There is no question, a kickboxing battle between the legendary Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan and the equally iconic Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex is a potential dream matchup.
Thanks to the recently announced ONE Super Series Featherweight World Grand Prix, we might get a chance to see these two titans of the sport collide. Each will have to make their way past any opponents standing between this fantasy matchup and a world title, but the possibilities are there.
Petrosyan is Down to Face Anyone
A sagacious person once said, “the best ability is availability.” Petrosyan wants everyone to know that he is available to face any opponent. “There are many very strong and valuable athletes in ONE,” he says. “Right now, the names don’t matter to me. I will fight with anyone, and I have no problems.”
That willingness to challenge himself is part of what has made the 33-year-old Armenian one of the most-decorated kickboxers in history. Yodsanklai has adopted a similar mantra throughout his epic career.
Yodsanklai is a Man of Many Accomplishments
Nicknamed the “Boxing Computer” and “The Hero,” Yodsanklai has proven to be worthy of both monikers. His technical striking is drunk with precision, and his toughness is envied by anyone who has stepped into a ring or cage to compete. ONE Championship commentator once spoke on Yodsanklai’s kicking prowess:
“Yod’s kicks are arguably the hardest strike of any athlete in any combat sport,” says MMA and kickboxing commentator Michael Schiavello. “Think of Mike Tyson’s hook, Larry Holmes’ jab, Ernie Shavers’ right hand, Andy Hug’s
Likewise, his accomplishments have made him a beloved figure in his native Thailand and abroad. Still, he’s not one to brag or to toot his own horn. “I never thought that I was the best fighter ever or in the world,” Yodsanklai said. “I won’t compare myself to others. I’ll just do my best.”
During a career that has spanned 17 years, Yodsanklai has compiled more than 200 wins with 78 coming by KO. Most recently, he scored a KO victory over Luis Regis in December at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS. The win set Yodsanklai up to pursue more glory in the Grand Prix.
Petrosyan Plays Second Fiddle to Noone
Though his experience isn’t vast, Petrosyan’s winning percentage is much higher than Yodsanklai. The man known as “The Doctor” has more than 100 kickboxing bouts to his credit, and he’s lost just two of them.
In fact, it’s been nearly six years since his last defeat. In November, at ONE: HEART OF A LION, Petrosyan easily handled Sorgraw Petchyindee, handing the Thai boxer a unanimous-decision loss. In between wins with ONE Championship, Petrosyan captured Bellator’s inaugural featherweight title.
With a variety of championships and a 2-0 record with ONE, Petrosyan is more than ready to compete in the Grand Prix.
Why Would People Want to See a Petrosyan-Yodsanklai Bout?
If you enjoy watching two all-time greats compete while both are still in the primes of their careers, a Petrosyan-Yodsanklai bout is appealing to you. Very few times are fans of any combat sport treated to this kind of a matchup. In many combat sports, athletes aren’t willing to stake their records and reputations against elite opponents. That isn’t a worry with Petrosyan or Yodsanklai.
The appeal of this matchup is through the roof. This bout could be the main event of any show in the world. Depending on the scheduling, and the manifestation of the matchup, it could headline a future ONE Championship card.
When Might the Bout Happen?
Because both men are participants in the Grand Prix, they can match up in the tournament. Chances are, the two legends will be on opposite sides of the bracket, so the soonest they could square off would be the final. That would seemingly be an appropriate culmination of what figures to be a series of epic bouts.
Petrosyan doesn’t just seem available; he seems willing to take on the Yodsanklai challenge.
“Much has been said about this meeting with Yodsanklai,” he says. “I know him well, I’ve known him for many years. I know he’s a left-handed like me. He’s a fighter that hits hard. I’d like to meet him maybe for the title of ONE, and why not?”
Right, why not? The Grand Prix begins in 2019, but we don’t know the start date as of yet. When details are available, kickboxing fans around the world will be sure to mark their calendars. Next up for ONE Championship is ETERNAL GLORY from Jakarta, Indonesia. Joshua “The Passion” Pacio will defend his ONE Strawweight title against veteran Japanese warrior Yosuke Saruta in the main event. There’s also an intriguing ONE Super Series Flyweight bout on tap between Alex Serepisos and Mongkolpetch Petchyindee Academy.
It takes place on 19 January and is the first event of 2019 for ONE Championship.