Another day, another fight announcement from ONE Fighting Championship although, in fairness, it's a good one.
Malaysia's number one mixed martial artist Adam Kayoom faces the fight of his life against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) legend Gregor Gracie in his hometown of Kuala Lumpur.
With 10,200 seats to fill in Stadium Negara, ONE FC needed to find a fighter the Malaysian crowd could really get behind and Kayoom could well be that man. He might not be famous internationally but his martial arts credentials are absolutely impeccable and he holds a black belt in both BJJ and Taekwondo and has won world titles in Muay Thai.
Coincidentally both fighters are coming off wins against the same opponent, Gracie fought his way to a lopsided decision win over Seok Mo Kim at ONE Fighting Championship: 'Champion vs Champion' last September while Kayoom took less than four minutes to drop the Korean and then submit him at DARE Championship 2/11 a few weeks later.
Gracie has a record of 6-1 and is rated by many as the most likely of the current crop of fighters to emerge from MMA's first family to make it to the top. Kayoom has only fought three times and is 2-1 but his only loss was by decision to an opponent who had 13 times as many fights as him.
It is Kayoom's achievements outside of MMA which are really remarkable, He is one of very few foreigners to have ever been ranked top ten at Rajadamnern Stadium, he has won world titles in both Muay Thai and Muay Khmer, is a three time Australian national BJJ champion, a South Brazilian BJJ champion and an Australian national Taekwondo champion.
While Kayoom will definitely be the underdog against a bigger and more experienced opponent there is no doubt that he has a more diverse skill set. Where Gracie should have the edge is on the ground because he is a two time BJJ world champion and one of the best grapplers in the entire MMA world.
Kayoom's stand up makes him a formidable opponent although Gracie will have the advantage in terms of both size and experience.One FC cannot be accused of giving the hometown fighter an easy ride and for me this is the most intriguing fight on the card so far.