On Friday, 6 September at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium, that once farfetched dream turns reality.
The ever-calm Fakri rarely feels the heat of a contest but accepts that this one is different.
“I’ve never competed in an event this big, so I’m looking forward to Friday,” the 24-year-old explained ahead of his debut at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH.
“I’ve competed on several occasions, but never once felt this way ahead of a fight. However, I know that I need to fight off these things to ensure that I’m a hundred percent ready for my match.”
“Ant Man” is eager to wrap up his exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in style. While Michael “The Beast From The East” Pham is the favorite to win this bout, the pressure is off his shoulders to seal another win for Malaysia.
But even if it is, Fakri has two inspirational figures he can look up to at ringside – his brother and Malaysia’s Muay Thai exponent Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud.
“I think having these two guys in my corner will be very important. My brother knows me in and out while Jordan Boy and I have trained for years,” he pointed out.
“I believe Michael Pham will be hungry for a win, but I want to let him know that I’m twice as hungry to leave with a victory.”
On paper, both athletes look like they will put on a stand-up clinic in ONE’s first-ever all-striking spectacle.
Pham owns heavy left kicks and Fakri is known for the elbows that he sharpened in the Malaysian Muay Thai circuit.
Whether his elbows will get him the win remains to be seen, but Fakri is certain that he will get the knockout on September 6.
“I’m just hoping for a knockout. My opponent is a very good guy, so to finish him would be special to me,” he said.
“Besides, he is the hometown guy. That’ll be a great way to mark my arrival in ONE Championship.”
Watch the main card at 9:30pm on TV1 and Astro SuperSport HD.
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