‘I See Weaknesses’ – Natalia Diachkova Expects To Overwhelm Smilla Sundell In World Title Challenge At ONE Fight Night 22

Hannah Brady Natalia Diachkova ONE Friday Fights 32 40

Natalia “Karelian Lynx” Diachkova is not buying into the massive hype surrounding Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell

On May 3 in U.S. primetime, the surging Russian will challenge Sundell for the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title in the main event of ONE Fight Night 22 on Prime Video, and she’s not remotely intimidated by the dominant teenage phenom.

In fact, Diachkova can’t wait to stand in front of “The Hurricane” and test her mettle at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Karelian Lynx” said of the divisional queen:

“I am not scared. I am excited and happy. All I want is to get into the ring with her to see what is so interesting about her and what everyone is talking about. 

“She hasn’t faced the strongest opposition in the division. Her rivals were so small. I think I am the most serious opponent for Smilla so far. 

“I don’t think [she will be my most difficult fight]. I think there are stronger girls out there!” 

Sundell has posted a 4-0 slate in ONE to date, with two World Title victories despite her tender age of just 19. 

Meanwhile, Diachkova’s record in the world’s largest martial arts organization is identical. She ran through all four of her opponents in the ONE Friday Fights event series to earn a six-figure contract on ONE’s global roster.  

At 29 years old, the Team Mehdi Zatout representative has a decade on her upcoming foe, and although she doesn’t see that as a key element of the match from a physical standpoint, she expects her striking to be more refined than Sundell’s youthful, powerful offense:

“Her age doesn’t really matter. I won the [Russian] National Adult Championship when I was 16 years old. But mentally, she is still a child. 

“She just uses her hands to get what she wants. I’ve seen everyone afraid of her, but I’m not afraid of her. I see weaknesses in her style.  

“She doesn’t know how to use her long limbs. It will be a problem for her when she fights me because her previous opponents were [a lot] shorter. This is an important factor in a fight if you don’t have enough experience and understanding of how to work it.” 

Diachkova Sees ‘Many Advantages’ Over Sundell 

With three knockouts among her four ONE victories, Natalia Diachkova is confident in her ability to finish any opponent.  

She knows that her punching power is a huge asset, but she also thinks her all-around skill set is being overlooked as a result.

While she plans on landing plenty of leather on Smilla Sundell when she challenges for the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title, “Karelian Lynx” won’t rule out a performance that showcases other areas of her arsenal. 

She said: 

“I have many advantages. I am underestimated in the clinch and generally in everything that I have not yet had time to show. My advantages are my hard punches and working with combinations, as well as my experience. 

“I can win with strong punches, but anything can happen in the ring. Maybe I’ll beat her by clinching for five rounds. Who knows?” 

Of course, the most satisfying result for Diachkova would be an emphatic finish of the Swedish juggernaut – and she believes there’s a good chance that happening.

The challenger added: 

“This is how the fight will go: I will follow the plan. I will remain focused and cold-blooded. I will fight smart. If I connect and hit her – and I will – I will finish her.” 

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