MMA

Toquero eyes ONE Championship redemption

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Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Eugene Toquero is keen to redeem himself from a dismal 2016 as he makes his eighth trip inside the ONE Championship cage.

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The 35-year-old Cebu native seeks vindication when he faces top Indonesian prospect Stefer Rahardian on the undercard of ONE: Kings of Destiny, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.

With seven of his eight victories as a professional coming by way of knockout, Toquero is known for his unpredictable striking techniques.

Eugene Toquero (left) delivers a kick against a foe. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

However, Toquero is coming off two-straight setbacks in 2016, yielding to interim ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes via first-round submission in March and another similar defeat at the hands of Team Lakay’s Danny Kingad last December.

“I have made other adjustments. I train longer and harder now. I don’t want to be complacent because I am not getting any younger. This is a huge organization with a lot of very good fighters from all over the world. I want to make my mark. This is my time to shine,” Toquero said.

The man standing in his re-entry to the winner’s column is Rahardian, who made an impressive ONE Championship debut by beating Jerome Paye via unanimous decision in ONE: Titles & Titans in August last year.

Satisfied with the outcome of his training camp, Toquero sees a positive outcome of his forthcoming contest with Rahardian.

“Training had a good turnout. Everyone in my camp extended a helping hand. I feel so rejuvenated for this fight. I don’t know if there is anyone who can cope up with my pace,” he said.

“If my hair stands up or falls down it does not matter. This time, l will make sure that my hand is raised as the winner that night,” Toquero ended.

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