Chinese prospect Ma Jia Wen will make his return to the ONE Championship cage in Bangkok in what might be his toughest assignment yet.
Ma is part of a rising contingent of talented Chinese combatants who have shown great promise in combining the different aspects of striking and grappling.
Knocking up a record of 3-2, the Chinese prospect is now looking to establish his first winning streak under the ONE Championship banner.
Ma started his career as an amateur wrestler in college and made his maiden outing as an official ONE Championship athlete in July 2015.
The 20-year-old Tianjin native notched a technical knockout victory over Biekemulati Nulijiao, thwarting his compatriot with strikes in the second round to qualify in the finals.
Although Ma fell short in becoming the tourney champion by yielding to Di Yuan Huang via unanimous decision, he redeemed himself by outpointing Wang Ya Wei.
In his fourth ONE Championship assignment, Ma suffered a first-round stoppage loss to Turkish prospect Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in May of last year.
Despite the knockout setback to Arslanaliev, he bounced back with a statement win over Filipino fighter Jimmy “The Silencer” Yabo last August, scoring a scintillating technical knockout in the third round.
After his conquest of Yabo, Ma moves onto his next task as he faces Indonesian stalwart Yohan Mulia Legowo on the undercard of ONE: Warrior Kingdom, which takes place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok on 11 March.
Ma sees his marquee match-up against Legowo as an opportunity to extend his success inside the ONE Championship cage.
“This is my chance to establish my first winning streak in ONE Championship. It’s not impossible. That’s why I am exerting a tremendous amount of effort in training. I want to keep on winning,” he said.
However, Ma has a tall order in front of him as he squares off with a veteran like Legowo, who has been competing in MMA for nearly 15 years.
Hailing from Solo, Indonesia. Legowo has a prizefighting win-loss slate of 8-5, holding five submissions and three knockouts.
Moreover, Legowo is known to be a well-rounded combatant, incorporating various martial arts techniques including wrestling, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, and Kung Fu in his offensive arsenal.
Even though he shares the ONE Championship cage with a seasoned veteran, Ma is confident that he will get his hand raised.
WHEN I WALK INTO THE CAGE, I CHANGE INTO ANOTHER PERSON. MMA SHARPENS MY WILL AND MAKES ME MORE TENACIOUS.
“My game plan for this fight is to be more aggressive and demonstrate all my techniques. Our gym provides a well-rounded training regimen. We added couple more strength and conditioning courses in the past couple months,” he stated.
Ma’s explosive power has been turning heads already after his victory over Yabo six months ago, but he clarified that up-and-coming Chinese MMA superstar is not resting on his laurels by promising there is more to come.
“The chance to be a champion drives me all the way here. I am a very easy-going person outside the cage, so a lot of people can’t tell I am an MMA athlete. But when I walk into the cage, I change into another person. I am a very tough man inside the cage. MMA sharpens my will and makes me more tenacious.”