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After nearly four years of sitting on the sidelines, Singaporean spitfire Radeem Rahman makes his much-awaited return to the ONE Championship cage in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, 12 May.
A former Singapore Muay Thai champion and striking specialist, Rahman is slated to lock horns with China’s Tang De Pan on the undercard of ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, which takes place at the Jakarta Convention Center.
He gladly said:
“I am back.
“It’s a huge relief because I can finally resume my professional career.
"I would like to thank ONE Championship for opening its door again. It’s time to put on the work.”
The 30-year-old Singaporean dynamo made his ONE Championship debut in September 2011 as part of the historic first-ever ONE Championship event, defeating Susovan Ghosh by first-round technical knockout.
Rahman followed it up with a second-round finish of Malaysia’s Raymond Tan in front of his countryman at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in May 2014.
However, he failed to get his third-straight victory under the ONE Championship banner four months later as he yielded to Taiwanese prospect Ming Yen Sung via unanimous decision.
Now representing Phuket Top Team in his return, Rahman expressed his exuberance in opening a new chapter in his professional mixed martial arts stint.
"I have not fought for quite some time as I was out injured and also due to personal reasons," he stated.
“But I am back for good. I have a good team behind me for this comeback. I am excited and ready to get the win.”
For Rahman's comeback, he faces a much tougher test than the last three opponents that he crossed paths with in ONE Championship because he dukes it out with a highly-touted Chinese prodigy in Tang.
Owning an immaculate 2-0 record in mixed martial arts, the 25-year-old native of Changsha, China is a former Chinese national wrestling champion, who always looks for the quick finish with his aggressive and relentless style.
Making his maiden ONE Championship appearance in January 2016, Tang defeated countryman Zhou Biao with a highlight-reel knockout by slamming his opponent emphatically to the mat.
Tang picked up his second consecutive triumph in the promotion by routing Asraful Islam by three-round unanimous decision this past December.
According to Rahman, he has been preparing specifically for his Chinese opponent's exceptional skillset.
"It is a good match-up for me. I am really looking forward to the fight, and I have been working more on my footwork and speed. I am also working on my striking to set up for a takedown and submission. I have been drilling the same setup until I perfect the timing and technique," he shared.
Rahman stressed that he has spent numerous hours of grinding at Phuket Top Team and credits his training partners at the aforementioned fight camp with guiding him through his preparation for his first bout in almost four years.
"It took me some time to get in shape and also overcome the emotional stuff. I have been in a good shape since then. It's an amazing journey so far, and I am glad that I have my coaches and teammates helping me along the way as I try to get back to where I left before," he asserted.
There is plenty of pressure on Rahman’s shoulders, and his response is to work tirelessly to try and ensure he is capable of living up to expectations once he steps inside the cage again on Saturday.
“I am eager and hungry to be back in the cage. I believe in hard work, and I have trained hard under great trainers, so I am confident that I will be mentally prepared on May 12th,” he ended.