‘Maestro’ Yusup Saadulaev has faced some of the biggest names in the ONE Championship bantamweight division. His 27-fight experience is no doubt invaluable at the highest level of the game.
Yusup Saadulaev is looking to bank on that experience when he takes on his next opponent, who the No.3-ranked bantamweight contender says is a “pretty dangerous fighter.”
‘Maestro’ is set to lock horns with former Brave CF champion Stephen ‘The Sniper’ Loman of the Philippines at ONE: Winter Warriors II, a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The card is set to broadcast via tape delay this Friday, December 17.
Speaking to ONE Championship in a recent interview, Yusup Saadulaev shared his thoughts on his upcoming opponent from the Philippines.
"I saw Stephen’s fight before because I’m a coach mostly in Moscow and one of my students is fighting in Brave Championship is Ali Bagautinov. He’s right now in a Grand Prix in flyweight, so I saw some fights of Stephen. Yeah, I [did] some research on him.
“He’s explosive. He likes to pull on himself and then explode. He has pretty good ground control and good double-leg takedowns. He was a champion in [Brave CF] and he defended his title a few times, he’s a pretty dangerous fighter.”
Of course, Yusup Saadulaev is no stranger to facing dangerous fighters, having stepped into the cage with the likes of former ONE bantamweight world champion Kevin Belingon, current ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes and ONE featherweight world champion Thanh Le, to name a few.
Yusup Saadulaev says he’s long overdue for a shot at the title
Yusup Saadulaev is heading into this fight riding a three-bout winning streak, all against high-level opponents. He scored three decision victories over Dae Hwan Kim, Daichi Takenaka and, most recently, Troy Worthen.
Currently the No.3-ranked fighter in the division, he has won eight of his last nine. Yusup Saadulaev believes he should be next in line to challenge for the title.
“Yeah, I believe I earned it because I have not only three but an eight or a nine win streak in the bantamweight division. I only had one loss but it was in featherweight, three fights ago so I believe I deserve a title shot.”
Should he defeat Loman, it is certainly not outside the realm of possibility that he is next to face the winner between reigning ONE bantamweight world champion Bibiano ‘The Flash’ Fernandes and No. 1-ranked John Lineker, which is expected to take place early next year.