Alaverdi Ramazanov is the ONE bantamweight kickboxing champion. He has been in with some of the best Thai fighters in the world and has reached the pinnacle of the sport.

But it wasn’t always like this for the Russian. He made an inauspicious start to his kickboxing career,

“I didn’t see myself as a fighter. In my first competitions, I used to lose a lot, I lost maybe six or seven amateur fights in a row at the start,” he recalls.

His career started to take off after he moved to Thailand but even then it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Russian,

“One day, my manager from Russia sent me to a gym in Bangkok, where I started training. Things were going well until I lost a fight they organized for me. I immediately got a totally different treatment. I knew they wanted me to leave.”

Good move

Ramazanov ended up at the Venum Camp in Pattaya. It proved to be a good move for the 26 year old who found himself working with former WBC welterweight champion Mehdi Zatout.

Both men would go on to fight on the ONE Super Series. The similarities do not end there, both would be beaten on points by Thai fighter in successive fights only to come back stronger and record back to back wins.

The biggest win of Ramazanov’s career came at ONE: ‘Kingdom of Heroes’ when he beat multiple time Lumpinee champion Petchmorrakot Petchyindee by decision.  That was his first fight on the ONE Super Series and it instantly made him a name in Thailand,

“Even today when people introduce me, they say I am that guy who beat Petchmorrakot. It is surreal when idols become rivals,” he said.

Last minute

He followed this up by stopping Andrew Miller in the opening round at ONE: ‘Heart of a Lion’. The opportunity only came around at the last minute but Ramazanov did not hesitate to accept,

“Taking this fight was a bit of a gamble, but when the manager offered it, I replied with a yes in one minute,” he said.

He suffered a couple of setbacks with decision losses to Kongsak PKSaenchaigym and Saemapetch Fairtex although both were debatable. But a first round stoppage of Ognjen Topic at ONE: ‘Dreams of Gold’ earned him a title shot and Ramazanov has never looked back.

He beat Zhang Chenglong at ONE: ‘Mark of Greatness’ to become the first ever ONE bantamweight kickboxing champion. It was a huge moment for the man who could not buy a win at the start of his career,

“This belt brought my name to the public and to a higher phase in sport, to the elite of sportsmen. This belt changed my sporting career.

Tough fight

On January 22nd he will be going up against one of the best Muay Thai fighters at the moment. Captain Petchyindee made a blistering start to his ONE Super Series career when he knocked out Petchtanong Banchamek in under a minute at ONE: ‘A New Breed’ Part III.

It is a tricky looking fight or Ramazanov but the Russian knows it is exactly the sort of matchup he needs to win in order to realize his ambitions,

“In the future, I want my name to be well known all over the world, I want to be one of the world’s top five fighters. I want to be remembered as a guy who faced many legends in the ring and won.”