Japan’s Yoshitaka Naito will defend his ONE strawweight championship next month at ONE Championship: Warriors of the World. The Asian MMA promotion announced the news via a press release early Monday. Opposite Naito in the cage will be Brazil’s Alex Silva. The event is set to take place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on December 9.
Naito (12-0) is undefeated as a professional. He has spent the bulk of his career in Shooto, but fought his last two bouts under the ONE Championship banner. Naito has been out of action over a year, however, not having fought since his first title defense against Joshua Pacio at ONE Championship: State of Warriors in October 2016.
He’ll make his return against Alex “Little Rock” Silva next month. Silva is 6-1 to date in his career, and has won his last five bouts, all under the ONE banner. All five of those wins have come via submission, with four by arm-bar.
In a prepared statement within Monday’s press release, Naito was quoted as saying that “Having this belt means I am a master of my craft. It hasn’t been easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but I am prepared to do whatever it takes. Alex Silva is a worthy challenger and an amazing competitor. I look forward to testing my skills against him.”
For his part, Silva added that “I’m competing for the ONE Strawweight World Championship and have a chance to be known as the best strawweight in the world. I’m excited for the opportunity and in the name of Jesus Christ, I will bring this belt back to my team, Evolve! Honor and glory to God!”
Additional bouts will be added to the Warriors of the World card at a later date.