Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen could not have had a better start to his ONE Championship career.
Earlier in July, at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY, he ran through Chinese opponent “The Ghost” Chen Rui to secure a second-round TKO victory in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Florida native is determined to repeat another strong performance in his Singapore premiere against “Rock Man” Chen Lei at ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS on Friday, 22 November.
Having called “The Lion City” home for the past six months, the thought of competing in his adopted hometown has the American feeling both nervous and excited.
“I don’t know if the Singaporean fans follow me or really know me too well, so I’m really excited to go out there and make a statement, and really make myself known in Singapore,” Worthen said.
“I am a proud American, and while I do represent the United States of America, I am representing the Singaporeans as well as my new adopted home. So, I hope they feel that way too.”
Despite his successful start to life in ONE, Worthen admitted there were several areas where he needed to improve.
The NCWA All-American and SEC Wrestling Champion has highly advanced grappling and technical skills, but he insists he has been working hard to round out the other aspects of his game.
“I’m not trying to just be a wrestler that just goes in there and ground and pounds people,” Worthen said.
“I want to be able to be the number one striker, the number one grappler, or the number one wrestler. I want to win everywhere, so I’m always working on everything.”
Worthen knows his opponent “Rock Man” is a proven finisher who has won four of his nine career bouts by TKO. However, the 26-year-old believes his style is a bad match-up for Chen.
“I don’t think Chen Lei is quite as dangerous on the feet. It’s more so a lot of point striking, a lot of pressure. He wants to use the striking to set up, to get to that body lock, kind of clinch with people in the cage,” he said.
“But from what I’ve seen, he doesn’t really pursue the finish. If a finish comes, he’ll take it, but he’s more so just trying to win rounds, scoring on the fight, and I think that’s going to be kind of his downfall to me.
“At every point, once the bell rings to when the fight’s over, I’m trying to finish my opponent. If he’s trying to win on the whole card, he’s going to run into a few issues. I think he’s like a typical high-volume pressure fighter, but I don’t think I can be broken, so it will be a tough match-up for him.”
To that end, the Evolve athlete has put in extra reps with his striking coaches to shore up his defense.
“Amir Gani, my striking coach, has been putting [in] a lot of work and a lot of extra sessions with me. I put a lot of emphasis more so on being defensively sound,” he said.
“I’m more concerned about getting hit than throwing out punches. I’ll land my strikes when I need to, but I need to be out of the way making sure I’m not taking damage.”
Always ready at a moment’s notice, Worthen is prepared to throw everything against Chen to get the win.
“Chen, I hope you’re ready for a war because that’s what I’m always prepared for,” Worthen said.
“We both think we’re going to win, we both think we’re the best, and we will find out in Singapore.”
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