list.”
He is clearly looking beyond Yoon and is convinced that greater challenges await,
“I want to knock out Yoon Chang Min and then compete against the top five athletes.”
He has finished two of his four ONE Championship opponents. But having been overlooked by the rankings panel Yoon wants to make a big statement in this fight,
“I want to open their eyes and show them how I get into the top five. I want to KO Yoon in the second round,” he said.
He acknowledges that his opponent is physically strong and describes Yoon as
“Big and muscular, a bit like a bodybuilder. His strength is greater than mine (but) I will beat him with my agility, boxing, and speed.”
Kai claims that he is the fastest fighter in the division,
“His speed is certainly not as fast as mine. My speed is the fastest in this division, so I am very confident I will KO him.”
It is a bold claim considering there are knockout artists like Thanh Le and Martin Nguyen at featherweight. But Kai says his takedown attempt is also on point and is adamant the Korean won’t be able to take him down,
“If he wants to drag me to the ground, he must take me down first. I was born to practice wrestling. I won’t give him this chance. I can win the match 100%.”
Having made it clear that he doesn’t feel Yoon is on his level it would be embarrassing for Kai if he didn’t win. The Chinese fighter is focused on the top five and could be just one victory away from cracking it.