Prospect in the Spotlight (Feb 10-11): Shamil Gasanov


Friday, February 10th, Russian lightweight prospect Shamil Gasanov will be in action for ONE Championship, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Martin Nguyen. He will be looking for another win, as Gasanov looks to inch closer to a title shot in ONE. He represents Peresvet FT, a respectable camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”


Top Ground Game: Gasanov has an extensive martial arts background. He started in combat sambo, which explains why his wrestling is so on-point, as well as his ability to land nasty ground-and-pound. He’s an outstanding natural athlete, which also helps him in his aid to score takedowns efficiently. Once he gets a guy down, he doesn’t just sit in guard and ride it out. He’s active from top position, where he lands powerful strikes to the head of his opponent. He doesn’t have a lot of GNP finishes, but he does use that to advance position and look for submissions. There, he uses his world championship jiu-jitsu to score tapouts. Nine of his twelve wins have come by way of tapout. The rear-naked choke and the guillotine are his two favorite ways of getting out of the cage.

Power: As mentioned, Gasanov is a great natural athlete, but part of that athleticism is his raw power. You can see it in everything, from his explosiveness in his takedowns to his grip strength on chokes to his one-punch KO power. Power is an X-factor in the cage that is always considerable, as you can get out of sticky situations with that raw strength.

Needs Improvement

Technical Striking Question Marks: While Gasanov is a powerful striker with stopping ability, there are questions about his technical prowess in both offensive and defensive regards. Gasanov will eventually run into somebody who can counter his wrestling and keep him on the feet. That will test his striking defense, as well as his ability to put combos together. We will see going forward, but for now it remains a question mark.


ONE Title Challenger: Gasanov looks to be a rising beast in this lightweight division for ONE and the ascent will be quick. His debut was ultra-impressive choking out Jae Woong Kim in 129 seconds in what was a one-sided affair. He takes a step up in competition here when he takes on Martin Nguyen, a proven combatant in ONE with good experience. If Gasanov is able to plow through Nguyen in a similar fashion to Kim, one has to think he’s on the short list of title contenders for Kai Tang’s ONE belt. That’s definitely a matchup the Russian can win, or at the very least be competitive.

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