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Giorgio Petrosyan: Inspired by Bruce Lee, supported by his father

Kickboxing ace remembers how he fell in love with the sport

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ONE Championship

Known to his fans around the world as “The Doctor”, kickboxing superstar Giorgio Petrosyan is a hero to millions.

Just like every aspiring martial artist, the 32-year-old Armenian had heroes, too, including one man who is mentioned possibly more than any other when you speak to martial arts stars about their influences growing up.

“When I was alone, I was always watching Bruce Lee movies,” he told ONE Championship.

“I was, and still am, a huge Bruce Lee fan!”

Petrosyan was enthralled by the action on the screen as Lee used his prodigious martial arts skills to prevail in countless movies. And Petrosyan admits he often thought of himself in Lee’s position, though his career path took him in a different direction.

“All of my daydreams were based around them,” he explained, before saying he took the decision to pursue his passion, following Lee’s maxim that “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Petrosyan’s family left their unstable homeland of Armenia when he was just 13, but he soon settled when the family set up home in Gorizia, Italy, and he discovered Satori Gladiatorium Nemesis gym, where he set about learning the striking skills he carries into the ring today.

“I just loved the martial arts idea. Like the famous movies, going from the very first push-up, and into the world of competition,” he said.

“Mainly, I wanted to show the world that I would be the champion that I am now. I felt from the beginning that I could make it.”

While his initial love of martial arts was sparked by Bruce Lee, Petrosyan’s main driving force and inspiration during his career has been someone much closer to home – his father.

“My father was my first fan, and he has been next to me the whole way,” he said.

Petrosyan’s journey has been an inspiring one, and it’s something he’s committed to paper in his book, ‘With His Own Hands’. It’s something he’s passionate about sharing his experiences with others in the hope that it will inspire them to greatness.

“Absolutely, I want to inspire people. My book was about this. I think that anybody can make it if they put enough effort in,” he explained.

“I also want to show people that you do not have to be arrogant to be a champion. I am not the kind of guy who likes to talk too much, but instead shows with actions in the ring what I can do.”

He’ll look to demonstrate exactly that when he takes on two-division Lion Fight world champion “Smokin” Jo Nattawut in the co-main event at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in Manila.

The bout is the headline bout of the ONE Super Series, and will be contested under kickboxing rules, where Petrosyan thrives. The Armenian is a two-time K-1 Max World Champ, with a stunning record of 95-2-2 (1 NC).

It’ll be the first time he’s showcased his stellar striking skills under the ONE banner, and he’s hoping that by the time his bout has concluded he’ll have inspired thousands, or maybe even millions, more to achieve their dreams, just as he has.

Interview by ONE Championship. Story by Simon Head.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK national media. News Editor: ONE Championship. UFC/MMA Reporter: BBC Three. International MMA Reporter: The Fight Nation. Contributor: MMAjunkie.

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