Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan made his ONE Championship debut on Friday, 20 April, as part of the ONE Super Series, and quickly proved why he is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers of all-time.
The Italian met two-division Lion Fight World Champion “Smokin” Jo Nattawut in the co-main event of ONE: HEROES OF HONOR, and picked up a unanimous decision victory in front of the fans at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Thai stylist Nattawut knew he had a great opportunity to elevate his stock against Petrosyan, and came armed and ready to cause the upset in the first round. He fired off hard right kicks against the southpaw, and came close to landing on the jaw. But the Italian plays a game of millimeters, as he masterfully evaded the kicks, and countered with solid punches.
In the second round, “The Doctor” continued to show his class. With a more aggressive approach, he forced his opponent onto the back foot. He landed with crisp combinations, and found gaps to land crushing knees. Nattawut threw back with intent, but he could not land clean, and instead found the two-time K-1 World Max World Champion either gone, or already countering.
Petrosyan grew stronger in the third, and played his game to perfection — making his opponent miss, and then making him pay with a retaliatory strike. Uppercuts and stepping knees found a home for the Italian, as it ended up being a relatively straightforward cruise to victory.
The judges all rendered their decision in Petrosyan’s favor, and he stated in his post-victory interview with Mitch Chilson that he was pleased to win in front of the Manila crowd.
Before the contest, he offered up Thai legend Buakaw as a potential adversary, but there were other victors on the night that would love a chance to face a legend of the game like “The Doctor.”
In any event, the Italian great improves his record to 96-2-2 (1 NC). Nattawut falls to a still-impressive 66-7-2.