ONE Middleweight World Champion Igor Svirid returns this September

ONE Middleweight World Champion Igor Svirid returns this September
PHOTO: Cheryl Tay

Igor Svirid, the reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion, will step back inside the cage this September, to defend his title against Vitaly Bigdash.

The two will headline the Shanghai card on Sep 1 at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS (SHANGHAI) held in the Mercendes-Benz Arena.

This marks the third ONE Championship event to take place in mainland China and the first title defence for Svirid.

29-year-old Svirid, nicknamed "Lionheart," won the ONE title on his debut with the promotion last November.

He scored a first round TKO victory over Leandro Ataides, putting an exclamation point on the latter's 10-fight winning streak.

Training out of the ARNAU-RS in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Svirid owns four submission and three knockout wins to his credit.

His lone career loss came in his MMA debut back in 2011 when he lost to Kwi Hyun Joo via submission.

Since, he's been a man on a mission to make a name for himself at 185 pounds.

Svirid stopped two straight foes via submission in 2013 in Andrei Koshkin and Dmitry Voitov, finishing off the year with a first round knockout of Rashid Aliev.

In 2014, Svirid picked up a decision win over Ibragim Chuzhigaev and followed with victories against Muslim Khizriev, Ahmed Askhabov, Shakhban Sherifov, Rinat Fahretdinov and Ramzan Algeriev in both Absolute Championship Berkut and Altay Republik MMA League to earn his spot in ONE.

Svirid wasted little time stamping his name on the ONE title, scoring the finish against Ataides in just 17 seconds.

It marked the fifth first round stoppage victory in his career, but the first to come in such short time.

He will be welcoming 31-year-old Bigdash from Russia for his bout, who makes his ONE debut following a March victory via third round submission over Magomed Magomedkerimov.

Bigdash has yet to go to the scorecards in seven career pro bouts, finishing four via submission and the other three by knockout.

He fought for Glory World Series in 2013, scoring a submission win via heel hook over Ertan Balaban in the first round.

Among the wins to Bigdash's credit include a 53-second knockout by kick over Dmitiri Emets in 2013 and three straight third round finishes in each of his past three bouts.

He started off his professional career with a first round submission via armbar over Davrbek Isakov in 2012 and has just continued to roll ever since.

Five of Bigdash's seven pro fights have taken place under the Pro FC banner, while he also competed at Oplot Challenge two years ago after his one appearance for Glory.

Along with the title fight, one-night tournaments in the featherweight and flyweight division are expected for ONE's debut in Shanghai. The promotion previously held sold-out shows in Beijing and Guangzhou.

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