Excitement is building for ONE 166: Qatar, as the fight card gains another captivating battle featuring Thai legend Nong-O Hama set to face off against Russian sensation Vladimir Kuzmin in a bantamweight Muay Thai spectacle.
Scheduled to take place at the Lusail Sports Arena on Friday, March 1, this event marks ONE Championship's inaugural visit to the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar. Nong-O, a former longtime ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion and one of the sport's all-time greats, will be aiming to make a triumphant return after recent setbacks.
Boasting an impressive record of 10 consecutive victories in ONE Championship, including eight consecutive World Title wins, Nong-O's reign was halted by the current two-sport champion, Jonathan Haggerty. In his last outing, Nong-O faced defeat against Nico Carrillo, making a comeback victory crucial for his aspirations.
Despite the setbacks, Nong-O remains a formidable force, holding the #2 spot in the bantamweight Muay Thai division. The 37-year-old veteran is determined to showcase that he still possesses the skill and tenacity to overcome the current generation of elite strikers.
However, standing in his way is the relentless striker Vladimir Kuzmin. The 26-year-old Russian, with a 2-2 record in ONE, brings a high-paced fighting style that poses a serious threat to Nong-O. Kuzmin's previous battles against top-tier opponents like Haggerty and Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion Muangthai PK Saenchai, where he pushed them to the limits with a majority decision and a split decision, showcase his ability to compete with the best.
Nong-O's high ranking and legendary status make this matchup particularly enticing for Kuzmin, who sees the bout as an opportunity to elevate his standing in the division. The March 1 clash promises to be a pivotal moment, adding to the already impressive lineup in Qatar, featuring World Championship action, including the main event rematch for the ONE Middleweight MMA World Title between Reinier de Ridder and Anatoly Malykhin.