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Breaking Down The Stacked ONE Featherweight Kickboxing Division Ahead Of ONE X

Mar 19, 2022

From the reigning World Champion down through the list of top-ranked contenders and into the deep pool of elite fighters waiting below, ONE’s featherweight kickboxing division can match any other in the world of combat sports.

And on Saturday, 26 March, its biggest stars will compete in the organization’s historic 10-year anniversary event, ONE X. At the Singapore Indoor Stadium, those athletes will contest World Titles, finish off an exciting Grand Prix, and fight to stay relevant amid the mass of talent.

Before all the action goes down, let’s take a deep dive into one of the most loaded weight classes we’ve ever seen.

Reigning Featherweight Kickboxing King Superbon

At the top of the most stacked kickboxing division on the planet sits striking machine Superbon Singha Mawynn, who entered ONE Super Series after a storied career that took him around the world.

The 31-year-old Thai most recently shocked the combat sports world in October by knocking kickboxing GOAT Giorgio Petrosyan out cold in their battle for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title.

That epic head kick of “The Doctor” shook up the striking world and echoed Superbon’s successful ONE debut from a year prior, when he bested fellow Thai and #3-ranked contender Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong.

Moreover, Superbon’s KO of then #1-ranked Petrosyan made him the most sought-after name in the featherweight kickboxing division. Now, the next man on our list will try to dethrone the new king at ONE X.

#1-Ranked Contender Marat Grigorian

Pounding on the floor beneath Superbon is newly ranked #1 featherweight kickboxing contender Marat Grigorian, a multiple-time Kickboxing World Champion who’s produced two stunning performances in ONE Super Series.

In his debut, the Armenian defeated tough Russian Ivan Kondratev in the second round with a wilting left hook to the body. Then in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix quarterfinals last October, Grigorian forced legendary striker Andy “Souwer Power” Souwer to concede defeat after a second-round leg injury.

Unfortunately for Grigorian, he had to withdraw from the tournament semifinals due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. But in a turn of luck, he’ll get a shot at Superbon after the World Champion decided not to wait until the Grand Prix was over to face his next challenger.

Some fans believe Grigorian should not have bypassed the tournament winner, but when you have a 65-11-1 (1 NC) record and the World Champion himself calls you out, there’s not much to argue over.

The two men have a history as well, as Grigorian stopped Superbon with a first-round KO in 2018. The Thai, however, promises to return the favor this time around – perhaps with another trademark high kick.

The ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Finalists

The ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix started off with eight of the best strikers in the world, but now we are down to just two – Sitthichai and #4-ranked Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov.

Sitthichai defeated #5-ranked Tayfun “Turbine” Ozcan and Davit Kiria – by split decision and unanimous decision, respectively – en route to the Championship Final, while Allazov beat Samy “AK47” Sana and Smokin’ Jo Nattawut, both with impressive first-round KOs.

What makes this matchup even more intriguing is that Sitthichai holds a win over Allazov. In 2014, the duo tangled into extra rounds outside of ONE, and the Thai superstar eked out the decision win.

Today, Allazov and Sitthichai are completely different fighters, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Azerbaijani-Belarusian striker can pay back his old rival with a third straight finish in the Grand Prix.

These two men also have incredible career resumes, as “Killer Kid” is an eight-time Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion, while “Chinga” is a two-time K-1 Kickboxing Champion.

The Top-Ranked Featherweight Contenders

Petrosyan may have suffered a stunning loss to Superbon, but he remains an elite featherweight kickboxer. At any given time, he could step up, face, and possibly beat any of the top-five ranked fighters. Because of that, he’s still a threat to Superbon’s throne.

Likewise, just because Ozcan dropped a close split decision to Sitthichai doesn’t mean he’s out of the World Title picture just yet. The fight between him and “Killer Kid” was so close that a rematch could be warranted.

And then there’s #3-ranked featherweight Muay Thai contender Nattawut and #5-ranked featherweight Muay Thai contender Sana. Although they’ve found more success in that sport, they can continue to compete in kickboxing and cause problems for any opponent.

After all, French-Algerian striker Sana made it all the way to the 2019 Grand Prix Championship Final, and Thai dynamo Nattawut was willing to take his last fight with Allazov on short notice – both of which say a lot about these competitors.

The Rising Stars Of The Featherweight Kickboxing Division

There are two men who aren’t in ONE’s featherweight kickboxing rankings but could very well enter them with one more win.

Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl and the aforementioned Kiria both started off in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix on the same side of the bracket as opponents.

Kehl entered that clash after an all-out war with Allazov months before the tournament was announced. Their matchup ended in a split decision, which could’ve favored either man. Kiria, meanwhile, was coming off a loss to Petrosyan.

However, the Georgian striker stunned fans when he ended Kehl in the third round via the three-knockdown rule, which set him up for the semifinal loss to Sitthichai.

Moving forward, either of these men could emerge as a serious threat to the top of the weight class.

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