After a successful professional mixed martial arts debut in ONE Championship, Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon, 26, of New Jersey, United States is back. He will compete in the lightweight division against Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju, 26, of India at “ONE: Reign of Kings” on July 27, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
“My end goal is to take everything that I have learned and relay it to the next generation,” Tonon shared. “That’s where I see my career going. I don’t see my career ending with just a professional career.”
Tonon began his martial arts career as a wrestler, competing extensively throughout grade school. He was 14 when he enrolled at Ocean County BJJ where Tom DeBlass introduced him to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“I think that’s a means to an end for me,” Tonon said. “It’s for me to get the experience and the perspective I need to be able to communicate this knowledge and these skills to the next generation and help them out. We have a guy like Renzo Gracie competing on the card, who was basically the founder of the organization that I train in.”
After eight years, Renzo Gracie, 51, of Brazil is competing in the cage again. He will face Yuki “Sora” Kondo, 43, of Japan in the welterweight division at “ONE: Reign of Kings.”
“All the guys that are coaching me are guys that sprung from his teachings,” Tonon said. “I want to be a figure like that. I want to be a figure who people could look up to and say, ‘If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am today,’ not for selfish reasons, but that feels good to me.”
“I think it’s a great way for me to contribute all these things that I’ve been given from all these people who went out of their way to spend time and sacrifice their time and to help me out,” Tonon added. “This is for me to give back to the next generation and help them out.”
Tonon’s first bout in ONE Championship was the inaugural Grappling Super Match of the promotion against Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Japan. Here is a clip from the match:
Ticket information for ONE: REIGN OF KINGS is available at www.onefc.com.