In just a few weeks, eight of the best kickboxers on the planet will compete in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix. On the same night, the division’s #1- and #2-ranked contenders will battle for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title.
It all goes down at ONE: FIRST STRIKE on Friday, 15 October, as fans will be treated to a total of six riveting all-striking bouts.
To get yourself hyped for fight night, take a look at five of the best knockouts from the kickboxing superstars competing at the event.
#1 Giorgio Petrosyan Lands Smokin’ Left Hand
After defeating Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy in the quarterfinals of the 2019 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix, Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan went on to face Smokin’ Jo Nattawut in the semifinals.
The two men met at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD in August of that year, and Petrosyan showed the world that he’s an elite-level kickboxer. “The Doctor” scored a first-round knockout courtesy of a devastating straight left punch.
The impressive finish came at the 2:44 mark of the stanza. Just as Nattawut was feinting for a punch, Petrosyan tossed a jab, and once he got him to react with a failed parry, the Italian-Armenian sent a piston of a left hand through the guard and into Nattawut’s chin.
Up next, Petrosyan faces #2-ranked Superbon for the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship in the main event of ONE: FIRST STRIKE.
#2 Rade Opacic Whips Out Whirlwind Kick
It’s a rare sight when a heavyweight striker can show the dexterity of a lightweight kickboxer, but that’s what Rade Opacic did against the legendary Errol “The Bonecrusher” Zimmerman in their ONE Super Series kickboxing clash.
The two heavyweights made their promotional debuts at ONE: BIG BANG II in December 2020, and both wanted to prove they have what it takes to lead the division. But Opacic was just a little bit quicker, and he dropped Zimmerman with a spinning heel kick.
The stunning finish came in the second round after Opacic dropped “The Bonecrusher” with a push kick. Zimmerman got up and moved toward the Serbian, but when he did, Opacic sprung into the kick and scored a TKO win at the 1:35 mark of the frame.
Opacic spins into action next against fellow heavyweight Patrick “Big Swiss” Schmid.
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#3 Enriko Kehl Attacks The Body
Like Opacic, Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl had a debut to remember against the tough and tactical Englishman Liam Nolan, and he essentially earned his place in the 2019 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix with a victory.
The pair of featherweights faced off at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR in March 2019, and the outcome was nothing short of jaw-dropping. After punishing his body for almost two rounds, Kehl scored a TKO finish on Nolan in the second frame.
Early in the second, Kehl went to work on Nolan’s torso with side-splintering hooks, spinning back kicks, and knees. Eventually, “The Hurricane” dropped his adversary with a body shot, but Nolan got back to his feet. However, when the action resumed, Kehl stung the Brit with a knee, and this time, he was unable to continue.
Kehl will now put his power up against Davit Kiria from Georgia in the quarterfinals of the upcoming ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix.
#4 Marat Grigorian Scores Come-From-Behind KO
Marat Grigorian met a brick wall in Russian Kickboxing Champion Ivan Kondratev at his entrance into ONE Super Series. The Armenian, however, took a sledgehammer to that obstacle and successfully broke into the featherweight kickboxing rankings.
The current #3-ranked featherweight kickboxer earned a second-round TKO win on his opponent via left body hook at ONE: BIG BANG in December 2020. And it came after he himself was dropped at the end of the first round with a clipping right hand.
Grigorian pulled himself together between frames, though, and began turning up the volume on the Russian, sending penetrating body shots into his rival’s rib cage. Kondratev, who couldn’t absorb any more punches, backtracked into the Circle Wall, where he soaked up one final shot before dropping to his knees.
The Armenian now meets Dutch legend Andy “Souwer Power” Souwer in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix and will look to continue his dominant form in ONE.
#5 Kehl Swarms Armen Petrosyan
Eight months after Kehl stopped Nolan, he went on to face Armen Petrosyan – brother of Giorgio – at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS in Beijing, China. Kehl lost a majority decision to “The Doctor” in 2015, so, in a way, he was seeking to avenge his loss by beating his brother.
And that he did, stopping Armen in the second round with a barrage of punches and knees.
The finish came after the German scored a knockdown with a straight right. Armen got back to his feet, but he was visibly shaken. Everyone could see it, even Kehl. So, he pounced and attacked with a flurry of punches and knees, and the referee was forced to intervene.
Should “The Hurricane” win the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix, and should “The Doctor” win his bout with Superbon, the two kickboxers could meet again, and Kehl will finally get the chance to redeem himself.