Shamil "The Cobra" Gasanov (13-0) has taken ONE's featherweight MMA division by storm, and he's targeting a high-profile name for his next bout.
The Russian sensation made a splash in his promotional debut at ONE on Prime Video 3, needing just over two minutes to secure a rear-naked choke finish against then-ranked contender Kim Jae Woong.
With the dominant victory over an established opponent, Gasanov improved his flawless MMA record to 13-0, earned the No. 5 contender spot, and took home a $50,000 performance bonus.
While the 27-year-old grappling specialist was focused on getting the win by any means possible, he also received a piece of advice that encouraged him to chase an early finish.
That advice came from ONE interim heavyweight world champion Anatoly Malykhin – a man who was awarded two performance bonuses totaling $100K for his spectacular knockout of Kirill Grishenko at "ONE: Bad Blood" in February.
"Well, Anatoly Malykhin told me that a submission in round one could be my good chance to get a bonus – and that's exactly how it all played out. It's a great feeling to have a bonus."
Rather than spend his freshly made cash on lavish clothes or opulent jewelry, the humble Russian plans to use his bonus in a much more generous way.
"The Cobra" said:
"I am going to give it to my parents, who have been very supportive of me all these years. They can spend it as they wish. I am going to collect my fee and head back to Thailand to train for my next bouts."
Gasanov on Garry Tonon: 'I will help him retire'
Moments after his debut victory, Gasanov stood in the ONE circle and called out former ONE featherweight world title challenger and current No. 2-ranked contender Garry Tonon (6-1).
Tonon, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend, was quick to fire back on social media, happily accepting "The Cobra's" challenge and offering to "break off" his leg in the process.
Now, Gasanov is continuing their war of words:
"(Tonon) is nothing more than an American trashtalker. If he thinks he can break off my leg, I can rip his head off and mail it back to the States after the fight."
After going undefeated through six MMA bouts inside the Circle, Tonon suffered his first career defeat at the hands of then-featherweight king Thanh Le at "ONE: Lights Out" in March of this year.
With that in mind, Gasanov believes "The Lion Killer" is on the decline, and he's happy to hand him a beating on the way out.
The Russian added:
"He should be grateful people are talking about him now. He should thank me. ONE has put him on the shelf, forgot about him already. If he wants to come back, I will help him retire."
This story first published at ONEFC.com.