Ayala will meet Terrance Jean-Jacques in one of the marquee matchups of the evening as he looks to make an impact in his debut to advance to the final, where the winner will receive a six-figure deal with ONE Championship.
Winning the tournament would help Ayala achieve his dreams, both in the sport and outside of it. “Conan The Barbarian” wants to be an inspiration to others, and jumping onto the global stage would give him that opportunity.
“My MMA goal is to become the heavyweight champion and light heavyweight champion, but the biggest goal in the sport is motivating and inspiring the younger generation,” said Ayala.
“My goal in life is to inspire the world to follow their dreams, work hard, and become something great. We all have the ability to come from nothing and become something.”
And Ayala has come from nothing.
As the son of immigrant parents from a developing nation, Ayala did not even have a bed until he went to college. But he remains grateful because his upbringing helped him become the man he is today.
The undefeated heavyweight gives the credit to his mother for his values and work ethic. She remains near to his heart following her death in 2020, and he found new motivation in the darkness of grief.
“The biggest moment of overcoming adversity outside of fighting would be dealing with the death of my mother. I lost my mother during the pandemic in 2020. To this day, it’s been very rough on my family and me,” said Ayala.
“My mother meant the world to me. She was the unification of my family. She had sacrificed so much for the family, and she loved us so dearly. It took some time to fully understand that I wouldn’t be able to see or speak to my mother but something sparked inside of me after that. I felt a new flame that I’ve never felt before to succeed in my career.”
And that is why winning the “Road To ONE” is so important for the Californian, and he anticipates an early night.
“Winning the Road To ONE tournament means a lot to me because it gives me the opportunity to continue my goals and ambitions to become the next World Champion. This will allow me to take care of not just myself but also my family,” said the undefeated heavyweight.
“I will just do my best to pick my opponent apart, I know I can end the fight at any moment, but I want to be able to display my skills, so we will see how it goes. I’m calling a 1st round TKO.”
If he gets the finish he envisions, Ayala will be one win away from joining ONE’s global stage. He stands on the precipice of his dreams.
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