13/04/2024

Image sourced from ONE Championship: Jay Furness/ Design by Will Cuckson)

Fan-favourite striker Danial ‘Mini T’ Williams is “prepared for wherever it goes” as he looks to challenge division king Jonathan Di Bella for the ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title.

The Thai-Australian believes reigning champion Di Bella is “going to be a tough one to crack” when both warriors collide on October 6th (October 7th AEST) at ONE Fight Night 15: Le vs. Freymanov on Prime Video

In an exclusive interview with The Inner Sanctum, Danial Williams revealed his gameplan for the fight and it will come as no surprise to his fans that he intends to walk forward and bring the brawl to the defending champion.

“He’s a lanky sort of southpaw, he’s different from my style, he wants to stay on the outside whereas I want to come in … I think he’s pretty predictable … so it’s just exploiting that,” Williams told The Inner Sanctum.

“I just feel like using my angles and getting inside is going to be my way forward but I’m prepared for wherever it goes.”

‘Mini T’ claims he is not taking Di Bella lightly, admitting his opponent is very “skilled and technical” but believes he has the power advantage to take out the champion.

“I’m going to be a lot more prepared for fighting a taller southpaw, if I didn’t have the good range then I think it would be a hard task because he’s so skilled and technical – he’s a good IQ fighter.

“Walking into his shots … he will wait for an opponent to come in for that lead hook and I think that’s his big advantage … but I feel I can take his shots.

“I just feel the power difference will be in my favour, so I feel like I can wear his shots until I come inside and that’s where I’ll explode him.

“I always fight for a knockout, it doesn’t matter who it is, this is how I train … but I’m prepared to go five rounds – he is tough.”

Williams understands there are a “lot of unknowns” surrounding this fight but remains confident in his ability and wants to discover the answer to one burning question – “Can I stop him?”

(Image sourced from ONE Championship: Athlete profile)

Danial Williams delved into his training camp and revealed some surprising information.

“My whole career I’ve barely sparred, I had that idea that I don’t want to get hit in the head too much,” Williams said.

“Then obviously, my two losses,  I felt like shit I need to get back into sparring because my range was bad.

“Now that I’ve been doing a full camp with lots of sparring … it’s just my range that’s getting heaps better.”

‘Mini T’ discussed how different this camp has been compared to his previous MMA camps which included grappling and jiu-jitsu to round out his wide skill set.

“Yeah, it’s been really good to have a four-day week camp,” he said.

“Staying with the one discipline has really been building my confidence and my skills because in other camps I’ve been fluctuating between different sports.

“I still try to manage a lot of grappling, even striking, trying to keep the tools sharp in every area. Now I’ve got eight weeks in the one sport and I’m learning a lot.”

Williams is looking forward to returning to his striking roots but says a return to MMA is in the cards.

“It feels good, it feels comfortable. When I first stopped muay thai and kickboxing, I had that mission, I felt like I did everything I could before (my time in) ONE Championship even started,” he said.

“I did everything I could in my striking arts, so I really wanted to do MMA.

“When I had that Rodtang opportunity, I just got that itch back (for striking) … I believe I can get the title.

“As long as I look after myself and be the best version of myself compared to all my other fights then it will be entertaining but the main thing is getting that win and doing the best fight I could possibly do.”

(Image sourced from ONE Championship: Chris Mohan)

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ONE Championship is a powerhouse of martial arts and not only has its world-class MMA divisions but is bringing fresh eyes onto the exciting sports of muay thai, kickboxing and submission grappling.

Multi-sport fighter Danial Williams has competed in almost all of the martial arts ONE has to offer, even refusing to rule out a potential dive into submission grappling.

“That’d be awesome, that will complete my martial arts journey. Grappling’s been an open-ended loop of mine for the last six years,” he said.

“That’s why I see my way forward is really getting the cobwebs out and really sticking towards the striking.

“Then after that, really just staying in the one gym, at my MMA gym and just purely focusing on MMA and grappling.

“I’d love to do that, it’d be sick, I’m a martial artist so I’d like to compete in any martial art.”

The always-game ‘Mini T’ has said he would even be interested in running back his two legendary fights with Rodtang and Superlek.

“I would love to test that and just fight both of them again, just to see how I’d go,” he said.

 “It’s still going to be a crazy hard task to defeat them but that would be awesome!”

(Image sourced from ONE Championship: Chris Mohan)

The Thai-Australian athlete isn’t looking past Di Bella or the opportunity in front of him but says he would be very interested in a future ONE Championship event in Australia.

“I think it definitely has the potential with the Channel 7 deal that they got, they want to probably push that a bit more, their brand here,” Williams said.

“You see UFC here sellout, it’s absolutely crazy … it’d be stupid if they didn’t try and get here, just to try and build their brand.

“I win the title and we have a few other Aussies that are coming up that should be on the card … 100 per cent.

“That’d be like another dream come true to fight on a big card here in Australia … I wouldn’t have to travel anywhere so that’s a bonus.”

Watch Danial ‘Mini T’ Williams fight for ONE Championship gold on October 6th (October 7th AEST)  at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Bangkok, live at ONE Fight Night 15: Le vs. Freymanov on Prime Video.

The full event will be broadcast live on 7plus at 10am (AEST) on Saturday, October 7.

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