4 of Saiful Merican's favourite ONE Championship moments
Astro Awani |
January 28, 2019 12:21 MYT
Most of Saiful's ONE appearances have come in Kuala Lumpur, and he admitted nothing gets him more pumped up than the Malaysian fans. - ONE photo
SAIFUL 'The Vampire' Merican has been one of Malaysia’s most active mixed martial artists ever since making his ONE Championship debut in February 2013.
Although an unfortunate injury kept him out of action for the past year and a half, he is preparing for a return in 2019.
In the meantime, the 30-year-old took some time out of his hectic training schedule to share four of his top ONE moments.
#1 That win over Burn Soriano
Saiful put in the performance of a lifetime against the Philippines’ Burn Soriano at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS in February 2017.
Coming off a defeat to Geje Eustaquio, 'The Vampire' attacked as soon as the bell rang.
His Filipino opponent did not have an answer to his superior striking and was eventually punished seconds before round one ended, as the Malaysian landed a huge left knee and a combination of elbows.
Soriano was unable to continue, but it wasn’t the victory which made it Merican's most memorable ONE moment.
“This is my favorite moment because my wife, who was seven months pregnant, came in and congratulated me,” he recalled.
“Maybe because of that, my son is now acting tough with me all the time,” he said, jokingly.
Saiful dedicated that victory to his new-born and his wife for their wedding anniversary.
#2 The roaring Malaysian crowd
Most of his ONE appearances have come in Kuala Lumpur, and he admitted nothing gets him more pumped up than the Malaysian fans.
“The Malaysian crowd is so loud every time. Sometimes, I feel like they could blow off the roof of the stadium,” he said.
“Hearing the Malaysian crowd cheering for me is something special, too.”
#3 Martin Nguyen’s knockouts of Eduard Folayang and Marat Gafurov
One of his favorite athletes in The Home Of Martial Arts is ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin 'The Situ-Asian' Nguyen.
What impressed him the most was how he knocked out former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov and then-ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang in back-to-back World Title bouts to claim the gold.
“How he defeated Gafurov and Folayang with the exact same technique was amazing,” Merican said. “He brings in a new style every time, but can attack with a simple game plan, too.”
#4 The introduction of ONE Super Series
Merican’s first love is Muay Thai, and it remains one of his favorites to this day.
He admitted that he is willing to give the ONE Super Series a go, if the opportunity arises.
“The announcement was huge news to me,” he said. “They even bettered that by signing World Champions such as Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, Giorgio Petrosyan, and Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.”