Davit Kiria will be one of the favourites for the ONE Championship featherweight kickboxing Grand Prix. The Georgian faces Enriko Kehl in the quarter finals this Friday.

They face off at ONE: ‘First Strike’ in the first round of the tournament. Kiria is excited by the opportunity to compete alongside some of the best kickboxers in the world for the prize,

“It’s a really big opportunity. I have to be honest, I’m very happy to be one of the eight men in the Grand Prix. It’s a really big thing in my life, in my fight career.”

Dreaming hard

Kiria acknowledges that his opponent will be equally determined to succeed but suggests he has seen some flaws in Kehl’s game,

“I don’t think about his advantages. I think about his weaknesses because this is the main thing that will bring me success. But I know he’s working hard. He’s dreaming hard,” he said.

Kiria is coming off a loss to Giorgio Petrosyan at ONE: ‘Fists of Fury’. But the Armenian won’t be participating in the tournament this time around as he is challenging for the actual title on Friday.

So despite the recent setback he is very confident of success,

“I always feel confident in myself and I will always think that I’m better than everyone. Without this mindset, you cannot succeed, you cannot be at the top level, where I am now.”

Best of the best

His training camp might have only lasted a few weeks. But the work to take Kiria to a level where he is competing with the world’s top kickboxer began many years ago.

He started training karate in his native Georgia at the age of 9 before relocating to Holland where he transitioned to kickboxing. Kiria is a former Glory lightweight champion and also won the Kunlun Max tournament in 2019.

He has been in with some the best kickboxers on the planet and knows a thing or two about who ranks where. He feels the competition in the featherweight Grand Prix is truly elite and believes winning it would be the ultimate accolade,

“Everybody in it is the best. They are the top eight fighters on the planet, so winning this tournament means everything to me because I’ve dedicated my life to this sport.”