Undefeated bantamweight Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen is set to make his ONE Championship debut on 12 July at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The American will do so against China’s Chen “The Ghost” Rui who, like Worthen, has yet to experience defeat so far in his professional career.
Both men like to press the pace which should ensure a combustible matchup once the leather starts flying. Yet, that is only one of the reasons why this matchup is surrounded by an air of expectation. The other reason is that both fans and media are eager to see how Worthen performs under the bright lights of the world’s largest martial arts organization.
A product of the USA collegiate wrestling system, Worthen represented the University Of Central Florida and collected such titles as NCWA All-American and NCWA Southeastern Conference Champion during his time there. Last November, after attending an open tryout Worthen was awarded a spot on the prestigious Evolve Fight Team.
The 26-year-old may be new to the division, but he will walk into the ONE Circle backed by an impressive mixed martial arts resume.
“I think I was a pretty well-rounded martial artist when I came to Evolve, but now I can really focus on fine-tuning the little details of the different aspects of my mixed martial arts game,” Worthen said when talking about the benefits of his move to Singapore.
“I think ONE Championship is going to see a more polished Troy Worthen than I have ever shown before. I think I was really good before, but Evolve will unleash my greatness,” Worthen said when talking about the benefits of his move to Singapore.
Moving to a new country, as well as adjusting to a new culture can be a challenging experience, and Worthen has also had to cope with leaving behind family and friends, many of whom were instrumental in helping him get his start as a professional martial artist.
However, the chance to train at one of the world’s most respected martial arts gym was not one the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt could turn down, and at the moment he is reaping the rewards that his move has brought him.
“Life at Evolve in Singapore has been awesome for me. I get to make a living being a full-time martial artist, so my dream is already accomplished. I am surrounded by motivated people and people of character not just on the fight team, but every one that is a part of the Evolve staff, “he said.
“Professionally, I don’t know that there was a better opportunity in the world for me. Personally, it’s taken some time to get used to not having my friends and family, but I am adjusting, and the team here is pretty close, so it’s made the transition a little easier.”
“The moment I was able to tell everyone that Evolve had selected me from the tryouts, everyone was really happy for me and supportive of my accomplishment. Having to leave them made it a little bitter-sweet, but greatness is only realized through sacrifices,” he added.
Worthen is expecting fireworks right from the start when he and Chen meet inside Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena.
“Chen Rui seems like a very confident striker that likes to break his opponents with pressure. I am similar in that I like to pressure my opponents until I take their will, so it should be an exciting matchup from the opening bell,” he said
“Pretty Boy” also has a message for fans regarding just what they look forward to whenever they see the name Worthen listed on an event card.
“I truly love martial arts and being able to compete, so fans can expect a very high-energy and aggressive performance with a smile on my face from the second my entrance music begins. If I don’t bring them out of their seats, then I feel as though I didn’t do my job. When Troy Worthen competes, you’ll get your money’s worth.”
It is a bold statement to make, but so far throughout his career, Worthen has achieved everything he has set out to accomplish. He has also stated that by this time next year he aims to be a ONE World Champion and with his track record, who would want to bet against him doing just that?