ONE FC HAS EARMARKED CHINA AS A GROWTH MARKET IN 2015, WE SAT DOWN WITH RISING STAR LI WEI BIN.
Li Wei Bin, the flyweight champion at the Beijing tournament of ONE FC: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS, is a hot prospect and at the age of just 18 is one to watch as he continues his ascent up the global MMA rankings.
The Chongqing native spoke to ROUGH about his plans for the flyweight division in 2015 and what ONE FC’s entry into China means for the sport.
How did you get into MMA?
I remember seeing MMA in a movie, but I never got into it until I came to Yu Hao gym in Chongqing and Coach Zhang Zhan Jun got me into it.
How has ONE FC coming to China helped the MMA scene?
Through ONE FC more of China’s traditional martial arts enthusiasts will understand what MMA is and follow it. ONE FC’s rules are exciting and fans here already love it!
How was your training leading up to Dynasty of Champions?
I couldn’t have won this tournament without my coach, Zhang Zhan Jun. He was with me every day throughout this camp and arranged all my training. He supervised everything and pushed me hard when I needed it most. For this tournament, we did things differently than we usually do. Mornings we spent drilling Muay Thai – bag work, pads and sparring. The afternoons were spent on drills, ground fighting and weights. Evenings were spent drilling problems we thought might come up in this tournament.
What were your thoughts when Wang Wei dropped you in the finals?
Get myself to get back to my feet ASAP. On the ground my chances of winning were smaller. That punch I remember was super heavy and it did rock me a little.
Give us your thoughts on the bouts in the tournament.
I know Hao Yi Jie was a good striker, so I looked for the takedown and brought him out of his element, successfully submitting him. In the finals, I knew Wang Wei was a decent ground fighter, so I fought to keep him standing. In the end it all worked out in my favour. I am glad I am more well-rounded and able to exploit my opponent’s weaknesses.
What are your goals for 2015?
My goal right now is to become the best flyweight from China in ONE FC.
Anything you want to say to your fans?
I’d like to ask everyone to focus now on ONE FC as it’s an incredible organization, and specifically my fights. I’m going to bring everything I have to the cage and always put on a hell of a show.