Ellis Badr Barboza looking to reignite his fairytale story from the streets to ONE Championship - Info Panameña

Ellis Badr Barboza looking to reignite his fairytale story from the streets to ONE Championship

Having turned pro at 15, Barboza was a ranked fighter in the UK just a year later. A WBC European Muay Thai title followed, and an impressive winning streak put him on ONE Championship’s radar.

His debut seemed to all go to plan with a win over Thongpoon PK Saenchai but a failed drugs test post fight, seemingly down to a medication he took six months previously, resulted in a no contest and a six-month ban.

It was a bitter blow, but now the man with a huge following in the Middle East is back and looking to get in the win column.

At ONE Fight Night 23: Ok vs. Rasulov, he has the chance to prove any doubters wrong when he takes on Aliff Sor Dechapan who stands at 4-1 in ONE Championship.

“I think he’s a really good fighter. He’s quite dangerous. He has some good techniques, like spinning techniques and flying knees. He’s very tall which can make him dangerous and rangy. But the people he’s beaten are not on my level, and he got tested last time, and lost.”

At the famed Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Barboza is predicting a short night. “when I hit him with my skill set and my fight IQ, he’s going to be in a different fight to what he’s been in before. I predict a stoppage in the first or second round.”

From there, the man who converted his faith to Islam, is looking only towards the top of the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai division.

“I plan to get the belt,” he says. “That’s the only thing on my mind. I’m willing to fight anybody until I get the belt. Whoever ONE wants to give me, and however long it takes, I don’t know, I just have to fight whoever I have to fight to get there. I want the kickboxing and Muay Thai belts. I want to be a double champ.”

And for his fans in all corners of the world, there is a simple message…

“I’ll just say thank you for all your support. I have support from all around the world. I mean, it really pushes me. I’m in the best shape that I’ve been in. I’m feeling very strong, had a very good camp. And for sure, this fight will end in a stoppage and will be a very exciting performance.”

ONE Fight Night 23: Ok vs. Rasulov takes place in the early hours of Saturday July 6 (4am GST). This is one not to be missed and Middle East fight fans to see all the action live on BeIN SPORTS as well as watch.onefc.com

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