The current leader of RUFF’s stacked Bantamweight division is an unsuspected fighter with a baby face and timid personality, but hidden under his youthful appearance he is a warrior who will take his opponents out anyway possible. The young 21-year-old Shanxi native, Lu Zhenhong is on a very impressive 5 fight win streak and is considered by many to be #1 in the weight class.
Lu Zhenhong started combat sports with traditional martial arts and boxing, which didn’t last long because short after he fell in love with mixed martial arts. Early in his MMA career Zhenhong was a young and skinny kid just getting into the sports but was able to become RUFF veterans, Liu Pingyuan’s main training partner in Beijing. Zhenhong has since moved to Tianjin to the Tianjin K-1 Club to focus on his own career where he has learned to become a well-rounded mixed martial arts fighter. Since joining the K-1 Club and signing with RUFF Lu Zhenhong has gone 5-1 with his only loss coming in a close split decision in his very first pro MMA fight. Zhenhong has fought top Chinese fighters such as Cui Liucai and Ayideng Jumayi and is now looking to step up to another level.
At RUFF 12 Lu Zhenhong is getting that step up by taking on one of the top Russian Bantamweight prospects, Azamat Gashimov (11-3). Azamat is coming off of two straight losses but were both very impressive performances against two top 10 ranked fighters in the world. Azamat brings a lot of experience and a new skill set that Lu Zhenhong has not yet had to deal with. As Zhenhong explains “I feel little pressure. As he is a Russian fighter I worked on my wrestling a lot to match his skill set.”
Lots of MMA fans think this is too big of a step up in competition for the Chinese fighter but Zhenhong and his team disagree and are very confident. Zhenhong is a very interesting match up for the powerful Russian, Zhenhong has a very illusive striking style which is paired great with his ability to use his long limbs to get up or work submissions from his back. Zhenhong will have quite a big reach advantage on the Russian Sambo fighter, so look for Zhenhong is work his jab from the outside, but with a high level fighter like Azamat expect him to still be able to get on the inside and put Zhenhong on his back. We have seen Zhenhong work very well from his back in past RUFF fights, but the question is will he be able to handle someone as strong and experienced as Gashmov on top of him raining down punches.
Check out Lu Zhenhong take on Azamat Gashimov at RUFF 12 on March 29 in Shanghai, China. Go to ruffchina.com for more information