Hiroki Akimoto expecting a 'Karate vs Sanda' kicking extravaganza against Wei Rui at ONE Fight Night 22

Hiroki Akimoto | Image by ONE Championship
Hiroki Akimoto | Image by ONE Championship

Former ONE bantamweight kickboxing world champion Hiroki Akimoto is thrilled to share the ring with a worthy foe in his comeback at ONE Fight Night 22.

On May 3, the Japanese superstar will welcome Wei Rui to the world's largest martial arts organization in a three-round slugfest inside the iconic Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Speaking to ONE Championship, Akimoto laid out his expectations against his credentialed Chinese opponent who comes from a Sanda background.

The 31-year-old said he'd gladly bust out his karate-heavy style and trade kick-for-kick with China's first-ever K-1 World Champion.

"I'm good at kicking too, and since my opponent excels at various kicks, that aspect should be a highlight."

Hiroki Akimoto, of course, is one of the purest strikers on the planet today, known for his technically sound punch and kick combinations.

His lightning-fast attacks allowed him to best elite strikers under the ONE banner and reach the top of the bantamweight kickboxing ranks.

While Wei is a ONE neophyte, his vast experience and equally versatile repertoire should match well against Akimoto.

One thing's for sure, fans shouldn't blink or risk missing a highlight reel kick when these two share the ring.

Hiroki Akimoto can't wait to showcase his evolution against Wei Rui

Losing his world title reignited the burning flame inside Hiroki Akimoto. The Evolve MMA star turned that pain into motivation to unlock new skills in his game.

Soon, Akimoto will unleash the fruits of his hard labor by making a statement against Wei. He told ONE:

"Ultimately, I won't know until I actually fight, but I'm getting a good feeling from it. I'm having many realizations in each training session and I can feel myself growing."

ONE Fight Night 22 will emanate from Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok and will air live on US Primetime on May 3. This event is free for Prime Video subscribers in the United States and Canada.

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