After another dramatic evening of martial arts action this past weekend at ONE: Kings & Conquerors in Macau, China, ONE Championship shifts focus immediately to its next event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, set for the Stadium Negara on 18 August. ONE: Quest for Greatness features a highly-anticipated featherweight rematch, as well as a showcase of local Malaysian talent.
In the main event, ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov (15-0) steps into the ONE Championship cage once more to face rising Australian star, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen (8-1) in a five-round championship bout.
“It is always an exciting time in Kuala Lumpur whenever our world-class athletes climb atop Asia’s biggest and grandest martial arts stage,” said Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship.
ONE Championship Singapore
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“Our warriors are eager to put on a show for fans in Kuala Lumpur, and it is our honor to have them perform in this marvelous city.”
Kuala Lumpur is one of the promotion’s biggest markets, as they regularly hold two events per calendar year in the city’s most iconic stadiums. The promotion’s dedication to bringing massive events and impactful bouts is evidenced by a stacked card, fully loaded with talent.
The undefeated Gafurov, a 32-year old Russian martial artist, is one of ONE Championship’s most dominant titleholders. “Cobra” captured the belt in 2015 with a rear naked choke submission over former champion, Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia. Since then, Gafurov has had two successful title defenses — including a submission of Japanese veteran Kazunori Yokota, and another submission of Jadambaa.
Nguyen, on the other hand, is on a four-bout win streak, with high-profile victories over the Philippines’ Edward Kelly, Singapore’s Christian Lee, and former title challenger Yokota. The 28-year-old is on an absolute tear and has shown steady improvement in each outing.
“Marat Gafurov and Martin Nguyen are two of the promotion’s finest featherweights,” said Sityodtong. “They have met before, with Gafurov taking victory via submission in their first encounter.”
The last time Nguyen faced Gafurov in the cage, he accepted the bout on less than a week’s notice after Gafurov’s original opponent was not available. Now, Nguyen is eager to prove that he could do much better with a full training camp, having learned the necessary lessons from his first encounter with the Russian.
“This time, however, a better-prepared and refocused Nguyen vows to finally bring the title back to Sydney,” Sityodtong concluded.
Also on the ONE: Quest for Greatness card are Malaysian staples Gianni and Keanu Subba, Agilan Thani, Ev Ting and female strawweight star Ann “Athena” Osman.