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NZ fighter set for international stage

Alexi Serepisos. Lead Image Courtsey of Isaac Savage @ https://newzealandfighter.co.nz/

Alexi Serepisos is ready for the biggest stage of his career.

The New Zealand Combat Sports scene is on a roll at the moment and this weekend Alexi “Phet” Serepisos (40-13-0) looks to keep the momentum going.

The 24-year-old Muay Thai fighter is scheduled to appear in the co-main event of ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta, Indonesia.

It will be the Kiwi’s first outing under the ONE Championship banner, and he will make his debut against highly rated Thai athlete Mongkolpetch Petchyindee Academy (110-40-0).

The pair will meet in a Muay Thai flyweight bout.

Serepisos trains out of Hamilton’s House Of Pain gym, home to a number of the country’s top martial artists such as Carlos Hicks and Quade Taranaki.

The bout will be the perfect opportunity for “Phet” to showcase his skill set to an audience that will number in the millions.

ONE Championship is the world’s largest martial arts organisation and encompasses both MMA as well as more traditional martial arts such as Muay Thai.

In 2018 the average viewing audience for the promotion's events was 11 million with its most popular event ONE: Kingdom Of Heroes pulling in 25 million viewers.

Serepisos has built a name for himself as one of this country's foremost Muay Thai practitioners, and the chance to mix it with the world’s best has the Kiwi’s competitive juices flowing.

“The calibre [in ONE] is so high, my motivating factor is to compete with the best people in the world,” Serepisos said in an interview after his signing was made official.

“I have always taken harder bouts, I have never padded my record, that is why if you look at my record I have quite a few losses.

“I always will take the hard matchup, if there is an option between a hard match and easy match.”

In Mongkolpetch, Serepisos will be facing a Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion, an achievement which places the Thai firmly in the upper echelon of Muay Thai fighters.

“I am very familiar with who he is, I have seen a fair few of his fights just from being a fan, so it’s quite exciting to go and get to compete against these people who I am a fan of, “ Serepisos said.

This will not be the first time that Serepisos has shared the ring with a fighter of this calibre. Last year he fought Muay Thai veteran and ten-time world champion Lerdsila, and despite not getting the result he wanted, he walked away from the bout with a valuable lesson.

“I came out of that fight, and I really took a lot away from it around my capability and where I actually stand within the sport.

So that was a huge learning experience for me so taking that [knowledge] into this fight here, it’s not about the experience anymore.

Serepisos shortly after signing his official contract with ONE Championship.

It’s really about trying to go in and cement my place within ONE Championship and within the international fight scene.”

The fact that this bout will also be fought inside a cage with MMA gloves adds an extra element of spice to this weekend’s matchup.

“The way you defend is different, the way you attack is different, the way you have to position yourself,” Serepisos said when discussing the required adjustments he will need to make on Saturday.

“Obviously with boxing gloves, you can basically cover your face with your glove, whereas with MMA gloves, you can’t, you really have to get your face out of the way of oncoming attacks. Otherwise, you absorb a lot more punishment.”

Serepisos is aware of the challenge Mongkolpetch poses, but he has been careful not to become too focused on what his opponent may or may not do.

“When you fight these elite top-level Thais, they don’t have many flaws in their game, and I am not someone who typically does game plans for fights anyway.

So, I try as much as possible to focus on what I am going to do.

“You want to go into [the bout] with an open mind and be able to adapt, and that’s something that I think I do quite well.”

Serepisos has long been regarded as one to watch by local fight fans, but after this weekend, his name could be ringing out across all four corners of the globe.

New Zealand fans will be able to watch the bout live using the following link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9LbtYsIWbE

Alternatively, it can be watched on the ONE APP which be downloaded at

https://www.onefc.com/download-app/

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