Keanu Subba makes his highly anticipated return to the ring on Friday, 3 May when he faces Japan’s Ryogo Takahashi in a featherweight contest at ONE: FOR HONOR in Jakarta, Indonesia.
His last ONE Championship appearance took place in October, where he submitted previously undefeated Myanmar hero Phoe “Bushido” Thaw via first-round guillotine choke.
If there’s one thing that the Kuala Lumpur-based athlete is, then it’s dogged. Or at least that’s what Mike Ikilei, head striking coach at Bali MMA, believes.
“Keanu is disciplined and very determined,” Ikilei raves. “When he sets his mind on something, he will go all out for it.”
Ikilei adds that Subba doesn’t like taking shortcuts and that he is immensely talented like his elder brother, Gianni, who currently trains under the New Zealander at Bali MMA.
“They’re very similar,” the coach explains. “Gianni spends a lot of time working with Keanu, so he’s adopted a lot of the same habits, techniques, and style.”
While Gianni is more decisive going forward, Ikilei thinks his younger brother is more focused on his technique.
Because of that technicality, the younger Subba has maintained an impressive 100 percent finishing rate all throughout his professional career.
“Gianni doesn’t mind getting tangled into a bit of a war, while Keanu is super technical,” he elaborates.
Differences aside, the Subbas are tremendously coachable.
“Keanu has a really great attitude, and he absorbs what you teach him,” Ikilei continues.
“Sometimes, you spend three months with a particular athlete during camp, putting them through the drills in preparation for their big night. And then when they fight, they do the exact opposite of what you’ve been doing with them the whole time. But not Keanu.”
Suffice to say, the 24-year-old athlete has been training hard for his upcoming clash at Jakarta’s Istora Senayan.
Ikilei knows that, and he is certain Keanu will leave Indonesia with another impressive stoppage victory.
“There’s no doubt that Keanu is working hard for this,” the New Zealander says. “He knows what he needs to improve on – and what’s at stake.”