‘It’s Everything Or Nothing’ – Davit Kiria All In On Pivotal Kickboxing Clash With Tawanchai
On August 4 at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs. Grigorian on Prime Video, Kiria squares off with the Thai superstar in a make-or-break kickboxing battle that has striking fans around the world intrigued.
Airing live in North American primetime from the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, this will be the Team Kiria athlete’s first appearance in ONE in well over a year.
After dropping a loss to Mohammed Boutasaa in May of 2022, he had two successful kickboxing fights outside of ONE Championship. He won his first by second-round TKO and the next by unanimous decision.
Once back in the win column, he was ready to return to the global stage. That’s when he received the life-changing phone call to take on Tawanchai.
He told ONEFC.com:
“I said, ‘Okay, I just want to fight.’ And when I got the offer to fight Tawanchai with kickboxing rules I thought, ‘Okay, it’s everything or nothing.’”
A former Glory World Champion, Kiria arrived in ONE back in 2021 with an accomplished resume and plenty of well-deserved hype behind him. But so far, he’s struggled to find consistent success. Aside from losing to Boutasaa, he also dropped the ball against legendary figures like Giorgio Petrosyan and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong.
He’ll now have a chance to right the ship and take out the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion in Tawanchai, a man widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound strikers on the planet.
The Georgian knows he’ll have to deal with a raucous Thai crowd cheering for his opponent’s every move, but he’s nonetheless overjoyed to compete in the Mecca of Muay Thai. And while he’s honored by the opportunity, that doesn’t mean he’ll give Tawanchai any special treatment.
“For every fighter, it’s a dream to fight on that level at Lumpinee Stadium. So, of course I’m very happy for this opportunity and the first time to fight at Lumpinee. It’s an honor for me to share this feeling as part of ONE Championship, a very special moment.
“Yes, he is the local fighter, but it doesn’t change much. Because I used to fight a lot abroad, and I always fought the local fighters.”
Kiria Outlines Strategy Against Tawanchai
Davit Kiria knows he’s in for one of the biggest challenges of his 59-fight professional career on August 4 at Lumpinee Stadium.
That’s because Tawanchai PK Saenchai — fresh off a first-round knockout of Jamal Yusupov and the first defense of his ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title — is one of the most feared strikers on the planet, a technician with show-stopping power in his hands and feet.
Kiria isn’t about to divulge his strategy, but he does admit that he’ll focus on shutting down the 24-year-old titleholder’s dynamic kicking game.
“The game plan? We’ll see in the fight. I can’t talk about everything, but we all know he is a good kicker. We got to close the distance, block, answer the kicks.”
The Tiblis, Georgia, native isn’t overly concerned about what Tawanchai might bring to the table in his ONE kickboxing debut, but he is studying his style.
The key will be forcing his foe on the defensive.
“The way he fights, I have to fight my own fight. And I have to use my skills and boxing to stop his kicks. Of course, I’ll go for the KO, yes. But there is also more of a plan to stop his fighting styling, so I am learning his style. I’m trying to do something opposite from him. Close the distance, stay aggressive, keep the pressure.”