Turkish sensation Halil Amir couldn’t have imagined a better start to his tenure in ONE Championship.
Last Friday at ONE on Prime Video 2, the 28-year-old improved his MMA record to 8-0, maintained his 100 percent finishing rate, and beat one of the promotion’s most respected veterans in Timofey Nastyukhin.
With that in mind, here are three potential opponents for the undefeated upstart as he tries to battle his way toward a World Title shot.
Izagakhmaev would be an ideal opponent for several reasons.
For starters, he’s the #5-ranked lightweight contender, owns a stellar 21-2 professional record, and has earned two straight dominant victories since joining ONE Championship. That makes him a serious player in the division and puts him on a similar trajectory as the fast-rising Amir.
Moreover, Izagakhmaev would present some interesting stylistic challenges.
A protege of MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, he might be the best overall grappler in the lightweight class. And while Amir is undoubtedly schooled on the ground, he prefers to rely on his destructive striking.
A matchup with the Russian takedown artist could be the perfect opportunity for the Turk to showcase the full breadth of his game.
Amir might also have his eyes on fellow Turkish star and #2-ranked lightweight Dagi Arslanaliev.
Arslanaliev is a top contender who would represent another step up in competition – and he would move Amir significantly closer to the divisional gold.
What makes this potential showdown so compelling is that both men are seeking to become the first athlete from the Middle East to win a ONE World Title. That storyline would create an added element of drama within a fight that would surely deliver fireworks.
With his elite submission skills and willingness to go to war on the feet, Arslanaliev would bring the action to Amir in all areas and produce a fan-friendly affair.
Plus, he’s already competed in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final against reigning divisional king Christian Lee and is one of the most established names in the organization.
Ok Rae Yoon
Amir would certainly welcome a bout against former lightweight king and current #1 contender Ok Rae Yoon.
In September 2021 at ONE: REVOLUTION, Ok wrested the divisional belt from Lee to complete a stunning World Title run. However, he would drop the gold in a rematch with “The Warrior” at ONE 160 this past August.
The South Korean is now looking for a top opponent as he aims to get back on track, and Amir is an ultra-talented, hungry contender who can push the former champ to his limit.
Ok would be the most dangerous foe of the undefeated Turkish fighter’s career, but after Amir’s electrifying finish of Nastyukhin, few would question if he is ready for such a step up.