Despite suffering a loss in his most recent ONE Championship matchup, Hiroyuki Tetsuka is already aiming for the stars. He is looking to earn a title shot after his match against Agilan Thani at ONE: NextGen II.
Tetsuka returned to ONE Championship after a year away in a unanimous decision loss to Murad Ramazov. Since then, he has fought once in Shooto, defeating Gunther Kalduna via first round knockout.
'The Last Samurai' will hope to return to winning ways when he meets 'The Alligator' at middleweight for this upcoming battle. After this matchup against Thani, Tetsuka is already looking forward to competing for the welterweight championship that is currently held by Kiamrian Abbasov.
"I want to fight in the welterweight division but Agilan said that he cannot drop his weight to welterweight. I said ok but I actually wanted to fight [weighing] 83.9 kilos but I accepted," said Tetsuka. "If I win I can say that I want a title shot."
This is going to be Tetsuka's third fight under the ONE Championship banner. His debut match was a unanimous decision win over Hernani Perpetuo. Tetsuka has a 9-4 professional MMA record (2-1 in ONE Championship) with six of his wins coming via knockout.
Eager to showcase new skill set in ONE NextGen II
The 31-year-old Tetsuka was on a five-fight winning streak, with those victories encompassing three MMA organizations. The first three of those wins were earned in Pancrase and the next two were in ONE Championship and Shooto respectively.
His momentum was halted by Murad Ramazanov in his first loss since February 2018. Prior to his most recent fight, Tetsuka was working hard to improve his craft but failed to showcase his new skill set en route to a unanimous decision loss. He hopes that this time, it will be different.
"I was training very hard for 1 year. I want to show my striking skill and my grappling skill to my fans. Yeah, I lost but I want to win this time, said Tetsuka. I think he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world, the best grappler but I didn’t get the submission so I had confidence in that. This time I want to knock him out."
His opponent will not be a pushover as Agilan Thani also looks to make a huge comeback in ONE Championship. The 26-year-old Malaysian will be highly motivated to make things hard for Tetsuka when the duo lock horns in the cage.