KIAMRIAN Abbasov promises he’ll make it a debut to forget for Japanese mixed martial arts icon Yushin 'Thunder' Okami when the two meet at ONE: FOR HONOR in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday, 3 May
The 25-year-old Kyrgyz athlete hopes the three-round clash, which serves as the co-main event at the Istora Senayan, will be his final step before challenging ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian 'The Bandit' Kadestam for the gold.
“Okami is a very good and experienced athlete with a solid record and interesting fighting history. I have nothing but respect for him,” the skillful competitor shared.
“But I’d like to have a quick win in one of the opening rounds, preferably via knockout because I want to make a statement. It needs to become clear that I deserve a World Title fight.”
Abbasov has proved on countless occasions that he is a versatile martial artist with an appetite for finishing his opponents. He has 13 stoppage victories from his 20 career wins — nine of which come by way of knockout, and another four via submission.
Okami will be a tough test, but Abbasov does not have to look far for inspiration.
The Kyrgyz athlete made a statement by defeating Kuala Lumpur’s Agilan 'Alligator' Thani via rear-naked choke in his own backyard last December.
It was no easy victory, given the setting of the match and Thani’s hero-like status in Malaysia.
“That match gave me an opportunity to showcase my range of skills. I demonstrated both my grappling and striking abilities, and it showed that I’d improved,” he explained.
“I did notice that the audience in Malaysia loved him, but it didn’t affect me. Agilan didn’t have any surprises for me.”
Despite his sky-high confidence, Abbasov is aware of Okami’s background.
Okami has competed 47 times in his professional career, which dates back to 2002. He has 35 career wins, 14 of which by knockout.
Even though he brings vastly more experience into the ONE Championship Circle, the Kyrgyz athlete is not intimidated, and he feels the Japanese veteran should not underestimate him.
“He competed for a World Title, and faced some very serious opponents in his career, but I present a danger to Okami. If Yushin thinks that he can walk through me and that I will be just one of the guys that he can add to his resume, he is very wrong,” Abbasov said.
“I’m a solid opponent, and it’ll be a fun night in Jakarta when the door closes. I want him to be strong so I can win against a great opponent.”