Stamp Fairtex, Islam Murtazaev Victories Projected For ONE: Winter Warriors

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Regian Eersel
Regian Eersel will be defending his lightweight kickboxing title against Islam Murtazaev in the main event of ONE: Winter Warriors on December 3.

Singapore-based ONE Championship is kicking off the holiday season with ONE: Winter Warriors on Friday, December 3.

Check out the breakdown of each fight and its predictions.

Hu Yong vs. Yuya Wakamatsu (Flyweight)

ONE: Winter Warriors kicks off the festivities in the flyweight division with China’s Hu Yong facing Japanese knockout artist Yuya Wakamatsu.

Both fighters have respectable punching power, with Hu holding three victories by knockout and Wakamatsu with 11.

A full-on striking affair is to be expected from the two flyweights, with an understandable edge towards Wakamatsu due to his track record of finishing fights early and quickly.

Prediction: Yuya Wakamtsu by second-round TKO

Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida vs. Kang Ji Won (Heavyweight)

Next up on the card are up-and-coming heavyweights Kang Ji Won and Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.

Almeida is a world-renowned grappler who finished his promotional debut with a north-south choke in the middle of the first round, while the undefeated South Korean knockout artist in Kang is yet to get past the first round, claiming five victims by way of knockout.

Grappler-striker fights are always fun to watch since strikers almost always have the upper hand in the first round but find themselves deeply in trouble by the middle of the fight.

Prediction: Kang Ji Won by first-round knockout

Timofey Nastyukhin vs. Dagi Arslanaliev (Lightweight)

Lightweights Timofey Nastyukhin and Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev are both coming off losses to former ONE lightweight champion Christian Lee.

Arslanliev lost to Lee in 2019 and his first fight being with Nastyukhin, who lost to Lee a few months ago, is set to be a tough one.

Both fighters are renowned finishers and it would not be a surprise to see either one of them get knocked out.

The edge goes to Nastyukhin as in-competition rust might not affect him as much as Arslanliev.

Prediction: Timofey Nastyukhin by second-round knockout

Qiu Jianliang vs. Hiroki Akimoto (Bantamweight Kickboxing)

Just before the main event, fans will be treated to an all-out striking affair between China’s Qiu Jianliang and Japanese standout Hiroki Akimoto in the ONE bantamweight kickboxing division.

Akimoto is riding a three-fight win streak while Qiu is yet to gain a victory in the promotion.

Qiu will understandably be going all out against Akimoto in this one and his aggression for the better part of three rounds may sway the judges in his favor.

Prediction: Qiu Jianliang by split decision

Stamp Fairtex vs. Ritu Phogat (Atomweight Grand Prix Final)

In the co-main event, Stamp Fairtex and Indian wrestling phenom Ritu Phogat will duke it out in the finals of the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix for the right to face Angela Lee for the division title.

Stamp’s striking gives her an undisputed advantage on the feet with an improved ground defense that she showed off in her semifinal fight with Julie Mezabarba.

Phogat is yet to face any difficulties in taking down her opponents but has proven herself to be vulnerable from close-range strikes like uppercuts, as seen in her quarterfinal fight against Meng Bo.

This is going to be a razor-thin fight as their skills almost cancel each other out, but the former two-sport champion from Thailand may just have enough to prevent an outright Phogat victory.

Prediction: Stamp Fairtex by split decision

Regian Eersel - Islam Murtazaev (For ONE Lightweight Kickboxing Title)

Reigning ONE lightweight kickboxing king Regian Eersel will be defending his title against Islam Murtazaev in the main event.

Eersel has successfully defended his title twice in a row against elite competition by cruising to unanimous decisions and claimed he can knockout the Russian

Murtazaev may be an unranked fighter, but he has collected belts throughout his time as a pro kickboxer and he is looking for an explosive debut at ONE: Winter Warriors by defeating Eersel.

Prediction: Islam Murtazaev by second-round knockout.

For those who want to get in on the action and make their own predictions, they may do so by playing the ONE Fantasy game on the official ONE Championship app.

ONE: Winter Warriors will be streaming live on the ONE Super App and official ONE Championship YouTube channel for fans in Asia on Friday at 8:30 PM.

Meanwhile, the North American audience can catch the entire card via B/R Live at 7:30 AM ET.

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