Surging Russian Star Artem Belakh Ready ‘To Make A Statement’ Against Kwon Won Il

Artem Belakh stands in the Circle

Fifth-ranked bantamweight MMA contender Artem Belakh plans to send a message to the rest of the division when he squares off with South Korean star and #4-ranked “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il at ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov on Prime Video.

Scheduled for June 9 and set to go down at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, the high-stakes showdown will carry major implications for the ONE Bantamweight World Title picture.

With both men currently ranked in the top five, the winner that night will take one massive step closer to a shot at reigning titleholder Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade.

But even with so much on the line, Belakh is focused on putting on a show for the Thai fans in attendance and the millions watching around the globe live in North American primetime.

When asked what would be a perfect fight against Kwon, his answer was simple.

Belakh said:

“The one that will thrill the audience. After all, what could be more important? I am 100 percent sure of my win. It will be the best fight.”

The Russian made his promotional debut last October at ONE 162, earning a hard-fought decision over respected Brazilian veteran Leandro Issa.

That victory, coupled with his impressive run on the Russian regional scene prior to joining ONE, put him among the division’s elite after just one fight.

The 27-year-old has no intention of stopping there, though. He plans to thrill ONE fans for years to come, drawing more and more people to MMA as he fights his way to winning 26 pounds of gold.

Belakh said:

“I’m happy to be a part of ONE, and I’m proud to enter the ring under the ONE banner every time I fight. I am happy to give entertaining and memorable fights. I want to keep doing that and make people continue falling in love with this sport, just like I fell in love once. I never did it for anything else! In the future I want to give audiences spectacular fights as a champion, because these fights will attract more attention from the fans – it is the main goal for me!”

Artem Belakh Breaks Down Winning Strategy Against Kwon Won Il

Before Artem Belakh can enjoy global fame as a ONE World Champion, he’ll first have to get past Kwon Won Il on June 9.

He and his team are well aware of the dangers presented by “Pretty Boy” and his top-tier striking. After all, the South Korean has finished all seven of his ONE wins via knockout.

Despite his foe’s prowess in the stand-up department, Belakh is quick to point out that this is mixed martial arts – and he thinks his all-around skills will carry him to victory in a big way.

He said:

“What sets me apart is that I am a true universal fighter. I can fight in stand-up and on the ground. I make good use of all elbow and knee strikes. He is a solid fighter and a good opponent in this weight class. But, I see him more as a good opportunity to make a statement about myself in the division.”

Belakh and his coaches at Tiger Muay Thai have left no stone unturned as they prepare for ONE Fight Night 11.

It’s that meticulous preparation and his world-class grappling that has him loaded with confidence ahead of this pivotal clash.

He said:

“I have several game plans depending on how the fight goes, and I am 110 percent ready for any scenario. If I decide to grapple, my coach is sure it will be a submission. My opponent has good striking, but MMA, as we all know, is a combination of striking and ground game. I am interested in seeing what work he and his team did for this fight. My team and I are ready and aim for a win.”

More in News

Kang Ji Won Mikhail Jamal Abdul Latif ONE Fight Night 18 11
Anatoly Malykhin is declared winner against Reinier de Ridder at ONE on Prime Video 5
Tawanchai PK Saenchai Jo Nattawut ONE 167 115
Jarred Brooks Gustavo Balart
Petchtanong Petchfergus clashes with Hiroki Akimoto at ONE 163
Kirill Grishenko defeats Dustin Joynson by unanimous decision at ONE: NEXTGEN.
Jonathan Di Bella Danial Williams ONE Fight Night 15 73
Nakrob Fairtex Tagir Khalilov ONE Friday Fights 67 40
Danielle Kelly Jessa Khan ONE Fight Night 14 2
Tagir Khalilov Yodlekpet Or Atchariya ONE Friday Fights 41 22
Nakrob Fairtex Muangthai PK Saenchai ONE Friday Fights 15
Tye Ruotolo Izaak Michell ONE Fight Night 21 64