Marat "Cobra" Gafurov (10-0) is Top25 Ranked & is technically still the reigning M-1 Global FW Champion, as he never lost the belt before leaving that promotion. Plus he fought on two Fedor-headlined M-1 events so he is known.
Gafurov has a win over Mairbek Taisumov (3-1 UFC) on his unblemished record so even the haters have to give him respect.
A strong, exciting submission fighter, Gafurov scored a fantastic victory over tough Aussie slugger "Ruthless" Rob Lisita in his most recent fight by rocking Lisita with a big headkick & then finishing him off with his elite skill in his ONE FC debut.
If you're wondering how ONE FC was able to acquire a reigning M-1 Global Champion I shall tell you...
Gafurov was initially signed by ONE awhile ago, but M-1 disputed the signing & said he was still under contract with them. ONE Championship exec Matt "The Wizard" Hume said they had been misled into thinking Marat was a free agent & without hesitation sent Gafurov back to M-1 Global, which pleased Vadim Finklestein:
"We have seen that ONE FC are real professionals who know the value of business relationships and respect other people's contracts. Pity that three years ago we did not see the same understanding in exactly the same situation from the Bellator management and we were forced to sue.
ONE FC are very pleasant to deal with and I can say that in our correspondence today we reached a preliminary agreement on a possible fighters exchange between our organizations. I can not say in what form it will be, we will work through the options and I'm sure it will be the beginning of a long-term cooperation between M-1 Global and ONE FC."
ONE Championship & M-1 Global now have a great relationship thanks to the scenario that lead to Gafurov becoming a ONE Star, and I'm personally hoping this leads to ONE bringing in a tough Russian WW to challenge Askren in the future (should he get past Santos in the upcoming Rematch).
Ev "E.T." Ting (9-2) is a Top MalaysianMMA fighter that ONE FC has high hopes for.
Already a fast rising star in his home country of Malaysia, Ting will catapult himself into superstar status with a win over Gafurov in on Friday. Ting was born in Malaysia but now lives and trains in New Zealand at Auckland MMA.
Ting's stock will rise around the world if he becomes the 1st fighter to defeat the unbeaten Russian, and he has a good shot to do it too!
Ting is an exciting, well rounded fighter that is on an impressive 3 fight finishing streak culminating in a sensational victory where he utilizes one of the nicest sweeps you will ever see & transitions it perfectly into a guillotine finish:
^ DAT SWEEP!!!
This is going to be a fantastic fight & is a credit to ONE's excellent matchmaking.
This fight is truly a win/win scenario for ONE Championship because either fighter could win & will be great for the promotion going forward providing an excellent Title Challenger!
Just another addition to a LOADED & UNDERRATED event this Friday!
...now with the Prelims airing FREE on Facebook too!
As always, THANKS for reading & ENJOY the fights!