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Han Zi Zao eager to face ‘idol’ Nong-O Gaiyanghadao for inaugural ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship

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NEWS
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50   //    01 Feb 2019, 17:29 IST

Han Zi Hao
Han Zi Hao

Chinese striker Han Zi Zao has the opportunity of a lifetime coming up when he gets set to faces Thai icon Nong-O Gaiyanghadao for the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship.

The two world-class strikers take center stage in the main event of ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS on Saturday, 16 February in Bangkok, Thailand.

The most successful ONE Super Series competitor of 2018, Han managed to string together three straight victories, which then earned him a shot at world championship gold.

“I will seize this opportunity to win the gold belt. It is the best reward for all my work,” Han shared with the official ONE Championship website.

More than being in the front of the line of top contenders, Han relishes being able to go up against a bonafide legend in the sport and a competitor that he considers an idol in Nong-O, who is arguably one of the most respected Muay Thai practitioners in Thailand.

“I’ve heard about Nong-O since I was a kid. He is a legend of the Muay Thai world,” Han explained. “I grew up watching his matches. Naturally, he became one of my idols because I worship all the legendary figures in this field.”

Facing Nong-O for the world title is nothing short of an honor, says Han.

“Now, I finally have a chance to fight with him and, even better, I will challenge for the gold belt. This is such an honor for me!”

“I have grown stronger, and eventually, I can face him on the same level. I’m proud of myself,” he added.

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Breaking down what his opponent brings to the table, Han says that Nong-O is more or less the complete competitor, with strengths lying in both offense and defense.

“He is a technical fighter with good defense and attack skills,” elaborated Han. “This kind of talent is rare even in Thailand, and he is also one of a few widely acknowledged champions – a true hero of Muay Thai.”

With a monumental opportunity looming, Han is not lost in the gravity of the situation. The 23-year old has nothing but respect for his opponent, but at the end of the day, with a world title on the line, it is about being the better competitor inside the ring.

“I admire and respect you very much, but I have to point out that your era is about to end,” Han boldly said. “I will take your place and be the new legend of Muay Thai.”

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