After Third Straight Bonus-Winning Knockout, Akbar Abullaev Expects Big Fights Soon

Akbar Abdullaev Halil Amir ONE Fight Night 22 30

The co-main event of ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova on Prime Video saw surging featherweight MMA contender Akbar “Bakal” Abdullaev secure his third consecutive bonus-winning knockout and move one massive step closer to the World Title picture.

On May 3 in U.S. primetime, the 26-year-old handed Turkish sensation Halil “No Mercy” Amir the first loss of his career with a crushing finish in the second round of their much-anticipated showdown.

Fighting in front of a raucous crowd at Bangkok’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Abdullaev showcased his rarely seen wrestling and grappling chops early, controlling his foe on the canvas for much of the first frame.

The knockout came about midway through the second when a picture-perfect left hook sent “No Mercy” down and out.

For Abdullaev, the victory extended his unblemished record to 11-0 and further cemented his status as one of the division’s most terrifying contenders.

Once the dust had settled, an overjoyed “Bakal” spoke to about the victory:

“I’m feeling great. I’m feeling the best. It’s like a dream now. I’m feeling like I’m in a dream, and I’m happy. I’m really happy.”

Indeed, the young Kyrgyz star has plenty to be happy about.

After three short fights and three highlight-reel knockouts in ONE, he’s earned a total of US$150,000 in performance bonuses while making a case to enter the featherweight MMA division’s top-five rankings.

Abdullaev plans to give some of that money to those in need – and also hopes to make himself an even stronger fighter.

As the opportunities in ONE get bigger and bigger, “Bakal” aims to travel the world and seek out the best possible training:

“I have plans for the bonus. I want to invest in myself. I want to become a better fighter. So hopefully, this bonus can help me. Also, I’m giving some money to charity, and of course, I plan to help my relatives.

“But when it comes to investing in myself, I want to have a really good training camp for the next fight, the next fights in the future. Hopefully, ONE Championship and Mr. Chatri can help me, and probably they can help me to get a visa to the USA, where I can get really, really good training.”

Abdullaev Feels Ready For World Title Shot At Tang Kai

Akbar Abdullaev wants the best training available because he knows a shot at reigning ONE Featherweight MMA World Champion Tang Kai could be in his future.

Following his stunning victory over the previously undefeated Halil Amir – an early contender for MMA Knockout of the Year – some fans and pundits view “Bakal” as the next man up.

Never one to pick and choose his opponents, Abdullaev says he’s happy to mow down any man that matchmakers put in front of him:

“As I said before, I’m ready for the title shot. But at the same time, if ONE Championship decides I need to fight with somebody else, I’m ready. Bring them on. I’m ready for anyone.

“Even now, we have some time to change some clothes, I can do one more fight right now.”

While he might not expect the title shot next, Abdullaev has already been thinking about a matchup with the reigning featherweight MMA kingpin.

When asked, he spoke about how he would approach a World Title clash with Tang:

“Yeah, you know, I’m not gonna do anything new. It’s gonna be the same strategy. Because he’s also really strong standing. He’s a pretty good striker.

“So, I’m pretty sure we’re going to do the same things we do well, you know? We’re gonna be striking, but at the same time, we’re gonna do wrestling too.”

More in News

Avatar PK Saenchai Kiamran Nabati ONE Friday Fights 55 28
Gabriel Sousa
Mikey Musumeci Jarred Brooks ONE Fight Night 13 72
Yodphupa Wimanair Soner Sen ONE Friday Fights 63 48
Yodphupa Wimanair Soner Sen
Denis Puric Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat ONE Fight Night 17 48
Jacob Smith Denis Puric ONE Fight Night 21 24
Superlek Kiatmoo9 Takeru Segawa ONE 165 34
Jonathan Di Bella Danial Williams ONE Fight Night 15 7
Denice Zamboanga
Antar Kacem Yodphupa Wimanair ONE Friday Fights 28 11
ET Wankhongohm MBK Mongkolkaew Sor Sommai ONE Friday Fights 62 10