Unbeaten Australian mixed martial arts prospect Jordan “Showtime” Lucas is finally making his debut inside the ONE Championship cage, following a year of being sidelined due to injury.

Since getting his health in order, the 22-year-old says he is now ready to shake things up and put the world on notice.

Training out of Team Nemesis MMA in Melbourne, Australia, Lucas (8-0) is set to take on the Philippines’ Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly (6-3) of Team Lakay in a three-round bout at ONE: Union of Warriors, which takes place March 18 at the Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

“It’s been a long time coming, and I honestly can’t wait,” said Lucas. “In 2015 I was out all year due to injuries. I’m hungry to get back in there and continue my winning streak in the most exciting promotion in the world.”

Lucas was originally scheduled to face bantamweight sensation Mark “Mugen” Striegl in Manila last December. He had already been nursing a broken tibia since the beginning of the year but about a week out of the Striegl fight, Lucas had to pull out after suffering a cut above his eye during training.

It was unfortunate for Lucas, who would have matched up well against Striegl had the fight proceeded as planned. Regardless, the Australian is in for what should be a compelling battle against Kelly.

Still, Lucas believes he is far superior to Kelly despite the Filipino having more experience in the ONE Championship cage.

“Edward [Kelly] may be a seasoned opponent, but not many people know I’ve actually had about 20 fights combined with amateur MMA and a few professional Muay Thai bouts, as well as the 2013 World Combat Sambo Championships,” said Lucas. “So really, I’m just as, if not more experienced than he is.”

Against Kelly, Lucas will be facing one of his division’s most talented strikers. The famed Team Lakay of Baguio City is famous for their world-class Wushu Sanshou based fighters, and Kelly is no exception. Kelly is also the younger brother of ONE featherweight Eric “The Natural” Kelly, who is widely considered the top-ranked fighter out of the Philippines.

But Lucas feels he is ready to face any challenge against anyone ONE puts in front of him. “He’s a good, tough opponent, and I respect any man I fight, but I’ve never really had game plans going into any of my fights. I’ve trained in all aspects of MMA since I was 15. I enjoy using every one of them in my fights,” said Lucas.

“No fight I’ve been in has been boring to date. Each fight is different and every fighter has their weakness. I just train and aim to be the better man in every aspect of the fight. I look forward to putting on a show with him!” he added.

The life of a fighter is a treacherous road. Fighters literally put their lives on the line to entertain, yet talking to Lucas, you get the sense that the Melbourne, Victoria, native feels he was born for this.

“As a young kid looking up to my uncle who was a former professional boxer, I joined a local boxing gym when I was 12. My parents willingly used to drop me off there to have me come home and go straight to bed,” said Lucas, recalling his upbringing.

“I’ve always been into martial arts, whether it was watching Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers, or spending time at my local MMA gym which just so happened to have produced some of Australia’s best fighters. I knew instantly that this sport was for me and so did everyone else. I haven’t looked back since.”

At just 22 years of age, Lucas finds himself, at a perfect clip of eight wins and no losses, debuting for Asia’s largest mixed martial arts promotion, and hopefully at the mere beginning of a long and fruitful MMA career. Just like every fighter, Lucas aims to one day become champion, but what he believes separates him is his drive to reach the goals he’s set for himself.

“My ultimate goal is to be the best fighter that I can be and to obviously have the ONE Championship world title around my waist,” said Lucas. “I managed to get signed by the promotion just before I turned 21, which was something I thought would take me a lot longer to achieve. Each day I keep grinding away until I’m where I’m want to be.”

“I’ve revolved my whole life around this sport, and taking names like Edward Kelly’s on March 18 will get me that one step closer.”

By Reuters.