Chingiz Allazov is on top of the kickboxing world. The reigning ONE Championship featherweight kickboxing king beat the man who beat the men.

Superbon Banchamek was at the pinnacle of the sport after a run that saw him get the better of Sittichai Sitsongpeenong, Giorgio Petrosyan and Marat Grigorian. But Allazov was able to steal his momentum with a devastating second round finish of Superbon at ONE Fight Night 6.

It represented a remarkable turnaround for a fighter who had lost his ONE Championship debut. For Allazov that 2021 defeat at the hands of Enriko Kehl was a major turning point,

“After I lost to Enriko, I started focusing only on sports and family. I used to live in the middle. After the loss, I changed everything.”

Fine margins

Allazov only lost to Kehl by split decisions. The margins were fine and this made him realize he needed to adjust his lifestyle and his mindset,

“For 20 years I had been training the same. I trained every day. I focused on training. But before fighting Enriko Kehl, we had this Covid situation for two years. My mindset was on my businesses and making money.”

There was one man who believed in Kehl’s potential. Andrei Gridin decided the 30 year old needed to hear some home truths about his ability and potential,

“I sat with my coach, Andrie. He said, ‘Chingiz, you could be one of the best fighters in the world, maybe #1 in the world, pound-for-pound. But you’ll never be the best if you don’t focus on the fighting’. I stopped all my businesses, and I lost money. But this wasn’t a problem in my life. Money isn’t important. Money isn’t number one in my life.”

Pound for pound

The gamble had paid off handsomely and Allazov believes he has earned the right to call himself the best pound for pound kickboxer on the planet,

“I became the #1 fighter in the world in kickboxing. After I beat Superbon, I beat all the best fighters.”

It was a major upset when Allazov stopped Superbon in front of the Thai fans in Bangkok. But months of preparation had gone into making that moment,

“I had eight months to prepare every day for that fight. My mind was on him every day. I shocked the world.”

Having beaten Superbon so convincingly Allazov thinks that the pound for point debate is now over. He says that the mantle was officially up for grabs at ONE Fight Night and is now his to lose,

“Before the Superbon fight, they said at the press conference that I was number two in the world and Superbon was number one.”

Of course that also means that the top spot is now Allazov’s to lose, and Grigorian will be looking to snatch it from him at ONE Fight Night 12. The Belarusian hopes to ensure that his stay at the summit will be longer than Superbon’s was.