Following their impressive debut victories, “Fighting Rooster” Zhang Peimian and Aslanbek Zikreev went all out to prove they belong at the top of ONE Championship’s strawweight kickboxing division when they faced off at ONE 159: De Ridder vs. Bigdash on Friday, July 22.
The result was an intense three-round battle that didn’t slow down from the first second to the last. Both men deserved maximum kudos for their efforts. But in the end, it was “Fighting Rooster” who ultimately nabbed the unanimous decision win.
The bout got off to a fast and furious start inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium, with Zhang firing off punches and high kicks while Zikreev looked to slow his rival down behind his jab and low kicks.
“Fighting Rooster” swung heavy leather to the head and body of his opponent, and he scored with some well-timed knees. But the Russian – who is also the #2-ranked strawweight Muay Thai contender – stood his ground and fired back with the same intensity.
The action continued into round two with a frantic pace. Zikreev kept up his high work rate with punches and low kicks, and “Fighting Rooster” replied with powerful strikes to combat the volume of his rival. The Russian star pieced his strikes together seamlessly, but Zhang’s connections seemed more significant, including an eye-catching high kick to a spinning backfist combination.
While those watching might have needed to catch a breath, the two fighters didn’t, and round three picked up right where the second had left off.
Zikreev pressed forward even more aggressively, slinging punches, kicks, and spinning backfists at “Fighting Rooster.” Zhang planted his feet and winged away with heavy right hands and hooks in return until the final bell rang.
The judges had a tough job, but after an intense three rounds of nonstop action, they sided with the Chinese prodigy’s power and accuracy over Zikreev’s high output. Zhang was awarded the unanimous decision win, pushing his record to an impressive 16-1-1.
Despite being just 18 years old, “Fighting Rooster” is now within touching distance of the ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship, and the global fan base waits excitedly to see what comes next for him.