On Friday, October 29, ONE Super Series will get to see its first-ever ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion crowned with a stellar trilogy bout in its main event.
Roman Kryklia vs. Iraj Azizpour Preview
ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia will meet a familiar face, Iraj Azizpour, who is making his ONE debut for the newly minted crown in an attempt to become a two-division World Champion.
The two strikers first met in China in 2018. The Iranian powerhouse took home a majority decision victory and a tournament win. However, since that day, Kryklia has been untouchable.
The Ukrainian reeled off seven consecutive wins ahead of his rematch with Azizpour, including over Rade Opacic, who has been on a roll since arriving in ONE and looks to be the top heavyweight contender for whoever wins at ONE: NextGen.
In the rematch, Kryklia got a unanimous decision to redeem himself before stepping onto ONE’s global stage.
In the Ukrainian’s first match in ONE, he captured the ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Championship over Tarik Khbabez in an impressive showcase of his skills. Kryklia earned a third-round stoppage by TKO due to three knockdowns.
At ONE: Collision Course, the light heavyweight king defended his crown for the first time against Andrei Stoica. Although he did not get the stoppage he wanted, Kryklia controlled the action and earned a clear-cut unanimous decision victory.
But now, he has the opportunity to lay claim to being a two-division World Champion while taking the series from his Iranian rival.
The split series adds an extra layer of intrigue, especially with Opacic coming off a dominant knockout victory at ONE: First Strike. The heavyweight division is heating up, and having a rivalry’s third bout determine the first-ever ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion is an excellent way to add fuel to the division.
ONE’s investment into heavyweight martial arts sees talent push harder and further than ever before. Their mixed martial arts ranks have seen Kang Ji Won, Amir Aliakbari, and Anatoly Malykhin join the ranks. And even at ONE: NextGen, undefeated contenders Kirill Grishenko and Dustin Joynson will step inside the Circle to try and take the next step forward toward Arjan Bhullar.
The kickboxing main event is another piece to the puzzle of heavyweight martial arts in its totality.
Kryklia and Azizpour get to be the first to vie for gold while settling their score and setting the tone for what’s to come in the future. One strike is all it takes with this kind of power, and it is what makes heavyweight martial arts exhilarating.
ONE: NextGen airs on Bleacher Report on Friday, October 29, at 8:30 a.m. EST/5:30 a.m. PST.