ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian Abbasov has heard Reinier de Ridder’s prediction for their upcoming World Title fight, and now, the Kyrgyz athlete wants to wake him up from his midwinter’s night dream.
Abbasov, who challenges the undefeated two-division ONE World Champion for the middleweight belt at ONE: FULL CIRCLE on 25 February, recently learned about the Dutchman’s claim that he’ll dominate the welterweight king “from start to finish” and submit him within two rounds.
That hasn’t fazed the Kyrgyzstani MMA fighter, but he has a simple message for De Ridder – “dream on.”
In a new interview with ONE Championship, Abbasov shared even more about his upcoming opponent:
“Reinier de Ridder without a doubt is a good fighter. His record speaks for itself. He is undefeated, 14-0. But he has been talking a lot about himself recently, that he is the best grappler in the world, or that he can knock me out easily. What a funny guy. We’ll see if he can deliver, but his dreams are big. His unblemished record is a big motivation for me. I’d like to be the first guy to upset him and spoil this perfect record.”
Abbasov achieved his own dream of becoming an MMA World Champion when he dominated then-titleholder Zebaztian Kadestam via unanimous decision to capture the ONE Welterweight World Title in October 2019.
The Kyrgyzstani fighter followed that up by using his boxing to knock out then-unbeaten James Nakashima to retain his belt, proving he is dangerous in all areas of the game.
And though De Ridder will enter the World Title fight with a 10-centimeter height advantage, Abbasov expects a similar result against his brash opponent:
“Many people could have beaten me, but whose hand was raised at the end of each fight? Mine! And those guys either got knocked out or lost on points. If De Ridder thinks our fight will be like a pleasant walk in the park, let him think that. It plays to my advantage.” (One Championship)