Yurik “Mee Khao Jomhot” Davtyan may have only a single ONE Championship matchup under his belt, but that bout ended with a knockout victory, and he’d already built a reputation as a dangerous Muay Thai fighter both in Thailand and in Europe.
He’ll look to further boost his status in his sophomore appearance when he takes on Thai star Smokin’ Jo Nattawut in a ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix alternate bout at ONE: NEXTGEN II this Friday, 12 November.
While fans of ONE know all about Nattawut, his 28-year-old opponent is plenty dangerous as well. And with fight night just a few days away, we break down how the Armenian-Russian built his reputation as a fearsome striker.
He Competed On Thailand’s Elite Circuit
Before “Mee Khao Jomhot” signed with ONE, he spent years competing in Thailand’s Muay Thai circuit for promotions like Thai Fight and Pattaya’s MAX Muay Thai, where he battled some of the organization’s best fighters on the Sunday night “Ultimate” show.
With dozens of bouts in the country, he grew into an athlete who could face and beat the toughest Thai strikers at their own game – and that experience makes him tough to beat.
Davtyan showcased that toughness in his ONE debut when he faced Bangpleenoi Petchyindee Academy at ONE: A NEW BREED. Bangpleenoi had scored back-to-back wins over Liam Nolan and Brown Pinas, and he was looking like the next breakout star in the featherweight ranks.
But in came Davtyan, who wasn’t yet known on the global stage but was teeming with talent. “Mee Khao Jomhot” proceeded to stun ONE Super Series fans – as well as his opponent – when he used his boxing to score a second-round knockout.
Next up, he’ll use this momentum to try and stop Nattawut, who will most certainly be one of the most challenging fighters he’s ever faced.
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He’s A Hungry Underdog
Fans of combat sports have seen it countless times. One athlete who is less experienced, less powerful, and less dynamic. They are labeled as the underdog and given little chance of winning – but somehow, they do.
That is something Davtyan is used to, and he thrives off this.
You can never count him out, even when he’s up against someone who is supposedly much better. He proved that against Bangpleenoi, who had three times the number of career fights on his resume. And he’ll be looking to show it again against Smokin’ Jo, who has 70 wins to his 40.
Moreover, the only losses that Nattawut has suffered since joining ONE in 2018 have come against kickboxing legend Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan on two occasions. Otherwise, he’s beaten the top men in the featherweight ranks.
With a record like Nattawut’s, Davtyan will once again be the underdog – and that’s exactly what he wants.
He Has Relentless Heart
A fighter could have all the talent in the world, but if they don’t have the heart to go along with it, they won’t get far. For his part, Davtyan has plenty of heart.
“Mee Khao Jomhot” owns a fearless, fan-friendly style. When his opponents turn up the heat, he’s got oil to throw into the pan. And once things get cooking, they’d better watch out.
Throughout his career, he’s built a reputation as a walk-forward fighter who likes to throw hands, which was evident in his second-round finish of Bangpleenoi. What’s more, he can take just as well as he gives and has a chin that devours power punches.
This could work to his advantage on Friday night because Nattawut has been known to bring the power and has finished two of his four wins in the Circle by KO.
Couple Davtyan’s admirable fighting skills with his heart, which is built for competition, and you get one dangerous featherweight striker in this Grand Prix alternate bout.