The Frenchman will face Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan in the ONE Featherweight World Grand Prix Championship Final on 13 October, and though he respects his Italian rival, he has no doubt he will defeat him.
If he can get his hand raised in Tokyo, Japan, he will walk away with the tournament’s US$1 million grand prize and become the undisputed number one in his division.
There is arguably no kickboxer in the world who has enhanced their reputation like Sana this year.
The 30-year-old began the World Grand Prix by avenging a defeat to Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, which also snapped the Thai legend’s seven-year winning streak.
It would have been difficult for the Parisian to improve on that performance when he faced Dzhabar “Genghis Khan” Askerov in the semifinals, but he delivered another world-class effort to dominate the fan-favorite, multiple-time World Champion over three rounds at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD.
The Russian was knocked down in the first round, and then had no answer for “AK47’s” pressure and power for the rest of the contest.
“You have to be determined and ready for every fight, so with Dzhabar it was the same principle as with Yod,” Sana says.
“The determination was strong to reach the final. I had no right to make mistakes, I wanted to win this tournament, I was transformed into a Super Saiyan for that fight too.
“In the first exchanges, I sensed that he was retreating – that he was having trouble accepting the battle, the war. I knew I had him very early. I didn’t let go of my guard, I didn’t let go of my resolve to complete the three rounds, and took a wide victory.”
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Now with two opponents in his rearview mirror, the representative of Phenix Muay Thai Paris and Venum Training Camp Thailand is ready to take on the five-time kickboxing World Champion who is considered by many to be the greatest of all time.
Sana does not argue with Petrosyan’s reputation, but he does not believe he will have a hold on the top spot after 13 October.
“Giorgio Petrosyan is a huge champion. He’s the best in kickboxing, so all my respect for everything he’s done in his career. He’s had a very successful career, but everyone has their time, and now I’m here,” he says.
“That’s it, he’s done his time, he’s done his career, now I’m here, and here we go.”
Despite his confidence, “AK47” does not believe he will have an easy assignment in Tokyo, but the approach that has got him this far in the World Grand Prix should be able to take him to glory.
“Giorgio is a very complete boxer. Very complete, he’s ‘The Doctor.’ He fights with his head,” he adds.
“He is a good boxer with very good qualities like many boxers I have boxed before, and on the day of the fight, I hope he will be in top form so that we can have a very good fight and a very beautiful war that will remain engraved in the history of kickboxing.
“His weakness, I think, is he doesn’t like the pressure, the constant pressure. I think Giorgio’s weak point is me.”
Many athletes would feel the pressure ahead of a bout that offers a sum of money for the winner that could change his and his family’s life, but not Sana.
The three-time Muay Thai and kickboxing World Champion is a true warrior and is more concerned about putting on a show, and proving that he stands above all of his peers.
“I don’t want to talk too much about money. Who cares about the million? We don’t even care, we’re here to box. It doesn’t [affect me], I’m here to win, I’m here for the tournament,” he says.
”The importance of this tournament is to be the best in the world. I was selected among the eight best strikers on the planet. So here it is, the point is to be the best kickboxer on the planet.”
Tokyo | 13 October | ONE: CENTURY | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: https://onechampionship.zaiko.io/e/onecentury
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.