Amir Khan overcame both personal and professional adversity to get back on track in his last outing, and he wants to keep the train rolling forward on Friday, August 26.
That evening, Khan (14-8) will face Keanu Subba (8-5) in a featherweight MMA tilt on the lead card of "ONE 160: Ok vs. Lee II," and he will carry a major confidence boost into the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
After grieving the loss of his father and undergoing knee surgery, the former ONE lightweight world title challenger dropped down a division and scored a key split-decision victory over Ryogo Takahashi at ONE X in March.
Now, he feels ready to continue his ascent in the lighter weight class.
"It feels really good getting that first win, especially after my injury and entering a new division," the Singaporean mixed martial artist said. "The win just helps me get back on track. It always feels good to build momentum – and that's what I'm going to build the momentum on."
Though Khan had not competed at featherweight in six years before facing Takahashi, he already had his eyes on Subba due to the Malaysian's long tenure in the division.
They both competed under the featherweight umbrella for some time, so Khan feels like he got a head start on preparations for this showdown.
"I know Keanu is a veteran of the sport," he explained. "He's been in the game as long as I have. He's been around for a long time, and he's very well-rounded.
"I've actually planned a game plan for him before, a few years ago, because I knew he might be someone that I would be expecting to face. So I have always been observing his career and progression."
Khan wants to leave no doubt against Subba
Already familiar with his upcoming foe, Khan is convinced that he owns the right tools to defeat Subba at ONE 160.
Competing in front of his home crowd in Singapore, the 27-year-old believes he's put together a strategy that will take away the Malaysian's offense and offer a clear route to victory.
"I'm 100 percent confident on getting the win over Keanu," Khan said. "I feel he can't really use his strengths on me. He won't be able to get me on the ground. And I'm really prepared for his boxing.
"I feel maybe in the striking he might think he will give me trouble, but I've totally switched up my fighting style and game plan just for him, so I'm excited to show what I've got for him."
However, after his split-decision victory over Ryogo Takahashi at ONE X, Khan hopes to avoid the judges this time around.
He would love nothing more than to finish Subba inside the distance – and with eight knockouts in 14 career MMA victories, the veteran is certainly capable of a highlight-reel performance.
"To get probable win like a split decision is not always nice," he added. "Some people say you win, some people say you lose. And it's a bit annoying. It really drives me to really execute the proper win this time, leave no questions.
"I'm looking for a finish, but I'm hunting for a finish by not forcing it, if that makes sense. I think I'm going to finish Keanu in a devastating manner. I feel if I show a good display of striking power and if I catch him, then (ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong) will give me that $50,000 bonus."
This story first published on ONEFC.com.