Murat “The Butcher” Aygun will bring his trademark ferocity to the Circle when he challenges Roman Kryklia for the ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title in the co-main event of ONE: HEAVY HITTERS.
The Dutch-Turkish slugger believes the reigning king is underestimating him, and he plans to make Kryklia eat his words on Friday, 14 January.
Before the two light heavyweight behemoths face off at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, we break down three reasons why Aygun will pose a serious threat to the dominant Ukrainian.
#1 Devastating In The Pocket
Aygun is at his best in close, and when he’s determined to cause damage, he’s hard to stop.
“The Butcher” throws furious flurries of punches from short range and doesn’t get deterred when fists start flying back at him.
He mixes up his targets between the head and body – and with straight punches, hooks, and uppercuts – while looking to expose any gaps that open up in the defense.
And when he does stop throwing leather, he tends to punctuate combinations with hard low kicks that usually land clean because his opponent is protecting every area above their waist.
This helps Aygun register plenty of significant strikes in short bursts, which will be crucial if he spends extended periods on the end of Kryklia’s long limbs.
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#2 Iron Chin
In order to enter his preferred range against the towering Ukrainian, Aygun will have to absorb some strikes – but that won’t be an issue for the SB Gym athlete.
“The Butcher” believes his chin can’t be cracked, and history tells the same story. He’s squared off against some colossal punchers but has never been knocked out. Moreover, his lone career defeat came due to a cut he received in a fight he was controlling.
With so much faith that he can take a punch, Aygun will keep coming forward no matter what Kyrklia throws. And though the 33-year-old won’t be able to corner his rival as easily in the Circle as he would in a ring, he’ll continue trying to neutralize the reach advantage.
There’s no guarantee that he’ll be able to out-land his rangy foe, but it gives “The Butcher” a much better chance than most who struggle to penetrate past Kryklia’s initial wave of attacks.
#3 Head Movement And Counters
Even if Aygun is unable to get into close quarters, he can use his excellent head movement to draw his rival in and then look to exploit Kryklia’s offense with counters.
“The Butcher” utilizes effective slips and lean-backs that could force the Ukrainian to overreach with his punches – and if the titleholder misses, the hulking challenger will try to make him pay.
Kryklia stepping forward to punch will mean he’s loaded heavier on his feet, and Aygun keeps his base solid, so he’s always ready to reply with a hard straight right or low kick.
The reigning king is renowned for being a patient and cerebral fighter, but he also throws with volume, and it only takes one overshot to put himself in the firing line.
So, while Aygun does have some physical disadvantages to overcome, he possesses the ability to work around them, land his power shots, and potentially claim the World Title gold.
Read more: 3 Of Roman Kryklia’s Most Dangerous Weapons