Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan booked his spot in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinal round and has taken one giant step closer towards winning US$1 million dollars.
On Friday, 12 July, the Italian kickboxing legend defeated two-division Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy via unanimous decision in a quarterfinal rematch at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY.
It was the latest chapter of their exciting rivalry, which was born in May.
The two initially collided at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON in the opening round of the prestigious tournament, but with the kickboxing rule set not properly enforced, the ONE Competition Committee declared their first match-up a no contest and ordered a rematch.
Giorgio Petrosyan defeats Petchmorakot via unanimous decision in the biggest rematch in kickboxing history, securing a semifinal spot in the US$1,000,000 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!
Giorgio Petrosyan defeats Petchmorakot via unanimous decision in the biggest rematch in kickboxing history, securing a semifinal spot in the US$1,000,000 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 12, 2019
The tension between the pair was palpable, as two of the greatest martial arts strikers on the planet met in the main event at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Petrosyan kicked off the contest by closing the distance and scoring with punches from close range. However, Petchmorakot looked as relaxed and nerveless as he did in their initial meeting.
The Thai took great pleasure in pointing out a rules infraction by “The Doctor,” who was given a stern warning by referee Elias Dolaptsis for catching and holding the 25-year-old’s kick, then striking the Muay Thai ace.
Petchmorakot stood in the pocket at the start of the second round and caught his rival off balance as the Italian kickboxing star hit the canvas, though it was not ruled a knockdown.
The Thai was clearly enjoying himself under the bright lights of the Axiata Arena. He grinned, gesticulated, and waved in appreciation of his own efforts, possibly in a bid to get under the skin of the unflappable K-1 World MAX Champion.
However, the Italian’s sharpness became more apparent as the bout progressed, and a superb left uppercut gave him the best punch of the round.
Impressively, Petchmorakot seemed unfazed by the shot and he came storming back with strikes of his own. It set the scene for a pivotal third round with the bout hanging in the balance.
Both men unleashed powerful leg kicks at the start of the final stanza, and then each man resumed their respective quests to attack the head and search for the knockout.
Petrosyan landed flush with a pair of fierce left hands, and then he swept his adversary to the canvas.
The Italian appeared to find another gear as he continually hit the target with his strikes and cleanly connected with left hands over the top of the Thai’s guard. He also mixed up his head strikes with thumping kicks to the Petchyindee Academy representative’s legs.
Just as the global fanbase saw in the first bout, the two elite strikers battled all the way to the final bell. Then, everyone’s attention turned to the three judges at ringside.
All three judges saw the contest the same, as they awarded Petrosyan with a unanimous decision.
That gave “The Doctor” the 100th win of his spectacular kickboxing career, and it also moved him one giant step closer to the 13 October tournament finale at ONE: CENTURY and the million dollar prize.
“It has been a long journey,” he said to Mitch Chilson following the victory.
“You all know what happened [in the first bout], so I went into this fight really focused on that and I got [the win]. Right now, I don’t want to focus on the prize at the end of the tournament. I just want to think about the next fight.”
Next, he will square off against another former opponent in two-division Lion Fight Muay Thai World Champion “Smokin'” Jo Nattawut in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals.
When these two originally met in April 2018, Petrosyan left the ring with his hand raised. But since then, Nattawut has elevated his game and he will be excited to display his startling improvement when they face-off once more.