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Featherweight fireworks; everything you need to know about Superbon vs. Marat Grigorian at ONE: X

Marat Grigorian (left) and Superbon (right). [Photo: ONE Championship]
Marat Grigorian (left) and Superbon (right). [Photo: ONE Championship]
James De Rozario

ONE featherweight kickboxing world champion Superbon will have another chance to prove why he's the divisional king at ONE X: Grand Finale this Saturday, March 26.

The Thai superstar flourishes when confronted with a tough task, so fans can expect him to put in another career-defining performance when he meets top-ranked contender Marat Grigorian at ONE’s 10-year anniversary spectacle.

It won't come easy, though. Grigorian sits atop the promotion’s official featherweight kickboxing rankings for good reason. The 30-year-old is one of the sharpest and hardest hitters in the 70.3kg striking weight class.

ARE YOU READY ⁉️The ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title showdown between Superbon and Marat Grigorian on Saturday will be a show-stealer!#ONEX | 26 March | PPV: 8PM SGT/8AM ET | Order PPV: Watch.ONEFC.com | Get Tickets: bit.ly/ONEXTickets https://t.co/Sux2IRvhMC

The Breda-based fighter combines every element of kickboxing to punish his opponent with strikes that can land anytime and anywhere.

Ahead of the pair’s scheduled five-round war inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium, we at Sportskeeda MMA give you the full rundown of both parties.


Superbon and Grigorian’s journey in ONE so far

The Thai champion has demonstrated his blistering abilities in the circle on two occasions. In his debut, he picked apart longtime rival Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong in a nine-minute battle that captured every little detail of his inch-perfect caliber.

As if that wasn’t good enough, the Bangkok-based star returned to put on another striking clinic in his sophomore outing against a man known as the GOAT of kickboxing, Giorgio ‘The Doctor’ Petrosyan.

Similar to his first fight in the promotion, Superbon didn't overcomplicate things against the Armenian-Italian icon. He kept it simple, clean, and crisp – just like the world title-winning kick that left Petrosyan knocked out cold on the canvas in round two.

What. A. KNOCKOUT! Superbon 🇹🇭 SLEEPS Giorgio Petrosyan with a second-round head kick to become the first-ever ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Champion! 😱 #ONEFirstStrike #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship https://t.co/rQzZqEswSx

Standing across Superbon at ONE X is another martial artist who likes to keep it simple, albeit in a more ruthless manner. Grigorian’s Dutch kickboxing prowess was no match for Ivan Kondratev when he made his bow at the Singapore-based promotion.

Despite facing stiff competition in the earlier round, it didn’t take long for him to stamp his name as one of the stars to watch out for. In the next round, Grigorian left his Russian rival lying flat on the canvas, wincing in pain courtesy of a rib-rattling left hook in the second frame.

When he returned to the circle 10 months later, his merciless assault bested Andy Souwer. The victory earned him a shot against Chingiz Allazov in the semifinals of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix. Unfortunately, Grigorian tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced out of the bout and the tournament.

That turned out to be a blessing in disguise, however, as the Armenian fighter was named as the athlete who would face Superbon for the latter’s first title defense.


The pair’s first meeting ended in 39 seconds

Superbon may be one of the most feared kickboxers in the world today, but he readily admits that his development has been fueled by the devastating loss he suffered at the hands of Grigorian in the 2017 Kunlun Fight World Max Tournament Championship.

The Thai, who at that point was still too reliant on his Muay Thai skills, tried to counter Grigorian’s onslaught with push kicks – but the Armenian wasn’t bothered by it.

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Grigorian worked behind his jab to shorten the range, effectively taking out the Thai’s lengthy limbs, and soon it was all over for the Singha Mawynn Muay Thai representative.

The three-time Glory kickboxing world champion stung his rival with a jab-cross combination and put him to sleep with another straight right to take home the win in just 39 seconds.

It was an impressive display by the Bulldog Gym star, and he will be hoping to end his fight at ONE X in similar fashion come March 26.


Where the battle will be won

Superbon isn’t the same fighter Grigorian faced five years ago, though. The Thai has found the perfect balance for his technical abilities in Muay Thai and packs more punches and combinations with his fists.

The 31-year-old keeps his guard very high and tight, and his right roundhouse kick seems to be his most lethal weapon. The Thai is always ready to unleash the same throughout his bouts, so Grigorian must try to keep himself away from his feet if he wants to stay in the fight.

Having said that, Grigorian still stands a fair chance at victory. His all-around striking capabilities, as well as his volume, pressure, and strength can instantly separate an opponent from his senses, and, like Superbon, the Armenian rarely leaves an opening for his rival to connect.

Both fighters are undeniably at the peak of their careers. If one of them can force their opponent to slip up, we could see an impressive knockout.


Edited by David Andrew

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