Favored Thai foe holds no fear for Pinoy fighter Jimmy Yabo ahead of ONE Bangkok face-off
Jimmy Yabo and Sagetdao Petpayathai face off before their match on Saturday. Christian Jacinto

BANGKOK - To say that Jimmy Yabo is currently going through one bad slump may be a big understatement.

But that won’t deter him for making the most out of the final stretch of his career.

The 36-year-old slugger out of Cebu will look to get out of the hole that he’s been put in after dropping five of his last six bouts in One Championship. The fact that he’s facing local hero Sagetdao Petpayathai, who has won a record 162 out of 225 Muay Thai fights, in hostile territory for the undercard of One: Warriors of the World at the Impact Arena here on Saturday doesn’t faze Yabo at all.

 “When I’m fighting, I’m not thinking about my previous fights, I only focus on the now,” said Yabo in Filipino. “The only thing I look back at is my mistakes in my previous fights. I look at it so I can correct it or add to what’s lacking.”

He’ll have a tall order ahead of him as he takes on local Thai hero Sagetdao Petpayathai (2-0) in the undercard of ONE: Warriors of the World set at the Impact Arena on Saturday.

Petpayathai has been a mainstay in the Thailand Muay Thai scene, having fought 225 times with a record of 162 wins against 62 losses and a draw.

The pride of Lapu Lapu has been studying his opponent as well as improving his ground game, which has been his weakness as seen in his past few fights. Yabo, though, will not be surprised if the fabled striker out of Evolve MMA makes a different approach and takes the fight to the ground.

“I know the quality of my opponent. He’s a world champion in Muay Thai but we’re just one and the same,” Yabo said. “There’s no such thing as impossible when it comes to MMA. All I have to do is train hard and I know I did just that.”

 “I cross-trained for this fight. There’s a blackbelt in Jiu-jitsu in Cebu, we had sessions and we did everything we could for this fight. I really need to prepare for the ground. I’m doing everything to improve on that. Of all my fights, I always end up losing when it comes to the ground so now that’s where my focus is," he continued.

"But I always train my striking, that’s my specialty. I’m just having all bases covered because he might go for the takedown and atleast I’m prepared.”

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