Shamil Gasanov is ready to realize his dream of competing in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
The Russian has a tough debut assignment against #2 featherweight contender Kim Jae Woong at ONE on Prime Video 3: Lineker vs. Andrade this Friday, but with a perfect 12-0 MMA record, there’s a lot of anticipation surrounding his first performance.
The Peresvet Fight Team representative wants to back up the hype when he enters the Circle at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
And after watching other Russian stars claim gold in the organization, he hopes to ultimately follow in their footsteps.
“When I was younger, I heard about this league and dreamed of joining ONE. I remember watching the fight between Timofey Nastyukhin and Dagi Arslanaliev. From that fight on, I began following ONE more than any other promotion.
Now that he’s reached the first rung of the ladder in ONE, Gasanov has left no stone unturned in preparation for Friday’s high-stakes encounter.
While some might shy away from taking on such a highly ranked adversary in their debut matchup – especially with an unbeaten slate to protect – “The Cobra” feels ready for anything after his training camp alongside some of the best competitors on the planet.
The 27-year-old said:
“I do not think about my record. I just get ready for my fights. I go all in. I have never run away from tough opponents to keep a clean record.
“I train with Petr Yan’s team in Thailand. Timofey Nastyukhin and [ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion] Anatoly Malykhin are also there. It is good to acclimatize here. There is no one to distract you, you can train three times a day, and the food is delicious.”
Shamil Gasanov: ‘I Can Outstrike Him. I Can Choke Him’
With eight knockouts in 12 professional victories, Kim Jae Woong brings a powerful striking arsenal into every matchup.
However, Shamil Gasanov will not back down from the dangerous South Korean.
While he respects his rival’s offense, “The Cobra” expects to exploit weaknesses in every area once their bout gets underway.
“He’s a good boxer. I don’t think you should go straight into a fight with him in the first round. He has strong legs, too. However, I have never seen him fight a good wrestler.
“He fought against a Brazilian once [and showed] his defense against takedowns is weak. A wrestler against a striker always makes for a good fight.
“I have a strong wrestling base. My submissions are painful, too. I can outstrike him. I can choke him. He knows it.”
Rather than enter with any fear of Kim, Gasanov believes his foe should be worried about this encounter.
He may be the promotional newcomer, but “The Cobra” has faith that his skills are good enough to win at the highest levels – and he wants to prove that by dispatching his high-profile rival at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Russian added:
“He has to be afraid of my submissions and my wrestling. If I take him to the ground, I can show my wrestling in all its glory. I am going to try to put on a nice, entertaining fight.
“I would like to choke him in the first round. I always try to finish the fight quickly.”