Breaking Down Every MMA Matchup At ONE Friday Fights 17

Dmitriy Babkin takes a punch from Ivan Parshikov at ONE Fight Night 3

When ONE Championship returns to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium this week for ONE Friday Fights 17, a trio of intriguing mixed martial arts matchups will kick off the card.

Those battles will feature some of the most promising international rising stars in the sport, from talented grappling experts to explosive strikers and everything in between.

Here’s a closer look at all three MMA bouts going down this Friday, May 19, in Asia primetime.

Ivan Parshikov vs. Lianyang Xia

In bantamweight action, Russian scrapper Ivan Parshikov will look for his third straight ONE Friday Fights victory, but he’ll face a stiff test in the form of ONE Hero Series veteran “The Fire Dragon” Liangyang Xia.

At just 25 years old, Parshikov already possesses a well-rounded MMA game – just as happy to trade heavy leather on the feet or chase a submission on the mat.

He’ll also come into this contest brimming with confidence after scoring an incredible 50-second kneebar finish in March at ONE Friday Fights 10.

Across from Parshikov will stand a man with an equally well-rounded skill set.

With just a single loss across eight professional fights, Liangyang owns blazing hand speed and big power but has also displayed excellent wrestling and top control en route to becoming one of China’s most exciting young competitors.

Simply put, fans can look forward to an all-out war when these athletes each try to earn a statement win on the global stage.

Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu vs. Rockie Bactol

Before that, bantamweights Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu and Rockie Bactol will clash in a guaranteed firefight.

The winner of Road To ONE: Mongolia, Baatarkhuu is a supremely physical fighter with a seemingly endless gas tank. He’s utilized a combination of that raw athleticism and relentless aggression to string together an impressive seven-fight winning streak coming into this bout.

Bactol, meanwhile, was one of the first ONE Warrior Series winners back in 2018 but initially struggled against elite competition in ONE Championship. He’s now earned four straight victories – including three via stoppage – to find himself in this big opportunity.

Whether this showdown takes place on the feet or on the canvas, expect both men to employ their trademark go-forward styles in an early pick for Fight of the Night.

Bartosz Skrok vs. Samir Akhmedov

Friday’s card will start with a grappler’s delight, as standout wrestler Samir Akhmedov of Kazakhstan takes on Polish submission specialist Bartosz Skrok in a featherweight contest designed for fireworks.

The numbers in this matchup certainly tell a story of two dangerous finishers. 

On one side, Akhmedov is a powerful takedown artist with a knack for finding openings – either for punishing ground strikes or his opponent’s neck. So far, those tactics have produced a 5-1 record with a 100 percent finishing rate.

Skrok, meanwhile, is unbeaten as a professional. He constantly hunts for a finish on the ground and has defeated each of his foes by submission while showcasing a unique and ultra-aggressive approach to MMA.

If history is any indication, another submission finish should be on the menu in this one.

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