Kickboxing Championships On the Line at Friday Fights 58

April 2, 2024
2 weeks

It’s time for another installment of the ONE Championship, which emanates live from the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. This week, two kickboxing championships will be decided. Who will leave the ring with the belts?

Superbon Welcomes Grigorian Rematch…for the Interim Strap

Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov, the current ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship, has decided to take some time off from the ring, giving the promotion the chance to make an interim champion in the division. As such, ONE has paired former two-time world champ Superbon with Marat Grigorian for the second time in their careers.

The Thai fighter won the first fight between the two at ONE X in March 2022 via unanimous decision, as he outworked Grigorian throughout the fight. Back then, it was for the full title. Since that fight, Superbon lost it to Allazov and even tried to forge a Muay Thai career. He’s now back, giving kickboxing everything, and will look to earn the interim championship by knocking off Grigorian for the second time in his career.

The Armenian fighter fought Allazov in the past two years but lost via KO. However, he scored an impressive knockout win against Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong earlier this year, earning him this title fight.

Peacock Makes Debut Alongside Fellow ONE Starter, Shinjo

British MMA news sites have been following the progress of Jake Peacock, a fighter with loyalties and heritage in both the United Kingdom and Canada. Peacock had been an MMA fighter at one point, but after suffering defeat in his first pro fight, he turned his attention to Muay Thai. Peacock, however, is an exceptional fighter – as he only has one hand – having been born with one arm much shorter than the other. Simply getting the chance to fight with such an illustrious promotion is already a massive victory for a man born with a distinct disadvantage. Peacock has said that his fight career is not just for himself but to inspire everyone to be resilient and overcome obstacles.

The man across the ring is Shinjo Kohei. He’s also making his ONE Championship debut. He’s participated in many Muay Thai and Kickboxing tournaments in his native Japan but never truly tested himself outside his homeland. Will he be able to step up and defeat Peacock in his debut?

International Styles Clash in Title Fight

Why must this fight between Jon Di Bella and Prajanchai PK Saenchai be contested under kickboxing rules? Both men have rich histories in multiple fight disciplines, including boxing, karate, and Muay Thai. One reason might be that the strawweight kickboxing championship is at stake.

Di Bella, the Canadian-Italian, has held the belt since he defeated Zhang Peimian in October 2022 and retained it a year after he got the better of Danial Williams. Both times, he out-thought his opponents and managed to get a unanimous decision. That’s a common theme in his career. He will work out his opponent’s game plan, neutralize it, and win on points. However, he’s now coming up against a very different type of opponent.

Prajanchai is already the strawweight Muay Thai champion in ONE. He’s already made a success of his fight career. However, he feels that he can knock off Di Bella with one other fight in kickboxing and his transferable skills. While he used to always go for a decision win, he’s shown a viciousness to end fights. He must have worked out he’s not paid by the hour…given he finished Joseph Lasiri (another Italian fighter) in 88 seconds, Di Bella could end up seeing stars in a short time, too.

Dechapan Wants to Continue ONE Undefeated Status

Malaysian-born Aliff Sor Dechapan has been sensational since joining the ONE Championship in April 2023. He had four kickboxing fights in less than seven months and won them all at 20. He was especially impressed with two of his fights ending by KO, one of which only took him 50 seconds to win! After dispatching Iran’s Peyman Zolfaghari last time, he’s got another international opponent.

The ’Fighting Rooster,’ Peimian Zhang, is also only 20 years old but has already suffered two losses in ONE. Is this the man to stop Dechapan’s momentum? Or will he become just another KO victim? Chinese MMA news websites will declare him a hero if he can get the W here.

Japanese Muay Thai in Bangkok

Opening the card is another display of Japanese Muay Thai, as fighters from Japan continue to leave their homeland for better opportunities in the sport. Jurai Ishii has won on two distinct cards labeled ’Road to ONE’, ensuring him a bigger platform to fight on. This opportunity comes against fellow countryman Satoshi Katashima. This man has been on the top Japanese MMA cards for years but has always been a side attraction, given that his Muay Thai and Kickboxing disciplines are still a minority interest.

No MMA This Week

ONE Championship has been running these cards for several months and has established a decent following for its various fights. The last few weeks have seen a few MMA fights, which have enriched the general product. It allows casual fight fans to tune in and be familiar with every match. While ONE has always made it a distinction to showcase many fight styles, having the primary form of MMA would make for a more globally appealing card.

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By Dean McHugh.