If there is a fighter we have missed inside the ONE Championship cage, it is Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev. One of the pioneers of ONE Championship since its early days, Saadulaev has impressed with some really creative submissions over the course of his four-year promotional stint.
Saadulaev holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is one of the most highly-regarded Russian grapplers in all of MMA. Working closely with compatriot and ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov, Saadulaev is extremely technical and dangerous with his submissions.
Using a combination of high-level wrestling and robust grappling, Saadulaev has amassed a 16-win professional record, including an incredible 11 submission finishes. Against young Australian prospect Jordan “Showtime” Lucas at ONE: STATE OF WARRIORS, Saadulaev went to work once again, delighting fans with another stellar performance.
After grabbing a hold of Lucas’ neck towards the end of the first round, Saadulaev executed a spectacular flip, taking the Australian’s back with ease. Instead of going for hooks which is the norm in this position, Saadulaev opted to maneuver Lucas onto his back, placing Lucas in a precarious position with even more pressure on his neck.
It was a “black belt” move as praised by commentators Peter Davis and Mitch Chilson. The finish was as effective as it was impressive, earning Saadulaev his third-straight submission win.