Halil Amir Vs. Akbar Abdullaev: 4 Keys To Victory In Featherweight MMA Clash At ONE Fight Night 22

Halil Amir Ahmed Mujtaba ONE Fight Night 16 32

The featherweight MMA clash between Halil “No Mercy” Amir and Akbar “Bakal” Abdullaev is one of the most anticipated matchups at ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova on Prime Video.

Boasting identical 10-0 professional records with incredible finishing ratios, only one of the hard-hitting strikers can leave undefeated when they throw down in U.S. primetime this Friday, May 3.

Their similarities make the showdown intriguing, but their differences will determine the winner in a contest that could have major implications for the divisional rankings.

Here are the biggest keys to victory for both athletes ahead of their crucial bout at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

#1 Abdullaev’s Slick Boxing

Abdullaev has finished all 10 of his victories – with nine of those coming via knockout – and boxing is his primary weapon.

Coming from a striking background, the Kyrgyz athlete is a crisp puncher who relies less on brute force like some of his peers, and more on his range, tempo, and timing.

“Bakal” works behind his jab to lay the foundations for his follow-ups, where he targets the holes that open in his opponent’s guard so he can thread his punches through.

Oh Ho Taek found that out last year when Abdullaev got a read on his movements and clubbed him with a thudding uppercut that led to a 44-second knockout.

The 26-year-old Abdullaev is also dangerous on the counter, using his head movement to evade danger while setting up his powerful replies. Amir will have to be careful when dealing with such a smooth blend of speed, power, and precision.

#2 Amir’s Extra Power In A Lower Weight Class

Dropping down from lightweight – where he knocked out eight of his opponents and earned a top-five ranking in ONE – Amir will feel confident that he owns the power advantage in Friday’s matchup.

The Turkish star has bout-ending potential in every strike, but as a southpaw, his left side will present the most danger to Abdullaev.

“No Mercy’s” straight left is a punishing tool, as is his left kick, and both work well in open-stance clashes like this.

They combine potently when Amir starts to hurt his opponent with his thudding kick to the body and forces them to drop their hands, opening up a route for the high kick or left hand.

He also likes to work on the counter-attack, so if Abdullaev tries to be the aggressor, the 29-year-old will be ready and waiting to meet him with heavy punches, kicks, and crunching left knees.

#3 Abdullaev’s Spinning Attacks

Everything derives from the fundamentals, but Abdullaev also has flashy techniques to draw from.

While being efficient and accurate is an important part of the Kyrgyzstan athlete’s game, he knows when to sprinkle in some of his spinning attacks to keep his opponent guessing.

This was on display when Abdullaev nailed Aaron Canarte with a spinning back kick to the body in their match last July. The strike crashed into the Ecuadorian’s solar plexus and sent him reeling, beginning the finishing sequence.

He also scored a knockout with a 360 kick earlier in his career, proving that he has a wide-ranging skill set that ONE fans have only caught glimpses of so far.

Importantly, Abdullaev doesn’t spam his less orthodox strikes, instead laying his foundations with boxing to get a read before uncorking some spectacular moves when he has an idea of his opponent’s game.

#4 Amir’s Clinch Work

Amir is a competent striker, but if Abdullaev’s speed and footwork are proving too tricky, he can also employ his strong clinch and top game.

The Turkish fan favorite is always working to round out his arsenal, doing his training camps in Dagestan alongside some of the world’s top MMA wrestlers.

Amir can try to smother his foe’s offensive surges by securing a clinch with collar ties, where he loves to drive in knees.

If he can drag Abdullaev to the canvas from there, “No Mercy” can employ even more devastating offensive tools.

He has heavy ground-and-pound and presents a serious submission threat – something we haven’t seen “Bakal” deal with much in his ONE tenure to date.

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