Al-Tekreeti, one of the region’s standout Muay Thai prospects, will face Rungrawee at ONE Fight Night 18: Gasanov vs Oh, less than a year after the Thai fighter took a unanimous decision over his brother Mustafa.
“To be honest, getting revenge [for Mustafa’s loss against Rungrawe]. I wanted to take time off this month, but when they offered me to fight Rungrawee, I accepted without even thinking about it so that I can take revenge through a win, a bonus, and to avenge for my brother’s loss”
The 27-year-old has mapped out his route to victory, and feels forward pressure will be key to getting his hand raised. “My gameplan is to pressure my opponent from close range. I will use my boxing skills. And with boxing and my height advantage, I expect to finish the match by knockout. It will not last for three rounds.”
He has identified a weak jaw on Rungrawee, and feels this will be an easy night’s work at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. “His biggest weaknesses include his weak jaw,” he said. In previous fights, he was wobbled by one or two powerful punches. I believe that I have enough strength to make him sleep. As for his strong points, he doesn’t have anything special. He has good kicks, he has an OK clinch, but he doesn’t have anything that scares me. I think he will be an easy opponent.”
Al Tekreeti, 22-6 overall, is unbeaten in ONE Championship after an impressive debut win, and sees this fight as one to further enhance his credentials in the lightweight division. When taking to the ring, he says it is not just for himself, or his family, but the wider Arab world.
“Representing Iraqis and Arabs has given me a huge motivation. Whenever I think of taking it easy in the morning, I then think of what it means to represent Iraq in ONE Championship, and I push myself to the limit, I train to reach the highest level possible so that I make Iraqis and Arabs proud.”
ONE Fight Night 18 comes live from the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Thailand on Saturday January 13. Fight fans in the MENA region can watch action BeINSPORTS from 3.00am MECCA, or on watch.onefc.com
ONE Championship returns to the Middle East on March 1 with ONE 166: Qatar at the Lusail Stadium, Doha. A historic night awaits with no less than five title fights planned, and tickets are now available from Virgin Megastore and Q-Tickets.