Earlier this month, ONE FC 6: Rise of Kings ended up as one of the most entertaining cards in Asia from top to bottom. It produced some excellent finishes and some back and forth wars, with one of the more memorable performances turned in by Japanese fighter Kotetsu Boku.
Pegged as an underdog by most pundits coming into to the event, Boku survived an onslaught launched by the highly regarded lightweight Zorobabel Moreira. Badly battered and limping on one leg, 'No Face' pushed through and managed to land damaging shots of his own, toppling his massive 6-foot-3 opponent on the third round of their contest.
The Japanese fighter showed tremendous heart and his performance earned him ONE FC's inaugural lightweight championship in one of the most entertaining fights put on by the promotion.
"It's the best feeling!" Kotetsu Boku told BloodyElbow.com as he talked about his big win at ONE FC 6. "KO wins are always special to me, but this time, not only did I win the fight by KO, but I was also able to have gorgeous champion belt as a souvenir."
"I am very happy and honored," he said, "We always try our best to show our best performance and have the best fight in the arena for the wonderful fans who come to see the event. What I can do now as a champion is to make every endeavor every day as a champion of ONE FC."
[Related: ONE FC 6 Photo Gallery Part 1 | Part 2]
During the championship bout, Boku took several hard kicks that looked to have his leg badly hurt, but the Japanese fighter said he never really thought about the accumulation and damage he was taking.
"Yeah, it was a tough moment late in the second round, but I was not worried about the referee stoppage because my consciousness was clear." he said, talking about overcoming adversity during the bout, "I was focused on the fight and I knew I could knock him out before my leg dies."
And that's exactly what he did. Boku gutted it out and he pulled off a win over one of the most highly regarded lightweights in the region. Zoro was tearing through all comers, and the Shooto veteran claimed what was probably the biggest win of his career.
"It was my honor to show my fight in front of the best audience in Asia and in ONE FC - one of best promotions in the world," Boku continued, "Moreira is a complete MMA fighter in a new era and he's much stronger than what I expected."
"I gave words to him right after the fight... 'no rematch please'." Boku joked as the always cheerful and jovial fighter talked about his opponent.
As for who's next for the new champion, Filipino star Eduard Folayang has been mentioned as next in line, although fellow Japanese fighter Shinya Aoki has also gone on record to call out Boku in an effort to try and avenge his teammate's loss.
[Related: Interview: Shinya Aoki calls out Kotetsu Boku, wants title shot and revenge for his teammate]
"I think (Folayang) is a tough and powerful fighter, and everyone knows Shinya is very strong and one of best fighters in the world" Kotetsu said as he talked about the lightweights who are lining up for a shot at his title, "I am prepared to face anyone's challenge, including Shinya. I am confident that my chance to win the fight against him is not ZERO."
'No Face' manages to make light of every situation and tries to keep the mood up and to have everyone smiling. Don't mistake it for complacency though. He's currently enjoying the start of his reign as the first ONE FC lightweight champion, but soon enough, this veteran will be back on the grind with the Krazy Bee crew knowing guys like Folayang, Aoki and Laursen are all gunning for him.
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