khabib_nurmagomedov via Instagram
But he will not jump into the lightweight division with an easy draw. His first opponent will be former welterweight title challenger James Nakashima.
Nakashima has a wealth of grappling experience under his belt as well. He is a former Nebraska Cornhusker wrestler and has competed against some of the biggest names in the sport. That wrestling helped spark his undefeated streak before coming up short in his title challenge in 2020.
But the all-time great Nurmagomedov is supremely confident in Izagakhmaev.
In a sit-down interview with ONE, Nurmagomedov remarked, “I don’t think Nakashima can control him. We’re going to defend his wrestling, and we’re going to give him some damage.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Izagakhmaev himself, who believes he is better in every area of mixed martial arts than Nakashima. Something he will have to prove on the global stage in his debut.
Nakashima is just as confident in his abilities as well. He has improved his striking under the likes of Giorgio Petrosyan and is hoping to put on a show-stealing performance to re-insert himself into the title hunt in the lightweight division.
Prepare yourself for this sensational lightweight battle as Izagakhmaev makes his debut against the all-out pressure of Nakashima.
ONE: Heavy Hitters will air across Bleacher Report’s YouTube channel on Friday, January 14, at 5:00 a.m. EST/2:00 a.m. PST.
Saygid Izagakhmaev vs. James Nakashima | Fight PreviewPreview the highly-anticipated clash between Khabib's protege Saygid Izagakhmaev and former ONE World Title challenger James Nakashima at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS!...
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