Marat Gafurov will take on Lowen Tynanes at ONE: Collision Course. The lightweight affair takes place on Friday, December 18th, and emanates from Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
Gafurov is the former featherweight champion for ONE Championship but is looking to reinvent himself in another weight category. This marks the sophomore outing in that division for Marat Gafurov and he hopes to secure his first win as a lightweight under the ONE banner.
Below are several excerpts from my recent interview with Cobra ahead of this prizefight.
Your opponent Lowen Tynanes is 10-0 in MMA overall and has fought with ONE Championship on and off since their seventh event. He has captured belts with KOTC as well as URCC. What are your thoughts on his fighting skillset and resume overall?
“A good opponent, basic fighter, physically strong. Young, enduring, very promising fighter. I think we’ll have a good fight.”
You made your lightweight debut in your last outing. Although you didn’t necessarily get the desired outcome, how did you feel competing in the new division?
“In that fight I had a lot of problems. Now we will not go into details. All of this influenced the outcome of the fight. I am already a fighter in age and it’s hard for me to lose weight. So, currently this is my weight.”
Your last fight marked your first submission loss as a pro. Was that an especially difficult defeat because of your impressive submission grappling abilities?
“Yes, of course. It’s not something I wanted, to lose with a submission, especially to such an opponent. Well, what happened happened. Move on.”
You’re a former featherweight champion in ONE but that division seems like it’s behind you. Who are some of the lightweight fighters within ONE Championship that you’re most interested in competing against?
“To be honest, we had a Grappling match with Shinya Aoki. I would like to fight him according to MMA rules.”
ONE: Collision Course
How have your training preparations been altered by the global pandemic if at all?
“It was very difficult to prepare because all the gyms were closed, but we somehow trained. Ran light workouts at home.”
You have been with ONE Championship since 2014. What has it been like for you to see the growth of the promotion as you also grow as a martial artist?
“Yes, I see that ONE FC as an organization is growing, making cool tournaments, and I’m glad to be their fighter.”
Who are the main trainers and sparring partners you’ve been getting in work with ahead of this fight?
“I do not have a permanent coach, I am on my own. There are a lot of sparring partners in Dagestan and they are all good.”
Is there anything that you would like to add as a parting thought?
“I wish good luck for the organization in this hard time and I know they can overcome in the very best way.”