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Richard Corminal ready to bounce back with big-name win in Bangkok

Malaysia-based Filipino likes his chances against grappling superstar Garry Tonon in Bangkok



ONE Championship

Richard Corminal is ready to make a statement with a win over a grappling legend at ONE: IRON WILL.

The Malaysia-based Filipino will take on the debuting Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 24 March looking to put the memories of a tough 2017 firmly behind him.

Corminal lost out to two top contenders in the ONE Championship cage last year – Shannon Wiratchai and Arnaud Lepont.

Corminal says the defeat to Lepont was particularly tough to swallow, as he believed he was perfectly prepared to step in and defeat the Frenchman.

“I was really ready for him,” the 36-year-old told ONE Championship.

“All of us step into a match wanting to win, but it just so happened that he was a bit wiser than me that time. I cannot really say what happened. I thought I was well-prepared for that match. I guess stuff happens.”

Sometimes in martial arts, you gain more in defeat than you do in victory, and Corminal hopes his experiences in his losses to Wiratchai and Lepont will help mould him into a better athlete as he looks to kick off 2018 with a win.

“I am focusing more on my defence,” he explained.

“I trust my striking game, but I think there is a lot to improve on my ground defence.”

Now the lightweight he plans on bouncing back by handing grappling superstar Tonon an L as the American makes his much-anticipated debut.

Corminal knows Tonon has vast experience when it comes to facing elite-level opposition on the mats, but he says he’s confident and motivated to spring what many believe would be a shock by defeating the decorated grappler in Bangkok.

“He has faced a lot of big names in jiu-jitsu, so his confidence might be high for someone who is going to compete his first ONE contest,” he explained.

“I think we are on the same level, experience-wise, because he has had a lot of matches to his name, and even became a world champion in his discipline.”

“There is a feeling of excitement. Whenever I step inside the cage, nobody knows what is going to happen, so I am focusing on getting the win, and not on the pressure of getting it.”

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK national media. News Editor: ONE Championship. UFC/MMA Reporter: BBC Three. Contrib: MMAjunkie.