Sitthichai Narrowly Beats Ozcan, Advances To GP Semifinals
Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong showed why he’s considered by many to be one of the favorites in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix.
The #4-ranked featherweight kickboxing contender outlasted the debuting Tayfun “Turbine” Ozcan to take a tightly contested split-decision win in their quarterfinal matchup at ONE: FIRST STRIKE, which aired live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 15 October.
“Killer Kid” opened the match with some low kicks, and Ozcan – currently the #5-ranked featherweight – responded with kicks of his own. The Dutch-Turkish striker then moved forward and landed the first combination of the bout, which ended with a solid left hook and a body shot.
Not wanting to let his opponent gain momentum, Sitthichai threw an uppercut before pressing forward, and Ozcan responded with the same. With the round coming to a close, “Turbine” caught a stalking Sitthichai with a clean left for good measure.
A rapid-fire combination from Ozcan opened the second frame, but it was quickly extinguished with a flying knee from “Killer Kid,” which backed his opponent up. “Turbine” then threw a right hook, which was countered by a knee and left hand from his Thai counterpart.
Ozcan continued to move forward and ultimately halted Sitthichai’s momentum with a front kick. The SB Gym representative then followed up with a one-two combination and a step-through knee. As Sitthichai came to respond, the Dutch-Turkish striker popped him with a counter right hand for the last significant damage of the round.
With the first two rounds of the matchup as close as could be, Sitthichai opened the final stanza with aggression. He mixed up his point of attack with kicks, punches, and knees, as Ozcan stood back and patiently waited for an opportunity to counter.
That didn’t deter Sitthichai from marching forward and putting pressure on the promotional newcomer, but “Turbine” wasn’t about to let his Thai foe walk all over him.
A couple of straight right hands connected for Ozcan, but Sitthichai responded with a left hand of his own to stop his rival’s momentum. The Dutch-Turkish star did land a kick and another to the body as the round ended, but it did little to sway the judge’s minds.
After three rounds of beautiful kickboxing, two of the judges gave the match to Sitthichai, and the Sitsongpeenong Muay Thai Camp product now advances to the semifinals of the biggest tournament on the planet.
Waiting for him is Davit Kiria, who finished Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl via first-round TKO earlier in the night.