With yesterday's Enfusion tournament, we saw a series of fights that helped determine who the number one kickboxer at 85kg really is, with Franci Grajs laying stake to that claim.
Franci Grajs, Andrew Tate, Sahak Parparyan and Ritchie Hocking all had won two fights on the Enfusion TV show to qualify for this tournament. Going in, Tate and Sahak were the favorites, and at the time, if you were forced to pick a number one at 85kg, you'd probably say Sahak, with Tate close behind.
But that's why they fight the fights, and it sure didn't play out like it looked like it might on paper. In previewing the tournament I was sure to make note that Franci Grajs was a very formidable opponent and not a pushover for Sahak. I can't say that I wasn't expecting a Sahak Parparyan vs. Andrew Tate final though.
Franci Grajs fought a very smart fight against Sahak, staying on the outside and using his range to set up kicks. When Sahak would try to storm in with power punches, Grajs would clinch and land some effective knees. The fight was close but to me, Grajs was the clear winner. Already in the semi final, the perceived number one heading in had been beaten.
In the other semi final, Andrew Tate had made quick work of Ritchie Hocking. After that, I won't lie, I expected Tate to win the final in impressive fashion. What was most impressive about the final however, was the way in which Franci Grajs just completely turned it up a notch from the semi finals. Grajs knew what his plan was right away, and that was to enforce the clinch on Tate, landing some damaging knee strikes while Tate tried to punch out. Grajs ended up just being too much in the clinch, winning via KO in the first round from a series of punches and knees against the ropes.
With the win, Grajs won $30 000 and the third season of Enfusion. Aside from that though, he also laid stake to the claim that he is the number one kickboxer at 85kg. We don't have rankings for that weight, but if we did, he'd surely be at the top. Grajs beat two top fighters that are still top fighters, including Sahak who was probably number one going in.
Another thing I'd like to emphasize is what I talked about in the preview; how aside from being the number one, we now have another established name in a division without many established, top fighters. Franci Grajs made the most of his opportunity in winning this tournament. He went from a relative unknown to now being the number one kickboxer in his weight division. Not only is it huge for his status, it will also probably advance his career, with more potential fight offers coming his way, and potentially offers from the likes of GLORY, who I'm sure are now interested.