Kiamrian Abbasov authored the most solid performance of his nearly career to defeat Swedish champion Zebaztian Kadestam by decision and capture the ONE Championship welterweight title in Jakarta tonight.
In the headliner at ONE: ‘Dawn Of Valor’ Abbasov showed no sign of nerves as he easily imposed his will on Kadestam en route to a unanimous decision victory, becoming the first fighter from Kyrgyzstan to claim a title in the promotion.
The action was fast and furious in the first round as Kadestam pushed the pace and stalked Abbasov in an effort to try and connect with solid strikes. The challenger proved that he was anything but overwhelmed as he closed the distance and clipped his opponent with knees to the midsection.
Kadestam may have appeared to carry more power in his strikes, but it did not stop Abbasov from closing out the opening salvo by taking him to the canvas and unloading a torrent of short blows.
The 26-year-old Bishkek native hardly gave Kadestam the opportunity to let loose with his punches or kicks, and the bout ended up taking place almost entirely on the ground in the succeeding rounds.
Abbasov enrolled Kadestam into a grappling clinic as he passed the champion’s guard with apparent ease to slide into position to strike, seeming to be one step ahead of his opponent every time he tried to escape.
Kadestam tried to make the match a stand-up battle in the final period but could not connect with anything of note. In the end all three judge’s awarded the fight to Abbasov who improves to 22-4 while the former champion drops to 12-5.
While it was a rough night for Kadestam, Dutch kickboxing star Regian Eersel made a successful defense of his kickboxing lightweight belt against compatriot Nieky Holzken in the co-main event of ONE: ‘Dawn Of Valor’.
Eersel was clinical in his approach as he dominated Holzken in the rematch to earn a unanimous decision win. For the majority of the five-round title contest, he bombarded his rival with precise punches and well-placed kicks that even produced a flash knockdown in the first round.
Holzken attempted to mount a comeback late in the match, but his rally came up short as Eersel punished his foe with jabs and knees in the latter part of the bout, which earned the nod on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
Both men stood toe-to-toe and went back-and-forth as they traded blistering combinations from bell to bell. Lineker employed a terrific game plan right off the bat, attacking Gafurov’s body with thudding kicks while connecting fiery boxing combinations.
After surviving a dangerous first round with the Brazilian, Gafurov managed to recover in the following stanza and did his best to pacify his livewire opponent on the ground. He would even fish for a submission with a guillotine choke, but Lineker threw him to the mat like a ragdoll.
While Lineker seemed more interested in trading strikes, Gafurov found success in landing his shots and remained in hot pursuit for takedowns, keeping the bout competitive in the third and final round.
Despite Gafurov’s activity, all three judges favored Lineker who was victorious in his maiden ONE Championship appearance.
Meanwhile, Filipino-Kiwi standout Mark Abelardo (19-6) copped the 19th win of his professional career by outclassing China’s Ayideng Jumayi (17-6-1) in both striking and grappling departments over the course of three rounds to cruise to a clear-cut unanimous decision win.