3 Potential Opponents For Welterweight King Kiamrian Abbasov

Kyrgyzstan MMA star Kiamrian Abbasov fights American athlete James Nakashima at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II in Singapore

Over the past few years, ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov has quietly emerged as one of the most well-rounded athletes in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

During his promotional tenure, the 27-year-old Kyrgyzstani superstar has brilliantly utilized his grappling prowess, submission repertoire, and knockout power to storm his way to the top of the division.

Not only did he dominate former welterweight king Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam to capture the gold, but he also became the first person to defeat – and finish – American juggernaut James Nakashima in an impressive World Title defense.

With an astonishing 23-4 mixed martial arts record and a decisive five-bout winning streak, Abbasov is truly hitting his stride and looks close to unstoppable.

However, a number of talented athletes would love to prove themselves against “Brazen.” With that in mind, we look at there three potential opponents for Abbasov’s return to the Circle.

Raimond Magomedaliev

Raimond Magomedaliev raises his arm at "ONE on TNT I"

Standing at the front of the queue is Raimond Magomedaliev.

The bearded Dagestani, who’s won World Championships in king fu and combat sambo, experienced a rough start to life in ONE Championship. During his debut against Nakashima in November 2018, he suffered an injury and his first professional mixed martial arts loss.

But Magomedaliev rebounded in a major way, submitting Joey “Mama’s Boy” Pierotti, knocking out then-unbeaten Edson “Panico” Marques, and overwhelming former ONE World Title challenger Tyler McGuire en route to a unanimous decision victory at “ONE on TNT I” in April.

With an 8-1 slate and dazzling three-bout winning streak, Magomedaliev has established himself as one of the top contenders in the welterweight division.

Moreover, the Dagestani’s versatile skill set and devastating knockout power could make him the most dangerous threat to Abbasov’s reign.

Gadzhimurad Abdulaev

Gadzhimurad Abdulaev celebrates his win over Zebaztian Kadestam

Magomedaliev isn’t the only Dagestani welterweight star “Brazen” could face next. The divisional king could also find himself standing across the Circle from undefeated grappling sensation Gadzhimurad Abdulaev.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Brazilian veteran Carlos Prates in ONE Warrior Series, Abdulaev joined the promotion’s main roster and shockingly finished Kadestam in his January debut.

What made the result so surprising was that Abdulaev forced the former welterweight king to tap out in just over two minutes, which earned him the fastest submission in divisional history. To put that in perspective, Abbasov went five rounds with the battle-hardened Swede but couldn’t finish him during that time.

Abdulaev may not have the veteran experience that “Brazen” possesses, but he does have a youthful vigor and a tenacious grappling pedigree. The 24-year-old can brilliantly take opponents down with his wrestling skills, where he can work for submissions and pound his rivals out in a flash.

The Dagestani previously stated that he was “ready to fight with Kiamrian,” and he appears motivated to pull off an even bigger upset.

Reinier de Ridder

Pictures from the fight between Aung La N Sang and Reinier De Ridder at "ONE on TNT IV"

For the past year, Abbasov has been hoping to claim the ONE Middleweight World Title and become a two-division ONE World Champion.

And when Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder submitted Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang for the middleweight belt last October, it looked like the Kyrgyz might get an opportunity to achieve his goal.

The two had a polite exchange on social media, and in the lead-up to his rematch with the Myanmar icon this past April, De Ridder revealed that he was originally preparing to face Abbasov.

Now that he is “done” with Aung La N Sang, the Dutchman wants new challenges – and while he’s been very vocal about his desire to challenge heavyweight king Arjan “Singh” Bhullar, he’s also expressed interest in finally squaring off with the man known as “Brazen.”

The dangerous De Ridder holds a 14-0 slate and black belts in both judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. With that phenomenal grappling repertoire, a startling 85 percent finishing rate, and a 10-centimeter height advantage, “The Dutch Knight” would give Abbasov his toughest test to date.

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