Friday, August 17, 2018

Roman Alvarez and Daichi Takenaka are looking to make mighty splash in ONE Championship’s Bantamweight Division

A pair of bantamweight prospects will try to make an impact in ONE Championship’s 65.8-kilogram division when former Pacific Xtreme Combat standout Roman “Sonic Boom” Alvarez of Guam meets former Shooto Pacific Rim featherweight champion Daichi Takenaka at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON on Saturday, 8 September at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China.

Born and raised in Guam, Alvarez began his professional mixed martial arts career with a bang, emerging victorious in his first seven matches in regional promotions such as Trench Warz and Pacific Xtreme Combat.

Alvarez’s first career defeat came at the hands of Thailand-based Filipino-Kiwi Mark “Tyson” Abelardo, who recently scored a unanimous decision victory over Iran’s Ali Motamed in the second season finale of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series.

Following the disappointing loss, Alvarez bounced back in spectacular fashion by returning to Trench Warz and capturing the promotion’s featherweight championship with a second-round submission win over Robin Eclavea.

This past June, Alvarez made his ONE Championship debut in Yangon, immediately facing a tough test in the form of Brazilian bantamweight contender Leandro “Brodinho” Issa. 

Issa made quick work of Alvarez, submitting the Guamanian newcomer in just one round at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR. 

Still looking for his first taste of victory on the ONE Championship stage, Alvarez seeks to redeem himself on an astounding note by being the first mixed martial artist to put an end to Takenaka’s unbeaten run. 

A grappling specialist out of Osaka, Japan, Takenaka, who is also set to make only his second appearance on the ONE Championship stage, made a name for himself in Japan-based mixed martial arts promotion Shooto, winning five of his first eight wins under the promotion’s umbrella. 

In 2016, Takenaka captured the vacant Shooto Pacific Rim featherweight championship with a dominant first-round submission conquest of Takuya Ogura.

After scoring one more victory in the regional circuit, the 28-year old submission wizard finally directed his path to ONE Championship in early 2018. 

While Takenaka was indeed triumphant in his promotional debut, it was not how the Japanese standout would have wanted to get a win, as he was on the receiving end of an illegal spike from former ONE Bantamweight World Championship challenger Dae Hwan Kim. 

The illegal move left Takenaka unable to continue competing, which resulted in a disqualification for Kim. 

At ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON in Shanghai, Takenaka plans to make the most of his second opportunity in ONE Championship by taking out Alvarez in dominant fashion and keeping his unbeaten record intact. 

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