Accomplished jiu-jitsu stylist Garry Tonon is one of, if not the, best prospect in all of MMA — if he can still be considered a prospect. With a perfect 6-0 record in his young MMA career, Tonon is already knocking on the door of a shot at the ONE Championship lightweight title. In a recent interview with Fansided MMA, Tonon broke down a potential fight with current champion Thanh Le.
“First of all, Thanh Le will probably be my toughest opponent to-date. I don’t think that’s too arguable,” Tonon said. “That’s the same with the guy I fought last time, but I think that Le is just one step above that. And I think in the standing position, he’ll present the most challenges. From what I’ve seen in his previous fights…now, you know, times change, people get better. But from what I’ve seen in his previous fights, I definitely think that there is a grappling deficiency. It’s certainly not his strong suit…”
To be fair, Tonon would have a grappling advantage on nearly every lightweight fighter in the world. A black belt under Tom DeBlass and longtime representative of the Danaher Death Squad, Garry Tonon is a multiple-time EBI champion, an ADCC bronze medalist, and widely known for his exciting style of grappling.
“I see opportunities where I’ll be able to capitalize in the standing position as well,” he continued. “I have to get it there somehow, so, I have to be creative and find ways to take him down and not get hurt. He has had fights where, you know, somebody out-grapples him for a round and then in the second round, the guy went in for a takedown and he knocked him out with a knee. There’s real danger throughout the fight at all times.
“That’s one of the interesting things that starts to happen with a little bit more experienced guys who are fighting tougher and tougher opponents. A lot of times, you start encountering guys that have finishing potential, because that’s what it takes to get to the highest level. My first few fights, the risk of me just getting caught by like a straight punch or kick and getting knocked out were much lower, right? Their track record for that thing wasn’t super high. As I got into like my fourth, fifth, sixth fight, ‘okay, now we’re starting to deal with guys that have KO victories on their rap sheet, you know. Thanh Le is one of those guys. He has explosive finishing power, which makes it impressive. So it’s dangerous, for sure. It’s a very risky fight, and as far as how I actually physically see it going, I think that more than likely, I walk away with a finish.”
Tonon also indicated that, while he hasn’t yet signed a contract to fight Le, he believes that the fight will happen before the end of 2021.
“But the good news is is that it does seem like I’ll be fighting sometime in the near future,” Tonon said. “For a while I was getting held back by Thanh Le’s hand injury, I think, and I was kind of waiting to see what would happen with that. I think he’s healthy now so we’re looking forward to hopefully that fight.”
Tonon last competed in December 2020, when he earned a decision win over Koyomi Matsushima. All of Tonon’s six MMA bouts have taken place under the ONE Championship banner.