From Contender to Champion? Williams Eyes Strawweight Title against Di Bella

August 24, 2023
From: Spartacus

In a bout that promises to be a monumental clash for kickboxing aficionados, Danial “Mini T” Williams is gearing up for a face-off against the reigning ONE strawweight kickboxing world champion, Jonathan Di Bella. Slated for October 6 at ONE Fight Night 15, this championship battle is set to unfold at the venerable Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. Both fighters are not just seeking to preserve their personal legacies but also aspire to define who stands as the apex competitor in the strawweight division.

“It’s good to get the opportunity to fight him and see who is the best kickboxer in our division,” Williams declared during an exclusive interview with ONE Championship, underscoring the significance of this highly anticipated match-up.

Since making his ONE Championship debut in April 2021, Danial Williams has exhibited extraordinary versatility, claiming victory on three separate occasions under the banner of Asia’s largest global sports media property. His striking repertoire has enthralled fans, leading to a rapid rise within the promotional ranks. It was only in March of this year that Williams had his initial title shot against Superlek Kiatmoo9 for the ONE flyweight kickboxing world title, an endeavour that ended in a third-round knockout defeat. However, with unwavering tenacity, the Perth native is now seizing another chance, this time at his preferred weight class of strawweight.

On the other side of the ring, Jonathan Di Bella, a potent Canadian-Italian talent, is no less imposing. In his ONE debut, Di Bella took on the hard-hitting Zhang Peimian for the then-vacant strawweight kickboxing world title, ultimately emerging triumphant after five rounds of riveting combat. Since that decisive victory, Di Bella has not only maintained an unblemished 11-0 record but has also bolstered his standing as a fighter of international repute.

As the pair prepare for their colossal encounter, Williams’ focus and dedication remain unparalleled. “I’ve been watching my previous kickboxing matches, stressing on focusing and improving myself, which is important for my game plan,” he mentioned in a candid interview with Sportskeeda. While previous bouts have seen Williams go toe-to-toe with formidable opponents like Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Superlek Kiatmoo9, this forthcoming duel commands an entirely different level of mental fortitude.

One cannot overlook Williams’ audacious long-term vision: the aspiration to become a three-sport world champion across the arenas of Muay Thai, kickboxing, and MMA under the ONE Championship banner. “I wanted to be the Muay Thai, kickboxing, and MMA champ [in ONE]. It still is my goal, I’m just more focused on the one area now,” he elaborated in his discussion with ONE.

Williams’ diverse skill set and experience—boasting 24 career wins in Muay Thai and kickboxing and a 3-1 record in MMA—are testaments to his adaptable fight strategy. These attributes will be critical when he faces the undefeated Di Bella, who also possesses a comprehensive combat toolkit and is riding the momentum of his recent victories.

What makes this bout particularly salient is its timing and setting. Taking place at Bangkok’s legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, the duel will be part of an evening teeming with high-stakes contests, including Jonathan Haggerty vs. Fabricio Andrade for the vacant bantamweight kickboxing world title, and Tawanchai vs. Superbon for the featherweight Muay Thai world title.

The stage is set for what promises to be a defining moment in both Williams’ and Di Bella’s careers. For Williams, a win would not merely be redemption for his previous loss but also the first step in a broader three-championship vision. For Di Bella, defending his title successfully would fortify his status as an indomitable champion and add another feather in his already impressive cap.

The bout between Danial Williams and Jonathan Di Bella is far from a routine championship match. It is an epic crucible that aims to validate who indeed is “the best kickboxer in our division.” As the world tunes in to ONE Fight Night 15, the stakes could not be higher, nor could the anticipation be more palpable, for this contest that promises to be a cornerstone in the legacies of two remarkable fighters.

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