Smilla Sundell Vs. Natalia Diachkova: 4 Keys To Victory At ONE Fight Night 22

Smilla Sundell Allycia Hellen Rodrigues ONE Fight Night 14 16

Update: Smilla Sundell missed weight for her ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title defense against Natalia Diachkova. As a result, Sundell has been stripped of the belt. The fight will proceed at a catchweight of 126.5 pounds. Only Diachkova will be eligible to win the World Title at ONE Fight Night 22. If Sundell wins, the World Title will remain vacant. 

Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell’s next challenger for the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title might be her most dangerous yet.

Natalia “Karelian Lynx” Diachkova will attempt to win the belt in the main event of ONE Fight Night 22 on Prime Video, and she has the tools to cause some big problems for the Swedish superstar in U.S. primetime this Friday, May 3.

It’s rare for Sundell to face an opponent who can match her aggression, but Diachkova is likely to meet in the center of the ring and test her mettle.

Here are four big keys to victory for the two skilled sluggers as they prepare to square off at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

#1 Diachkova’s Powerful Punches

Diachkova earned her chance to compete for the belt with four straight victories in ONE Friday Fights, including a trio of knockouts due to her concussive boxing repertoire.

“Karelian Lynx” has strong punches from either side, but her right hand is the biggest threat.

She can set it up behind a long jab or left hook, and she also likes to drop it behind her right push kick when her opponent reacts to the strike to the midsection, leaving their head open.

When Diachkova finds her mark and sees her foe start to falter, she doesn’t let up. The 29-year-old turns up the heat and lets rip with heavy salvos until the job is done.

Despite her dominance, Sundell absorbs a relatively high amount of strikes. So far, she has taken them with no issue, but against a big puncher like Diachkova, there could be a marked difference if she lets too many slip through her guard.

#2 Sundell’s Body Shots

Sundell throws wicked body blows that can stop an opponent in their tracks, and against a high-volume puncher, the Swede will have plenty of opportunities to find gaps.

From long range, “The Hurricane” can land with her stabbing straights on the front foot. And if Diachkova comes head-hunting, the Fairtex athlete works from a tight guard that allows her to take most punches on the arms.

With confidence in this defense, Sundell could bait her rival into opening up, and that’s when her crushing left hook to the body can come into play.

“Karelian Lynx” isn’t conservative with her output, so Sundell can also try to stab her knees to the midsection when the Russian charges in. These strikes can do instant damage, but they will also accumulate over five rounds.

The 19-year-old phenom knows she can push the pace for 15 minutes, and if she can wear the challenger down with hurtful body shots in the earlier rounds, she can cash in on Diachkova’s depleted gas tank later in the match.

#3 Diachkova’s Work In The Pocket

Very few opponents have been able to deal with Sundell’s forward pressure, but Diachkova is comfortable in the pocket.

“The Hurricane” has traditionally used her intensity to push her rivals toward the ropes, though Diachkova is unlikely to be forced backward and will stand her ground to throw down.

Not only could this help stem Sundell’s flow, but it could also draw her into a firefight, negating any reach advantage and putting the pair on equal footing to exchange fists.

The Russian has no issue biting down on her mouthpiece and throwing leather, and she’ll fancy her chances in a shootout with almost anybody given her power.

#4 Sundell’s Clinch

Sundell will be looking to push through the tight punching range to initiate the clinch, where she can unleash some of her most potent tools.

Diachkova might be harder to shepherd to the ropes than some previous opponents, but if “The Hurricane” can close the distance and tie the Russian up, expect her onslaught to come thick and fast.

The Swede punishes her rivals with knees from a variety of clinch positions, especially if she can latch onto a double collar tie, where her height and strength allow her to dominate.

She bears down heavily on her opponent’s necks, breaking their posture and teeing up knees to the head.

Sundell will also use her elbows and dirty boxing to score and then blitz her foes as they try to escape her clutches.

More in Features

Johan Ghazali Edgar Tabares ONE Fight Night 17 21
Tawanchai PK Saenchai
Victoria Souza Noelle Grandjean ONE Fight Night 20 34
Masaaki Noiri
Katsuki Kitano Halil Kutukcu ONE Friday Fights 38 25
Jo Nattawut Luke Lessei ONE Fight Night 17 84
Johan Ghazali Temirlan Bekmurzaev ONE Friday Fights 36 17
Stamp Fairtex vs. Anna Jaroonsak at ONE Fight Night 6
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao drops Liam Harrison at ONE on Prime Video 1
Mikey Musumeci Osamah Almarwai ONE Fight Night 10 36
Kade Ruotolo Tommy Langaker ONE 165 28
Masaaki Noiri