Rashid Yusupov (L) battle Vinny Magalhães (Ryan Loco/PFL)

Jamal Yusupov Discusses His Upcoming Title Shot Against Tawanchai

Jamal Yusupov has waited patiently for his shot at the ONE featherweight Muay Thai world championship. After a perfect 3-0 start to his ONE Championship tenure, he will finally get to challenge Tawanchai PK.Saenchai for the gold on Friday, Feb. 24. 

The featherweight Muay Thai title tilt will take place as the co-main event of ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II and go down inside Bangkok, Thailand’s iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. 

Yusupov knew he was next in line, given his impressive slate. And though he had to wait, the 39-year-old star wasn’t concerned that his moment would never come.  


But now that it is upon him, he is fully aware of the gravity of the situation that awaits him. 

“I have been moving toward this goal for a long time. I have been anticipating this title fight. And now, I am here,” Yusupov told ONE

“I was not worried [that I had missed the opportunity]. I knew I was the number one contender, as I did not see anyone else in the division who could fight for the belt other than me. However, this fight is certainly a big step for me, and it is a big responsibility.” 

“Yeniceri” only stepped foot inside the Circle once in 2022, but he scored a pivotal unanimous decision win over “Smokin” Jo Nattawut on that occasion. 

Featherweight Muay Thai king Tawanchai, on the other hand, was much more active. The Thai athlete went 3-0 last year and ended his campaign with a World Title victory over Petchmorakot Petchyindee. 

Yusupov remains unfazed by his upcoming opponent’s seemingly unbreakable run, however, as he believes he has got himself into peak condition for his run at gold. 

“I would not say that Tawanchai’s recent activity would play any role in our fight. I am preparing for this fight very seriously. The training camp went well. I am ready both mentally and physically. I am focused on this fight 100 percent now,” he said. 

The Hyperion Fighters standout enters the co-main event 16 years the elder of his Thai foe. But although Tawanchai has the youth and vigor, Yusupov still sees opportunities to score the upset with his hands. 

“He is a young, tough opponent. I can point out that he is quick on his feet, and he works very well with his legs,” Yusupov said. 

“My advantage is my boxing. Even Tawanchai himself pointed it out. He said I have good boxing. I have always been saying that boxing is my advantage, and I will prove it.” 

Regardless of the challenge that awaits him inside Lumpinee Stadium, the fiery challenger is ready for his moment to shine. After putting in a full training camp for Tawanchai, “Yeniceri” is prepared to go the distance – but is aiming to finish things fast. 

“I think the fight will end early. I am ready for five tough rounds, but I’ll try to win early by knockout,” said Yusupov. 

ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II airs live on Friday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. ET. The action is free for all Prime Video subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.