Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong thinks that winning the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix would be the biggest accomplishment of his illustrious career, but he still has a tough road ahead to reach the crown.
After beating Tayfun “Turbine” Ozcan in a three-round quarterfinal thriller, the Thai maestro is set to face off against Davit Kiria in the tournament semifinals at ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE on Friday, 28 January.
The #3-ranked contender will have to bring his best to overcome the tough Georgian and book his place in the final. However, “Killer Kid” already holds a pair of victories over Kiria, and he’s confident about going 3-0 despite his old foe’s evolution inside the Circle.
Ahead of his co-main event battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Sitthichai talks about what it’ll take to defeat Kiria, how much the World Grand Prix means to him, and much more.
ONE Championship: How does it feel to have a trilogy bout with Kiria?
Sitthichai: Even though this fight is my third time facing Davit Kiria, I still feel the same excitement because he has made obvious progress. His skills have definitely improved.
He won by knockout in the last fight. I see that his punch is heavier and his body has gotten even better. So, I’m excited to have a chance to fight against him again this time.
ONE: How will this fight be any different from the other two?
Sitthichai: For our third clash, I think the result will be no different from the first two because I’m used to his style very well, and I think I’ll definitely beat him again. But I will not be careless because he is better, especially his punches. I need to be careful of that.
ONE: What’s your game plan for Davit this time?
Sitthichai: My game plan is to stay away from him. I won’t risk fighting him in close distance because his punch is deadly, and he is very good with close-distance combat.
I will use my left kick with him from a distance because I know that he doesn’t like knees from a southpaw like me. So, I will use my shins and knees to weaken him. I have prepared these two gifts for him. And, if I get a chance to knock him out, I’ll do it for sure.
ONE: What would the win over Davit mean to you?
Sitthichai: My motivation is to be the champion. Put simply, I want to be a World Grand Prix Champion this year. Because this is a big global event, it will be a great pride and honor in my career.
In addition, I’m getting older, so I want to a title from a big event again in my career. I think this World Grand Prix is the biggest event of my life.
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ONE: Looking at the rest of the featherweight division, what did you think of Superbon’s KO of Giorgio Petrosyan to win the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title?
Sitthichai: I was not surprised at all because Superbon was well-trained and well-prepared. He had gotten everything he needed for that fight. I was sure right from the start that he could definitely beat Petrosyan.
If I have a chance to face Superbon in the future I think it would be a difficult task for me because he has improved in everything – physically, mentally, and all together. I think I would have to train 200 times harder to beat him because he is much stronger and better in everything. I can tell that our match would be fire for sure. I would fight to the fullest because I want to beat him again.
If I have to fight Petrosyan, I think I have a chance to beat him as well. I have been dreaming of fighting with him for a long time. It would be good if I could fight with him once in my life. And sure, I would need a really good plan to defeat him.
ONE: Did you ever think you’d be a face of kickboxing and Muay Thai when you were just starting this career?
Sitthichai: I’m glad I reached to the top. I never thought I’d come this far. My dream is to compete in foreign countries. I want to show my Muay Thai skills to foreigners. To show them how dangerous Muay Thai is.
Getting to this point, I was happy and excited to see many foreigners admire and support me. It kept me energized, motivated, and ready to face all my opponents. And it allowed me to try new opportunity, from being a Muay Thai fighter to being a kickboxer.
Kickboxing has made me proud of being a kickboxer and making a name for Thai people. I’m so thankful that people are always supporting me.
ONE: Any final words for Davit before the trilogy?
Sitthichai: Tell Davit from me: This is our third date, and I will beat you again because my next goal is the ONE World Championship. So, I’ll move on from you. Let’s finish our business here.
And you’d better watch out for my left shin and knee – because they are deadly.