In 2019 Kiamrian Abbasov became the fourth man to win the ONE Championship welterweight title. It was a career defining year for the Kyrgyz fighter.

At ONE: ‘For Honor’ he spoiled Yushin Okami‘s promotional debut, stopping the Japanese legend in the second round. That win earned him a shot against reigning champion Zebaztian Kadestam.

He went the distance with the Swedish fighter at ONE: ‘Dawn of Valor’. The 26 year old dominated the fight from start to finish to win the welterweight title,

It is a moment that will live long in Abbasov’s memory,

“It was an incredible moment, and I was totally blown away. I felt like I had achieved something very big. I was proud, happy and excited. It was very hard to control my emotions.”

Hero’s return

The win did not go unnoticed in Abbasov’s homeland,

“Many people in Russian and Kyrgyzstan watched this fight. As soon as I landed in Russia I felt that now I am famous. Immigration officers wanted to take photos with me and asked for my autographs, people at the airport kept coming up to me for a photo.”

Abbasov’s name is now up there alongside some legendary fighters like Bibiano Fernandes, Shinya Aoki and Ben Askren. The list of fighters to have won a title with ONE Championship is a prestigious one.

However the 26 year old says he is not motivated by riches or glory,

“I fight for my mother. My motivation to train and to fight has always been to help her. She has worked hard to let me have a roof over my head and food on my table. I fight to see her happy now.”

Stellar year

His ONE Championship career didn’t get off to the best start. Abbasov dropped a decision to Luis Santos at the start of 2018 but bounced back to beat an experienced opponent from Azerbaijan in Moscow.

He was rewarded with a shot at former title challenger Agilan Thani and needed less than three minutes to silence the Kuala Lumpur crowd by submitting the Malaysian at ONE: ‘Destiny of Champions’.

That win set Abbasov up for his stellar 2019. His name might not have been on many people’s radar at the start of the year but he finished it as a champion and the man to beat in ONE’s welterweight division,

“You might say it was too soon, but the opportunity was there, and I took it, and I won.”