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Leandro Ataides (right) of Brazil lands a punch on the face of Japan’s Tatsuya Mizuno during their middleweight contest of ONE FC
Leandro Ataides (right) of Brazil lands a punch on the face of Japan’s Tatsuya Mizuno during their middleweight contest of 'ONE FC: Rise of Heroes' at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on May 2. ONEFC.COM

ONE FC middleweight champion to be crowned at Singapore event

ONE Fighting Championship has announced the first four bouts to its mixed martial arts card, ONE FC: Battle of Lions, set to pack out the 12,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium on November 7.

The main event will feature an inaugural contest for the ONE FC middleweight champion title, as Brazilian Leandro Ataides faces Igor Svirid of Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, two top welterweight clashes have been booked, including Bakhtiyar Abbasov of Azerbaijan against Brazil’s Luis Santos and Dwayne Hinds of Trinidad & Tobago taking on South Africa’s Warren De Reuck.

Fast-rising Myanmar star Aung La N Sang will meet Japanese veteran Tatsuya Mizuno in a middleweight battle.

Singaporean mixed martial artists Kirstie Gannaway and Amir Khan are also set to represent the host nation at the event, with their respective opponents to be confirmed at a later date.

ONE FC Victor Cui stated in a press release: “ONE Fighting Championship has acquired a roster of world-class talent from all over the world and fans in Singapore will get to see them in action on November 7.

“We will crown a new world champion as two world-class middleweights face off for the honor of becoming the first man to don the ONE FC Middleweight World Championship [belt]. Fans watching all over the world are in store for a night of breathtaking mixed martial arts action.”

Ataides (7-0) is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt who has predominantly showcased himself as a knockout specialist in the ONE FC cage. His first two bouts for Asia’s largest MMA organisation have both ended in devastating fashion, stopping Brayan Rafiq and Tatsuya Mizuno in the first round.

The 28-year-old Brazilian is still undefeated in seven professional bouts and has earned a reputation as one of the deadliest middleweights in the world of cage fighting.

Svirid (9-1) has mainly competed in Russia, winning all nine of his bouts in the past eighteen months to rack up an impressive streak. The 28-year-old middleweight, nicknamed “Lionheart”, has both fearsome striking and grappling, which he promises to bring to his ONE FC debut next month.

Abbasov (12-3) is a top contender in the division, having defeated the best in Europe before finding new challenges at ONE FC. In his ONE FC debut in Singapore on May 30, he became the first MMA fighter to perform a successful takedown on current welterweight champion Ben Askren of the US.

Santos (60-9-1) is another BJJ black belt with a penchant for KOs. The 34-year-old has ended 34 of his fights by either TKO or KO and is chomping at the bit to face elite competition in Asia.

London-based De Reuck (6-0) has training in Shorin-Ryu Karate and boasts a series of unorthodox strikes in his MMA arsenal. The 32-year-old has finished all of his bouts within the distance and will kick off his ONE FC stint with a bout against fellow undefeated competitor Hinds.

Hinds (9-0) is widely considered as the best mixed martial artist to emerge from the Caribbean. The 30-year-old, nicknamed ‘Punie’, is a two-time national judo champion and has also competed in sambo and boxing.

Aung La N Sang (16-9-1) became the first cage fighter of Myanmar descent to compete at ONE FC when he faced Egypt’s Mahmoud Salama on June 14 in Jakarta. Carrying the nickname ‘The Burmese Python’ for his constricting ability which has led him to nine submission wins, the 29-year-old also demonstrated knockout power by punching his way to a first round stoppage of Salama.

Mizuno (12-10) is a judo black belt and has faced some of the best light heavyweights on the planet. He now competes as a middleweight and will look to make a run towards the ONE FC title belt with a victory on November 7.

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