A new welterweight contender emerged on Friday, 23 November, as James Nakashima remained undefeated with an impressive outing in his ONE Championship debut.
James Nakashima stays undefeated as he grinds out a unanimous decision win over Raimond Magomedaliev!Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 23, 2018
It was a battle of wills in the opening round as Magomedaliev looked to unleash his kicking game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
The Russian was methodical with his striking attacks and connected with a couple of stiff shots that clipped the Phoenix, Arizona resident during the exchanges on the feet.
However, Nakashima did not get drawn into a firefight as he waited for the perfect opening to counter with a takedown.
Although Nakashima was constantly looking for a way inside his opponent’s reach to utilize his wrestling, he was unable to put his grappling to work on his rival during the first five minutes.
As the second period got started, Nakashima followed the advice of his coaches to use more aggression.
However, the LFA Welterweight Champion still had to be careful, as his forward pressure was met by some creative striking from Magomedaliev, including a spinning back elbow.
The flashy strikes did not deter the American, who finally secured a takedown with little more than a minute to go in the round.
While he was not able to get the finish, Nakashima managed to jump into mount and rain down some punches from the top until the time ran out.
The confidence the 30-year-old Arizonian gained from the end of that round inspired him to go on the attack during the final frame.
Almost immediately after the athletes were released from their corners, Nakashima rushed forward and planted Magomedaliev on the mat with a beautifully-timed takedown.
From there, it was all Nakashima as the former junior college national champion wrestler smothered Magomedaliev on the ground.
He constantly attacked from the top and hammered down with punches. Once the round came to an end, there was little doubt about who would keep his undefeated record intact.
The judges awarded a unanimous decision in the American’s favor.
Nakashima improved his spotless record to 10-0 as he gave the Russian the first defeat of his career. That put him in a strong position to be the next challenger for Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam’s newly-won ONE Welterweight World Championship.