Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team is home to the UFC lightweight champion and the Bellator lightweight champion. So when he proclaimed Saygid Izagakhmaev to be the best of the lot recently it was the ultimate accolade.
Izagakhmaev certainly lived up to his coaches high expectations at ONE 163, stopping former lightweight champion Shinya Aoki in under 90 seconds. He looked to establish the jab immediately but ate a couple of solid body kicks from the Japanese southpaw.
This prompted Izagakhmaev to switch stance and Aoki landed another body kick as soon as he switched back to orthodox. With the two time ONE Championship lightweight champion backed up against the cage the Russian unleashed a devastating right hand.
It dropped Aoki and Izagakhmaev immediately went to work with punches to the head of his downed opponent. The referee gave him every chance to recover but when the 39 year old rolled onto his front it was all over and he stepped in at the 1:26 mark.
Izagakhmaev earned a $50,000 USD bonus for the performance and is next in line for a shot at lightweight champion Christian Lee. He improves to 22-2 while Aoki drops to 47-11-0-1.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) November 19, 2022
Best of the rest
Aung La Nsang stopped Yushin Okami in the opening round in the battle between two experienced middleweights. He timed a takedown attempt from the UFC veteran perfectly and landed a right kick to his head.
Okami was clearly hurt but appeared to recover. With La Nsang attacking relentlessly with punches the referee decided not to give the Japanese fighter the benefit of the doubt and stepped in at the 1:42 mark.
With the win La Nsang improves to 28-13-0-1 and demonstrates that he still remains a force to be reckoned with in the division he used to dominate. Okami drops to 37-15.