Zhang Lipeng Eyes KO Against Uulu – Wants Japanese Legend Aoki Next

Published 01/27/2022, 6:26 AM EST

“The Warrior” Zhang Lipeng has an extensive resume for a mixed martial artist that is only 31 years old. The Foshan, China native has 44 career fights, winning 13 by submission and nine by knockout. 

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After inking a deal with the world’s largest martial arts organization last July, Zhang got off to a perfect start against former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang at ONE: BATTLEGROUND II last year.

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Since then, he has been keen on reaching the division’s top contender rankings to earn a shot at the world title. Another win on the global stage against Ruslan “Snow Leopard” Emilbek Uulu at ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE this Friday, 28 January, will put him closer to his goal. 

The follow-up bouts are more important. I still have to keep winning because getting into the top-five [rankings] and then finally winning the championship is what I plan for the future in my career,” the Chinese mixed martial arts star shared. 

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Getting a shot at the lightweight belt is not easy because the division is stacked with talented competitors. “The Warrior” must defeat fighters such as Dagestani wrestling sensation Saygid Izagakhmaev, Iuri Lapicus, and Dagi Arslanaliev. Former ONE Lightweight World Champions Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki and Christian “The Warrior” Lee are still in the mix. 

Zhang Lipeng expects to knockout Ruslan Emilbek Uulu

But of all the athletes listed above, the GP Mixed Martial Arts representative has his eyes on only one man after clearing Uulu.  

I really want to fight against him [Shinya Aoki] because he is very high-level. I watched a lot of his matches. His wrestling and jiu-jitsu are very powerful, so I want to feel how strong he really is,” Zhang revealed. 

I’ve also been training for over a decade, so I would like to battle with a world-class, elite [fighter] like him.” 

But before plotting his next move, his sole focus is trapping his Kyrgyz opponent through his striking and elite grappling. It would not be an easy ordeal for Zhang, but he is confident of securing a knockout before the start of the third round. 

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Last time, he fought three full rounds, but I didn’t see a lot of techniques. He was just rushing forward, and I didn’t see any effective attacks after taking down his opponent. So, he has no advantage in ground wrestling over me,” the wushu sanda expert offered. 

If I can control the game and give my best, I may be able to knock him out in the first or second round.”  

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Download the ONE Super App to catch these two lightweight athletes clash inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium at ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE.   

Fans in India can catch all the action live, starting with the lead card on Disney+ Hotstar or Star Sports Select 1 at 4 p.m. India Standard Time (IST) on Friday, 28 January. 

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Arunaditya Aima

599 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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