ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia possesses a rare combination of skill and size, which means he offers up a vast array of problems for any contender.
Next up, Dutch-Turkish powerhouse Murat “The Butcher” Aygun will attempt to solve this complex puzzle when he challenges the dominant Ukrainian in the co-main event of ONE: HEAVY HITTERS on Friday, 14 January.
Before this epic World Title fight, we break down the most dangerous weapons that Kryklia is likely to employ when he meets “The Butcher” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 Deadly Distance Striking
Kryklia is not only 7 centimeters taller than Aygun, but he also owns a 24-centimeter wingspan advantage.
Without considering anything else, these attributes could be an issue for the challenger. But the cerebral World Champion also blends his size into dynamic tactics and output.
The Ukrainian constantly moves and glides around the Circle to avoid being a rooted target, which means his shorter rivals struggle to track him down.
After dictating the distance with his feet, he has the arm length to stab at his opponents with straight punches that come at the end of his reach and maximize his offensive range.
As a result, the Gridin Gym representative is often in a position to hit and not be hit – the epitome of his gym’s “intelligent boxing” philosophy.
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#2 Lethal Counterstriking
As Kryklia’s opponents struggle to get inside or cut him off to land their shots, they’ll take increasingly bigger risks in hopes of scoring.
The Minsk resident welcomes this and has the confidence to be patient when his foes step forward. He’s never been knocked out, so he also has faith that his chin can absorb shots – and knows that his sharp counterstriking can shell out damage in return.
Kryklia likes to shoot a hard left uppercut after his jab when his rivals try to work their way behind it. This often catches those opponents by surprise, walking them right into the kingpin’s power.
Similarly, if they try to loop with overhand punches, the Ukrainian fires his knees through the middle as they charge.
The champ even has the option to get out of the firing line, using his pivots like a matador to guide them into thin air – a perfect position for his punches to land.
#3 Hurtful Body Shots
Kryklia is clinical when attacking the body – especially after he makes opponents defend up high.
The Ukrainian’s fast-paced output forces his rivals to shell up to protect their head, and that’s when he’ll dig into the midsection.
The titleholder will throw an assertive jab and then wing his left hook to the liver underneath the elbow, or he’ll drop down with a right straight to the solar plexus.
It’s not just punches, either. Kryklia utilizes accurate knees that he’ll blast through the middle or around the sides.
Surging heavyweight Rade Opacic found out just how hurtful Kryklia’s body shots are when the World Champion stopped him with a barrage of punches in their 2019 encounter.