The Russian star, who will face the three-time Kickboxing World Champion in a featherweight clash at ONE: BIG BANG on Friday, 4 December, knows a win would instantly propel him to the top of the food chain.
Plus, Kondratev has faced tough obstacles before – both professionally and personally – and he’s never been afraid to tackle them.
Here are five reasons why the Moscow resident has the right mindset for a daunting matchup with Grigorian at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 He Was Inspired By Jean-Claude Van Damme
Like many ONE stars, the young Kondratev fell in love with martial arts through movies.
“Bloodsport” was the particular catalyst for the Russian striker, who saw Jean-Claude Van Damme’s depiction of Franx Dux in the 1988 film and decided to follow a similar path.
He started by learning how to do the splits like Van Damme’s character, and the rest is history.
#2 He’s A Decorated Kickboxer
Kondratev immediately shined in kickboxing, winning Russian and World Championships as an amateur.
And since turning professional, he’s earned two Russian Kickboxing Championships. That’s left the talented striker with his sights set on coveted ONE Super Series gold.
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#3 A Combat Sports Master
The Vityaz Fight Team representative is one of the fastest-rising stars in the Russian striking world, and his success earned him the Master of Sport status — an honor bestowed upon top athletes by the Russian Federation.
However, Kondratev is not just skilled in one code. He’s also a Master of Sport in boxing, having competed in “the sweet science” in his homeland.
#4 He Made A Miraculous Recovery
Along with tough battles in the ring, Kondratev has fought hard in his personal life. Despite a successful sporting career, the Russian got caught up with illegal substances until his brother intervened.
His sibling took him to a monastery in rural Russia — even the nearest highway was 15 kilometers away — where Kondratev used his faith and help from the church to overcome his issues.
After two years away from competition, the talented athlete returned to combat sports with a clear mind and a renewed motivation to succeed.
#5 He Moved To Train With The Best
When Kondratev got back on track in kickboxing, he decided that moving to the big city would maximize his chances of success.
So, the Russian moved 1,000 kilometers west from his hometown of Yelabuga to Moscow to join the gym of his former opponent and a Kickboxing World Champion, Konstantin Serebrennikov.
In the Moscow gym, Kondratev brushes shoulders with the likes of mixed martial arts and kickboxing star Sergei Kharitonov, as well as Olympic boxing gold medalist Alexander Povetkin.