Stamp Fairtex recently became the first fighter to secure ‘the trinity’, winning ONE Championship atomweight titles in kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA.
While it is an achievement which might never be replicated, former UFC flyweight champion and reigning ONE Championship flyweight king Demetrious Johnson thinks there is one man on the roster who could do it.
This weekend Roman Kryklia will bid to become the promotion’s heavyweight Muay Thai champion. The Ukrainian already holds the light heavyweight and heavyweight kickboxing belts so will be looking to win title number three.
It sounds like ‘DJ’ is a big fan. Being widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time he clearly knows the subject well, and sees Kryklia as someone who could be very successful in MMA.
“I’m a huge fan of him,” Johnson said. “I think he’s amazing. I think he’ll be fine in mixed martial arts, too.”
It is an intriguing possibility. Kryklia’s striking credentials would make him a real threat to the established MMA hierarchy in either division, although the Ukrainian would need to brush up on his grappling and takedown defence.
Kryklia faces Alex Roberts at ONE Fight Night 17 with the inaugural heavyweight Muay Thai title on the line, and it sounds like Johnson will definitely be watching.
Anyone who subscribes to the American’s popular YouTube channel knows he is an expert when it comes to breaking down fighters, and is not afraid to point out their flaws.
However, when it comes to Kryklia, the 37-year-old has nothing but praise for the “amazing” Ukrainian he said reminded him of “the Klitschko brothers or Anthony Joshua”.
“Like, him being, how tall is he 6’7”? He has the body of a running back,” Johnson said. “He’s absolutely amazing.”
Roberts, meanwhile, is making his ONE Championship debut and is more of an unknown quantity. Johnson clearly does not believe the Australian will pull off an upset.
Kryklia has five wins from his five ONE Championship fights and Johnson expects him to “destroy his opponent”, making it six in a row this weekend.