The ONE Welterweight World Title is on the line in the ONE: DAWN OF VALOR main event in a battle between two of The Home Of Martial Arts’ most dangerous men.
Sweden’s Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam will defend his crown against surging Kyrgyz athlete, Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov, and though they will square off for a five-round contest this Friday, 25 October, fans can expect a result long before the 25 minutes is up.
Both Kadestam and Abbasov have flawless finishing ratios in ONE Championship, and with the gold up for grabs at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia, they will not want the judges to determine their fate.
Here are four of the key weapons to watch out for on Friday when they go after a highlight-reel finish inside the Circle.
#1 Abbasov’s Overhand Right
It will take something special to unseat his division’s kingpin, but “Brazen’s” powerful overhand right hand that led him to victory over Yushin Okami could get the job done.
The Novorosfight athlete typically sets up this shot with a step to his left that takes his head off the centerline. He then unleashes the punch over the top at an alarming speed, and his forward momentum adds even more force to the impact.
Abbasov can land it from unfamiliar angles, too. If his opponent has their guard high, he threads it through the middle. If they close the gap, he can also loop it behind their left hand to land on the jaw or just behind the ear for an equilibrium-shattering impact.
#2 Kadestam’s Right Low Kick
Kadestam’s striking fundamentals are top-notch thanks to his time as a Muay Thai athlete, and he likes to take out his rivals’ lead leg with his right low kick.
Abbasov’s tendency to drift left to land his favorite punch will put him in the firing line for this dangerous strike. If he puts his weight onto his lead leg, it will be a static and more hittable target, and the Swede will have no hesitation in taking aim at it.
It will only take a few well-placed shins to the thigh from “The Bandit” to dull “Brazen’s” explosive movement. Plus, enough accumulated damage could end the bout, and he has a long time to land enough blows to achieve that.
#3 “Brazen’s” Greco-Roman Clinch
“Brazen’s” martial arts journey started with Greco-Roman wrestling, and the clinch he brings from that discipline is a great asset to him in the Circle.
Given the World Champion’s fearsome striking ability, Abbasov may opt to test the waters on the ground by looking for a takedown. Kadestam has strong hips and a quick sprawl, which he can use to set up knees on the ground, but those techniques will be taken away with upper-body tie-ups.
Once he gets to grips with his foe, the Prime Selection GP Welterweight Champion is hard to shake off. He barely gives his rivals any room to maneuver, he does not disconnect, and he constantly moves from position to position – punching with his free hand until he can score with throws or trips to the canvas.
He displayed this perfectly in his domination of Agilan Thani.
#4 Kadestam’s Close-Range Strikes
If Abbasov wants to wrestle, first, he has to close the distance, and there is always a real danger for athletes who try to get close to Kadestam.
His short-range Muay Thai tools are devastating, including a variety of elbows when an opponent tries to lunge forward. His downward and crossing elbows are particularly effective, as Thani found out in their World Title eliminator.
If he does get entangled in his rival’s Greco-Roman game, the Pancrase Gym representative can still cause significant damage with his punishing knees. He has excellent timing, too, meaning Abbasov will have to be conscious when he enters or exits any clinch exchange so he does not get caught in the transition.