It took Marat Grigorian five attempts, 21 rounds and over an hour of fight time to finally overcome Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. He will have another chance to prove that he's figured out Sitthichai's southpaw kicking game in two weeks, as they've been booked to face each other for the sixth time at ONE 165 on January 28.
The pair of 32-year-olds has had underrated success since then, as they've both been able to more-or-less comfortably beat almost every ranked Lightweight put in front of them. Tyjani Beztati and Tayfun Ozcan in Grigorian's case, Tawanchai, Tayfun Özcan, Davit Kiria and Mohammed Boutasaa in Sitthichai's case. Although it's true that they've fallen short of Chingiz Allazov and Superbon, both are gunning for a spot back in the limelight.
The Heavyweights will also be featured on the undercard of ONE 165, as Rade Opačić takes on Iraj Azizpour in a bout with potential title implications.
Opačić, who holds the record for most stoppage victories in ONE kickboxing fights and wins in the ONE Heavyweight division, seems to be just a single step away from challenging two-division champion Roman Kryklia for one of his belts. With wins in six of his seven ONE appearances, five coming by way of stoppage, he would be the most obvious challenger if he picks up another win in two weeks. The 14-month layoff Azizpour has experienced since his loss to Kryklia in the ONE Heavyweight Grand Prix finals, will certainly help the Serbian towards victroy. Anything can happen in the Heavyweight division however and it wouldn't be strange to see the Iranian get the next crack at the championship instead.
ONE 165 will take place at the Ariake Arena on January 28 and will be headlined by a ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship bout between Takeru Segawa and Superlek Kiatmuu9.