Takeru, 32, is set for his ONE Championship debut at ONE 165 on January 28 at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. His opponent – Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
The former K-1 champion joined the commentary team at Pro Wrestling event NOAH earlier today. Just four weeks away from his much-anticipated return, the assembled Japanese media was more than curious about recent rumors of him potentially fighting Superlek instead. The ONE Flyweight Kickboxing champion was scheduled to defend his title against Elias Mahmoudi on January 13, but the French-Algerian had to withdraw due to a rib injury.
The gossip surrounding Rodtang’s absence is not new to Takeru, but he’s not certain about the whole situation.
"I haven't been contacted about [Rodtang's withdrawal], so I'm proceeding like the fight is still on. I've come this far, so I intend to go through with it."
When asked if he would still compete if 'The Iron Man' would drop out of the fight, he said, "I will make that decision when the time comes. But as a fighter, I've never pushed myself this hard before. I've spent months building my body to the point where I'm willing to break it if necessary. So, essentially, the option not to fight doesn't really exist."
ONE Championship has yet to address the rumors, but continues to promote the event with Rodtang in the main role.