ONE: Inside the Matrix — Antonio Caruso Feels Like Real-Life Rocky Balboa


ONE Championship’s Antonio Caruso earned the biggest win of his career at Inside the Matrix this past Friday.

After coming up short in his ONE debut against Pieter Buist, Caruso (8-1) got back in the win column with a unanimous decision victory against former lightweight champ Eduard Folayang. It was more than just a return to the win column for a fighter undefeated prior to the Buist bout, however. In fact, as Caruso put it after the bout, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press, “I proved to myself that I am a fighter that is world-class.”

In doing so, “that puts the rest of the world on notice now,” added Caruso, who trains at a top gym in Sanford MMA. “Because now I know I’m world-class. So all these other fighters out there, you better watch out. Because there’s a whole new ‘Spartan’ coming for all of you.”

A win over Folayang, one of ONE’s longtime, standout lightweights, “It means the world,” admitted Caruso. “I come from a little city called Adelaide and I bet none of you have ever heard of where I come from. And to fight in front of millions of people from over 150 countries on the world’s biggest martial artist stage against arguably one of the greatest of our division, it’s honestly so much fun. It’s like Rocky, man. I feel like Rocky Balboa, I really do. The real-life Italian Stallion. It’s a dream and I’m making it come true.”

As to what comes next, “I want Pieter Buist. I want my 0 back,” said Caruso. “I need that back. I’m a competitive guy, that’s just me. Pieter, I’m coming for you. I want my 0 back. And then anyone else in that top five that wants to get it, they can get it too.”

Watch the full ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix post-fight media session with Antonio Caruso above.

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