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Paul Lumihi names the two men he wants to battle next

  • Paul Lumihi has been patiently waiting for restrictions to lift so he could get back into the Circle.
  • Just last weekend, ONE held back-to-back events in Shanghai, China to kick off its return to the martial arts world.
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Modified 24 Jun 2020, 18:11 IST
Paul Lumihi vs Li Kai Wen
Paul Lumihi vs Li Kai Wen

Like most ONE Championship athletes, Paul “The Great King” Lumihi has been patiently waiting for restrictions to lift so he could get back into the Circle.

“The Great King,” who fell short to a trio of talented mixed martial artists in 2019, is looking to bounce back and claim his spot among the sport’s elite bantamweights.

“I’ve always been training,” the Indonesian said. “I’ve been preparing myself every day and sharpening the techniques I have so that I do not have to start from zero when I am called at any time for a bout [in ONE]. 

“I did ask for a six-month break from the last time I performed [in November 2019], but even then, I had been itching to face another opponent in the Circle.”

He might be able to satisfy that itch sooner than later. Just last weekend, ONE held back-to-back events in Shanghai, China to kick off its return to the martial arts world.

ONE Hero Series 13 and 14 took place on 20 June and 21 June, respectively, and the events featured some of the sport’s fastest-rising athletes. 

When considering his own return to action, it didn’t take long for the 32-year-old to name the men he’d like to face next

“The two top athletes that I have in mind are Andrew Leone and Yusup ‘Maestro’ Saadulaev,” he said. “Those are some athletes who I would love to face.”

Leone has been a force in ONE, losing only to ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and number-one ranked bantamweight, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon. 

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Saadulaev, on the other hand, is equally as dangerous. He is currently the number-three ranked bantamweight in ONE and has secured seven wins in his last eight outings. 

If Lumihi can get past either of these two men, he may find himself among the top five of the division. 

“The Great King” knows, however, that a clash with either of these two athletes is still wishful thinking. Matchmakers could have other plans, and if that’s the case, Lumihi would like a crack at an old foe. 

“I would love to face Sunoto once again,” Lumihi said. “In the near future, I am planning to win two bouts in ONE Championship before calling out Sunoto once again.” 

No matter who “The Great King” finds himself standing across from next, he knows he will need the win to put himself back on an upward trajectory ­– and by the sounds of it, Lumihi will be more than ready. 

“I am planning to do cross-training in a gym abroad in order to sharpen my ground skills,” he said.  

“There are several gyms I have observed, where I think they might help me in achieving my personal goals.” 

Read More From ONE Championship:

 Adrian Mattheis Wants Rematch To Prove He Is Indonesia’s Best

Breakout Indonesian Star Fajar: ‘I Am Ready To Face Anyone’

Eko Roni Saputra Wants Former World Champion And Indian Hero

Published 24 Jun 2020, 18:11 IST
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