Malaysia's Gianni Subba at the weigh-in of his ONE FC fight at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on Thursday. He takes on local favourite Eugene Toquero.
MANILA: Unbeaten Gianni Subba faces his sternest test when he comes up against local boy Eugene Toquero in the ONE FC: Rise of Heroes fight on Friday.
Gianni is set to come face-to-face with a 20,000-capacity crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena and a fighter who has gained notoriety for finishing his opponents off.
But the young Malaysian is unfazed.
“Filipinos are very passionate people and love sport ... so the atmosphere is going to be great,” said Gianni after the weigh-in at the MOA Arena here on Thursday.
Gianni’s cool as ice demeanor at the weigh-in spoke volumes of the 21-year-old’s confidence in taking on Toquero, who once held a four-match TKO record.
However, this time the Filipino is coming off a loss – by unanimous decision – to Geje Eustaquio last December.
“I know they’re probably going to be cheering for him. But I think he’s going to be under a lot of pressure fighting on his home ground,” Gianni said.
The Hawaii-born Gianni has amassed an impressive 3-0 unbeaten run in his fledgling mixed martial arts career.
His wins have come by way of a KO over Bruce Loh of Singapore, submission via armbar over Saiful Merican and knocking out Chen Yun Ting with a soccer kick.
“I’ve never gone into any fight thinking that it’s an easy one. I like to finish my fights and I’ve managed to do that in all three. He’s finished four of his five matches,” said Gianni.
“We’re both finishers. I’m prepared to go the whole three rounds with him. You always have to prepare for the worse and I know I’ve got the skill to finish the fight. It’s going to be explosive.”
Meanwhile, the event promises to be a cracker as the main fight card will see Brazil’s Bibiano Fernandes put his ONE FC bantamweight title on the line against Japan’s Masakatsu Ueda.
The co-main event will see local hero Eduard Folayang going toe-to-toe with Japan’s former ONE FC lightweight world champion Kotetsu Boku.
Rise of Heroes will also witness the debut of former boxing world champion Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton.
The 33-year-old, the first-ever Filipino-American boxer to win both the Women’s WBO super bantamweight and IBA super bantamweight titles, is set to square off against Egyptian kick-boxing champion Aya-Saeid Saber.