Walter Goncalves still focused on winning Muay Thai gold in ONE Championship

By BJPENN.COM Staff - November 29, 2023

Walter Goncalves is on a unique journey in the world of combat sports.

Walter Goncalves

While success in mixed martial arts remains a burning ambition, his immediate focus is on the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title.

The Brazilian striker is returning to his roots with a renewed passion at ONE Fight Night 17 on Prime Video. There, he faces England’s Jacob Smith.

The three-round bout takes place at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and airs live in U.S. primetime on December 8.

Goncalves made his MMA debut in July, a venture that ended in a loss to Banma Duoji. But rather than being deterred by the experience, he found a love for the all-encompassing sport.

“As it was my first MMA fight, it was an incredible feeling. There’s no way to describe it. I just know that I want to fight MMA more often, and I’m going to train a lot more for that. One day, I want to be an MMA World Champion,” he said.

Despite the disappointing result, Goncalves is resolute in his commitment to return to MMA and test his mettle once again.

“I don’t think anything went wrong [in the fight]. He was better than me that day because in MMA he is much more experienced than me. But that didn’t frustrate me at all. It just made me want to pursue my dream more,” Goncalves said.

Currently ranked as the #2 contender in the flyweight Muay Thai division, Goncalves has already positioned himself among the elite.

The 25-year-old cannot deny the allure of vying for 26 pounds of gold.

“I want to achieve my goal of becoming a Muay Thai World Champion. I feel like it’s something that’s closest to me as it’s where I feel most confident and comfortable,” he said.

Walter Goncalves prepared for Jacob Smith’s all-action style

Walter Goncalves understands that Jacob Smith poses a formidable challenge in their upcoming clash.

Both men have shared the ring with ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon, providing Goncalves with valuable insights into Smith’s abilities.

Impressed by Smith’s gutsy performance on short notice, Goncalves anticipates a fiercely aggressive approach from his English opponent.

“I watched Jacob Smith’s fight against Rodtang, and I saw that he is a strong guy, that he moves forward all the time, that wherever he hits, he hurts his opponent, and that he also takes hits well,” Goncalves said.

“I believe that his strong points are his kicks and punches.”

Aware of Smith’s power and intensity, Goncalves respects his opponent’s skills. However, he remains confident in what he brings to the table.

“I think his weak point is his speed. I think he fights a lot standing still, and I’m faster than him. So, I think this could be a good path to explore in this fight. I believe it will be a good game for me,” Goncalves said.

“In addition to my agility, I believe that the strength of my blows will make a difference in this fight in my favor.”

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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