Marat Grigorian has his chance to achieve greatness and stand atop the most talent-rich division in martial arts in his upcoming contest.
On Friday, Aug. 4, the 32-year-old will challenge Chingiz Allazov for the ONE featherweight kickboxing title in the main event of ONE Fight Night 13.
With the eyes of the combat sports world upon him, Grigorian isn’t taking the platform for granted, and he hopes he can inspire the next generation of athletes.
“Of course, it is good to inspire people. I’m not thinking of doing that, but when I see people get really happy when they see me, that motivates me a lot,” Girgorian told ONE.
“They say, ‘I’m a big fan. Keep going. Keep fighting.’ And I ask them, ‘What are you doing? Are you training or doing something with your life? They say, ‘Yes, I’m also trying to do this sport, and I love your fighting aggressive style.’
“Listening to things like that, it makes you think you’re doing something good in life.”
Grigorian wants any fan looking to enter kickboxing to know they can achieve their own greatness, and he tries to exhibit that every time he fights.
Across his last eight outings, Grigorian has scored seven wins and one devasting loss – a failed World Title challenge against Superbon Singha Mawynn in Mar. 2022 – so he knows what it’s like to taste great success and bitter failure.
“My advice to them is that you must have dreams. And you must work to achieve them step by step. You can’t go so fast. Everything needs time. You must be prepared well,” the Armenian star professed.
“Compete in a lot of fights, and everything will happen. If you have the vision, you will get there.
“It’s hard. Don’t stop. That’s life. It’s never easy.”
The featherweight challenger knows what it is like to become inspired by someone at their top of their game. He credits Ramon Dekkers for such inspiration and tries to be a model for others the same way the striking legend was to him.
“I love Ramon Dekkers. I loved his fighting style and what he did in his career. Like him, I want to try to show the world something special so that they always remember me as a fighter,” he said.
“He had some unbelievable, crazy fights. I used to love watching his fights from Lumpinee. He had really crazy fights there, and I will also fight in Lumpinee now. That means something special. I will do my best to make it a historic day.”
The drive of Dekkers led Grigorian to the doorstep of Hemmers Gym in the Netherlands. It was there that he was molded into the pound-for-pound great he has become today.
He has now reach the apex of his sport and has learned many lessons along the way – ones which he hopes to impart to the next wave of fighters, who are looking to him as their guide.
“When I went there, everything went so well. I was feeling more complete. I was thinking, ‘That’s what I need in my career to get better.’ And that’s what happened,” Grigorian said.
“After all this time, I am still getting better with my fighting skills [under Nick]. He has a lot of experience with his brother, Ramon. There’s something special they have in their family.”
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