Alex “The Viking” Roberts is the newly crowned WBC heavyweight Muay Thai world champion. At ONE Fight Night 17 on Prime Video, booked for Dec. 8, he will take on the towering Roman Kryklia for the inaugural ONE heavyweight Muay Thai world title.
Ahead of his matchup, Australia’s Roberts sat down with Tim Wheaton of Combat Press to discuss his upcoming title showdown.
Alex Roberts Interview
Congratulations on the win over Lyndon Knowles to capture the WBC heavyweight Muay Thai world title. How did the fight feel to you?
The fight with Lyndon felt great. I controlled the range well and landed the harder, cleaner shots. He was tough as nails, and I have put down many people with the same shots I landed on him. But, he ate them up and kept coming. Was a good solid test against a five-time world champion.
“Capturing a WBC Muay Thai world championship;” what does that sentence mean to you?
That sentence means everything to me. This is a massive life goal of mine to become a world champion, and, accomplishing this makes all the sacrifices and pain worth it.
At ONE Fight Night 17 on Dec. 8, you’re going to be facing Roman Kryklia for the ONE heavyweight Muay Thai world title. What’s the game plan for this fight?
Roman has a unique style and uses his range well. Theres a few different strategies in place depending on how he comes out. Will he alter his style at all now we are fighting Muay Thai or continue to do what he has always done. Either way we have an answer. We can use Roman’s aggression against him – especially, with the small gloves. Although, if he is more reserved, then we can push the pace a little more.
He does not have a ton of experience in Muay Thai. Do you think there will be a lot of areas to exploit that?
Roman is a great athlete and has a great team around him, so I think he will adapt well. I will definitely be testing his clinch and looking to land some elbows, so we will see how he handles it on the night.
He’s a long and powerful kickboxer; what do you expect from him?
If he sticks with his current style, I’m expecting him to use his jab well and explode in with his set-ups and combos. If he switches things up, we will have to see on the night.
What do you think the future holds for heavyweight Muay Thai?
I think the sport is continuously on the up, and, now, with ONE opening up the heavyweight division, the sport will continue to grow and reach a much larger audience. I think there are some huge heavyweight fights to make, and I look forward to being a part of it.
If the opportunity came up, would you compete in kickboxing?
Of course. I can adapt my style, and have had a few K-1 fights in my career already.
What was the initial spark that inspired you to get into combat sports?
I have always loved fighting and combat since I was a little kid. I always played sport and the best part was the physicality. 10 years ago, before I started my journey, I was a bit young and wild, and [I] needed somewhere to channel that energy. Synergy Gym with the Thaiboxing Pit was five minutes from my house, and I had a few friends that were members, so I walked in and finally got started.
Holding so many world titles, people are now looking up to you. What advice would you pass on to those who are just starting out in combat sports?
Stay disciplined and make training a constant in your life. Even if you don’t plan on fighting or going all the way to the top, the self-improvement and growth that you achieve through combat sports is unmatched.
Lastly, how do you envision your career in five and 10 years from now?
Five years from now, I would say that I would be retired, or close to it, and raising a few young kids. At 34, now, I feel I am at my peak, and [I] want to put on some epic performances and create a legacy. And, then, retire on top with all my faculties intact. I will always be involved in combat sports and will be coaching the next generation of Muay Thai athletes, passing on my knowledge.
Thank you so much and best of luck in the match.
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