Ilya Freimanov on his ONE Championship debut: “I’m happy to be fresh blood”

Freimanov’s (10-1) first opponent will be ONE star, former two-division world champion Martin Nguyen (14-5). After knocking out Marat Gafurov in August 2017, Nguyen first won gold in the featherweight division, and only three months later in the lightweight division. He won the fight – and again by knockout – sending Filipino fighter Eduard Folayang to the canvas.

Behind Freimanov – more than three hundred fights in various sports, from army hand-to-hand combat and French “savate” boxing to kickboxing and MMA. In his professional MMA career, he has 10 wins and one loss, received in April 2021 from Bakytbek Dushiobaev in the OFC3 (Open Fighting Championship) tournament. Freimanov is a knockout: more than 80% of his victories, he won them either by knockout or by technical knockout. This time, he hopes, victory will again be his:

“I will have a permanent advantage. I don’t think Martin wants to stay with me for long. He will try to fight, he will transfer me to the ground.

“I would like to win by knockout, no matter the round.”

The 26-year-old representative of the Krasnodar “Forge” room is not surprised that as the first opponent he immediately got the third number in the division:

“I think the top three, if not all five, have fought each other before and they need some fresh blood. I’m happy to be that fresh blood, and the third number fight is a great opportunity to get closer to the title fight.

Freimanov, who trains in Thailand at the Tiger Muay Thai and MMA camp, is happy to sign in Asia’s biggest martial arts league:

“I’m happy with what the league offers me now. ONE is one of the best leagues in the world, if not the best today. I wanted to get into it for a long time. For me, contracting with ONE is an opportunity to take it to the next level.

Freimanov, who is on a three-game winning streak, sees his task as follows:

“It’s good to fly up the leaderboard and start the path to the belt.”

The Russian’s opponent has just rehabilitated after two defeats, and will try to gain a foothold in the rankings in order to get a chance for a title fight as soon as possible.

The ONE rookie admits that the fight with such a high placed opponent like Nguyen is a fluke:

“Yeah, maybe I’m lucky compared to someone else. I don’t rule out that there are contenders who have been playing in the league for a long time and are heading for the title.”

But, as they say, luck is with the strongest.

Source : MatchTV

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