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Jonathan Haggerty wants to 'obliterate' Amir Naseri in response to pre-fight comments

'The General' took exception to a few statements made ahead of his clash with Naseri at ONE on Prime Video 1.

Jonathan Haggerty was devastated when he was forced to withdraw from the ONE flyweight muay Thai world grand prix quarterfinals due to illness earlier this year, but a new opportunity has him fired up to return stronger.

On August 26, Haggerty will compete in a grand prix alternate bout against Amir Naseri at "ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II," which airs live in North American primetime.

The British superstar is ecstatic about the situation – and for the potential chance to re-enter the main bracket if anything happens to the semifinalists.

For now, the division's No. 2-ranked contender – and its former king – believes he can deliver some much-needed excitement when he battles Naseri at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

"The General" said:

"The tournament was definitely missing something, and I think that might have been me. I was excited when they said (I could come back as an alternate).

"It felt like they were thinking about me. They're noticing the hard work I've put in, and they want me there to take part."

While he was already thrilled to return, the Englishman is even more motivated due to his upcoming opponent's confident talk.

After losing to grand prix semifinalist Savvas Michael in his ONE debut, Naseri said he was looking forward to getting back on track with a finish – even stating that Haggerty is "nothing special."

Those brash comments caught the attention of "The General," who plans to make the Iranian-Malaysian striker regret those words.

"I think it's a bad idea him saying that because it's only going to make me want to hurt him even more," Haggerty responded. "The last time someone spoke like that it was Mongkolpetch (Petchyindee), and he paid for it, so I'm going to go out there in the first round and try and obliterate him to show that I am one step ahead of Savvas, and I am more dangerous than him by stopping Naseri."

Haggerty training for potential grand prix final matchup

Although he's taken note of Naseri's trash talk, Haggerty insists that he won't let emotions cloud his judgement. Instead, he plans to use his renowned blend of skillful aggression to overwhelm his foe.

"The General" feels like he has the higher fight IQ, and while he would love to prove a point with power, he also expects to showcase his technical advantage over Naseri.

"I can be dangerous, angry, and be smart and calculated at the same time," the 25-year-old said. "I feel like he doesn't have gameplans; he just goes in there and fights. He overextends. He's quite a scrappy fighter. He makes mistakes, which is very dangerous against someone like myself."

Although there are no guarantees with the alternate slot, Haggerty will be ready if he's picked to rejoin the main bracket – and above all, he knows that an impressive win over Naseri is necessary to make his case.

The setback in May has only made the former ONE flyweight muay Thai world champion more determined to get back to the top, and he's ready to battle the division's most elite strikers.

"The General" added: 

"This time around, I've done a 12-week fight camp. I've done strength and conditioning, I've done things differently. I am not looking past Naseri, but I am training as if I'm going to fight (tournament semifinalists) Savvas (Michael) or Rodtang (Jitmuangnon). That's my mentality. I'm preparing to step in if anything happens. 

"Like I said, I'm not looking past Naseri, but it's a bit unfortunate for him because I'm training my absolute (hardest). I'm not preparing for Naseri – I'm getting ready for Rodtang, I'm getting ready for Savvas, so good luck to them all."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.