Saygid Izagakhmaev vs. Zhang Lipeng announced for ONE 161

[Photo Credit: ONE Championship] Saygid Izagakhmaev, Zhang Lipeng
Saygid Izagakhmaev (left), Zhang Lipeng (right) [Photo Credit: ONE Championship]

Saygid Izagakhmaev and Zhang Lipeng have been added to the ONE 161 fight event that will take place on September 29. This will be a battle of highly skilled lightweights looking to climb into the top rankings of this division.

Russia's Saygid Izagakhmaev is officially ranked fifth in the lightweight division and is on a three-fight win streak in MMA. The 27-year-old protege of Khabib Nurmagomedov made his debut in ONE earlier this year with an impressive submission win over former top contender James Nakashima.

'The Warrior' Zhang Lipeng of China will be looking to extend his notable six-fight win streak. The 32-year-old fighter has made quite a splash in ONE Championship, defeating fighters such as Ruslan Emilbek Uulu and former ONE lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang.

The two lightweight fighters will be competing to be among the top of the division, a place that the Chinese-born athlete feels he deserves to be. In an interview with ONE, Lipeng said:

“Although the competition between the top five fighters in ONE Championship is fierce, I still feel that with my skills and my experience, I belong in the top tier. Also, I think now is my prime time – not only in my physical and mental state, but in my technique."

Zhang Lipeng wants Shinya Aoki

The 32-year-old Zhang Lipeng wants to compete for the ONE lightweight world title very soon, but he also has eyes on a former king of the division, Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki. Lipeng would like to test his ground game against the jiu-jitsu and judo black belt.

While speaking with ONE, 'The Warrior' said:

“I hope to have a match against Shinya one day. This is another goal that I would like to achieve, besides fighting for the world championship. I have been watching Shinya’s matches in other MMA events since the early days; he is a very experienced athlete... I like ground techniques and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and he is really good at both. Eighty percent of his finishes have come by submission.”

The Chinese fighter also has his eyes set on fighting for the ONE lightweight crown against reigning champion Christian Lee:

“If I could challenge for the world championship tomorrow, I think I would compete well because I am ready. I have been studying Christian for a long time, and I have prepared myself well, both technically and mentally.”

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Edited by Aziel Karthak