Mansur Malachiev believes he can can secure a shot at the strawweight belt with a win Joshua Pacio at ONE Fight Night 15 this weekend. The former champion is currently ranked #1 and the Russian sees this as a title eliminator.

Malachiev already has his sights set on champion Jarred Brooks and the language barrier hasn’t prevented him from following the UFC veteran’s career and comments,

“He’s been talking too much about me, and I want to show him what I can do, and then take the belt. He’s never met a fighter like me before. Once I get to him, he’ll realize he’s just a loudmouth.”

Eyes on the prize

It isn’t clear exactly what Brooks has done to upset the Russian. But Malachiev is determined to secure a shot at the current champion,

“My goal is the belt, and I don’t care who my opponent is going to be. But since I’m fighting the #1 I want to fight Jarred Brooks, the champion, next.”

To do so he will need to beat a former champion. Pacio’s last fight was against Brooks and it sounds like Malachiev has reviewed the footage,

“In his arsenal, he has striking and very good wrestling defense, but my wrestling is on a whole different level. We’ll see if he can defend against it.”

Early finish

Brooks comes from a wrestling background himself and was able to put Pacio on his back numerous times during the five round fight. But Malachiev believes he can outwrestle anyone in the division,

“I have been honing my skills for years among the best wrestlers in Dagestan. I’m experienced enough to out-wrestle anyone, and Pacio is no exception.”

Malachiev finished his first ONE Championship fight inside the distance. He put away another FIlipino, Jeremy Miado in the opening round to make it six stoppage wins in a row.

He plans to make it number seven at ONE Fight Night 15 on Saturday and feels he can become the first opponent to finish Pacio since Hayato Suzuki in 2017,

“I think I have all the skills to win. I’m ready for all three rounds, but I plan on finishing Pacio early. It’s going to be a very entertaining.”