Recapping Jamal Yusupov’s Flawless Run To His ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title Shot At Tawanchai
Undefeated through three electrifying bouts in ONE Championship, Jamal Yusupov is now on the precipice of greatness.
On February 24 at ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II on Prime Video, the surging Dagestani striker will challenge reigning ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Tawanchai PK.Saenchai for the throne.
Set to air live in U.S. primetime, Yusupov will have an opportunity to capture 26 pounds of gold at the iconic Lumpine Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 39-year-old’s journey to the top of the division has been nothing short of spectacular, with thrilling performances each time out.
As he readies himself for the biggest fight of his life, let’s look at “Yeniceri’s” flawless path to his shot at ONE World Title glory.
Yusupov was thrown into the deep end of ONE’s featherweight Muay Thai division in his promotional debut when he squared off with legendary knockout artist Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in late 2019 at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS.
The pair of southpaw strikers went tit-for-tat throughout the first round, with the Thai athlete pressing forward behind massive roundhouse kicks as Yusupov kept him at range with long, thudding jabs.
The finish came in the opening moments of the second stanza. As Yodsanklai inched forward, “Yeniceri” fired off a beautiful two-punch combination that immediately put his foe on wobbly legs and followed it up with a flush left hand that sent him crashing to the canvas.
“The Boxing Computer” would gamely return to his feet. Still, Yusupov gave him no room to breathe, landing a series of calculated, concussive punches to put the Thai down for the count and open his ONE Championship career in emphatic fashion.
Dominates Samy Sana
Riding high after his sensational knockout, the Dagestani next took on French-Algerian star Samy Sana in the headline attraction of ONE: COLLISION COURSE II in December 2020.
After a first round in which Yusupov went toe-to-toe with the tall and rangy Sana, “Yeniceri” found his groove in the second frame.
In a beautiful display of precise yet powerful boxing, the Turkish-Russian athlete continuously found a home for his trademark left hand, rarely allowing Sana to throw a strike without being countered.
Toward the end of the second frame, Yusupov scored a gorgeous knockdown with his crushing straight left hand. And although “AK47” would survive and recover long enough to finish the fight, the damage was done, as “Yeniceri” used his superior boxing to cement a clear-cut decision.
Through just two bouts inside the Circle, Yusupov had established himself as perhaps the division’s scariest contender.
Shines Against Nattawut
In his most recent outing, Yusupov battled WMC Muay Thai World Champion “Smokin” Jo Nattawut at ONE 159.
Yet again, the Turkish-Russian proved to be one of the featherweight Muay Thai division’s cleanest technicians, controlling the distance and dictating the pace of the bout with his feared left hand.
Showcasing supreme confidence with his timing, power, and skill, Yusupov stood in front of the accomplished Thai athlete for three full rounds, happy to test his defense against one of the world’s most potent strikers.
By this time, it was no secret that “Yeniceri’s” left hand should be avoided at all costs, but that didn’t seem to make a difference as he scored a knockdown late in the second round after landing two thunderous lefts.
Yusupov then showed off his elite defense and venomous boxing in the third, staving off Nattawut’s desperate efforts to score a late knockdown of his own.
Ultimately, the Dagestani star cruised to a decision victory, catapulting himself into a highly anticipated World Title showdown with Tawanchai on February 24.