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In 2015, the undefeated Vitaly Bigdash stepped up to challenge Igor Svirid for the ONE FC Middleweight belt. Svirid was the defending champion and riding a 10-fight winning streak. Though he had never fought under the ONE FC banner before, the undefeated Bigdash was granted a title shot due to his work done outside of the organisation; he was 7-0 with five submissions and two knockouts.
At the sound of the bell, Svirid rushed forward and started to throw powerful hooks at Bigdash. In less than 60 seconds of the first round, Svirid dropped Bigdash twice and followed up with some thunderous hammerfist strikes. Unable to put the undefeated prospect away, Svirid got up and waved for Bigdash to get up.
Within seconds, Svirid knocked him down with a piston of a right jab. Refusing to jump in the guard of Bigdash who was known for his crafty submissions of his back, Svirid repeated the process of allowing his opponent back to his feet. What happened next? You guessed it. Bigdash got up to his feet and was dropped by another jab. Four knockdowns in less than three minutes - this time, however, Svirid jumped right in his guard and started to land powerful shots from mount position that cut Bigdash open.
In a pool of his own blood, Bigdash caught a flailing arm of Svirid and began to crank on it for an armbar. Svirid was crafty enough to defend the submission but lost top control and ended up on the bottom. Even off his back, however, Svirid was controlling the striking battle. Amidst exhaustion, the champion landed shot after shot on Bigdash who remained in a dominant position.
Seconds before the round was about to end, the two found their way back to their feet and within striking range. The confident and powerful Svirid, who had knocked Bigdash down over and over again, now had his shoulders slumped and his breathing laboured. Engaging in a clinch, Bigdash landed a hellacious knee that cut Svirid open and dropped him. Bigdash immediately circled to his back and locked in a rear-naked choke that would be interrupted by the bell before Svirid could submit.
The pendulum had effectively swung in favour of Bigdash despite the Russian looking all but out of the fight for the majority of the first round.
We wouldn't even see a full minute of the second round. As the two men met at the centre of the cage, a tired and dazed Svirid pressured Bigdash into a clinch and found himself on the wrong end of a devastating knee. As Svirid gets rocked with the knee, Bigdash found a home for a right hook that sent the champion to the canvas. A few nasty hammerfists brought an end to the fight. A new champion was crowned.
One of the most riveting and genuinely insane comebacks in MMA history.
You can watch the fight on ONE FC's official YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLv6UkyDoJ4