Joseph Lasiri is a fighter who brings the action every time he steps into the ONE circle, and this has made him a fan favorite in ONE Super Series.
Next, "The Hurricane" will carry that trademark intensity into his ONE strawweight muay Thai world title challenge of Prajanchai PK.Saenchai in the co-main event of "ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot" on Friday, May 20.
Lasiri plans to overwhelm the reigning king with constant pressure and claim the gold, but no matter how their contest plays out, it's sure to be a thriller.
As we look ahead to fight night, here are three reasons why the Italian-Moroccan striker might be the most exciting strawweight muay Thai athlete on the planet.
1. He pushes a high pace from the opening bell
While many Thai competitors pace themselves due to the nature of their bouts in Thailand, Lasiri is a fast starter who puts his foot on the gas from the first bell.
Plus, the No. 1-ranked contender doesn't fade as the match wears on, and he's repeatedly proven to be just as dangerous in the late stages.
After getting dropped by former flyweight muay Thai king Jonathan Haggerty in the opening round of their contest, Lasiri was at his most threatening in the final frame, and he also took control against Mongkolpetch Petchyindee in round three of their encounter.
"The Hurricane's" energy never seems to run out, and he will try to wear down Prajanchai across five rounds of their world title showdown.
2. His volume and work rate are incredible
What makes Lasiri's stamina even more impressive is that he maintains a high output of strikes.
The former WBC muay Thai world champion wades in with his aggressive, boxing-heavy style and consistently tries to put his opponents on the back foot.
After moving down from flyweight, the 30-year-old showed that his punching power would be an even greater asset at strawweight, as he scored his first ONE Super Series knockout against Asahi Shinagawa last December.
The clinch doesn’t slow him down, either. "The Hurricane" dives into elbow and knee attacks as soon as he's close enough to maintain his constant stream of offense.
A composed, technical fighter can sometimes find gaps in Lasiri's style, but it's not easy to deal with, and it's inevitable that they’ll have to endure lots of pressure before making inroads.
3. He'll walk through punishment to land strikes
Lasiri's durability works well alongside his relentless offense, allowing him to eat shots and still keep pressing forward.
Even when he's on the receiving end, the Kick and Punch Milano representative doesn't stop firing, and when he’s been knocked down, he often springs to his feet more fired up and raring to go.
Only the legendary Sam-A Gaiyanghadao has been able to keep him on the canvas in ONE, with "The Hurricane's" other stoppage loss in the organization coming through a cut.
Plus, "The Hurricane" has mostly competed as an undersized flyweight – which makes his resilience more impressive – and he holds a win over current ONE bantamweight kickboxing world champion Hiroki Akimoto.
With all that in mind, it would take a mammoth effort from Prajanchai to dispatch his hard-nosed challenger at strawweight on May 20.
This story first published at ONEFC.com.