Gianni Subba, ONE Championship’s top flyweight prospect, will again set foot into the cage at “ONE: KINGDOM OF KHMER”, looking to kick his mixed martial arts career into next gear.
The Kuala Lumpur native, toting a 6-1 win-loss record, is set to face off against Anatpong Bunrad (5-1) in what is expected to be an intense matchup of high-level strikers.
Subba, one of the country’s most promising young fighters, is fast climbing the ONE flyweight division. At just 22 years of age, he has already accomplished much in the sport and is well on his way to becoming a formidable mixed martial artist, one who can represent the country for years to come.
Subba debuted professionally at 19 years old, in impressive fashion no less, with a 30-second knockout of Bruce Loh who was much more experienced than he was.
He continued to mesmerize fans in succeeding bouts, including last March, when he broke his own record and knocked out opponent Thanh “Aladdin” Vu in just 20 seconds from the opening bell. Now Subba, a veteran of seven professional bouts, looks to advance his career and improve his record against his toughest opponent yet.
Subba, who is of Nepali-Chinese heritage, will take on Bunrad, himself of Belgian and Thai descent on December 5 in one of many feature bouts taking place at the Koh Pich Theatre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
“I have been to Cambodia! It is a very enchanting place, so much culture and history, Angkor Wat was my favorite thing but the food comes in a close second!” said Subba.
Despite the festivities, needless to say, the young warrior is ready as always.
“I train all year round and I am always in decent shape. I took this fight against Mak Bunrad because I wanted to test myself against the best in the division and also to prove that Malaysians can fight at a high level,” said Subba.
Bunrad was originally scheduled to face Japan’s Riku Shibuya but the latter suffered an injury during camp and was forced to pull out of the fight. Subba, who was tapped as a short-notice replacement, had no hesitation filling in the gap.
“I know that [Bunrad] is very well rounded in all aspects, but I have made vast improvements in my game during my time training at Bali MMA, so wherever this fight goes I will be ready,” said Subba.
Bunrad is coming off tough split decision victory over former world title challenger Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and is a winner of his last three bouts.
To say that Subba will have his hands full with Bunrad is a massive understatement. His Thai opponent is a highly skilled striking specialist, and with three knockouts and a submission win on his record, is also capable of finishing a fight at any given moment.
Subba on the other hand, overcame a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist in his last outing, thoroughly outpointing Almiro Barros to win by unanimous decision.
“The fight [against Barros] was a great learning experience for me because it was my first win via decision. It was good to get the time inside the cage. I felt comfortable,” said Subba.
“I could have done some things better but I have been working on it in the gym and should be able to adjust for this fight.”
Fighting isn’t everything for Subba however, and like most boys his age, Subba likes to spend his time surfing, and even occasionally hitting up a ‘cheat meal’ while enjoying a good movie. But inside the cage, where he feels most at home, Subba has labored for hours, tirelessly progressing towards achieving his goal — a world title.
“I’m looking to beat the names that people know, to put myself out there and perform, and make my family and supporters proud,” said Subba.
“ONE Championship has really taken care of me and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to showcase my talents all around the world. I think what has led me through all my victories are the people behind me, my family, all my sponsors, the crowd — I would not be able to do it without them.”