Connect with us

Martial Arts

Ibrahim El Bouni’s advice to the Yangon fans: Don’t blink

“Mr. Cool” makes his ONE Super Series return, and hints at another quick knockout at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS



Ibrahim “Mr Cool” El Bouni is heading back into ONE Super Series looking for another eye-catching performance.

El Bouni will take on fellow Moroccan-Dutch striker Tarik Khbabez in a light-heavyweight kickboxing bout at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS in Yangon, Myanmar.

And the 25-year-old’s debut display, where he finished Andre “The Giant” Meunier in just 91 seconds at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS, hinted at better things to come as he made a dream start to life in ONE Championship.

“Meunier is a good fighter. He’s strong. He came with a big punch like I was expecting, but it was not a problem. I moved away and countered with my punches and kicks,” El Bouni recalls in an interview with ONE Championship.

“The whole show was great, and I met a lot of good people and cool fans. They give me respect, and I give them respect, so I cannot wait to fight my second fight for ONE.”

Against Khbabez, El Bouni faces another heavy-handed striker who is coming off a big win in ONE Super Series. Khbabez finished Alain Ngalani on his debut, setting up a fascinating clash between the pair in Yangon.

“Tarik fights with his heart. I like that, but it’s another level for him when he fights me,” he says.

“I know Tarik. He’s a good guy – not only inside the ring, but outside of it, too.

“I thought we would probably face each other here, but after three or four more wins, and then for the title.

“We both fight for the Moroccan flag, so at first I was thinking of saying no, as I don’t normally like that. But then I heard that he wanted to do it, so I said, ‘Okay, no problem.’ If he wants it, he will get it.”

As well as being a fellow countryman, Khbabez is a known entity to El Bouni, with the pair having competed in the same circles in the Netherlands earlier in their respective careers.

And while he respects his opponent, El Bouni is confident that he will have the upper hand when they meet at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium on 26 October.

“I know him well. We competed in many of the same organizations in Holland. He’s very good. He pressures and is aggressive – coming forward with punches,” El Bouni says.

“He wants to keep coming towards you to make you tired, but when he fights me, he will think he has to change his style.

“My distance is longer, and we also have the 4-ounce gloves. It feels very good. Every punch comes at you very hard, so I cannot wait.”

Lined up against an opponent he knows well, El Bouni says fans can expect an exciting matchup when he and Khbabez throw leather in Yangon.

And he had some advice for the fans who will pack the stands inside the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium for the event.

“I hear the crowds there are powerful and crazy. I like that,” he says.

“I just need to tell them not to look away, because whether it’s one second or 20 seconds, something will happen!”

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 20 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

Martial Arts3 days ago

Cage Warriors adds sixth world title fight for CW106: ‘Night of Champions’

Martial Arts3 days ago

Leduc vs Baczynski: World Lethwei Championship to crown inaugural cruiserweight champion

Motorsport3 days ago

In Pictures: Marc Marquez claims Honda’s 300th GP win at Le Mans

Boxing3 days ago

‘I’m gonna p*ss in your toothless mouth’: Malignaggi spits at Lobov at expletive-laden presser

Football3 days ago

Jose for Juve? 5 reasons why Jose Mourinho would be perfect for Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus

Other Sports4 days ago

No confidence: Rugby star Israel Folau hits out at Rugby Australia following sacking

Football4 days ago

Cristia-NO!: Ronaldo accidentally catches son in face with Serie A trophy during title celebrations

Football4 days ago

‘Bolivian football is in mourning’: Referee collapses and dies during Bolivian league match

Martial Arts5 days ago

Rashad Evans announced as the UFC’s latest Hall of Famer

Martial Arts5 days ago

UFC Rochester: Rafael dos Anjos submits Kevin Lee on a night of finishes in New York

Boxing5 days ago

‘Wilder hit him so hard, they’re feeling it in Brazil!’ Wilder demolishes Breazeale in NY

Martial Arts5 days ago

Rafael dos Anjos wins war of attrition at UFC Rochester

Martial Arts5 days ago

‘I’ve had better fights than this!’: Michel Pereira delivers stunning knockout on his UFC debut

Martial Arts5 days ago

KSW 49: Scott Askham wins KSW title with flying KO in Gdansk

Motorsport5 days ago

Marquez bounces back from crashes to grab MotoGP pole at Le Mans

Football5 days ago

Zlatan banned: Ibrahimovic hit with two-match ban after grabbing goalkeeper by the throat

Football5 days ago

Six appeal: Manchester City hammer Watford 6-0 in the most one-sided FA Cup Final in over 100 years

Martial Arts5 days ago

Clearing the way? Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin and training partner set to face Nevada Commission

Martial Arts5 days ago

In Pictures: Christian Lee’s stunning win over Shinya Aoki at ONE: Enter The Dragon

Other Sports6 days ago

NBA star Lamar Odom admits to using fake penis to pass drug test for 2004 Olympic Games


Freelance Services