Georgiy Kichigin just wants to win at ONE: ‘Reign of Valor’
Georgiy Kichigin is riding a 14 fight winning streak. He’s coming off a first round stoppage win against former WSOF welterweight champion Rousimar Palhares and hasn’t lost a fight since 2015.
The 29 year old knows a thing or two about winning and that’s exactly what he plans to do this Friday when Kichigin challenges for the welterweight title at ONE: ‘Reign of Valor’,
“Nobody knows 100% how the fight will go but I know that every time I step inside the cage I have only one goal; to win. It doesn’t matter how, I just need to have my hand raised in the end,” he said.
Kichigin is facing reigning ONE welterweight champion Zebaztian Kadestam in Burma. The Swedish fighter is renowned for his striking but the challenger sees a weakness he can potentially exploit,
“I think grappling is his weak point, so let’s see if I could exploit that. I am physically stronger than him, and my endurance is better. I’ve previously fought fighters much stronger than him, to be honest,” he said.
Kichigin has already won a welterweight title with the highly competitive Russian promotion Fight Nights Global. After clearing out the competition in his adopted homeland the Kazakh says the time had come to sign with a major international promotion,
“It is always exciting to start a new chapter. I‘ve already got a title back in Russia and the next step was to join an international promotion.”
Kichigin’s father died when he was young and his mother uprooted the family from Kazakhstan to Russia in order to work for the military. Life in Stavropol was tough for the two brothers and they would both become professional fighters,
“We were picked on by other kids and got into fights, but we were not that strong. That’s when our mom told us that we didn’t have a father to protect us, so we had to learn how to fight and stand up for ourselves.”
Grigoriy Kichigin is also a successful welterweight and his younger brother cites him as an inspiration,
“Grigoriy was my true role model when I was growing up. He made me go professional, made me stick with my training and supported me all the way. I am where I am thanks to my brother.”
Kichigin will be fighting outside of the old Soviet Union for the first time on Friday. His opponent is a veteran of five ONE Championship fights and the Kazakh welterweight says he won’t shy away from the striking exchanges,
“I am sure he will be pressing me with his striking skills and will use kicks a lot, too. He loves to fight in the stand-up, and I can meet him there. Ideally I would win this fight in the first or second round.”
ONE Championship’s welterweight division has been bolstered by the recent signings of Yoshihiro Akiyama, Yushin Okami and Sage Northcutt. It means some high profile title defences await the winner of Friday’s fight.
At ONE: ‘Reign of Valor’ he hopes to begin his own reign as the welterweight champion of Asia’s biggest MMA promotion.
“Being signed to ONE will make me a more popular fighter. Like every fighter, I would like to become a champion and defend my title for as long as possible,” he said.