Roman Kryklia has looked absolutely unstoppable en route to a perfect 3-0 slate in ONE Championship.
The reigning ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion has blasted through the division’s top contenders, and his next challenge will come in the heavyweight division at ONE 161: Petchmorakot vs. Tawanchai.
This Thursday, September 29, the Ukrainian superstar takes on Guto Inocente in the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals, and he’ll look to keep his hot streak alive against the dangerous Brazilian.
Before Kryklia begins his quest for the tournament’s silver belt, let’s relive the stunning performances that saw him claim and then defend the light heavyweight kickboxing gold.
#1 Crushing Barrage Takes Out Tarik Khbabez
With four straight victories in the promotion, Khbabez had earned a shot at the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title, while Kryklia brought an eight-fight winning streak into this high-profile debut.
Most fans expected a closely contested battle, while few expected Kryklia to dispatch the hard-hitting and even harder-headed “Tank” in devastating fashion.
In round one, Khbabez plowed forward in trademark style, but the newcomer kept him at bay with a punishing jab.
The second frame started in a similar fashion, but this time, the Dutch-Moroccan’s aggression ran him right into Kryklia’s trap.
Using some slick footwork, the Ukrainian evaded his opponent’s attack and then sent him crashing to the canvas with a right hand and a right head kick.
A subsequent barrage of punches earned another count, and Kryklia continued to pour on the offense until the referee stepped in to award the golden belt via TKO.
#2 Five-Round Domination Of Andrei Stoica
The powerful Romanian had just knocked out Ibrahim El Bouni to cement his status as a top contender, but he could barely land a glove on the Gridin Gym representative.
Meanwhile, Kryklia showcased his mastery throughout the course of five rounds, starting with his hands, and then including his thudding kicks and hurtful knees as the match wore on.
Stoica’s durability kept him in the fight, but it was one-way traffic as the Ukrainian battered his foe’s head and body with punches and knees while escaping most of the return fire.
The defending king didn’t get the finish, but in many ways, the 15-minute shellacking was even more impressive, as he controlled a world-class opponent consistently without dropping a round.
After that dominant showing, it was clear Kryklia would be difficult to eject from the throne.
#3 Finishes Murat Aygun In Less Than A Round
With his iron chin and fearsome punching, many thought the Dutch-Turkish bruiser would be a tough test, but the defending World Champion had other ideas.
And after Aygun said that he could take anybody’s shots and keep walking forward, Kryklia made it his mission to prove otherwise
“The Butcher” began the contest by trying to lunge toward his foe, but like a matador and a bull, Kryklia left Aygun hitting only air before punishing him with punches and kicks.
Undeterred, the challenger carried on swinging, but that only led to his demise.
Aygun tried to counter when Kryklia stepped in behind a darting job, but he left himself open for the crunching right hand that followed down the pipe and put him on the deck.
Dazed, “The Butcher” regained his feet – only to be bludgeoned by a hard body kick and a pair of hooks that sent him down and out.
With the first-round finish, Kryklia proved that his power can crack even the strongest of jaws. And on Thursday, he’ll look for a similar result in the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals against Inocente.