A mouth-watering featherweight contest will serve as the co-main event of ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS on Friday, 26 October as Rafael “Indio” Nunes (11-2) and Movlid “Killer” Khaibulaev (13-0) will square off.
The much-anticipated battle takes place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, in front of a crowd that is sure to be fired up after witnessing a stacked card of martial arts action.
The two men from opposite ends of the globe have diverse skill sets, which should match up for a riveting encounter.
The Tale Of The Tape
BJJ ace Rafael Nunes returns on 26 October!Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, October 18, 2018
Nunes is a Premium FC Champion and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in his native Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The 30-year-old’s finishing rate is phenomenal, with 91 percent of his wins coming inside the distance – four via knockout and six via submission. Only the victory in his professional debut in July 2010 went to the judges’ scorecards.
In January of this year, “Indio” returned from a layoff that stretched all the way back to 2014, and his D’Arce choke finish over seasoned veteran Eric Kelly showed that his skills were as sharp as ever.
Movlid is ready to make a MASSIVE statement on 26 October!Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, October 15, 2018
Khaibulaev is a Dagestan wrestling champion. The man nicknamed “Killer” is unbeaten thus far in his career, which has been mostly contested in his homeland of Russia.
The 28-year-old has five knockouts and one submission among his string of victories, with four of his finishes coming in the first round.
He made a successful debut in The Home Of Martial Arts in February 2017 with a decision victory over Herbert “The Blaze” Burns, and the 13-bout win streak he is riding is the longest of any ONE featherweight.
Keys To Victory
Nunes is best suited to the ground game, and his chokes are good enough to demand respect from anybody that faces him.
At 181 centimeters, Nunes is tall for the division, and he uses his long arms to open up finishing opportunities. If his Russian adversary decides to go to his knees or turn his back in an attempt to escape, his favored arm-in chokes like the D’Arce or anaconda could come into play. Even if he is not presented with the opportunity, he is skilled at taking the back.
The Brazilian has success getting contests to the mat by catching his opponent’s kicks, but against a wrestling champion, he may have to be more patient to get rolling on the ground.
Khaibulaev’s best weapon in his search for a finish is his hammer of a right hand, and he has already shown he can find a home for his strikes against a rangy Brazilian.
When he met Herbert Burns at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS, his piston-like jab and hard right straights and overhands scored plenty of damage between spells of dominance on the ground, which were initiated by takedowns.
Nunes shares many of “The Blaze’s” attributes, so “Killer” may favor a similar approach – setting up shots behind his jab, or taking an inside line with his head as he brings down powerful blows over his opponent’s lunging lead hand in search of a knockout.
The Spoils Of Victory
For both men, a victory would bolster their reputation in a division that is stacked with talent.
By being the first man to blemish Khaibulaev’s clean slate, Nunes would make a statement and establish himself as one of the most dangerous men in the weight class.
As he only returned to action at the start of 2018, a World Title shot may be a few bouts away, but a ‘W’ would represent a big step in that direction.
Given his perfect record and previous victory over a former top contender in Burns, Khaibulaev could move towards the front of the queue for a shot at the division’s king, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
He has also been away from ONE for a while, which has allowed other, more active athletes jump ahead of him in contention. But if “Killer” can maintain his spotless record and get a win over the Brazilian, then he will put his name right back among the other top contenders.