“The Southern Eagle” Ma Hao Bin has soared into the upper echelon of ONE Championship’s flyweight division.
On Friday, 26 January, at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES in Manila, Philippines, he dominated Bulgaria’s Sotir “The Trouble” Kichukov with an effective mixture of grappling and striking to capture a unanimous decision victory.
Although the China national wrestling champion is pleased to get the win, he really wanted to score a knockout.
“My strategy was to improve my stand-up skills, and to make myself more complete in the striking department. The only pity about this match is I did not get a chance to KO him while standing,” the 24-year-old Nanchang, China resident says.
“Sotir is a very good athlete, and I really respect him in every way. His stand-up skills are very good, and he is tall and has a long arms. For me, I still did not catch enough chances to get the knockout. I wanted to win so badly, so I rushed in and did not focus.
“Next time, I will try to learn how to control the tempo of the bout, and I will work harder and train harder to make the next match a better one.”
With the victory, Ma elevates his professional record to 10-1, and he finds himself on an eight-bout win streak. Also, he has broken into the top tier of the promotion’s stacked flyweight division.
The division is loaded with incredible talent, including ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes, interim titleholder Geje Eustaquio, former world champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, and high profile contenders Reece McLaren, Danny Kingad, Gianni Subba, and Stefer Rahardian.
Ma could conceivably face any other those martial artists in the ONE cage next, but he is not worried about making any callouts. The Chinese warrior is clear, however, about his intentions of winning the ONE Flyweight World Championship, and he wants to compete against anyone who will get him closer to the gold.
“I think every one of those athletes is outstanding,” he states.
“I am not a person who likes talk too much. I believe I will use my skills to do the talking, and I would eventually like to face the world champion. I believe I can make history.”
Ma wants to make history, just like “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan.
Nearly three weeks ago, Xiong claimed the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship by defeating Tiffany Teo in Jakarta, Indonesia. In addition to being the first women’s strawweight world champion, “The Panda” is also the first China-born world champion in the cage.
“The Southern Eagle” would like to take a lead from his fellow compatriot, and win the ONE Flyweight World Championship. By doing so, he would emulate Xiong’s historic success in the men’s arena.
That is something he strives for, more than ever.
“Since I started to compete in martial arts, I have walked this road proudly and steadily, and my country and my people all support me. It gives me a lot of motivation to achieve my goal to become the world champion, and I am really looking forward to seeing this happen one day, like it has for Xiong,” Ma explains.
“Martial arts has given me a stage to show the world what I am capable of. It has changed the way I live, and it helps my family and me in so many ways. I want encourage people they can choose to pursue martial arts and change their life, too.
“And, I want to let the world know my name.”