Samy Sana assures his victory over Dzhabar Askerov
Samy “AK47” Sana believes his match with Dzhabar “Genghis Khan” Askerov will excite the crowd at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD on 16 August at the Impact Arena in Thailand.
Sana has momentum heading into the match after his show-stopping victory against kickboxing legend “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex in May. But to secure a place in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Finals, he has to go through Askerov first.
“Nothing will stop me. Nothing will prevent me from winning this tournament,” a determined Sana said.
During the quarterfinals, the three-time Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion faced an athlete who defeated him seven years ago. Many thought it would happen again during their rematch at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON. But Sana was able to beat Yodsanklai by unanimous decision, earning the respect of a lot of people.
“The strategy was to step forward, walk him down and put a high rhythm on him, and this strategy paid off,” he recalled.
“I imposed my rhythm on him from the first round. I felt he was uncomfortable, so my team advised me to keep going on this way.”
“We had prepared very seriously [for Yodsanklai], and we’re confident that we were ready, so the decision was the continuity of all the preparation that we did. We were very satisfied to get to the semifinal of the world’s biggest tournament,” he added.
On the same night of the quarterfinals, Askerov dominated Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl. Sana knows better than to underestimate the Russian, who is a four-time Kickboxing World Champion.
“Dzhabar Askerov is a great champion who has been in the game for a long time,” the Parisian explained.
“He is an opponent who is like me – very resilient, who doesn’t do things halfway, who [fights hard], who has rhythm, who punches – so I hope we’re going to have a beautiful fight, and that we’re going to fight hard.”
“For me, I have more in all areas, and especially my heart. I’m going to fight as usual. I’m going to attack from the beginning, strike hard with huge pressure, and then we will see what happens,” he added.
“I am working a lot with my fists and knees, my flow, my rhythm. I am prepared to fight three rounds at full power.”
Motivated to be cemented as one of the best kickboxers in the world, the Frenchman is also looking to bag the US $1 million prize money.
“Obviously this million dollars added spice to the competition, but originally, we don’t fight for money. We fight because it’s our passion – because fighting is in our blood,” he said.
“Still, the million dollars is a nice big surprise. I already had the intention to win this tournament, and with this million, I’ll be unstoppable.”
“One million dollars, financially, is the accomplishment of an entire life. I come from a very modest family… [so] I think it would be an achievement to supply the needs of my parents who had it hard, and worked hard since they were very young for my whole family,” he added.
If Sana wins on Friday, he will have to go up against either Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan or Smokin’ Jo Nattawut in the Finals at ONE: CENTURY.
“Dzhabar, I hope you will be ready on 16 August because we’re going to set fire to the stadium, we’re going to have a crazy struggle, and we will see what you have got in your stomach,” Sana concluded.