Garry Tonon has had his next MMA fight announced as he will now compete against Koyomi Matsushima at ONE: Next Generation on November 20th, 2020. The news was first revealed by the South China Morning Post, where one of the best American grapplers of his generation gave his thoughts on his next opponent and how he fared in his last fight, an unsuccessful title shot against the promotion’s Featherweight Champion, Martin Nguyen:
“He’s one of the tougher guys up there. He gave Martin quite a good run for his money. Early on in the fight he was giving Martin a really tough time. It just goes to show he’s a tough guy. It also shows a lot about Martin.”
Garry Tonon has recently been calling for a title shot against Nguyen and being booked against the last title-challenger and second-ranked Matsushima is a good signal that a title-shot is right around the corner. Nguyen is already set to defend his title against Thanh Le just a few weeks before Tonon meets Matsushima so the timing works out perfectly for the undefeated Danaher Death Squad member to be net in line with a victory.
“I guess this is my next step up, I gotta be able to beat the guy that challenged Martin for the title and maybe we’ll see me fighting for the title soon.”
Before this, Tonon was originally booked to face fellow undefeated fighter, Ruslan Emilbek, but the Russian could not get to Singapore due to recent travel restrictions in place as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Regardless, Tonon had already spent some time preparing for him and found that both Emilbek and Matsushima would be difficult challenges to overcome:
“I was really looking forward to that fight. Just a super tough fighter, really tough to take down. Anybody that tried to take him down in all this footage I studied, I maybe only found one guy that took him down and it was maybe off a scramble situation. He is a really tough opponent. But the next guy coming up is tough too, so it is what it is. We just move on.”