Rothana has title shot in his sights
A year on from a contentious defeat, Chan Rothana will return to the cage tonight to meet Chinese bantamweight Xie Bin, at ONE: Kings of Destiny at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Rothana, fighting out of his own Selapak fight school in the Cambodian capital, holds a 4-2 record with three of those victories coming via TKO and another one via submission. He most recently competed last August at ONE: Heroes of The World in Macau, where he was bested by another Chinese fighter, Ma Hao Bin, via a unanimous, yet contentious, decision.
“Xie Bin is a young, talented fighter. He is well-rounded in all aspects of the game, and it will not be an easy fight for both of us,” said the 31-year-old. “I take this fight as a step. I do not put a lot of pressure on myself, but I want to make a statement following my last loss.”
“Something went wrong during my preparation and I was not 100 percent. I was getting exhausted at the end of round one,” the Cambodian Kun Khmer specialist said. “Ma won the decision, but I know I should have won that fight. That is life, and I learn. Now I am preparing very well for this fight with the help of my team.”
Eager to avoid a second consecutive loss, Rothana has spent the majority of his preparation training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. He says the “international training camp offers a very large range of quality sparring partners in all aspects of MMA.”
His opponent meanwhile, has both youth and a significant height advantage on his side.
Xie, training out of Tianjin Top Team, is a ONE Hefei Bantamweight Tournament Finalist. Debuting ten months ago, the Chinese prospect is an even 2-2 in his MMA career. The wrestler and BJJ standout is coming off a convincing decision win over Mario Satya Wirawan at ONE: Age of Domination last December in Manila.
Though Xie may have youth and form on his side, Rothana refuses to be a stepping stone. Instead, he plans to finish the youngster and continue his own ascent up the ranks.
“He wants to show he can beat an experienced guy like me,” Rothana said. “On my side, I want to make a statement about my future. I want to go as far as possible and get a chance [to fight] for the belt.”
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