Five-time BJJ World Champion Leandro Ataides scored the biggest win of his career this past weekend, and now he has a chance to become a mixed martial arts world champion.
On Saturday, 12 May, the Brazilian knocked out former ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY in Jakarta, Indonesia, to become the number one contender for Aung La N Sang’s belt.
The two massive middleweights were originally scheduled to square off in January, however, a staph infection forced Bigdash to withdraw from the bout.
Four months later, the pair clashed at the Jakarta Convention Center, and they did not disappoint.
Bigdash threw three spinning heel kicks within the first minute of the opening round, all of which whiffed the air, but definitely kept Ataides on his toes. The Brazilian held the center of the cage, but was not pushing the offense.
Instead, he was looking for counter shots. The first round was a technical showcase for both warriors, as they landed various strikes, but nothing of significance.
Much like the first, Ataides was active on his feet. He switched stances at will, which looked to confuse Bigdash. The Russian spent the majority of the stanza circling around the outside of the cage, with “Leo” once again taking the majority of the control. However, in this round, the Brazilian opened up, and landed more strikes.
The Russian kicked off the third round by taking the center of the cage, and pushing the action. But one minute into the final period, Ataides returned to his position of choice, and continued to stalk the former champ.
After stunning Bigdash with a few big right hands, Ataides pounced. He took the Russian to the ground, and proceeded to finish the bout with some heavy ground and pound. The referee had no choice but to halt the contest at 2:41 of round three, and award the victory to the Brazilian.
Now on a three-bout win streak, Ataides has earned himself a title shot against ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang, which should make for a stunning showdown.