Iuri Lapicus Makes Strong Case As Legit Lightweight Contender After Win Over Marat Gafurov
The latest ONE Championship event, Warrior’s Code, took place on February 7th, 2020, in the Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia. It didn’t just crown a new Super Series champion in the form of Pecthmorakot Petchyindee Academy, as the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion.
An outright challenger to Middleweight Champion Aung La N Sang was also produced between Reinier De Ridder and Leandro Ataides during the night. But another star emerged and looked to be a legitimate contender in the Lightweight division, his name is Iuri Lapicus.
The 24-year-old notched his 14th professional win over former ONE Featherweight champion Marat Gafurov in the first round of their Lightweight contest via rear-naked choke. That win has sent a strong statement in the stacked lightweight division.
Despite picking up the victory by way of submission, Iuri showed a glimpse of his striking that is overseen by the great Giorgio Petrosyan. Petrosyan is one of his coaches at the famed Team Petrsoyan gym in Italy.
Lapicus’ debut under the Singapore-based promotion against Shannon Wiratchai last year was also via a rear-naked choke. That proves that he is a high-class grappler who has a respectable stand-up game.
Potential Opponents For Iuri Lapicus
As mentioned earlier, the ONE Lightweight Division is one of the more stacked weight classes in the promotion. Lapicus should find a number of opponents to face next before he can challenge for the title.
Pieter Buist can present a good match-up with the youngster. Both fighters are coming off a victory over former champions. Additionally, Buist’s background of BJJ and Kickboxing could really test Lapicus.
Another possible opponent for the Moldovan is Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez is coming off his first-ever win in ONE Championship which took place last August. Both Lapicus and Alvarez are slowly bypassing the line of the contenders, and a bout between them will certainly filter out names out of contention.
A win against a veteran like Shinya Aoki, Amir Khan or Lowen Tynanes, can catapult Iuri Lapicus in front of the challenger line that seeks a chance to meet the reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee for the coveted title. Regardless of who Lapicus faces next inside the Circle, fans should not miss the opportunity to see this rising star in action.
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