‘I See Many Flaws In His Game’ – Suablack Plans To Continue Stunning Rise With Knockout Of Vladimir Kuzmin

Suablack Tor Pran49 Stefan Korodi ONE Fight Night 18 11

Surging Thai sensation Suablack Tor Pran49 will look to continue his meteoric ascent through the talent-rich bantamweight Muay Thai division in his return to Bangkok’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

On April 5 in U.S. primetime, the 27-year-old will square off with Russian star Vladimir Kuzmin at ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas on Prime Video in a clash that could catapult either man into the division’s top five.

After reeling off four straight knockouts at ONE Friday Fights to earn a coveted six-figure contract with the organization, Suablack made his U.S. primetime debut in January, scoring a thrilling decision win over Stefan Korodi.

According to the Tor Pran49 representative, Kuzmin will likely be the stiffest test of his ONE tenure thus far, but he still sees a clear path to victory.

Suablack spoke to onefc.com about his upcoming fight:

“I think Vladimir is another great opponent. He’s probably the toughest job for me since I joined ONE, but I think I can manage to handle him. I think Russian fighters have faster footwork and attacks than Thai fighters, but I see many flaws in his game.

“Vladimir’s strength lies in his right hand, while his weakness is that he is not good at close combat. If I stay close to him, don’t give him a chance to create distance, I’ll have a good chance to beat him.”

Indeed, the Russian is a supremely dangerous opponent.

A former Road to ONE tournament winner, Kuzmin is now a veteran of five battles in the world’s largest martial arts organization, losing only by the narrowest of margins to the highly respected Muangthai PK Saenchai and current bantamweight Muay Thai kingpin Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.

Notably, Kuzmin has never been knocked out in ONE. But while that’s an impressive stat on paper, Suablack says it’s a reflection of his reluctance to engage in a firefight:

“I think the reason Vladimir has never been knocked out in ONE is because he always avoids trading blows. His style is defensive. Fighters who choose to play it safe instead of aggressively are rarely knocked out.

“If I fought in the same style as him, I think I’d never be knocked out, too. But my style is: You hurt me, I hurt you back.”

For his part, Suablack has proven to be one of Muay Thai’s most dangerous finishers, capable of stopping the fight with his hands, feet, elbows, or knees.

Given that well-rounded skill set and penchant for violence, he expects to become the first ONE fighter to stop Kuzmin inside the distance:

“I’m confident on a certain level that I can knock Vladimir out in this fight. I’m confident that my weapons are powerful enough to knock him down to the canvas. I believe I can be the first person to knock him out in ONE.”

Suablack Targets Top-Five Ranking

If Suablack can get past Vladimir Kuzmin at ONE Fight Night 21, he will be 6-0 in ONE, 2-0 in U.S. primetime, and one of the bantamweight Muay Thai division’s fastest-rising contenders.

Naturally, he thinks that a victory on April 5 should land him in the divisional rankings:

“If I can knock Vladimir out in this fight, I believe I’m ready to fight with top-five ranked fighters and add my name to the rankings.”

A spot in the rankings would put Suablack alongside Muay Thai luminaries such as Saemapetch Fairtex, recent World Title challenger Felipe “Demolition Man” Lobo, and former long-reigning titleholder Nong-O Hama.

It would also put him within spitting distance of a shot at the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title. A crack at gold, the Thai says, would be a dream come true:

“Being ranked in the top five is really important to me because it means I’m close to the opportunity to challenge for a World Title. As long as my name is included in the rankings, it is beyond my dreams.

“If one day I have the opportunity to fight in a title match, it will be a massive life opportunity. I haven’t reached my destination yet, but when I get there, I’ll consider myself successful in my career.”

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