Marat Grigorian jumped onto the global stage of ONE Championship last year with a stunning knockout debut. Now, one of the world’s pound-for-pound greats is set to take on the 2021 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix at ONE: First Strike on Friday, October 15.
Grigorian enters as one of the tournament favorites. The Armenian is riding a five-bout win streak and has prior tournament experience.
As a K-1 World Grand Prix and Kunlun Fight World MAX Tournament winner, Grigorian knows how to excel in this format. His talents alone could carry him through, but the veteran savvy to know how to navigate a tournament format should not be glossed over.
“I love tournaments. I’m only sad that it’s not on one night because I really love one-night tournaments,” Grigorian told ONE.
“But a tournament like this is also good. We can show more things because if you have some injuries, you can let them get better and start again.”
And he starts with a legendary star of the sport — Andy Souwer.
The Dutchman has nearly done it all in the sport, but holding a title in ONE has alluded him to this point. If Souwer can stun the #3-ranked featherweight contender, it will be an additional feather in the cap of his legacy.
But Grigorian is not looking past the legend.
The Hemmers Gym star is feeling confident ahead of his quarterfinal matchup.
“He’s still dangerous, he’s still sharp, and he’s still doing good fights at a high level. He’s a complete fighter that can do everything well.
“I do everything better, everything harder, everything faster,” he says.
With the other three quarterfinals taking place prior to their co-main event clash and a main event for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship, looking ahead is a danger for the Armenian.
However, Grigorian is adamant he would get caught looking past his Dutch opponent as he focuses on taking care of what is in front of him.
“I don’t like to think too far ahead, but I’m going to push myself to win this tournament because it means the world to me. I must be focused every second because [everyone in this tournament] is a good fighter, in good shape, and they’re all dangerous. But I’m coming to break them,” Grigorian said.
The march toward featherweight glory begins on Friday, October 15.
ONE: First Strike airs across Bleacher Report platforms at 8:30 a.m. EST/5:30 a.m. PST from Singapore.