- After coming up short in bid to crack strawweight MMA rankings, ‘Mini T’ is going back to his roots in ONE
- Australian will face Portugal’s Rui Botelho in strawweight Muay Thai bout on March 25
After coming up short in his bid to crack the strawweight MMA rankings, Danial Williams is going back to his roots in ONE Championship.
“Mini T” will face Portugal’s Rui Botelho in a strawweight Muay Thai bout at ONE Fight Night 8 in Singapore on March 25, a source told the Post.
Williams checked in to the Santai Muay Thai Gym in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last week, in preparation for his fight.
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“Back to work,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “Grateful to be back at my home away from home.”
The 29-year-old Australian was keen on a fight with ONE strawweight kickboxing champion Jon Di Bella, but his calls for a title shot seemingly fell on deaf ears – despite the Italian-American’s willingness to do it.
Williams reeled off three consecutive wins in MMA competition under the ONE banner over the first seven months of 2022, before falling to Filipino “Jaguar” Jeremy Miado, who missed weight for their bout but got a third-round knockout last October in Kuala Lumpur.
Williams had previously earned finishes over Thailand’s Dejdamrong and China’s Zelang Zhaxi, with a decision against Namiki Kawahara sandwiched in between.
His debut in ONE was a decision defeat by the flyweight Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon in April 2021.
The 28-year-old Botelho is 1-4 in his five fights with Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE, and is riding a three-fight losing skid.
Botelho’s most recent appearance in the ONE Circle came in a split decision loss to Japan’s Asahi Shinigawa in Singapore last November.
His only victory was a kickboxing decision against Yuta Watanabe in March 2019.
ONE Fight Night, which will be broadcast live in US prime time on March 24 on Amazon’s Prime Video service, will feature three title fights at the top of the card.
Heavyweight MMA champion Arjan Bhullar and interim king Anatoly Malykhin will finally unite their titles in the main event, in a fight more than a year in the making.
Flyweight Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon will also look to join rarefied air by becoming a two-sport champ when he takes on kickboxing king Superlek Kiatmoo9.
Interim atomweight Muay Thai champ Janet Todd and divisional queen Allycia Helen Rodrigues will finally unify their titles too. Their planned bout in Manila was scrapped just days before December’s ONE on Prime Video 5 event, with Todd testing positive for Covid-19.
The only other bout officially announced for March 25’s card at Singapore Indoor Stadium is a high-stakes atomweight MMA clash between No 2-ranked Ham Seo-hee, and Itsuki Hirata.
Fans will be hoping it is second time lucky with their fight too, after South Korea’s Ham refused to face Hirata when the Japanese prospectender missed weight in November.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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