After training for a new opponent on short notice, Iraj Azizpour wanted to slow things down and enjoy his ONE Super Series debut – and that he did.
The Iranian outworked a game Anderson “Braddock” Silva for nine minutes to earn a unanimous decision win in their heavyweight kickboxing bout at ONE: NEXTGEN on Friday, 29 October, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Azizpour wasted no time showing the bigger man from Brazil that he could match his dexterity, landing a clipping left kick off an exchange to score an eight-count. The early scare kept “Braddock” on his toes, however.
Once he regained his feet, Silva bounded around the Circle trying to keep Azizpour at the end of his left kick. Although it worked on occasion, nothing could keep the Iranian from marching forward and throwing wild haymakers and sneaky high left kicks.
In round two, Azizpour rumbled forward like a tank, and despite being the shorter athlete, kept landing high kicks. Silva’s kicks, on the other hand, cut nothing but air because the Iranian never stood in front of him long enough to remain a target. Every time Silva stepped forward, Azizpour stepped backward.
Moreover, Azizpour threw his left kick without switching stances. Right from where he stood, the Iranian flung his left foot at Silva – often behind punches – which left the 192-centimeter Brazilian flustered.
Going into the third and final round, Azizpour was well ahead on the scorecards thanks to his left kick. So, he kept using it. After his punches, during his combinations, while standing still – the simple technique carried him through the final three minutes with relative ease.
In fact, he made it all the way to the final bell without taking much damage from Silva, who had accepted the bout on short notice after Azizpour’s original opponent – ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia – withdrew from their scheduled ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title match for medical reasons.
The convincing victory nudged Azizpour’s record to 66-4 and solidified his position as a top contender for the inaugural heavyweight kickboxing gold.