Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov has called for his shot at the ONE Welterweight World Title for almost a year, and now he finally has the chance to claim it.
The Kyrgyz athlete stormed into contention last December with a stunning performance against Agilan “Alligator” Thani, and then knocked out Japanese mixed martial arts superstar Yushin “Thunder” Okami in May to seal his place at the front of the queue.
On paper, this contest is a classic clash of styles, as the Muay Thai specialist from Sweden defends his gold against a man who is known for his grappling background. However, in both of his wins on the global stage so far, Abbasov’s powerful striking has opened the door to a finish.
As the 26-year-old from Novorossiysk, Russia, explains, no matter what complexion the match-up takes, he will be ready, and he is not afraid to push himself, and his opponent, in the biggest match of his career.
ONE Championship: How did you feel when you got the call to compete for a World Title?
Kiamrian Abbasov: I was at home, having dinner with my family when my manager called me. I felt pretty excited – World Title fight, great news!
To be frank, I could not see anybody else who could be a strong opponent to him, so I knew the day was coming soon.
ONE: What does it mean to be in your first ONE main event and World Title bout?
KA: It is not too different, because every fight in my career matters and every fight camp is tough because I always want to be a winner, but the invitation to the main event is, of course, special.
It means that you are at the top. If you win, you don’t need to keep climbing up – it is time to defend your title and keep that right to stay at the top.
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ONE: Have you made any changes to your training for this opportunity?
KA: My training has been different because I will fight a five-round battle for the first time. It means that I need to be much stronger, so I have been working on my endurance a lot.
The bout is five rounds, five minutes each, and I am used to fighting for three rounds. I have been doing eight to 10 five-minute sparring sessions, just to feel what it is going to be like. Obviously, training at the gym and fighting in that cage is not the same, but I have been doing all I can to improve.
This fight camp has been way more intense both technically and in terms of workload, but now we are almost done. I am most grateful to my training partners – the guys have been doing their best to emulate Zebaztian’s style.
ONE: What do you know about your opponent?
KA: I know absolutely nothing about him, other than he is bald and got a beard (laughs). I have not crossed paths with him before, but we will meet each other, and it will be a long, hot night, we will get to know each other a bit closer!
ONE: Have you noticed any holes in your opponent’s game?
KA: He seems to be a physically strong guy, and a good striker, but his weak point is his wrestling. Otherwise, he has a good arsenal of skills.
I think our styles are similar, but I have better wrestling, while he is a better striker, so the fight should be interesting for the fans!
ONE: Do you think his striking skill makes this an unfavorable match-up for you?
KA: I have never tried to pick opponents, I have never tried to get a particular guy to get a better record. I have had 25 pro fights in my career, and I faced everyone without thinking if they would be [favorable] or not.
He is a sportsman, so am I, and we will find out who is the king of this division – that’s exciting! I would like to test myself, I want to know if I can go for five 5-minute rounds, I want to know if I can go the whole distance. It is a test and a challenge for me.
ONE: If you win this match, what would you like to do first, as World Champion?
KA: If I win this fight, I would like to become a double champ! I would like to try my luck in the middleweight division against Aung La N Sang.