Alex Roberts (second from right) (@alhusq/Instagram page)

Alex Roberts Discusses His ONE Title Bout with Roman Kryklia

Australia’s Alex Roberts will make his ONE Championship debut in the biggest way possible. 

Roberts will take on Roman Kryklia for the inaugural ONE heavyweight Muay Thai world championship in the main event of ONE Fight Night 17 on Prime Video on Friday, Dec. 8, and he’s ready to make his name known. 

Inspired by action movies of his youth, Roberts wanted to start martial arts. Although his parents originally agreed, they soon pulled him after he got in trouble at school. But in his 20’s, the Aussie rekindled his passion and found his home with head trainer Blair Smith at The Pit. 


“At 24, just playing around, I started Muay Thai. I was probably just getting into a bit too much trouble out and about. I felt like this was a sport that I could be very good at, and it’s a great outlet to get some of that young male ego out of the system,” Roberts told ONE

“I went into the gym, and as soon as I walked into Synergy and Thai Boxing Pit, it was love at first sight.” 

“I went into the boxing class first before the Muay Thai, and there were 10-punch combos going on. Then I looked over to the other side and saw Blair Smith and the boys just going hard with the kick, knee, elbow. It was a bit more brutal and a little bit more simple, and I thought, ‘that style is the one for me.'” 

Roberts had the bug for fighting, so he pushed forward and rose through the ranks, much to his parents’ chagrin. They still struggle to watch him in action, but they have come around to supporting him, and the rest of his kin even like to be in the crowd for his bouts. 

“My family all thought it was a pretty natural progression. My parents were a little bit worried about me. They still are. So, they don’t actually come to the flights, because they can’t bear to see it,” he remarked. 

“But they’re always there supporting at home. My sisters and the rest of my family have all been great. They come to every fight.”  

With his ONE debut looming, Roberts is putting in the work in the gym while maintaining his career as a physiotherapist. He has forgone having free time in order to get himself in the best shape possible to pursue his dream of becoming a ONE world champion.

“I’ve set up life pretty good. I start early at 6 a.m. Work for three hours, train for two hours in the morning, work for another three or four hours, eat some food, then go to training again in the evening for three hours,” the Aussie said. 

“It doesn’t leave much spare time to do other things during the week. But it’s got me to where I am, and I’m pretty stoked with it.” 

“Not once [have I thought about stopping fighting just to do physiotherapy]. If I didn’t have that, that’d definitely be a massive, massive hole in my life.”  

Robert’s won the WBC heavyweight Muay Thai world title this past October, putting him amongst the best in the striking realm. That said, he’s looking to take his skills to a new level against Kryklia. 

“The Viking” will have to deal with the ONE light heavyweight kickboxing world champion in four-ounce gloves, per ONE’s Muay Thai rule set, but the quick turnaround has him feeling confident that he’s ready for the task at hand. 

There’s no doubt in his mind that he can topple the towering Ukrainian and begin his reign atop the heavyweight Muay Thai division in the world’s largest martial arts organization. 

“I’m still very, very fit from the last fight since it was only a month ago. I’m always fit, always ready. So, I thought, ‘This is perfect.’ We’ll get one more in before the year is over and come home with a nice bonus for Christmas,” Roberts said. 

“I want to go out there and win this belt, then defend it. I would love to just fight in ONE and completely clear out the division and then retire on top.”  

ONE Fight Night 17 on Prime Video airs live on Friday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.