After almost a year away, Malaysian star Keanu Subba is all set to return to ONE Championship on home soil and put on a show at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Subba returns to action on Friday, 13 July against “White Dragon” Xie Chao, and says he is coming back an improved martial artist after his last match with Christian “The Warrior” Lee at ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS in August 2017.
“I learned a lot. Ever since then, I have been reading a lot of books, doing a lot of research, and fixing the things I needed to fix,” he explains.
“I will be bigger, stronger, and wiser, for sure. I feel like I have just taken the time to rebuild those foundations properly.”
Subba’s bout with Lee was one of ONE’s best matches last year, but he knows he needs to improve on that performance against Xie at the Axiata Arena if he is to pick up the comeback win he needs.
The Chinese contender is undefeated at 3-0 in ONE and is considered to be one of the most dangerous up-and-coming athletes in the featherweight division.
But Subba has carried that same label himself, and he says he’s ready to show he is a cut above his Chinese opponent – not just by winning, but by dominating the contest.
“He’s got experience, he’s fought tough guys, but he’s primarily a grappler,” says the 24-year-old.
“I just want to go out there and take him down, grapple, and strike. In my last fight, I didn’t shoot for any takedowns. I need to find my groove in there.
“I definitely need to win this and prove a point. I need to validate myself again.
“Before the Christian Lee fight, if I’d won, I’d be close to the title, but the time away has really played a big impact on my position in ONE.
“A lot of people have forgotten about me. I need to validate myself, not just by winning, but by dominating my fight.”
While he has been away, the featherweight division has moved on without him, and the Malaysian hero is determined to force himself back into the World Title conversation with a big performance.
He wants to follow that in the months to come by building momentum with a succession of wins to make his title credentials impossible to ignore.
“I would like to be as busy as possible,” he explains.
“I want to go into the fight and find my groove, and then keep busy with three or four bouts a year.”