Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov may have entered the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix at the lower end of the favorites, but his record-breaking KO over Samy “AK47” Sana has made him a key name to watch in the semifinals.
Next, the #4-ranked contender will take on #1-ranked Marat Grigorian in the main event of ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE on Friday, 28 January – and if he can beat the pound-for-pound superstar, it would be hard to bet against Allazov going all the way.
The Azerbaijani-Belarusian striker certainly has the skill set needed to score an upset, and he will pose a multitude of threats against Grigorian when they meet at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Ahead of “Chinga’s” return to the Circle, we look at three reasons why he could overcome the odds and earn a spot in the tournament final.
#1 Shifting And Stance Switching
While Grigorian is known for his straightforward style, Allazov moves in a very different way, making his attacks harder to anticipate.
Like his teammate from the famous Gridin Gym – ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia – “Chinga” uses his footwork to create openings, and he fluidly switches his stance to stay dangerous in all positions.
In particular, his forward shifts from orthodox to southpaw allow him to close the distance in the blink of an eye while still being able to throw concussive strikes from either side.
Allazov mixes up these stance switches with changes in tempo to keep his rivals guessing, and he often finds gaps that others couldn’t with more predictable footwork.
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#2 Rapid High Kicks
The Minsk native’s speed is another important element of his offensive arsenal, particularly when it comes to his kicking game.
Allazov can whip up high kicks in a split second, leaving his opponents very little time to react and defend.
Those strikes aren’t just fast – they’re also accurate. The two-time K-1 Kickboxing Champion has an uncanny ability to find his mark, meaning that even kicks thrown with less power can have a huge impact when they land on the button.
Sana found this out the hard way when “Chinga’s” shin connected with his jaw and started the finishing sequence in their quarterfinal battle at ONE: FIRST STRIKE.
#3 Heavy Knees
Grigorian loves to charge forward with hard punches and then wing in overhands and hooks once he closes the distance.
However, “Chinga’s” knees will make this a dangerous tactic for the Armenian, as his thudding strikes can pierce straight through the middle of any looping boxing combinations.
His incredible flexibility allows him to easily target his rival’s head, but he also likes to punish the body, which can be especially impactful when his opponent is walking forward.
Grigorian’s chin and midsection will be prime targets for the 181-centimeter athlete’s pinpoint knees.