SINGAPORE – Amir Khan is not taking things lightly despite a last-minute change of opponent in Pinoy fighter Vaughn Donayre for the upcoming ONE: Defending Honor.
Donayre replaced an injured Samir Mrabet for the ONE event honor and will face the home hero in a featherweight bout serving as one of the undercards to the main event between lightweight champion Shinya Aoki and Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang.
Donayre, out of Brazilian jiu-jitsu Deftac Cebu gym, enters the bout with an 8-5 win-loss card and is coming off two straight defeats including a unanimous decision loss to Filipino Honorio Banario in ONE Championship 41: Global Rivals last April.
Despite a streak of defeats by Donayre, Khan expects the Filipino MMA fighter to be at his best.
“I know he is a tough fighter and a veteran of the sport,” said Khan of the 37-year-old Donayre, after a training session on Tuesday at Evolve MMA gym here.
“He lost a decision against a former title contender so I expect a tough fight,” Khan added.
Khan, who sports a 5-2 win-loss record, all of the victories coming by way of knockouts, is looking to make it a short night for Donayre.
“I’m used to finishing most of my fight early so I won’t be expecting anything differently,” said Khan.
Khan, a namesake of the British boxer who once became a potential opponent of Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, said he didn’t need to make adjustments despite the change in opponents.
“I don’t really have to adjust to anything. It doesn’t really matter. He has a different body type but I have different training partners at Evolve.”
Khan said he studied Donayre’s loss to Peter Davis in 2014.
“I’m not really worried about his grappling. I saw his fight against Peter Davis. He took him down and finished him in the first round. Maybe he is good at Brazilian jiu-jitsu but if punches come in, I don’t think he is really good at it.”
“I feel like I have the advantage everywhere else. I believe I’m a better striker. I believe I can catch him unexpectedly. If I have an opportunity to put the fight on the ground, I’ll definitely take it,” said Khan.