‘I Simply Must Have A Rematch’ – Shamil Gasanov Aims To Take Out Oh Ho Taek And Earn Another Crack At Garry Tonon

Garry Tonon Shamil Gasanov ONE Fight Night 12 51

Shamil “The Cobra” Gasanov returns to featherweight MMA action next week, and he plans to use the fight to get closer to an old foe.

The #4-ranked contender squares off with the ultra-talented Oh Ho “Spider” Taek on January 12 in U.S. primetime in the main event of ONE Fight Night 18 on Prime Video.

The pivotal clash goes down at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and is Gasanov’s chance to prove he deserves to stay in the division’s top five.

The Russian sensation arrived at ONE with an unblemished record and plenty of hype behind him. He immediately lived up to expectations, scoring a stunning first-round submission win over durable Kim Jae Woong to announce his presence on the global stage.

But in July at ONE Fight Night 12, “The Cobra” suffered a brutal submission loss at the hands of former World Title challenger Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon.

That defeat left Gasanov reconsidering his future in the sport, but after seeing the faces of the children he inspires, he is now on a mission to earn another crack at the division’s #1-ranked contender.

He told ONEFC.com:

“Yes, on the way home, I thought, ‘That’s it; I’m not going back to fighting again!’ I’d always told myself that if I lost, I would leave the sport. But back home, every kid, every schoolboy on the street, came up to me and asked me when I was going to have a rematch with the American. So now, I simply must have a rematch!”

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That loss left the Russian reeling, both emotionally and physically. 

Rather than wallow in defeat, though, Gasanov has used the setback to motivate him further, putting his singular focus into perfecting his craft.

Gasanov said:

“These past months have been a challenging period for me as I’ve been recovering from a knee injury. However, I’ve been pushing myself hard to get back in training, as my coach has strictly prohibited me from resting until I avenge my recent defeat. MMA is the central focus of my life, encompassing both my work and my studies.”

Shamil Gasanov Respects ‘True Warrior’ Oh Ho Taek

Before Shamil Gasanov can start planning for a rematch with Garry Tonon, he’ll first have to get past Oh Ho Taek.

He admits that it will be no easy task, and he has plenty of respect for the South Korean star who accepted the offer that many declined.

Gasanov said:

“My opponent is a true warrior! A lot of fighters rejected my challenge. Only this guy stepped up to the plate, and I’m incredibly grateful for his willingness to face me.”

Sporting a respectable 9-3-1 career record, “Spider” is a ruthless finisher with elite skills in all areas of mixed martial arts. 

And while Oh came up short in his most recent outing against undefeated phenom Akbar Abdullaev, Gasanov says that’s no indication of his formidable talent:

“He’s a well-rounded fighter with a combination of striking, grappling, and submission skills. He didn’t have the chance to showcase his full arsenal against Akbar in their 40-second bout. However, his previous fights have revealed his ability to rise to the challenge.”

A dangerous ground fighter with seven submissions to his resume, “The Cobra” makes it no small secret that he’s a grappling-based fighter.

Given his foe’s proclivity for finding the finish on the canvas, fans can expect an electrifying ground battle in the main event of ONE Fight Night 18.

Gasanov said:

“I anticipate a grappling-heavy encounter, as I love to grapple, and he excels at submitting his opponents. I’m confident that our clash will be the most thrilling fight of the evening.” 

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