|Mark Abelardo is in a must-win situation at One: Fists of Fury 2. One Championship (file photo)|
MANILA—Hard-hitting Mark “Tyson Fairtex” Abelardo has his sights set on a decisive victory this Friday night.
The 29-year-old Filipino by way of New Zealand, currently living and training at the Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, Thailand is confident he can take care of business against American opponent Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia when the two lock horns.
Abelardo and Urrutia go head-to-head at ONE: Fists of Fury II, a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore scheduled for air this Friday.
The Pinoy-Kiwi fighter promises to put on a show for the fans, as always, and put Urrutia through the paces.
“I feel like Emilio is a dangerous fighter. He’s a high-level jiu-jitsu brown belt. He’s got heavy hands, and some good wins against good opponents. But I feel like his style is something I can match. He likes to brawl. I like to brawl, too. So I’m looking to put on a show, and hopefully the fans will enjoy it,” Abelardo told ONE Championship in a recent interview.
“My striking will be a lot better than his. I’ve been working a lot more on my striking in this camp. I want to be the one pushing the pace. I want to be controlling where the fight goes, and just look to break him down.”
Having lost three of his last four contests, Abelardo is in dire need of a victory to resuscitate his career. After taking care of business against rising talents Ali Motamed, Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg, and Daichi Takenaka, Abelardo fell to top bantamweights Shoko Sato, Troy Worthen, and Fabricio Andrade.
Abelardo says he’s learned a lot from those setbacks, and wants to show how things will be different for him this time around.
“With the losses, it’s something you really have to learn from. For me, it’s something I never want to go through again. This time, I’ve had a lot more preparation going into this fight. I feel a lot more confident, and ready physically and mentally,” said Abelardo.
“In my last fights, I wasn’t there a hundred percent. I wasn’t physically in the best condition that I can be. This time, I’ve made some adjustments, trained a lot harder, and I’ve had more time to prepare. Preparation is key coming into this fight. I definitely feel ready. I’ve just been working a lot these past six weeks, getting my conditioning as good as I can.”
“I’ve been doing a lot of roadwork, a lot of hard rounds with the top guys in the gym. They’ve just been pushing me to my breaking point and it’s something I’m going to bring into this fight. It’s going to take a lot to stop me,” Abelardo added.
ONE: Fists of Fury II is the second event of the three-part “Fists of Fury” event series. The headline bout features a showdown between highly-regarded ONE Championship newcomer Amir Aliakbari and Korean KO artist Kang Ji Won. Also seeing action in the co-main event is undefeated Russian Anatoly “Spartak” Malykhin who faces Brazil’s Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado.
Abelardo wants to make his fight against Urrutia one fans won’t soon forget.
“I always like to put on a show for all the fans worldwide, whether it’s knockouts or a three-round war. I’m going to continue to bring that into this fight. Look to see me throwing a lot more volume, I’ll make it exciting,” said Abelardo.
“The key is just to keep winning, put on an exciting show for the fans, and just climb my way to the top.”
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