EXCLUSIVE | Garry Tonon wants ONE featherweight title, then lightweight bouts with stars like Alvarez, Aoki

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Garry Tonon
Image: ONEFC.com

When BJJ whiz Garry Tonon submitted South Korea’s Sung Jong Lee at ONE: Heart of the Lion earlier this month, he improved to an impressive 3-0 as a mixed martial artist.

Thus far, the the five-time EBI Grappling Champion has drifted between the 155-pound ONE featherweight division, and the 170-pound ONE lightweight division. And from the sounds of it, he could continue floating between both divisions.

Speaking on the latest episode of BJPENN Radio, Garry Tonon explained that, while his fight with Lee was at featherweight, the prospect of showdowns with stars like Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki could once again coax him up to the ONE lightweight division in the future.

“They have a lot of really good prospects at 170 so there’s a good chance I’ll end up fighting guys at that weight at some point, whether it’s Shinya or Eddie or whoever,” Tonon said. “They’ve got a lot of really good guys that are big match ups for them, so I’m sure people will see me fighting at 170 again.”

That being said, Garry Tonon recognizes that now might not be the best time to test his mettle in the 170-pound ONE lightweight division. Not only does he admit he feels a bit undersized for the division, but the division’s top stars are also all gearing up for ONE Championship’s anticipated Lightweight Grand Prix. This Grand Prix is likely to keep these top lightweights busy for awhile, so Tonon says he’s focused on capturing the ONE featherweight belt in the meantime.

“I think, in the meantime I’ll be fighting at 155,” he said. “They have a Lightweight Grand Prix that’s going on right now with a lot of their top guys, so my thought process is that if that’s an eight-man Grand Prix, that’s a minimum of three fights they’d all be having, or that it would take to win the whole thing, so that whole process would take roughly like a little less than a year.

“So if that’s the case, a lot of the guys that are going to be involved with that are going to be hung up for a little while,” he added. “So I’m thinking I’ll have a pretty good shot at potentially getting that 155 pound title at some point.”

Capturing the ONE featherweight title is not going to be easy, but Garry Tonon is confident he can pull this feat off quite soon. After all, he’s not your average competitor.

“I think currently, the ’55 pound champion, Martin Nguyen is hurt, so I think they’re going to do an interim title,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the next thing for them. So I don’t think I’ll be involved in that.

“I guess in the meantime my next fight would be March,” he continued. “So feasibly, it’s possible that you see me have like one more fight and then potentially a shot. It’s possible. I can’t say for sure.”

“I think that for the average person probably would be [too soon], just in terms of like number of fights before you go to fight for a title,” he concluded. “I don’t lack confidence in my ability to fight for the title that early. I’m feeling pretty good about my abilities and everything now and if that’s when they wanted to give it to me, I think I’d feel comfortable.”

What do you think the future holds for Garry Tonon in ONE Championship?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/27/2018.





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