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ONE Fight Night 22: Turkey’s Hilal Amir has sights set on ONE Championship Gold

Written by on May 3, 2024

Riding the back of a perfect record in ONE Championship, Turkey’s Hilal Amir is a man on a mission.
3-0 in the world’s biggest martial arts organisation and 10-0 as a professional overall, the 29-year-old finds himself in the co-main event slot at  ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova, taking place in the early hours of May 4 for fight fans in the Middle East.
A stunning KO of Timofey Nastyuhin on debut was followed up by a decision win against Maurice Abevi, before an impressive dismantling of Ahmed Mujtaba last time out.
Those three fights were all in the MMA lightweight division but his next encounter with Akbar Abdullaev from Kyrgyzstan will be at his preferred featherweight.
“Before ONE, I always competed in this weight class,” said Amir. “I’m not a big lightweight, and I think in this weight class, I’ll be faster and stronger.”
Back in a more comfortable division and with a strong record behind him, Amir is looking to initiate a rapid rise in the rankings: “After my victory, I want to fight for the belt or with someone from the top 5 rankings. I don’t like predicting fights. My goal is to finish him. If I cannot succeed, I’ll do everything in my power to make the referee raise my hand.”
Ahead of the contest Amir has had the opportunity to train with Khabib Nurmagomedov and his team, an experience the Turkish fighter says has readied him even more for his upcoming fight.
“For me, it was a very good experience. He has hard training at his school. Khabib always has strict discipline during training. Naturally, the work was focused on wrestling and grappling, and as a person, he is a very simple person. He is often immersed in training and helps his team and, of course, he was also pushing me during the training sessions.”
Amir has huge respect for Abdullaev as a fighter, but becoming a father has also given him a new outlook on life and one which has made him even more laser-focussed in his MMA ambitions.
“My opponent Akbar is a good fighter,” he said. “He has explosive kicks, and he’s a classic kickboxer. His strong point is obvious – his striking technique. I don’t have a special plan. I will enter the ring and move forward, as always.
“I have always been motivated in my life and career, and after having children, this makes me more motivated. 
“Becoming a champion is a natural legacy. When my children grow up, I want them to be proud of me and look to me as an example. And when I become a champion, I will earn more money and it will be easier for my family.” 
The next step on that legacy is almost upon us.
ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell vs. Diachkova takes place Saturday May 4 at 4am GST at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Bangkok. This is an event not to be missed so mark your calendars, tune in to the fight on BeIN Sports, download the ONE Super App, and go to watch.onefc.com now!

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