‘You Must Have Dreams’ – Marat Grigorian Takes Pride In Inspiring Next Generation Of Kickboxers
Marat Grigorian is not the kind of athlete to shout his accomplishments from the rooftops, but he’s certainly played his part in motivating the next wave of kickboxing stars.
The humble Armenian is one of the greatest competitors of this generation, and he’s hoping to bolster his incredible resume when he challenges Chingiz Allazov for the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title in the main event of ONE Fight Night 13 on Prime Video.
While Grigorian focuses on the things he can control – like training hard to win his epic trilogy match with Allazov – he admits it feels good to be a role model for other martial artists.
To that end, he hopes to continue inspiring those aspiring strikers by delivering a sensational display on August 4 at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in North American primetime.
The 32-year-old said:
“Of course, it is good to inspire people. I’m not thinking of doing that, but when I see people get really happy when they see me, that motivates me a lot.
“They say, ‘I’m a big fan. Keep going. Keep fighting.’ And I ask them, ‘What are you doing? Are you training or doing something with your life? They say, ‘Yes, I’m also trying to do this sport, and I love your fighting aggressive style.’
“Listening to things like that, it makes you think you’re doing something good in life.”
It’s clear Grigorian takes a true interest in the fans he meets, especially those who are trying to follow in his footsteps.
Knowing the difficulties of trying to break through in a demanding sport like kickboxing, he’s well-positioned to offer them advice as they work toward their own goals.
But as much as he wants to fuel any rising stars aiming to emulate his success, he won’t sugarcoat his words of wisdom for them.
Grigorian said bluntly:
“My advice to them is that you must have dreams, and you must work to achieve them step by step. You can’t go so fast. Everything needs time. You must be prepared well.
“Compete in a lot of fights, and everything will happen. If you have the vision, you will get there.
“It’s hard. Don’t stop. That’s life. It’s never easy.”
How Striking Legend Ramon Dekkers Influenced Marat Grigorian
Before Marat Grigorian was a famous three-time Kickboxing World Champion, he was simply a young striker who took inspiration from his own heroes.
The Armenian-born star grew up watching boxers like Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson, but it was iconic Dutch kickboxer Ramon Dekkers who influenced him the most.
Dekkers was a combat sports pioneer who traveled to face the best strikers in Thailand at a time when that was still rare. “The Diamond” made his name at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, and now, Grigorian gets the chance to step through the ropes at the iconic Bangkok venue.
Thrilled to be on the same stage as his biggest influence, he said:
“I love Ramon Dekkers. I loved his fighting style and what he did in his career. Like him, I want to try to show the world something special so that they always remember me as a fighter.
“He had some unbelievable, crazy fights. I used to love watching his fights from Lumpinee. He had really crazy fights there, and I will also fight in Lumpinee now. That means something special. I will do my best to make it a historic day.”
Dekkers’ influence also indirectly helped guide Grigorian when he was struggling in his career.
Quickly losing motivation after being unable to get the fights he wanted, the Armenian decided to move to Hemmers Gym in Breda, Netherlands. Founded by Dekkers’ stepfather, Cor Hemmers, and now owned and operated by his brother, Nick Hemmers, Grigorian found his new home.
By teaching the distinct style that “The Diamond” used to excite the kickboxing world, Hemmers Gym helped Grigorian become a modern-day great.
The upcoming ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title challenger added:
“When I went there, everything went so well. I was feeling more complete. I was thinking, ‘That’s what I need in my career to get better.’ And that’s what happened.
“After all this time, I am still getting better with my fighting skills [under Nick]. He has a lot of experience with his brother, Ramon. There’s something special they have in their family.”