Turkish MMA sensation ready to fast-track career in title-fight ONE Championship debut - Info Panameña

Turkish MMA sensation ready to fast-track career in title-fight ONE Championship debut

Heavy with his hands, but also adept on the ground – as his four submission wins suggest – Rasulov was already delighted to have been signed to ONE in the lightweight MMA division, but with current champion Christian Lee side-lined the Dagestan-born Turkish fighter will now open his career with an interim title fight.     

The man standing in his way of that gold is South Korea’s Ok Rae Yoon. The former lightweight champion needs little in the way of introduction and holds an enviable list of victims – including current champion Lee. Add to that the likes of Eddie Alvarez and Marat Gafurov and it is easy to see why he is held in such high esteem. 

For Rasulov however, this is all a question of timing, and see this as an opportunity to usher in a new era for the lightweight division.

“He is a former champion, a good fighter, and he has beaten many high-level fighters,” he said. “I was dreaming about such an opponent, so I was very happy when I received his name. I believe it’s my time and I will pass him.

 “I’m very excited about it and happy to be given such an opportunity. I feel no pressure at all. It’s a good chance for me.  

“My goal in ONE Championship is to become a dominant champion. This win is very important for me. I will be ready.”

Hailing originally from Dagestan, it goes without saying that Rasulov has been raised on a diet of wrestling, and he is confident that element of his game can prove decisive when the pair meet at ONE Fight Night 23 in the early hours of Saturday, July 6 AST. 

“His advantage is his stand-up,” said Rasulov. “He mostly fights standing and doesn’t allow you to take him down. He is a good defensive wrestler.

“It’s going to be an interesting fight. He fights standing up, while I mostly wrestle. The one who forces his game will win, but I’m still confident in myself.  

“He fought Marat Gafurov, my countryman, and I saw that Dagestani wrestling was stronger. 

“If I don’t succeed in wrestling, I will fight standing, but I can fight on the ground as well. I’m going to force my tempo on him.”

As for Rasulov’s longer-term motivation, it is simple – to dominate the lightweight division.

“This organization is the best in the world. It gives athletes motivation to be stronger. I’m very happy to compete there and become a champion.”

Other Stories