Who Is Kickboxing World Title Challenger Islam Murtazaev?

Russian kickboxer Islam Murtazaev

Islam Murtazaev will finally get his chance to challenge Regian “The Immortal” Eersel for the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Championship at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS.

After a few false starts and some bad luck, the 30-year-old contender is looking forward to sharing the Circle with the division’s reigning king on Friday, 3 December.

But who is this ONE Super Series debutant, and what brought him to The Home of Martial Arts? Get to know Murtazaev before his main event showdown at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

#1 He Hails From Dagestan

Murtazaev was born in the famed mountainous territory of Dagestan, Russia. And though the region has endured its share of instability, it also made him strong.

As a youngster, he looked up to the local athletes – particularly the fighters – and set off on his own path in martial arts by taking up Muay Thai when he was 10 years old. 

#2 He’s Not Just An Athlete

While he always had a passion for combat sports, Murtazaev was also a good student, and he earned a degree in economics.

He then worked as an engineer in the oil and gas industry before giving it up to pursue his dreams of sporting glory while he was still young enough. 

#3 He Has Elite Training Partners 

The rising Russian star works with plenty of top-quality training partners who are well-known to ONE Super Series fans.

At home, he trains alongside light heavyweight star Beybulat Isaev. And at Venum Training Camp in Thailand, he puts in work alongside the likes of Mehdi “Diamond Heart” Zatout and compatriot Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov.

#4 ‘Kill Or Be Killed’

Having blasted his way to a 20-4 professional record, Murtazaev describes his style as “kill or be killed,” which should make for a fascinating battle against the aggressive Eersel.

“I’m dangerous as long as I can breathe. I try to strike whenever I can, suddenly and surprisingly. I always take risks and go to the end. This will be spectacular and exciting. Don’t blink,” the Russian says.

Fans should expect anything and everything from the man from Dagestan, including high-octane spinning attacks.

#5 He Loves Horses

It’s not all about fighting for Murtazaev, who has other hobbies that stem from his traditional Dagestani background.

He’s an avid horse rider, and it’s clear he can handle even the wildest of stallions. 

Read more: After War Of Words, Lito Adiwang Is Fired Up To Fight Jarred Brooks

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