Saygid Izagakhmaev enters ONE lightweight top 5, Stephen Loman and Kwon Won Il break into bantamweight rankings

(From left) Saygid Izagakhmaev, Stephen Loman, and Kwon Won Il. [Photo: ONE Championship]
(From left) Saygid Izagakhmaev, Stephen Loman, and Kwon Won Il. [Photo: ONE Championship]
James De Rozario

Saygid Izagakhmaev’s victory over James Nakashima last Friday, January 14, has earned him the No.5-ranked spot in the ONE lightweight division. As a result, fellow Russian lightweight athlete Timofey Nastyukhin, previously ranked at No.5, has dropped out of the top five.

Khabib Nurmagomedov's protege penned a deal with the promotion last October. He came into the Singapore-based organization with a reputation as one of the most highly-regarded lightweight contenders in MMA today.

He showed the reason for that lofty reputation at Heavy Hitters. He forced fellow grappling expert Nakashima to submit at 2:17 of the second frame via a head and arm triangle choke.

Izagakhmaev was also awarded a US$50,000 bonus alongside Senzo Ikeda and Ekaterina Vandaryeva for his performance.

The rest of the lightweight top five remained unchanged. Iuri Lapicus (No.4), Shinya Aoki (No.3), Dagi Arslanaliev (No.2) and former lightweight king Christian Lee (No.1) maintained their spots.

ONE bantamweight and flyweight divisions also see changes in top five

Meanwhile, the bantamweight division underwent some major changes. Former bantamweight world champion Kevin Belingon dropped three spots in the 65.8-kg division to sit at No.5.

The Team Lakay athlete was knocked out in the second round by Kwon Won Il at Winter Warriors II, which broadcasted via tape delay on December 17.

Kwon’s triumph, his third consecutive win in the promotion, saw him break into the ranked charts. The 25-year-old took over Belingon’s position at No.2, a spot behind the division’s top contender, John ‘Hands of Stone’ Lineker.

Stephen Loman is now the No.3-ranked athlete in the division courtesy of a first-round TKO victory over Yusup Saadulaev at Winter Warriors II. Saadulaev, the previous No.3-ranked bantamweight, fell out of the top five.

Fabricio Andrade maintained his spot at No.4, while Japanese fighter Shoko Sato also dropped out of the rankings.

Lastly, Kairat Akhmetov switched spots with Danny Kingad in the flyweight division. The promotion's former flyweight world champion took over Kingad’s No.3 spot, which resulted in Kingad going down to No. 4. Akhmetov gained a spot by dominating the Filipino warrior in their main event clash in December.

Edited by Harvey Leonard


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