On Friday, Oct. 15, ONE Championship is putting on an all-kickboxing card headlined by a fight for the vacant featherweight kickboxing championship. Armenian-Italian legend Giorgio Petrosyan will look to put another feather in his cap as he takes on rising star Superbon Banchamek. Neither man has lost inside the promotion and both are riding long winning streaks. These two will throw down for the crown of best fighter in the deepest kickboxing division on the planet.
The fight card also introduces the featherweight Grand Prix with four quarterfinal fights that feature eight of the top-ten ranked kickboxers in the division. Marat Grigorian will take on Dutch legend Andy Souwer. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong was supposed to fight Tayfun Ozcan back in July, but an injury forced Ozcan out of that contest. Their rescheduled contest will now be part of the Grand Prix. Samy Sana vs. Chingiz Allazov and Enriko Kehl vs. Davit Kiria will round out the quarterfinals.
The lone heavyweight kickboxing fight will be a twice-rescheduled fight between Rade Opacic and Patrick Schmid. Opacic has picked up two straight knockout victories since joining the promotion. He looks to make it three straight with a win over Schmid, who dropped his first contest inside ONE Championship when he fell to Oumar Kane.
ONE Championship: First Strike airs in its entirety live on YouTube starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. Now, let’s take a look at some previews and predictions.
The featherweight kickboxing championship is on the line in the main event. Which man walks away with the belt?
Giorgio Petrosyan. Petrosyan might be the greatest kickboxer of all time and has an incredible record of 104-2-2 with 2 no-contests. He hasn’t lost since 2013 and that will continue with a victory over Superbon. This is going to be the perfect capstone to an all-action fight card. These two fighters might not be the most prolific knockout artists in the kickboxing world, but they are stalwarts in their own right, bringing a high-octane pace and punishing their opponents with precision and volume. Petrosyan has a couple years left in his prime, at 35 years old, and he will not only pick up a victory and claim the vacant title, but he will successfully defend that title against the eventual winner of the Grand Prix.
All but one of the contests will take place in the featherweight kickboxing division. Who delivers the most impressive performance as they advance in the Grand Prix?
Marat Grigorian. With all respect to Andy Souwer, he has noticeably slowed down recently as he enters the back half of his thirties. He has lost three of his last four fights, and, despite being an all-time great, he won’t have enough to slow down Grigorian. Grigorian is just entering his physical prime at 30 years old. He also picked up a victory over Sitthichai back in 2019, announcing him as one of the world’s elite kickboxers. Since then, he has not lost, and is currently on a five-fight winning streak. That includes a vicious knockout of Ivan Kondratev in his ONE Championship debut with a picture perfect left hook to the body. A dominant performance over Souwer, that is capped off with a late knockout, will be the most impressive performance of the night and will have fans tuned in closely watching his path through the Grand Prix towards a title shot.
The card opens with a heavyweight kickboxing bout. Does Rade Opacic defeat Patrick Schmid?
Yes. Opacic has looked incredible in his two fights inside ONE Championship. His 2020 victory over Errol Zimmerman was as important to his career as it was impressive, finishing “The Bonecrusher” with a spinning kick. He followed that up with another stoppage over Bruno Susano just a month later. Now, this fight with Schmid looks like it will finally happen after being previously scheduled and cancelled twice earlier this year. This fight will be a showcase for Opacic on a big stage and will be yet another emphatic finish, announcing to the kickboxing world that he has arrived as a legitimate world-class heavyweight.
Main Card (8:30 a.m. ET, YouTube)
FW Kickboxing Championship: Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Superbon Banchamek
FW Kickboxing:Marat Grigorian vs. Andy Souwer
FW Kickboxing: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Tayfun Ozcan
FW Kickboxing: Samy Sana vs. Chingiz Allazov
FW Kickboxing: Enriko Kehl vs. Davit Kiria
HW Kickboxing: Rade Opacic vs. Patrick Schmid
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