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ONE Championship

Shuya Kamikubo hopes hard work will power him to victory in Singapore

Japanese star wants to embark on a winning run in ONE Championship, starting in Singapore at ONE: HEART OF THE LION

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Four months removed from his successful ONE Championship debut, former DEEP Tournament Champion Shuya Kamikubo is ready to embark on a winning streak in the ONE bantamweight division.

Kamikubo will take on “Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore on 9 November, and has his sights set on another spectacular win.

“I think I have the advantage when it comes to takedowns and scrambling,” says the 25-year-old from Kawasaki, Japan.

“I know that Aiman will look for an escape through scrambling, but I will control him in the midst of scrambling, and set myself up for superior position and finish.”

Kamikubo made his debut for ONE Championship at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS and scored a significant win over Indonesian contender “The Terminator” Sunoto, finishing him via second-round TKO.

Despite delivering an eye-catching performance on his debut, Kamikubo says there is more in his locker and he can produce an even more impressive display in his upcoming bout.

“I was not too worried about Sunoto’s takedowns, but I feel that I got taken down easily,” he offers.

“He started gassing, and his offence was petering out in the second round, but I was one-dimensional, offensively. I could have been more diverse and effective in my attack.

“I know that I still have a lot of room for improvement. Nonetheless, after my victory in my ONE Championship debut, I feel assured that I can hang with the other ONE Championship fighters as long as I work hard.”

He will face an all-action opponent in the form of Aiman, who is heading into the bout on a high after submitting previously-undefeated Chinese star “Rock Man” Chen Lei in September.

Kamikubo was suitably impressed with what he saw from “Jungle Cat”, and the athlete known as “Stealth” admits his conditioning will need to be on point against the high-octane Malaysian.

“He is an aggressive striker with good control of distance. His reflexes are excellent, too,” the Japanese man says.

“Also, he knows what he is doing when it comes to defensive grappling because he does not just try to fend his opponent off in desperation, but is very methodical and deliberate with the positioning of his arms and legs on the ground.

“I was prepared to fight for three, five-minute rounds in the last fight, too, but conditioning will be even more important for this fight because the fight will likely unfold in a very different manner. I need to be ready for anything.”

Victory for Kamikubo in Singapore will extend his winning streak to five and mark him out as one to watch in the ONE bantamweight division. But while he is confident in his abilities, the Japanese star is also humble, and says his successes are down to hard work, rather than natural ability.

“I am not blessed with natural talent. I am simply trying to make do with what few assets I have,” he explains.

“At the end of the day, I cannot fight with any flash or flair, but I will fight my heart out during every fight, and hope to inspire those who see me fight in the process.”

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 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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