Of the 12 world class match-ups on deck when ONE Championship returns to Jakarta, Indonesia, few promise more excitement than this encounter.
Top flyweights Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov and “The Southern Eagle” Ma Hao Bin will bring their skills to the fore, and fans can expect some high-level wrestling to be on display when they clash at the Jakarta Convention Centre on Saturday, 22 September.
Each man will be in search of a victory at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES to keep them in the World Title picture, so get ready for them to put on a show.
The Tale Of The Tape
Hands up if you can't wait to see Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov back in action! ????Jakarta | 22 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneconquest18
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, September 8, 2018
Akhmetov (24-2) is a former ONE Flyweight World Champion, and before that, was a was a three-time National Wrestling Champion in his homeland of Kazakhstan.
The 30-year-old – who splits his training between Alash Pride in Almaty, and Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand – has 18 finishes to his name, 17 of which came in the first round.
“The Kazakh” defeated Adriano Moraes by decision to win gold in his ONE debut in 2015, and also holds a victory over current World Champion Geje Eustaquio, proving he is one of the division’s absolute best.
Ma Hao Bin put the squeeze on tight!Jakarta | 22 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneconquest18
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Ma (11-3), on the other hand, won the ONE Changsha Bantamweight Tournament in 2016 with back-to-back guillotine chokes, before posting four more consecutive victories in the promotion.
The 24-year-old from Nanchang, China, has two knockouts to his credit and four submissions, including the fastest submission in ONE bantamweight history at just 27 seconds.
The Jincan Defense Club representative became a Chinese National Freestyle Wrestling Champion after taking up the sport in 2005, before moving on to show world-class pedigree in mixed martial arts.
Now a flyweight, he is coming off one of the bouts of the year against Danny Kingad at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in June.
Keys To Victory
Will Kairat "The Kazakh" Akhmetov's wrestling be his ???? to victory of 22 September?Jakarta | 22 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneconquest18
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, September 13, 2018
With his extensive Greco-Roman wrestling background, it is no surprise that “The Kazakh” wants to take the contest to the mat. From there, he can dominate with tight top control, as well as powerful ground and pound.
His skills are not limited to his Greco-Roman grappling, however. His makes good use of his taekwondo-based striking to put his opponents on the back foot, close the distance, and grab a hold of them.
Once Akhmetov has his rival within his grasp, look for him to push Ma up against the fence, or change levels to shoot for a takedown and get to work.
"The Southern Eagle" Ma Hao Bin will be landing in Jakarta on 22 September.Jakarta | 22 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneconquest18
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, September 16, 2018
“The Southern Eagle’s” approach also involves putting his opponents on their back. He often has success with overhand rights, which put him in a position to flex his offensive wrestling.
Low may be the way to go to put his opposite number on his back – where he is less comfortable – thanks to his explosive single-leg takedown, which could exploit the upper-body focus of Akhmetov’s Greco-Roman wrestling expertise.
Should Ma find himself on the end of a takedown, all will not be lost because he is extremely dangerous with his guillotine choke. “The Kazakh” will have watch where he leaves his neck, as the Chinese athlete has submitted three of his opponents in ONE with this technique.
The Spoils Of Victory
Given Akhmetov’s stock as a former World Champion, and as a recent challenger for the ONE Interim Flyweight World Title, his name carries a lot of weight at the top of the division.
After splitting his two-bout series 1-1 with current kingpin Eustaquio, there is some unfinished business to take care of. A rubber match seems inevitable at some point in the future.
Though the title picture will be packed with the presence of Moraes, Reece McLaren, and the winner of Danny Kingad VS Yuya Wakamatsu, a victory would bolster Akhmetov’s case for that trilogy bout in the short-term.
Ma has a solid record, but is missing a marquee victory against one of the division’s big names – at the moment. Having his hand raised after a battle against someone with Akmetov’s accolades will undoubtedly be a huge stepping stone towards his own title aspirations.