Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov never expected to be a kickboxing sensation when he was learning Muay Thai as a boy in Dagestan, Russia.
But now the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion is one of the biggest stars on the grandest stage for top strikers around the world.
Ramazanov will try to hold his spot at the top against #2-ranked kickboxer Capitan Petchyindee Academy at ONE: UNBREAKABLE on January 22 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Speaking to ONEFC.com, Ramazanov recalled the time when he was just getting started in Muay Thai and how he found himself at home with his team and the sport.
“My friend brought me to one class and I got hooked immediately—I was at the gym every day,” he said.
“The guys were so respectful of each other, so supportive—it was brilliant.”
But it wasn’t always an easy path to walk, especially when he made the move from Russia to Thailand to hone his craft in “the art of eight limbs.” In the end, however, it turned out to be a beneficial move.
“It was a difficult time,” Ramazanov said.
“I didn’t have a career roadmap, didn’t know about many opportunities, and didn’t know what doors to knock on, so I just put my faith into it. I trained hard to try and earn my place on the team.”
That opportunity came when he was called to face heavily favored Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy in his ONE Championship debut, and he wound up beating the Thai superstar by decision.
“Even today when people introduce me, they say I am that guy who beat Petchmorakot. It is surreal when idols become rivals,” Ramazanov said.
“I am very proud to be a part of ONE. When I look around, I see great fighters, multiple-time World Champions, legends. It was a big step in my career to fight in the same organization as them.”
After winning two more bouts, Ramazanov had the chance to compete for the vacant ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title against “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong, and he made sure to take full advantage of the opportunity.
“I do not even know how to describe the feelings [I had],” he said about winning the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship.
“This belt brought my name to the public and to a higher phase in sport, to the elite of sportsmen. This belt changed my sporting career.”
But he’s far from done, as a win against another top Thai superstar in Capitan will only elevate his status further.
“In the future, I want my name to be well known all over the world, I want to be one of the world’s top five fighters. I want to be remembered as a guy who faced many legends in the ring and won.”
Download the ONE Super App to catch ONE: UNBREAKABLE live and for free on January 22 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.