On April 20, 2018, “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim, 31, of Seoul, South Korea and Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari, 42, of Tokyo, Japan will compete on the undercard of “ONE: Heroes of Honor” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Both fighters are aiming for a redemptive win.
When Imanari made his ONE Championship debut on March 31, 2012, he submitted Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 30, of the Philippines via reverse heel hook at “ONE: War of the Lions.” On June 23, 2012, Imanari fought inside the ONE Championship cage for the second time and lost Leandro “Brodinho” Issa, 34, of Brazil via unanimous decision at “ONE: Destiny of Warriors.”
On January 20, 2018, Imanari returned to the ONE Championship cage and lost to Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev, 33, of Russia via unanimous decision at “ONE: Kings of Courage.” The Japanese fighter is now aiming to by claim a big win over Kim, who is fighting his seventh bout in the promotion.
“Manila is passionate about martial arts,” Kim said. “I fought in Manila twice, and I enjoyed it so much.”
Kim submitted Thanh “Alladin” Vu, 26, of Australia at “ONE: Moment of Truth” on December 6, 2016 but on December 5, 2014, the Korean fighter was submitted by reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes of Brazil via rear-naked choke. Both bouts took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
In Kim’s most recent bout, he lost to his Japanese opponent Daichi Takenaka via disqualification due to illegal spike at “ONE: Quest for Gold” on February 23, 2018. Facing another Japanese opponent, Kim is looking forward to bounce back at “ONE: Heroes of Honor.”
“On April 20, they are going to witness an intense rivalry between South Korea and Japan,” Kim stated. “They’ve never seen anything like it. It will be a battle, and I want to win it.”
Belingon and Andrew Leone, 28, of the United States will headline “ONE: Heroes of Honor.” Watch the teaser here: