Chingiz Allazov entered ONE Fight Night 13 intent to right a previous wrong and level the score against Marat Grigorian, and he did just that.
After five hard-fought rounds, the Azerbaijani-Belarusian striker retained the ONE featherweight kickboxing championship via unanimous decision, fulfilling a promise he made to his grandfather in his final days.
“Before my grandfather died, I said, ‘One more [win], grandfather. I will bring it to you,’” Allazov told in his post-fight interview.
“This was a hard fight. [Winning] was one of the best moments of my career. For me, it was important. The belt was not important, only beating Marat Grigorian. That’s what was important for my life, my career, and my legacy.”
The impact of his grandfather’s passing almost forced “Chinga” out of the event entirely. The mental strain had the current pound-for-pound king questioning if he could even compete against his rival, but he dug deep in the end and showed his mental strength by performing above and beyond in his first title defense.
“My mind was weak because last week, I had a problem in my family. Three days before the fight, in my mind, I said, ‘Maybe I won’t fight.’ But I told myself, ‘No, Chingiz. You’re ready for this fight. Go forward. God gave you this fight.’ I told myself I will win. I said, ‘Thank you God for helping me on this day,’” Allazov remarked.
“The important thing was winning. I won. We won, my team. My coach [Andrei Gridin] is the best in the world, for real. We had a good game plan, but it wasn’t a game plan to KO Marat Grigorian. We planned to beat him over five rounds.”
After defeating Grigorian, there is a serious debate as to who should be next up for the featherweight kickboxing king.
Superbon Singha Mawynn got back into the winner’s column recently, and he wants a crack at Allazov, who took the World Title from him back in January.
But featherweight Muay Thai king Tawanchai PK Saenchai made his first foray into ONE’s kickboxing division at ONE Fight Night 13, and his win over Davit Kiria also puts him into contention for the divisonal crown.
Allazov hasn’t been forthcoming about who he would like to square off against next, though he has passed comment on a meeting with Italian striking legend Giorgio Petrosyan.
“In my weight category, we have the four top fighters. Number one is me. Second, Superbon. Third, Marat Grigorian. And fourth, Sitthichai. I beat them all. Is there anyone else? I don’t know,” the ONE kickboxing champion said.
“I like one fight, my dream fight maybe. I want to fight Giorgio Petrosyan. Maybe he’s ready to fight. God will help me win this fight. It’s the last fight in my mind.
“I don’t want to talk about Tawanchai. I’ll say one thing: he’s one of the best strikers in the world. He’s the best Muay Thai fighter. In kickboxing, he’s not the best. But he’s a really talented fighter. I have only respect for him. I don’t know if we will fight or not.”
Even with the deepest division in all of martial arts at his feet, Allazov is ultimately unsure if he wants to continue defending the title at all. With his status as best featherweight striker cemented, the 30-year-old isn’t eliminating the possibility of calling time on his career.
No matter what happens next, “Chinga” has certainly secured an enduring legacy with his sensational performances in ONE.
“Now, I’m pound-for-pound number one. This is my time. But I say today, maybe this is my last fight. I’ll go home, relax, and have a talk with my manager. I’ll talk with my coach. I’ll talk with my father. Maybe he will say to stop my career,” Allazov said.
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