After a successful stint in “ONE Warrior Series Philippines,” Ernesto “Iron” Montilla Jr. has been the next Filipino called up to ONE Championship’s main stage.
Montilla, who made it to the top three of the show, will have his hands full when he takes on Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in a three-round flyweight MMA bout at ONE Friday Fights 9 on 17 March inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Iron” came into the show as one of the favorites to win. He was one of the most experienced fighters on the OWS roster, bringing his championship pedigree to the mix.
He did prove his worth, making it all the way to the top three of the competition before being eliminated. Now he’s out to prove that he belongs on the big stage.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity ONE Championship has given me. I’ll pour everything [into] my training and give them a great performance,” he said.
“[The wait is] very much worth it. I’ve waited for so long to step on the big stage. When I was offered this fight, I didn’t think twice and grabbed the chance.
“I did all I can on ONE Warrior Series Philippines, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant for me. But this time, I won’t let it slip and [will] stop at nothing.”
He’ll have his hands full against Wada, who’s faced the best that the division has to offer. The Japanese man has shared the ring with ONE Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson and several top contenders in Danny Kingad and Reece McLaren.
While it’s a tough debut for Montilla, he’s confident that he can hang with the MMA veteran.
“In every fight, they have always wanted to test me. All I can say is I’m a well-rounded fighter. Wherever I go in MMA, I have something to offer,” he said.
“I don’t want to underestimate my opponent. I’ll do my best to beat him whether in striking or grappling,” he added.
“I [should] stay relaxed and only focus on training, strengthening my weak points.”
Catch all the ONE Championship action by downloading the ONE Super App.