Hailing from Rostov, Russia, Vitaly Bigdash, 33, was supposed to be one step closer to reclaiming the ONE Middleweight World Title as he is set to face Brazilian fighter Leandro Ataides, 31, at “ONE: Kings of Courage.” However, fans of the Russian fighter will have to wait longer to see him again in the cage.
“ONE: Kings of Courage” is scheduled on January 20, 2018 at the Jakarta at the Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. On January 18, 2018, ONE Championship announced on its official website that Bigdash had been ruled out of the event due to injury.
Ataides’s new opponent at “ONE: Kings of Courage” will be Vitaly “The Dancing Russian” Shemetov, 32, who is also from Russia. The latter will be replacing Bigdash at only three days’ notice.
Hailing from Omsk, Russia, Shemetov is a seven-time National Pankration Champion and has been undefeated since 2011. His most recent bout against Rakim Cleveland at “LKC: The Legend King Championship 3” on August 26, 2017 ended in No Contest due to Clash of Heads.
Shemetov currently has 13 wins and 7 losses. “ONE: Kings of Courage” will marks his ONE Championship debut.
On the other hand, Ataides holds a record of 10 wins and 3 losses. He made a successful ONE Championship debut on November 15, 2013 by defeating Brayan Rafiq at “ONE: Warrior Spirit.”
The winner of the match between Ataides and Shemetov is likely to earn the right to challenge the reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion La Nsang “The Burmese Python” Aung. On January 19, 2018, the Burmese champ took to Facebook to announce that his fight on February 23, 2018 has been confirmed.
“I can’t give the detail at the moment but this is going to be big!” Aung captioned a photo of himself signing a contract. His upcoming fight titled “ONE: Quest for Gold” will take place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
In 2017, Aung lost to Bigdash at “ONE: Quest for Power” but the Burmese fighter won their rematch at “ONE: Light of a Nation.” Here is a short clip featuring the two ONE Championship middleweight fighters: