Leone backs Tommy to "step up" against Fodor

Andrew Leone may be the headliner in One FC: Champions & Warriors but the American will keenly watch Seung-ho "Tommy" Yang's fight with Caros "The Future" Fodor.

Tommy Yang

Leone, 24, will feature in the fight of his life against Shinichi Kojima in a flyweight bout at the Istora Senayan with the winner expected to get a title shot in the near future.

The Phuket Top Team fighter, however, is not the only young gun who will be thrust into the regional spotlight on the night as Yang will feature on the main card against Strikeforce veteran Fodor. 

Fodor (7-3-0) had a five-match winning streak in the now defunct Strikeforce and even featured in the Ultimate Fighting Championship before switching his attention to Asia. The 29-year-old American is expected to become a regular fixture in the lightweight division and will be keen to make an impression on his One FC debut. 

In contrast, South Korean Yang has only featured in minor competitions with journeyman David Gardner his only opponent to have registered more than ten fights in his career. Therefore, unbeaten Yang, whose six fight wins make for deceptive reading, will face a fighter of a markedly higher calibre in Fodor in Jakarta. 

"Tommy will come out on top. I know Caros is Matt Hume's guy [at AMC Pankration] but Tommy is an animal," team-mate Leone commented.

"Tommy Yang vs Caros Fodor is a fight that really excites me. I know we are both surprise packages but we have trained hard these past few months. 

"It will definitely be a step up for Tommy. But then we all gotta step up sometime." 

Caros is also the brother of Ben Fodor, who styles himself as Seattle-based vigilante Phoenix Jones, and Leone was bemused at the prospect of getting to see Tommy face the brother of a real-life superhero. 

"Of course, if his brother was a vigilante then Tommy might lose... he better be carrying a gun on the night!" 

And the fighter from Center Moriches revealed why he has yet to pick a stage name, a facet expected as a rite of passage within the world of professional mixed martial arts.

"I don't have a nickname. I just want to compete as myself.

"Some of my friends call me 'Lionheart' because of that Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.

"But I'm just really happy fighting as Andrew Leone."

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