Ilya Freymanov embraces World Title fight with Thanh Le: “I am the better man”

By BJPENN.COM Staff - September 13, 2023

Third-ranked featherweight MMA contender Ilya Freymanov is ready for the most high-profile bout of his ONE Championship career.

Ilya Freymanov

On October 6, he battles former divisional king and current #1 contender Thanh Le for the ONE Interim Featherweight MMA World Title. The bout takes place at ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video, which airs live in U.S. primetime from Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

This huge moment isn’t lost on the 27-year-old.

Following a pair of first-round finishes in his initial two outings under the ONE banner, Freymanov knows he must up the ante. After all, he is facing one of the featherweight division’s biggest threats.

“Each new fight is always very important to me. This win could definitely become one of the most significant ones,” Freymanov said.

“But I cherish every win that led up to this fight for the ONE Interim [Featherweight MMA World] Title.”

For Freymanov, this match is not just a chance at 26 pounds of gold. It’s a ticket to a future title unification bout against lineal champ Tang Kai.

“Le was a dominant champion. [I’ve got] nothing but respect for his career. I’ve wanted to fight him for a long time,” he said.

“It’s a big challenge for me, and a win over Le will make me the [next person] to challenge [Tang Kai].”

Ilya Freymanov eyeing bonus-winning finish of Thanh Le

Both Ilya Freymanov and Thanh Le have explosive striking, so expect fireworks when these two collide on October 6.

However, Freymanov believes that his punches carry more potent power.

The Russian spitfire plans on utilizing that advantage against Le at ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video.

“We both know how to throw fast punches. It could be over quickly here. I believe I am the better man. I will be looking to knock out my opponent like I always do and to earn a bonus,” he said.

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ONE Championship Thanh Le