ONE Championship has snapped up one of the most sought after flyweight prospects in the world and he is expected to get an immediate title shot.
Kairat Akhmetov holds a perfect professional record of 23-0 and is coming off a win against one of only two fighters to ever beat Conor McGregor.
Akhmetov is the reigning Alash Pride 125 lbs champion and the 28-year-old has spent the majority of his career competing in his native Kazakhstan.
Last Saturday he stopped Artemij Sitenkov in the opening round, an opponent whose main claim to fame was a 2008 win over McGregor.
The Kazakh also holds a notable win over Tatsuya Watanabe and is expected to be awarded an immediate shot at reigning ONE 125 lbs champion Adriano Moraes. The fight is rumoured to be set for the 21 November card at the National Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium in Beijing.
Since dropping a controversial split decision to Yusup Saadulaev in a catchweight contest on his promotional debut Adriano Moraes has been unstoppable. He’s won four fights out of four in ONE Championship’s 125 lbs division, beating the likes of Yasuhiro Urushitani, Kosuke Suzuki, Geje Eustaquio and Asuka Mikami.
None of them had quite as impressive a record or resume as Akhmetov does and a matchup between the Kazakh challenger and the Brazilian champion would be the biggest flyweight fight in the history of Asian MMA.