Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong locked up his spot in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final with an elite performance at ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE.
The #3 contender advanced in the prestigious tournament by defeating Davit Kiria via unanimous decision in their semifinal bout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 28 January.
The two men were no strangers, as Sitthichai had beaten Kiria on two other occasions outside of ONE Super Series. That gave him the upper hand over the Georgian striker – and it showed on this night.
From the first round on, Sitthichai played a game of inches. He moved his leg slightly backward when Kiria attacked with kicks. He dipped his head to the side just enough to evade Kiria’s passing glove. And showing a blend of fight IQ and grace, he sidestepped every attack with ease.
As for his offense, you couldn’t ask for a more perfect game plan. The Sitsongpeenong standout initiated one exchange after the next, first with his left kicks – which sent thunderous claps ringing throughout the stadium – and then with his knees.
Like a marching soldier, the Thai legend walked his patella into Kiria’s midsection, forcing the Georgian to wilt toward one side.
The defining moment of the bout then came at the 1:00 mark of round two, as Sitthichai unloaded a series of left punches and knees that went unanswered by Kiria.
Shaken up, the underdog couldn’t unlock the puzzle in front of him, and “Killer Kid” capitalized, hitting Kiria with a left high kick that saw his foot wrap around the neck.
The gritty Georgian went down, but he bounced up for the eight-count to see out the round.
The third fame was almost a carbon copy of the opening round, save for the aggressive start from Kiria. He knew he was down on the scorecards. His corner told him that, as did the welts on his arms.
Still, he just couldn’t seem to strike when and where it was needed. For him, it was a frustrating conclusion to a trilogy that dates back to 2015.
But for “Killer Kid,” who finished the bout by pouring on punches, knees, and kicks, it was a masterful performance that earned him the unanimous decision.
The dominant victory means the man with a 126-32-5 career record will now face Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov – who won his fight against Smokin’ Jo Nattawat earlier in the night – in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final on Saturday, 26 March at ONE X.