When talking about heavyweight kickboxing it can be difficult to really nail down who the next generation of talent is. Right now everything is about Rico Verhoeven and Badr Hari, while some of the old guard still hold on and fight occasionally, they’ve mostly moved on, leaving this generation. The problem is that Rico Verhoeven really seems like he’s virtually unchallenged right now. But while Rico Verhoeven has been getting all of the attention, heavyweights from around the world have been honing their respective crafts, all of them looking to claim the crown that Verhoeven lays claim to as the best in the world.
In 2016 Sergej Maslobojev and Antonio Plazibet met in the FFC ring in what was a good bout, but not something that sent shockwaves through the kickboxing community. With their meeting on May 12th at ONE: Grit and Glory it’s a difficult fight to not pay attention to. At 30-years-old Sergej Maslobojev has been making a name for himself out in the world. While on the smaller side of the heavyweight coin — primarily fighting at 95kg — in most of the world he’s still considered a heavyweight, with his record reflecting that. He’s fought everyone that they’ve thrown at him, with mostly positive results.
Antonio Plazibat is in a similar situation, with the loss to Maslobojev one of two in his professional career. That career really took off after the Maslobojev loss when Plazibat won the K-1 Japan Heavyweight World Grand Prix in 2017 in impressive fashion. He failed in his defense of that title to Roel Mannaart, but at this point in his young career those losses are to be expected. Another clash between Maslobojev and Plazibat has hardcore kickboxing fans excited and it should be interesting to see what happens in their clash this weekend, more than two years after their initial meeting.
They have the honor of being one of two kickboxing fights in ONE’s Super Series to be featured on this card, with the other being fan-favorite muay thai fighter Onjen Topic against Stergos Mikkios.
The event will be airing for free on ONE Super App. Yes, free.