It’s not often that a 2-0 prospect is asked about title fights in a major promotion. But that’s how things have gone for ONE Championship’s Ourmar Kane, otherwise known as “Reug Reug.”
Kane, a standout wrestler from Senegal who became a star in his home country competing in Lutte avec frappe (traditional Senegalese wrestling), transitioned to MMA in 2019, debuting for upstart promotion ARES Fighting Championship. With ARES dormant during the coronavirus pandemic, Kane moved to ONE Championship last year, defeating promotion mainstay Alain Ngalani. Two wins, two finishes, and a lot of promise have prospect-watchers high on Kane.
A lot of athletes might struggle being in the spotlight so early on. Kane, however, has belief in himself, he told Cageside Press during this week’s ONE on TNT 1 media day. “I believe in everything that I start. I have a goal to be at the top, and I pray to God to help me achieve that goal.”
It feels like the world of ONE Championship is Reug Reug’s oyster. The heavyweight division hasn’t seen a wrestler quite like him, and it could be a very short path to the top. Kane perhaps knows that, but he’s leaving things to faith.
Calling his upcoming fight against “a step that I’m going through,” Kane stated that “I believe that I have to face every fight with the same conviction and the same strength. For now I’m young, so I don’t know how long it will take [to reach the title]. It’s not in my hands, it’s in Gods hands. I don’t know how long it will take, but I’m aiming at the belt, because I want [to be on] the top.”
Asked about ONE on TNT 1 opponent Mehdi Barghi (more on that in a moment), Kane said that “I will respect my opponent, I’ll fight and it will be a great fight, but I expect victory.” He’d later add that when it comes to the pressure of fighting on a bigger stage, there isn’t any. “I’m not feeling no pressure at all,” said Kane, who noted that “this not new to me. I have been progressing, I have been fighting all over, even at an international [level] for my country, so I’m used to being in an arena.”
When he does fight this Wednesday night at ONE on TNT 1, however, it won’t be against Barghi. With Barghi withdrawing from the fight, Kane will instead meeting the debuting Patrick Schmid.
Watch the full ONE on TNT 1 media day interview with Ourmar Kane above.