Abbasov Still Has ‘So Much Hunger’ Ahead Of First World Title Defense Vs. Nakashima

ONE Championship
·3-min read

ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov is ready to defend his belt for the first time against undefeated American standout James Nakashima.

The gold will be up for grabs in their main event clash at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II, the previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium that airs this Friday, 6 November.

Now that he’s at the top, “Brazen” is fully focused on extending his reign.

“Many people say it is harder to defend a title than to get one because you have more motivation, but I don’t think so,” he said.

“I have always been and remain a hunter, and opponents are my prey.”

Victory won’t come easy against Nakashima – a dangerous ground specialist with a stunning 12-0 slate – but the divisional king is unfazed.

“I don’t care about his record. I am not scared,” Abbasov said.

“He’s fought against top opponents, so he could make this a great competition. I don’t know him as a person, but I respect him as an opponent. However, he hasn’t fought guys like me, and it will be a big problem for him.”

Based on the skills of each fighter, it would make sense for Nakashima to shoot for takedowns before Abbasov can line up his shot.

On the other hand, the reigning World Champion has no intention of going from the hunter to the hunted.

“Losing is not [an option] for me right now,” Abbasov said. “Everything depends on how much effort you put into your training and how hard you work. The more you give to your training, the better result – like a big win – you can expect.”

When it comes to the specifics of his matchup with Nakashima, Abbasov is leaving it to his trainers. For his part, he’s only worrying about the factors he can control.

“We have been analyzing his techniques and tactics, mainly based on his last win against Yushin Okami,” the titleholder said.

“Mainly, it’s a job for my coaches, as I don’t like watching my opponents. It’s usually enough to see one fight, and that’s enough for me to understand what’s what. He is a tenacious wrestler, so let’s see whose wrestling is better.”

Above all, Abbasov is adamant that he won’t be complacent even after claiming the coveted belt. Instead, he’s approaching this fight with something to prove.

“My last bout happened a year ago, so I am very hungry now,” he said.

“It doesn’t feel like preparation for a title defense. It feels like I am training for a title shot again. I have so much hunger right now. I feel like I am fighting for another belt – like I’m shooting for more gold.”

Catch this main event clash and the rest of ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIXI II this Friday by downloading the ONE Super App. Or tune in to meWATCH at 8:30 p.m. Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Also, Channel 5 will cut into the broadcast at 10 p.m. SGT.

Read More From ONE Championship:

After Long Journey, Nakashima Unfazed By Pressure Of World Title Shot

Abbasov: Undefeated Challenger Nakashima ‘Hasn’t Fought Guys Like Me’