“The belt is just a bonus” – Jonathan Di Bella not feeling pressured ahead of world title bout with Zhang Peimian

He may have been thrust into the biggest fight of his career, but Jonathan Di Bella is making sure he does not let the hype get into his mind all that much. Di Bella will take on Zhang Peimian for the vacant ONE strawweight kickboxing world title at ONE 162 on October 21, local time, at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

Coming into his debut fight, Di Bella admitted that he doesn’t feel the pressure of the situation and that he’s treating his world title fight against Zhang as just another bout. Jonathan Di Bella, in an interview with South China Morning Post’s Tom Taylor said:

“No pressure. I treat it like a regular fight at the end of the day. The belt is just a bonus. I always had my eyes on this belt. I believe I was going to be a kickboxing champion since I was a little kid. It’s finally going to happen.”

Di Bella, who’s trained in kickboxing since he was two years old, is stepping into the biggest opportunity of his career when he fights for the ONE strawweight kickboxing world title, a belt that has stood vacant since Sam-A Gaiyanghadao’s retirement in February 2022. Nevertheless, the 26-year-old is one of the most dangerous strikers in the world, having won an ISKA world title and earning five wins in Glory Kickboxing.

Zhang, meanwhile, is one of the brightest kickboxing stars of the current era. The 19-year-old from Shenzhen, China, owns a 16-1-1 record and is 2-0 in ONE Championship. The ‘Fighting Rooster’ dispatched Josh Tonna and Aslanbek Zikreev in his march to world title contention.


Jonathan Di Bella is hyped for upcoming showdown with Zhang

The son of a kickboxing world champion, Jonathan Di Bella knew that becoming the best in the sport requires the toughest of attitudes.

The Canadian-Italian star is aware that becoming the world champion has its own set of challenges, and he’s ready to break through those barriers to realize his dream of capturing gold in ONE Championship.

Di Bella, in just his first match for the promotion, will take on Zhang for the vacant ONE strawweight kickboxing world championship. He wants nothing more than to test his skills against someone he sees as the best in the world.

In the same SCMP interview, he said:

“It makes me very excited. I know he’s No.1 in the world right now. I signed up for the sport to compete at the highest level. I’m not here playing. I’m here to fight everybody.”



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