Shamil Gasanov Shows No Fear Of Garry Tonon's Submission Game Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 12
Shamil Gasanov will walk into Lumpinee Boxing Stadium on July 14 with the intent of making his case for a shot at the ONE Featherweight World Championship when he meets #2-ranked contender Garry Tonon.
The featherweight showdown at ONE Fight Night 12 will be part of ONE Championship's return to U.S. primetime on Prime Video, and the Russian is looking forward to his showdown with the American submission ace.
"Tonon should not be underestimated. Both of us are skilled grapplers, and we pose a threat until the final second of the fight. Maintaining focus is crucial as a single mistake can cost [someone] the victory. He is particularly dangerous with his leglocks," Gasanov told ONE.
The clash of grappling styles will be an intriguing storyline to watch when the two men become entangled. Tonon's noted history of BJJ supremacy has made him one of the most dynamic finishers in the sport, but Gasanov is just as confident in his ground game.
"The Cobra" does not fear hitting the canvas with the BJJ legend.
"I have more experience in MMA than Garry. I've also competed in BJJ, grappling, and freestyle wrestling, so I believe we have an equal chance on the ground," Gasanov stated.
The unbeaten Russian is preparing for Tonon's highly regarded leglock attacks. But even then, Gasanov is not planning on being reactive against the American.
He wants to be aggressive and take the fight to the #2-ranked featherweight contender.
"I do a lot of grappling with black belts and leglock specialists. I also have extensive wrestling sessions with freestyle wrestlers. I never approach a fight with just a defensive strategy. I'll be launching my attacks from the opening seconds of our bout," Gasanov said.
Given Tonon's ranking and Gasanov's unblemished record, it is clear that this matchup will have a major impact on the featherweight division. Although his focus is on the self-proclaimed dream fight, Gasanov is aware of the implications the result will have moving forward.
And with a win, "The Cobra" expects his shot at the gold will not be too far away.
"I have been closely following my division in ONE for a long time, even when I was competing in another league. Fighting Tonon has been a dream of mine for a while. I have watched his fights in ADCC, and I consider him the most dangerous opponent in my division. I never look for shortcuts in my career, so I am fully prepared to face Garry. If I defeat Garry Tonon, I am confident that a title shot will be in my near future," the 27-year-old said.
Tonon is just another step along Gasanov's master plan.
The Russian made a promise that he would become the king of the sport. However, he also has additional plans to stay atop the mountain and even grace the submission grappling ranks after ONE Fight Night 12.
"My ultimate goal is to capture the ONE belt, as I have promised it to my mom. I also aim to successfully defend the title, God willing. Additionally, I have a strong desire to compete in submission grappling," Gasanov said.
ONE Fight Night 12 airs live on Prime Video on Friday, July 14, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members in the U.S. and Canada.
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