‘I Always Knew We Would Fight Again’ – Marat Grigorian Excited To Rekindle Rivalry With Sitthichai At ONE 165
Marat Grigorian’s storied history with Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong will move into its sixth chapter at ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru, but the Armenian superstar is as motivated as ever to face his old foe.
The #2-ranked featherweight kickboxing contender will battle the #3-ranked Thai legend this Sunday, January 28, and he expects another tough encounter when they lock horns at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
Although it’s been almost five years since their last meeting – which was also Grigorian’s first win over “Killer Kid” – he always felt there was more to write in their story.
With that in mind, the 32-year-old spoke to onefc.com ahead of Sunday’s contest:
“The weird thing is I always knew we would fight again. From the first fight, I told my coach that we would meet many times. I told him that in 2015. And today, it’s nine years later, and we are meeting again.”
After battling for a total of 21 rounds already, Grigorian and Sitthichai have a level of respect for each other that will never be diminished. Moreover, both men anticipate another intense clash.
The last time they squared off, Grigorian finally took the Glory Kickboxing World Championship from his longtime adversary, earning a massive win after four head-to-head defeats.
While this showed resilience and character, the Hemmers Gym representative always believed he was neck-and-neck with “Killer Kid” – despite the results:
“Fighting against Sitthichai is always hard. You always have to give everything you have in your tank.
“We fought together many times. There were times when one of us was sharper and one of us was more clever, but he was the titleholder, so he got the win each time. That’s why I was not always happy with the losses because I knew I was better sometimes.
“But we always improve to be better fighters, and the beautiful thing is we’ve both been trying our best in this division for such a long time. We’ve been standing at the top for over eight years since we first met in 2015.”
Grigorian Hoping To Earn Another ONE World Title Shot
Both Marat Grigorian and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong have posted an even 2-2 record in their last four outings, all while mixing it up with elite opponents in one of the toughest divisions in all of combat sports.
At 32, they each have some time left to compete, but with so many world-class athletes around them, a loss would be a huge setback – and could even derail their dreams of ever winning the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title.
For his part, Grigorian knows his sixth meeting with Sitthichai is absolutely crucial, and he believes it will bring out the best in both of them:
“This fight is very important. It will affect who is going forward again and going for the World Title, and for both of us, that is a big thing.
“So I think we will both give everything we have, and may the best man win.”
With five close fights already and no stoppages, Grigorian is realistic enough to know that his chances of knockout out “Killer Kid” are low.
Both are among their generation’s top competitors and possess elite skill sets, which means there will be a fine line between victory and defeat.
Still, Grigorian is hungry to be on the right side of that line, and he promises to give his all inside the ring this Sunday:
“We’re both really sharp fighters. We see everything early – what’s coming and what’s not coming. In our division, it’s a fraction of a second that something can happen, so I know I must be very sharp and focused for this fight.
“I want to win and show a strong fight. Then when I get the win, I know I will fight again soon, so I will do everything I can to win this fight against Sitthichai and to get closer to the belt.”