Best Striker Of 2023: Chingiz Allazov Cements Himself As Pound-For-Pound Great
While other strikers racked up more victories this year, none can say they beat two legendary opponents in back-to-back outings like Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov did.
The 30-year-old looked incredible en route to winning the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix in 2022, and he used that momentum as a springboard to become the division’s top dog in 2023.
After claiming the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title with a KO win over Superbon Singha Mawynn in January, Allazov defended his crown with a dominant decision against Marat Grigorian in August, making his case as the best striker of the year.
On January 13, ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov kicked off ONE’s U.S. primetime offerings for the year, and the main event was the biggest possible matchup in the sport of kickboxing.
Given the skills and momentum of both men, few fans expected a one-sided blowout in either direction, but it ended up being a comprehensive victory for “Chinga.”
The Azerbaijani-Belarusian athlete explored his range with punches and kicks in round one, always looking a step ahead of the defending World Champion. Then in round two, he stepped on the gas.
First, Allazov fired straight in and dropped Superbon with a crushing right hand. And before his opponent could recover, the Gridin Gym representative sat him down with another right, before putting him out with a final salvo of punches.
On a high after the Superbon victory, Allazov returned for another main event clash against Grigorian at ONE Fight Night 13.
Although he couldn’t stop the hard-as-nails Belgian-Armenian, “Chinga” was a cut above in every area and earned redemption against an old foe who had defeated him 10 years earlier.
Allazov mixed a dazzling array of strikes with fast footwork, angle changes, slick defense, and counters to prove he is the pound-for-pound greatest with a lopsided decision victory.
2023 was the biggest year yet for striking in ONE Championship, so the competition was fierce, but “Chinga’s” supremacy in one of the most stacked divisions in combat sports gave him the edge over other worthy contenders.