‘The Doctor’ is widely regarded as the best kickboxer of all time and he certainly showed his class here in what was a truly elite display of striking.
Kiria, to his credit, began the fight with a high tempo and found joy with a well-placed left lead hook and soon landed the same shot but this time with more power. He followed up with a solid leg kick and a one-two combination in what was a lively opening salvo.
But that was as good as it got for him as Petrosyan went to work with kicks to the lead leg as well as the body, and started to put his combinations together, frequently ending them with a stinging left cross.
Now 35, Petrosyan looked as slick as ever, showing off his excellent footwork and evasive head movement as Kiria tried, in vain, to find the target. The Armenian gradually increased the pace in the second round, using his lead right hand to devastating effect, teeing up hooks that invariably lead to razor sharp knees.
The hooks followed by the left hand continued to impress for Petrosyan and he always appeared one step ahead of his opponent, showing a true mastery of angles and shot selection. The knees of Petrosyan were a stark feature of the contest and they continued to find a home in the third round as he maintained the pace of the bout with brutal efficiency.
The #1 contender was flowing effortlessly as he landed a one two combination followed by another step-through knee. The left cross, a knee then a right hook just one of countless brilliant salvos.
It was a truly elite display of striking from the featherweight grand prix winner as he sealed the sixth win of his ONE Championship career. The decision was a foregone conclusion with all three judges seeing the fight in Petrosyan’s favour.
Afterwards he confirmed he would be open to facing reigning bantamweight Muay Thai champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao,
“Yeah of course remember Nong-O challenged me. And there is absolutely no problem for me. I’m ready.”
Elsewhere Victoria Lee got her professional MMA career off to a winning start with a second-round submission victory over Sunisa Srisen. The younger sibling of renowned lightweight champion Christian Lee and atomweight queen Angela Lee is just 16 years old.
But the Hawaii native looked right at home competing in the ONE circle and began the fight by landing some solid one-two combinations before clinching with the Thai against the cage. Both fighters landed knees in the clinch before Srisen scored with a tidy head and arm throw.
With the debutant soon back to her feet, the pair then resumed trading punches as Srisen planted a robust right hook. The pair again clinched against the cage, and this time, Lee was able to toss her opponent to the canvas.
From there, she dished out some commanding ground and pound before taking the back. Despite absorbing numerous shots, Srisen was able to withstand the constant threat of the rear naked choke to see the end of the round.
The second stanza resumed with Lee showcasing a snapping jab to Srisen’s chin before dishing out some sharp knees in the clinch.
Lee was soon able to bully her opponent to the floor and wasted little time before sinking her right arm under the chin and locking in the rear naked choke. Srisen slips to 4-2, while Lee moves to 1-0.
She reflected on her maiden victory by saying,
“Things didn’t go according to plan. I tried to finish in the first round. However, we just went back to the corner, my Dad said ‘hit the reset button’ and I did what I was supposed to do in the first round in the second.”
“My first choice was to go for the ground and pound and finish but when that wasn’t working, I went for the second fasted finish which was the submission. “
“Once I got her to the ground I was just focusing on my base. Got the hooks in and I saw her head pop up, so I went for the neck and I just squeezed.”