ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov may have been on the sidelines for the past several months, but he is eager to make his return to action and challenge the top athletes in both his weight class and the middleweight division.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 25, 2019
In October 2019, the Kyrgyz mixed martial artist experienced a career-defining moment when he dominated then-titleholder Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam en route to a unanimous decision victory and the ONE Welterweight World Championship.
“Winning the ONE World Title meant a lot to me and my family,” he says. “I know my fans were also looking forward to that, and I’m very much thankful for the support. All of my friends and family were waiting for that moment, and I’m glad I did not let them down.”
Since that time, however, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced countries across the globe to impose lockdown measures.
While Abbasov has maintained some degree of training in his current home of Novorossiysk, Russia, he hopes to resume his normal schedule and get back into the Circle soon.
“I am very hungry,” the 26-year-old says. “I want to return to full-time training and for battle. I have rested for so long.”
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There isn’t a shortage of potential rivals for Abbasov, who owns a 22-4 professional record and a 64 percent finishing rate. However, he has a feeling his next clash could be a World Title defense.
“I’m willing to defend the World Title against anybody, but I think James Nakashima deserves a shot because he’s undefeated and is highly-regarded,” the Kyrgyz warrior says. “He’s a great athlete and I have no doubt we will have a great fight.”
Nakashima, an NJCAA National Wrestling Champion, has been unstoppable since making his professional mixed martial arts debut in January 2015.
The American has used his slick grappling repertoire and relentless pace to cruise to a spotless 12-0 record. Also, he has been tightening up his striking prowess under the watchful eye of ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan.
However, Nakashima is not the only opponent – or challenge – that intrigues the reigning welterweight king.
Abbasov is also interested in moving up a weight class and standing across the Circle from two-division ONE World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang.
Like the Myanmar sports icon, “Brazen” would love to capture the gold in a second division and simultaneously defend both titles as part of his legacy.
Unfortunately for the Kyrgyz athlete, Aung La N Sang is scheduled to face old foe Vitaly Bigdash in an upcoming trilogy bout when ONE Championship’s 2020 calendar resumes, and he has a future battle with Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder waiting in the wings.
Still, Abbasov is not discouraged.
“I want to go up to middleweight and challenge the champion for the belt,” he says. “So far, there isn’t any news, but I hope this fight will work out, too.”
Ultimately, it does not matter whether Abbasov returns against Nakashima, Aung La N Sang, or somebody else.
He is determined to run through his next opponent and continue to remain active.
“I don’t care where my next fight is and against whom — that is not important to me,” he states. “I just hope ONE can set a date for my next battle. That is their job. My job is to remove the next target.”