Undefeated middleweight Leandro Ataides has been in line for a title shot for several months after back-to-back first-round knockout wins and the Brazilian will finally get his chance to fight for the belt when he faces Igor Svirid in the main event of ONE FC: Battle of Lions on Nov. 7. The show is set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Ataides (7-0) is a BJJ black belt who trains out of the local Evolve MMA camp, while Svirid (9-1) is making his promotional debut, but has been handed an immediate shot at the title on the back of a nine-fight winning streak.
Svirid’s MMA career got off to an unsuccessful start when he lost his pro debut in 2011, but he returned two years later and has reeled off nine straight wins with the Kazakh middleweight competing six times already in 2014.
Ataides is a two-time Copa De Mundo champion in BJJ, but despite his impeccable credentials as a grappler, he has gained a reputation for aggression and heavy handedness after knocking out Bryan Rafiq and Tatsuya Mizuno in his two previous ONE FC outings.
Reigning welterweight champion Ben Askren is likely to be keeping a close eye on the action at ONE FC: Battle of Lions because there are two fights on the card that will have implications for the 170-pound title picture.
Two undefeated welterweights will clash when Dwayne Hinds (9-0) from Trinidad & Tobago makes his long awaited debut against fellow promotional newcomer Warren de Reuck (6-0), who hails from South Africa but fights out of the U.K.
The other 170-pound bout announced on Monday sees former title challenger Bakhtiyar Abbasov (12-3) try to get his career back on track when he faces seasoned Brazilian Bellator veteran Luis Santos (60-9-1), who holds a black belt in BJJ.
Abbasov has already been beaten by Askren once, so it’s unlikely the Azerbaijani would be awarded a second title shot, but Santos will have the opportunity to put himself immediately in the frame with a good performance. He has signed for ONE FC on the back of a six-fight winning streak.
The fourth fight announced on Monday was in the middleweight division and will see Myanmar’s Aung La N Sang (16-9) look for a second successive ONE FC win when he takes on Japanese veteran Tatsuya Mizuno (12-10), who is 1-2 in his three fights for the promotion so far.
Also on the card will be Singaporean’s Amir Khan and Kirstie Gannaway, although both fighters are without an opponent at the time of publication. Fans in Asia can catch all the action live on FOX Sports 3 while the event will be available online for US$9.99 from http://www.onefc.com/livestream.
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