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Jonathan Di Bella Recharged For ONE Friday Fights 68 Main Event

Jonathan Di Bella
Black Belt Plus

Jonathan Di Bella lost his title on the scale prior to ONE Friday Fights 58. Now, the Italian-Canadian striker is motivated to reclaim his gold in the main event of ONE Friday Fights 68 on Friday, June 28, against Prajanchai PK Saenchai.

Recounting the trials of his last time in Bangkok to ONE Championship, Di Bella noted when he finally realized the title of World Champion was stripped from his name.

“I went to do the faceoff because I was hoping that the fight was still going on. I was going to the hospital, and I thought maybe they could give me something to make me feel better. I remember facing off, and I was holding in my puke. I was about to throw up on him. I’m like, ‘Don’t throw up on him. This thing’s going viral if I puke,’” Di Bella said to ONE.

“So we went to the hospital, I threw up, they put me back on the bed, they put IVs in me, and I woke up in my hotel room the next day. I don’t remember what happened. I was still not feeling well. But then I started realizing I had lost my belt, and I couldn’t believe this had happened. As soon as I found out, it was heartbreaking.”

Disappointed in losing his title, Di Bella is refocusing on the task at hand so that he can once again sit on the strawweight kickboxing throne.

In preparation for the title tilt, the former ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion is even taking some motivation from Rocky IV.

“I have a champion’s mindset, but now I’m the underdog, so I feel even more focused. I want to win every fight, but especially now that I don’t have the belt anymore, I want to bring it back for my family. That’s my motivation,” Di Bella expressed.

“Fighting in his hometown in front of his family, his people, I feel like it’s a Rocky vs. Drago type of story. I’m going in there with a Rocky mentality and getting my belt back.”

Prajanchai has his own motivations. As the Muay Thai king, he is seeking two-sport gold in front of the Bangkok audience.

Knowing what the Thai star brings to the table, Di Bella believes the tactics and ability to adapt will play the biggest role in Friday’s main event battle.

“I believe whoever uses their IQ and whoever is smarter will win the fight. Fans should expect a technical battle,” the Italian-Canadian stated.

“But then it could be technical or it could be a crazy war. It depends on how he comes out and how I come out. Who knows? But they should expect something cool and a very good fight.”

Although the bout had to be postponed due to Di Bella’s illness last time, the Italian-Canadian has not changed much for the rebooked date.

Di Bella had to reset and ensure he was peaking at the right time. He believes that the time is now, and ONE Friday Fights 68 will mark the day when he is once again called ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Champion.

“The circumstances changed, but I was ready for him and very excited to compete against him in April. We just had to take some more time. We kept sharp when we came back to the gym, and that’s it. It was repetition of the things we were doing before for him,” Di Bella said.

“I’ve just got to go in there and be ready for everything that he has. I can’t predict anything that will happen in the fight – I just predict a win for myself.”

ONE Friday Fights 68 is available on global pay-per-view via on Friday, June 28, at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT.

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