Kiamrian Abbasov has used his incredible array of skills and attributes to become the ONE Welterweight World Champion.
The two divisional kings will square off on Friday, November 18, as Lee steps up to challenge for champ-champ status at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
However, it certainly won’t be easy when he deals with “Brazen” inside the Circle.
As we look ahead to fight night in North American primetime, here are five reasons why Abbasov currently stands as ONE’s most dangerous welterweight MMA competitor.
#1 He’s A Dominant Grappler
Abbasov took up wrestling as a youngster under the guidance of his uncle, and it’s always formed an important part of his MMA offense.
The 29-year-old has an explosive double-leg takedown, excellent trips, and a strong clinch game that help him control opponents and take them to the mat.
“Brazen” has also equipped himself with other tools to make sure the threat doesn’t end there, including punishing ground-and-pound and slick submission skills.
If he can’t punch his way to a finish, he’ll often weaken his rivals enough to open up a chance to choke them, and this combination means those foes get no respite when they’re underneath him.
#2 He Has Firepower On The Feet
Although wrestling was his base, Abbasov is also a powerful striker who can get the job done in the stand-up exchanges.
His punches are concussive, as he showed with his KO win over Yushin Okami, and he has fight-ending knees – something James Nakashima found out when he challenged “Brazen” for the ONE Welterweight World Title.
With various finishing tools to utilize, it’s no surprise that 11 of Abbasov’s 15 career wins have come via strikes, including eight in the opening round.
If the Bishkek native wants the bout to play out on the feet, he can combine striking with his formidable wrestling to make sure he has plenty of opportunities to land a killer shot.
#3 He Can Adapt To Win
Given his well-stocked arsenal in every range, Abbasov has the kind of adaptability that makes him hard to handle
While many athletes in ONE Championship are well-rounded, few are as devastating in every range, which means “Brazen” can find his opponent’s specific weaknesses and exploit them during the fight.
If he sees a gap in the stand-up, he can take it. If he feels a need to change things up, he can opt to clinch or wrestle, and then engage in a ground battle.
He’s used mid-fight switches in tactics to keep his rivals guessing, and by being so versatile, he’s been able to overcome strikers, wrestlers, and submission specialists by finding gaps in their armor.
#4 He’s As Tough As They Come
Aside from the more tangible aspects of his skill set, Abbasov is also one of the toughest fighters in ONE. His physical preparation comes into it, but his unbreakable mentality is key.
He’s not afraid to keep battling when the chips are down and can bounce back with a vengeance at any point.
For instance, after losing the first round to Okami, “Brazen” roared back to score a memorable knockout victory in the second frame.
Things also looked bleak when he fought Nakashima. Abbasov entered the championship rounds with a broken nose – and was likely down on the scorecards – but he gritted his teeth and fired back, stopping the American deep into the fourth stanza.
It’s clear that the proud Kyrgyz star is hard to break – and if you don’t stop him, he’ll always have a chance.
#5 He Owns The Conditioning To Last Five Rounds
If Abbasov can’t score a finish inside the distance, history says the odds are still in his favor.
He’s gone the distance nine times in his career, winning eight for an 8-1 slate overall on the judges’ scorecards.
That impressive statistic is a testament to his gas tank, which helps him push the pace until the final bell – even across five rounds, like his crowning moment against former welterweight titleholder Zebaztian Kadestam.
Abbasov has even competed in seven rounds during the same evening, earning a pair of decisions and a first-round submission to win a one-night tournament in Russia, so his resilience and stamina can never be questioned.
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