On Saturday, 16 November, in Beijing, China, the 28-year-old Ukrainian avenged a 2015 defeat to the Dutch-Moroccan with a second-round knockout that stunned fans in the Cadilac Arena.
???? WE HAVE A NEW ONE WORLD CHAMPION ????Ukrainian giant Roman Kryklia ???????? knocks out Tarik Khbabez in Round 2 to avenge a past loss and become the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion!????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEAODHOTW????: Book your hotel ???? bit.ly/ONEhotelplanner????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, November 16, 2019
Khbabez had looked unstoppable as he raced to a 4-0 record on the global stage before this match, and he employed the same strategy that had brought him so much success before.
As soon as the contest began, he stalked Kryklia around the ring as he tried to close the distance on his taller opponent and land bombs.
The 28-year-old from The Hague put his weight behind every punch, but his rival did a good job of circling away and using his long jab to pepper “The Tank” and damage him around his eyes.
When the second round got underway, Khbabez was undeterred. He continued with the same game plan and plowed forward in an attempt to overwhelm the Ukrainian, but he was quickly stopped in his tracks.
Kryklia had already staggered him with a right hand when he unloaded a huge right head kick that landed with an emphatic thud in the opening seconds of the period.
The Arj Trainingen representative tried to maintain his footing, but went crashing onto the canvas as the KLF World Champion followed up with punches.
Though “The Tank” answered the referee’s count, Kryklia was all over him when the action was restarted. He maintained enough space to throw punches in bunches, and his barrage forced Khbabez to turn his back and force referee Elias Dolaptsis to issue a standing eight-count.
He was allowed to continue, but only survived for another few seconds as Kryklia swarmed him with punches until the bout was finally stopped at the 43-second mark of round two.a
It was a phenomenal showing from the 28-year-old representative of Gridin Gym in Minsk, Belarus, as he claimed the gold in his ONE Championship debut.