Halil Amir (ONE Championship)

Halil Amir Looks to Stay Unbeaten Against Akbar Abdullaev on May 3

Halil Amir is one of ONE Championship’s top lightweight contenders. However, the 29-year-old is already eyeing a run toward the top of another division. 

On Friday, May 3, Amir will battle Akbar Abdullaev at ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova in his featherweight debut in the promotion, and his reasons for the change are relatively straightforward. 

“I’m not a big lightweight, and I think in this weight class, I’ll be faster and stronger,” Amir said to ONE


Amir and Abdullaev are both unbeaten in professional competition, with each star holding a 10-0 slate. 

However, “Bakal” kicked off his ONE tenure with back-to-back first-round finishes, and a win on Friday would elevate him into the World Title picture. 

Amir knows this and is aware of the threat his foe will offer. But all in all, he remains unconcerned.

The Turkish sensation has made a name for himself thanks to his aggression, and he plans to implement it in his first outing at featherweight. 

“My opponent, Akbar, is a good fighter. He has explosive kicks, and he’s a classic kickboxer. His strong point is obvious – his striking technique,” he said. 

“I don’t have a special plan for him. I will enter the ring and move forward, as always.” 

But that isn’t to say that “No Mercy” hasn’t been improving his game. Amir is constantly striving to up his skill set, and to do so, he enlisted the help of Khabib Nurmagomedov.

They worked together in the former UFC Lightweight World Champion’s homeland of Dagestan and focused on a particular aspect of Amir’s arsenal. 

“Khabib did several training sessions. For me, it was a very good experience. He has hard training at his school,” he said. 

“Khabib always has strict discipline during training. Naturally, the work was focused on wrestling and grappling. 

Amir feels his structure and training will help push him to a decisive victory over Abdullaev, and he wants to work his way up the ladder in his new division once he gets it. 

“My goal is to finish him. If I cannot succeed, I’ll do everything in my power to make the referee raise my hand,” he said. 

“After my victory, I want to fight for the belt or with someone from the top five rankings.”  

ONE Fight Night 22 is live and free on Friday, May 3. The event airs on Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.