ONE Super Series is home to the best strikers on the planet, so it’s not surprising that these world-class kickboxers and Muay Thai competitors produced some classic knockouts over the past 12 months.
Fans were treated to every KO imaginable in 2021 – including a crushing kick to the liver that forced an opponent to wince in pain, a record-breaking overhand right that left a warrior separated from his senses, and even a straight right that earned an established veteran a World Title.
Every knockout was fast, powerful, and devastating, but none could top Superbon’s insane highlight-reel finish of kickboxing GOAT Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, which went down at ONE: FIRST STRIKE in Singapore on 15 October.
The head kick KO shocked the world, secured the Thai star the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title, and has now earned him the 2021 ONE Super Series Knockout of the Year.
On paper, Petrosyan was the clear favorite to win the main event showdown.
The Armenian-Italian legend is known for his high fight IQ, speed, power, precision, and boxing combinations. He makes life extremely difficult for every opponent he comes up against in the Circle, and most people naturally assumed “The Doctor” would walk away with the victory and the gold.
Before the fight, the Milan resident made it clear that he shared the fans’ collective confidence by warning Superbon that he would hit hard and bring the World Title back home.
However, Petrosyan’s ambition and belief were crushed – quite literally – by one perfectly timed kick.
Superbon used his push kicks and trademark right kicks to control the distance in the opening stanza. But his 35-year-old opponent didn’t seem too stressed by the attacks and came forward with his usual boxing combinations.
Petrosyan – the 2019 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion – continued to advance with purpose, but the Bangkok native stepped out from his rival’s striking range and connected with more right kicks and solid knees to the midsection.
The 31-year-old Thai was a threat throughout the first three minutes, and he reminded “The Doctor” of his lethal right roundhouse kick toward the end of the frame. Petrosyan, perhaps, didn’t take note. But soon, that right foot created history.
Superbon started the second round with a testing right kick that was blocked with leather by “The Doctor,” who replied with a jab square to the face. Sensing a gap in his opponent’s defense, the Armenian-Italian followed up with more strikes and crept forward behind his jabs.
The Thai striking dynamo defended by sending Petrosyan back with a push kick that was caught by the veteran, who then attempted to sweep his foe to the canvas. This caused referee Olivier Coste to step in and separate the warriors, as sweeps are illegal under the global kickboxing rule set.
As soon as the match resumed, the Armenian-Italian closed the gap with two jabs and a straight left that narrowly missed the Thai’s face. Superbon responded with two more right kicks to the midsection.
“The Doctor” countered Superbon’s second kick with another straight left. But he exposed his left side during the frantic exchange, and Superbon uncorked a right high kick that caught the kickboxing icon flush on the chin.
Petrosyan’s lights were shut off immediately, and he fell backward to the mat and lay like a statue. Just 20 seconds into round two, the referee immediately stopped the contest and awarded the victory to Superbon.
The Thai ran around the Circle and celebrated. He had sensed the right kick was going to sting Petrosyan, but even he looked surprised that it knocked out the legend in such a manner.
With that KO, Superbon became only the third person to ever beat “The Doctor” and the first man to hold the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship.