China’s Zhang Peimian aims to become China’s youngest ONE world champion

Zhang Peimian [Photo Credits: ONE Championship]
Zhang Peimian [Photo Credits: ONE Championship]

Chinese striker Zhang Peimian will look to make history when he steps into the main event at ONE 162 on October 21. The 18-year-old will face ONE Championship newcomer Jonathan Di Bella for the ONE strawweight kickboxing world championship.

With a win, ‘Fighting Rooster’ will become China’s youngest world champion, something that Peimian certainly likes the sound of. The young budding superstar shared a clip of his handy work on Instagram with the caption:

“Too fast. Too accurate. I will become China’s youngest World Champion. #ONE162

Debuting in ONE Championship earlier this year, Zhang Peimian has already stood out from the pack, winning back-to-back fights against Josh Tonna and Aslanbek Zikreev, the former coming by way of a second-round knockout. ‘Fighting Rooster’ will face a tough test against the Canadian-Italian Di Bella, who is more than proficient in both boxing and kickboxing.

Jonathan Di Bella is a former GLORY Kickboxing competitor who also captured the ISKA featherweight title in 2018. Di Bella recently won back-to-back bouts in 2022, competing in boxing matches in June and July.


Zhang Peimian’s first experience with martial arts came from kung fu films

Peimian’s first exposure to mixed martial arts was the silver screen, watching kung fu movies at a young age. When he was first introduced to combat sports, he found himself struggling in the early going, but it didn’t take long before the Chinese prospect was devoting every spare moment to training:

“Before I first tried martial arts, I only knew kung fu movies. I had no idea what kickboxing was. When coach first brought me to practice in the sixth grade, I found that [the basic strikes] were beyond my comprehension. But once I got into the sport, I found my interest. To improve faster, I spent less time playing with my friends and devoted myself to training. Every afternoon right after class, I went to practice.”

As for what motivates the ‘Fighting Rooster’ to be the absolute best he can be inside the cage, the answer is quite simple:

“My parents are my motivation. I will prove myself and repay my parents for their parenting. The most important thing for me [was also having a] coach that always encouraged and supported me. I grew up and realized that I didn’t get here by accident. It was the team that made me."

Watch some of Zhang Peimian's incredible skills below:

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