Tagir Khalilov Wants Rodtang Jitmuangnon, Denis Puric Rematches After Thrilling TKO Win At ONE 164

Tagir Khalilov celebrates his win at ONE 164 with Anatoly Malykhin

“Samingpri” Tagir Khalilov earned his first ONE Championship victory in spectacular fashion on Saturday, December 3.

The Russian striker knocked out Chorfah Tor.Sangtiennoi in the first round of their flyweight Muay Thai bout at ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks, and the highlight-reel finish earned him a performance bonus from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

The victory was particularly sweet for “Samingpri” following a pair of close decision losses in his opening two contests in The Home of Martial Arts, and he plans on putting the extra US$50,000 check to good use.

Khalilov said:

“[Chatri] gave me a bonus because from the very first minute, we had such a clash. The Thai started very aggressively, and I responded to him without hesitation. We both were bold, but I got the win, and I did it fast.

“To be honest, I will spend a big part of this bonus on myself. I deserve it. But another part will go to the kids I took under my wing. I have a social project called Good Generation, where we train kids from underprivileged families. It will be nice spending a part of the bonus on these kids.”

While the speed of the TKO win might have been a surprise to the fans in attendance at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, the 29-year-old knew that his boxing would be the ticket to victory.

As well as his intense preparation for Chorfah’s Muay Thai style, Khalilov had the advice of a newly crowned two-division ONE World Champion in his corner, which also contributed to his success.

He said:

“I knew straight away that he was a typical Thai-style fighter. I knew that he would go into a clinch and start kicking. I planned to concentrate on punches, work with my hands. 

“That uppercut was something I spent time working on at the gym. As you all could see, it worked. I had Anatoly Malykhin in my corner and, at some point, I heard him shouting that my right uppercuts were doing a good job, so I started working them in different combinations, and it worked beautifully!”

Tagir Khalilov Excited For 2023, Reveals Immediate Career Goals

Tagir Khalilov’s promotional debut came against ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon, and he returned at late notice against Denis Puric in his sophomore appearance.

Both bouts were close, but the Russian wound up on the wrong side of the judges’ scorecards. However, he’d love the chance to earn both wins back – starting with “The Bosnian Menace.”

Talking about his next move, Khalilov said:

“First, I need closure after losing to Puric. I do not think it was a definite loss. The ref decided there was a knockdown, which I do not agree with. However, in order to put it all behind me, I need to punish Denis Puric. 

“Then, after I am done with him, I would like if the organization gives me the opportunity to fight Rodtang. I want to be number one and be the champion of ONE, and Rodtang has the belt that I want.”

There’s plenty to be excited about as the world’s largest martial arts organization and its elite roster of athletes look forward to a groundbreaking 2023, and there’s one thing in particular that stands out for “Samingpri.”

The Russian would love to play a part in the ONE Lumpinee events at the historic stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and he’s ready to deliver more exciting victories to prove he deserves the biggest opportunities. 

Khalilov said:

“The news about Lumpinee is very exciting. I would like to fight there – Lumpinee is the Mecca of Thai boxing. Every Muay Thai fighter wants to appear there at least once. I am sure ONE will put on great tournaments there. 

“I want to grow as an athlete with ONE. I like this organization, it’s a great platform for young fighters like me. I’m ready to fight, and I promise to show more beautiful knockouts!”

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