The highly-anticipated ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix officially kicked off on 17 May in Singapore. It was a night of shocking upsets and fans all the around the world were left open-mouthed at every turn in the evening.
Kickboxing legends, Yodsanklai Fairtex and Giorgio Petrosyan are now both out of the 1 million-dollar grand prize race after their respective losses.
Yodsanklai and French fighter, Samy Sana delivered what many considered to be the fight of the night. The “Boxing Computer” was rocked with a strong left hook in the first round that left him stumbling onto the canvas. The Thai legend bounced back in the second but Sana held his own, retaliating with hard knees and harder punches to seal the deal in the third. The defeat also ended Yodsanklai’s startling 8-year winning streak that had accumulated 31 victories.
Another hot favorite, Petrosyan came out strong in the first round against Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy. The “Doctor” dominated the entire round with sublime movement and precise punches.
Petchmorakt returned to the next rounds with a new game plan that proved to be Petrosyan’s downfall. The Thai fighter relied on his long-range knees and clinch, disarming and breaking down the Doctor’s rhythm. It was a euphoric moment of triumph for the Petchyindee team when Petchmorakot’s hand was raised at the end on a split decision.
In the after-fight press interview, Boat Petchyindee, owner of the renowned Petchyindee gym and promotions says,
“We knew that this was not going to be an easy fight so we came in with a few game strategies. Everyone was not expecting us to win but we want to show that we are right on top with the best in the world. Petchmorakot fought and came back in round 2 with strong Thai heart to win the fight.”
Petchmorakot has achieved what many considered to be impossible by defeating Giorgio Petrosyan. However, it is worth noting that the Thai sensation has defeated many of Muay Thai’s legends including Petchboonchu FA Group, and even the legend himself: Saenchai.
In the other Grand Prix qualifiers, Smokin’ Jo Nattawut and Dzhabar Askerov each clinched a dominant victory during the preliminary card. Askerov will meet now Samy Sana while Jo Nattawut will face fellow Thai countryman, Petchmorakot in the next round.
Here are the Grand Prix results:
Giorgio Petrosyan (Italy) lost by split decision vs Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy (Thailand)
Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex (Thailand) lost by unanimous decision vs Samy Sana (France)
Smokin’ Jo Nattwut (Thailand) win by TKO (R3, 1:24) vs Sasha Moisa (Ukraine)
Dzhabar Askerov (Russia) win by unanimous decision vs Enriko Kehl (Germany)