Walter Goncalves is channeling his inner Saenchai as he prepares for battle against Jonathan Haggerty.
The pair will face each other in a quarterfinal pairing at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on May 20.
ONE Championship shared a clip of Goncalves doing the signature Saenchai cartwheel kick during a training session. The caption reads:
“Saenchai style 😎 Walter Goncalves collides with Jonathan Haggerty on 20 May in the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix quarterfinals at ONE 157! 👑 @walter_goncalves_iron_hands @saenchaithailand”
The legendary Muay Thai warrior Saenchai regularly used the move as part of his deep bag of tricks. Some fans may have doubts about the move’s effectiveness. However, they only need to see Saenchai’s record of over 300 wins to figure out why Goncalves is trying the move out.
In the comments section, one fan was just amazed by the 23-year-old’s display of athleticism:
“The guy is too cool.”
While the move is flashy and crowd pleasing, it leaves the performer vulnerable to attacks. As such, one fan extended a message of concern to Goncalves should he try it out in the actual match:
“Nice , do not do that against Haggerty you will get knocked out.”
Walter Goncalves looking for his maiden win in ONE Championship
Walter Goncalves made a splash in his ONE Championship debut when he went toe-to-toe with Rodtang Jitmuangnon in his world title challenge in 2019. Despite losing via split-decision, the Brazilian was praised for his performance against the dominant champion.
In his second match in the promotion, he looked better as he faced Japanese fighter Momotaro in 2020. Unfortunately, an injury prevented him from finishing the fight, leaving him still winless in the circle.
However, Goncalves has over 60 wins in the striking arts of Muay Thai and kickboxing prior to joining ONE Championship. It’s only a matter of time before he takes his winning ways to the promotion.
Trying to take that maiden victory against a fighter of the caliber of Jonathan Haggerty will certainly be a tough task for anyone, though. If Goncalves can get the win over Haggerty, he will surely be a fighter to watch out for in the tournament and beyond.