Keanu Subba (left) hopes to display that improvement in the coming months, as he looks to return to action by March or April. - ONE photo
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s top featherweight mixed martial artist Keanu Subba is on a mission.
That mission is to showcase a newer version of himself, which could potentially lead to his first crack at the ONE Featherweight World Championship at some point next year.
“I’m excited to show a newly improved Keanu Subba,” the ONE Championship athlete said.
“My other aim this year is to fight three to four times, and hopefully challenge for the title 2020.”
The ONE Featherweight World Championship is currently in possession of Australia’s Martin 'The Situ-Asian' Nguyen.
Nguyen recently signed a new bout agreement to defend his belt, but an opponent’s name has not been revealed just yet.
That does not concern the Malaysian, however. At only 24 years of age, he is not in a rush to challenge for the coveted gold.
“Martial arts is a never-ending journey,” he said.
“I’m grateful to be learning every day, and my goal is to keep on upgrading my knowledge in all aspects of martial arts.”
While Subba has built momentum with recent victories over “White Dragon” Xie Chao at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER in July and Phoe "Bushido" Thaw at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS in October, he knows plenty more challenges await.
As the world’s largest martial arts organization continues to fill out the stacked featherweight division, the opponents will only get tougher and tougher for the Kuala Lumpur-based competitor.
“This division is stacked with great athletes, and ONE has signed new talents as well,” he acknowledged.
“I look forward to challenging them and making my way to the top.”
Subba added he has made some incredible strides in the strength and conditioning department, too — an area where he may have previously lacked.
“I think I’ve evolved my whole mixed martial arts game,” he said. “But I would say those two have seen a big improvement.”
The Malaysian hopes to display that improvement in the coming months, as he looks to return to action by March or April.
Although he will not be challenging for the ONE Featherweight World Championship in his next battle, it will remain his ultimate motivation as he continues to climb up the featherweight ranks.