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Keanu Subba relishing trip to enemy territory to face Phoe Thaw

Malaysian featherweight contender is looking for another finish in Yangon



ONE Championship

Featherweight finisher Keanu Subba returns to action at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS on 26 October in Yangon, Myanmar looking to extend his 100% finish rate.

Malaysian star Subba (6-3) takes on undefeated Myanmar hero Phoe “Bushido” Thaw in one of the most eagerly-anticipated bouts on the card, and the 24-year-old is looking forward to the challenge.

“When I got offered this bout, I thought, ‘Whoa! That’s a cool challenge for me.’” he enthused.

“It will be fun to go to this guy’s backyard, and I’m going to thrive on it.”

Subba’s last outing came back in July when he submitted Xie Chao in the first round of their bout at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER in Kuala Lumpur. That win came after an 11-month layoff, and brought the Malaysian a home victory in front of his adoring fans.

“It definitely helps you,” Subba reveals.

“This means going to Yangon will be a new experience for me, and I’m just grateful to be competing again so soon, so I will embrace it and enjoy it.”

This bout will offer a stern test of his skills, as he travels to Yangon to take on a local hero with an undefeated record and a penchant for the spectacular. Phoe Thaw transitioned to mixed martial arts from lethwei and has finished five of his six wins to date, including a spectacular push kick knockout in his most recent outing.

Despite Thaw’s surging form, Subba says he has the skillset to halt the Burmese star’s momentum.

“He uses his range really well,” the Malaysian admits.

“His style is a bit unorthodox as we don’t have many lethwei fighters in mixed martial arts, so that’s why most of his opponents have had problems figuring out his style.

“I’m going to need to go in there and move around to try and exploit his weakness. I’m confident striking or grappling, so I can take him wherever I feel he is weakest.

“Winning this will put me back in the mix with the top guys. I need to validate myself as a contender so I can work my way up to the champion.”

ONE Championship’s featherweight division is stacked with exciting talent, and the division always seems to deliver exciting matchups. Subba vs Thaw certainly fits that label, and the Malaysian says it would be a significant win for his career if he steps into Thaw’s back yard and claims not just a win, but a finish.

“I’d like to go in calm, catch him with good strikes, and then finish him on the ground,” he says.

”Nobody is unbeatable, and anything is possible.”

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.

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