Last time out Xie Wei went for broke. With $50,000 USD performance bonuses being handed out at every ONE Championship event the Chinese flyweight decided to let his hands fly in the hope of taking home the cash.

It was a decision which backfired. He was submitted in the opening round by Reece McLaren and Wie says he has learned from that mistake,

“The last defeat was mostly due to (being) too eager to end my opponent. I wanted to get the bonus, so I fought too impatiently.”

Similar style

At ONE Fight Night 12 he has been matched with Yuya Wakamatsu. The former flyweight challenger is more known for his striking game than his grappling.

McLaren is a BJJ black belt who was always going to want to get Wie to the ground. Wakamatsu represents a totally different type of challenge and Wie sees similarities between his style and his opponent’s,

“Yuya is a very good kickboxer. I stand in the middle and he stays in the middle so I believe this match will be very exciting.”

Title contention

Wakamatsu is currently unranked despite challenging for the flyweight title last year. Wei is at #5 but two of the fighters above him are coming off losses while another is serving a drug ban.

So the 26 year old can envisage a scenario in which a win at Lumpinee Stadium next week earns him a shot at reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson,

“If I win I will be calling for a fight against DJ. This is what I will be expecting.”

Finishing rate

Wie came to prominence through ONE Hero Series. In total he has fought ten times for the promotion and won eight of those matched with all his victories coming inside the distance.

Having secured eight stoppage wins it is easy to see why he would be so desperate to earn a performance bonus. By contrast Wakamatsu’s last three wins have all come by way of decision.

Wakamatsu does have some highlight reel KOs on his record but Wie thinks it is his ability to put opponents away that will give him the advantage over the Japanese fighter,

“We both have strong KO abilities. But since I entered ONE, all the matches have been finishes. So I think I’m stronger than him.”