Sergej“Kuvalda” Maslobojev (32-6) is one of Lithuania’s leading combat sports exports.
The kickboxer is a renowned name in his home nation, and has competed across continents in various disciplines.
He will get the chance to perform on his biggest stage to date this coming Saturday, 12 May, in Jakarta, Indonesia. He will face a familiar foe in Croatia’s Antonio Plazibat (16-2) in a ONE Super Series kickboxing bout at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY.
The two athletes first met in Greece back in 2016, and it was the Vilnius, Lithuania native who was successful in that encounter.
However, despite having a win over the Croatian, the 30-year-old does not believe he has an automatic ticket to victory when they meet again at the Jakarta Convention Center this weekend.
“Since our bout, he has won seven in a row, and he is getting better and better every time,” Maslobojev says.
“I think he learned a lot from our contest, and tried to have a similar style to mine, but I have not been standing still either. I have had lots of fights and wins since then, and I will bring something new.”
“Kuvalda” certainly has not rested on his laurels. He added the WAKO Pro World Title to his extensive list of accomplishments last year, in addition to the KOK World Championship he won in 2015. He also owns multiple national and European titles in both Muay Thai and kickboxing.
The Lithuanian continues to add to his skill set, all while refining the existing tools he has employed successfully in a career that began 12 years ago.
Now, Maslobojev feels he is reaching his physical prime, and has also improved his mindset, too.
“I have not lost many fights in kickboxing, but those I have lost were down to mental problems that I have had,” he reveals.
“I have had too much emotion before my fights, and did not fix it. But now I have worked on that, and tried to become cooler, and it has helped me to have great wins.”
Plazibat will be especially motivated come 12 May, with a chance at redemption in front of a huge crowd in Jakarta, and billions of potential viewers able to watch ONE: GRIT AND GLORY live from around the world.
His Croatian opponent has been on an impressive run since his first career defeat. He currently finds himself on a seven-bout win streak, and captured the K-1 Heavyweight World Grand Prix last year.
Maslobojev knows Plazibat would love to start his tenure in ONE by avenging his loss, but “Kuvalda” has other plans.
“I am sure he has been thinking of me every day, and wants to win this fight,” the Lithuanian says.“But I want to win it too, and I want to do it in an even more explosive way. I will prepare 100 percent, and stop him again in Jakarta.”
Maslobojev not only wants to stop Plazibat for the sake of his record, but he wants to make a solid impression to the fans and ONE’s matchmakers.
He feels the promotion could play the leading role in the future of Muay Thai and kickboxing, and he wants to be a permanent fixture in ONE Super Series moving forward.
“It is a big honor for me to be a part of this,” he says. “ONE is growing really fast, and has shown that it is going to have a lot of beautiful contests.”