Although there are no weak links in the upcoming ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix, Marat Grigorian is considered the front-runner by many fans and pundits.
The Armenian slugger will face Dutch legend Andy “Souwer Power” Souwer in the opening round of the eight-man field at ONE: FIRST STRIKE on Friday, 15 October, and a dominant showing would cement his status as a favorite to claim the tournament’s silver belt.
Before Grigorian steps back inside the Circle, here are five reasons why he’s widely regarded as the man to beat in the Grand Prix.
#1 Huge Power In His Hands
The Hemmers Gym athlete owns devastating punching power. He’s earned 37 knockout victories in his career, with most of them coming from the dynamite in his fists.
The 30-year-old’s hooks and uppercuts in close are concussive, and he can also finish to the body with his hammer of a left hand that punishes the liver.
But none of his weapons are more feared than his right hook — the strike that knocked out inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title challenger Superbon back in 2018.
#2 His Pressure Is Relentless
Grigorian’s hands aren’t just powerful — he throws them with incredible volume behind his nonstop forward pressure.
That makes him extremely hard to handle, as he cuts off opponents effectively and forces them into tough spots where he can unleash heavy salvos.
Moreover, the Armenian star rarely lets up to allow his foes any respite, and by throwing so many strikes, he can overwhelm them with his intensity.
- Grigorian Promises ‘War’ Against Legendary Souwer In GP Quarterfinals
- It’s All Or Nothing For Andy Souwer In Kickboxing World Grand Prix
- Ozcan Fires Back At Sitthichai, Plans To Surprise Him In GP Bout
#3 His Legs Are Lethal
While Grigorian’s hands cause the most destruction, he can also get it done with his lower limbs.
When opponents shell up from his barrage of strikes, he likes to slam in low kicks or knees to the body that accumulate damage.
His high kicks are also potent, and he’s scored KO finishes with both legs.
#4 A Chin Made Of Iron
A key factor that allows Grigorian to move forward with such confidence is his granite jaw.
He’s only been stopped once in 75 career bouts – way back in 2008 – which is an amazing feat when you consider he’s faced Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, Sitthichai, Chingiz Allazov, and other stand-up stars.
There are plenty of big hitters in the Grand Prix, too. Can any of them crack Grigorian’s chin?
#5 He Powers Up As The Bout Goes On
Any opponent who stands up to Grigorian and tries to match his pressure is usually in for a long, arduous night.
Grigorian stormed back with more aggression and ultimately finished Kondratev with a second-round knockout thanks to a well-placed body shot.
He also came on strong in the latter stages of his epic battles with Sitthichai, and he rarely slows down against anyone, forcing opponents to raise their output in an attempt to keep up.