MANILA, Philippines - Three former Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans, including British-Iranian Kamal Shalorus, will be featured in the return of ONE Fighting Championship in Manila Friday.
Shalorus, 35, arrived yesterday, almost a week ahead of his much-anticipated lightweight bout with Filipino star Eduard Folayang in the "Rise to Power" fight card.
The British-Iranian is raring to make an impact on his debut in the biggest and most popular fight organization in the Asia-Pacific region.
Folayang could well have his hands full against Shalorus, a world-class wrestler from Khalkhal, Iran granted British citizenship after representing the United Kingdom in the Olympic qualifiers.
Shalorus' best moments came in the World Extreme Cagefighting where he won three fights and drew one. A crucial point-deduction for groin strikes led to the draw for Shalorus who now holds a 7-0-2 (win-loss-draw) record.
"When I was in WEC, I ran through several top contenders and former titleholders and made it to the top and I was very close to the belt when the organization merged with UFC. Then I knew that I needed about two fights to earn the title shot but it didn't happen. Now that I have such a great opportunity, I am very determined to win ONE FC belt," Shalorus told The STAR in an exclusive interview.
"I have been training without distractions at Kaizen MMA Team. My head coach, Nima Mazhari, is from my hometown and I feel at home there. They have helped me so much to stay on my feet, work on my weaknesses and look for a better future in this spor" he added.
Shalorus, however, lost all his three fights on the octagon to American Jim Miller, Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov and Brazilian Rafael dos Anjos.
A year after, Shalorus is in ONE FC with a chance to become champion.
"Kamal Shalorus is one of the most exciting fighters ONE FC is bringing to Manila in ONE FC: Rise to Power on May 31," ONE FC marketing and media head Loren Mack yesterday told The STAR.