When ONE Championship returns to U.S. primetime on Friday, Nov. 3, for ONE Fight Night 16: Haggerty vs. Andrade, Magomed Abdulkadirov will have his hands full.
The Dagestani grappler will debut in the world’s largest martial arts organization at the star-studded spectacle, where he’ll challenge Tye Ruotolo for the ONE welterweight submission grappling championship.
And while the world may be counting him out before the bell even rings, Abdulkadirov is looking to stun audiences around the globe.
“I’m confident in my abilities, and I will be able to prove that Russian and Dagestani grappling is at a world-class level. If you are not confident, you have nothing to do at this level,” he told ONE.
“My hard work must pay off. I create the situations, but the result is up to the Almighty. My plan is to force my own game on him and get my opponent to make mistakes.”
Abdulkadirov understands the opportunity that awaits him in his promotional bow, and he’ll enter Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, with no pressure on his shoulders. Still, the talented Russian is hoping to get validation in the form of 26 pounds of gold.
“The victory and the ONE World Title would start a new chapter in my career, in my life. I have given my whole youth to this sport, and I am extremely motivated to win the vacant belt to write my name in history,” the Russian stated.
Ruotolo has been near perfect since stepping onto the ONE stage. While Abdulkadirov credits his talents, he isn’t creating an aura around the Southern Californian before they step inside the ring together.
“Ruotolo is very good. He is young and hungry, although he already has some titles under his belt,” he said.
The Dagestan region is known for its wrestlers, and, as such, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Abdulkadirov is strong from top. However, the 32-year-old assures everyone that he is equally as comfortable from his back.
But no matter the position, he’s aiming for a shocking finish.
“My greatest strengths are pressuring, working on the offense, working from the top and from the back. I also have my favorite techniques: rear-naked choke and kimura,” Abdulkadirov stated.
When the bell rings, the promotional newcomer will look to be the aggressor. That nonstop pressure will be pivotal in forcing a window of opportunity to exploit on Nov. 3, and he’s hoping it will be his key to victory.
“The ability to put on constant pressure is the key to my victory in the upcoming fight. This way, I can force my opponent to make mistakes,” Abdulkadirov said.
ONE Fight Night 16 airs live on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 3. The event is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers based in the U.S. and Canada.
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