This Friday, Sept. 4, Tatneft Cup returns to the Tatneft Arena in Kazan, Russia, for the finals of the Tatneft 2015 tournament series. The seven-fight card will feature tournament finals at 70 kilograms, 80 kilograms and heavyweight (91+ kilograms). GLORY, Kunlun FC, K-1, Enfusion and SuperKombat veterans litter the card with promising young talent and gigantic heavyweight action.

Looking for something exciting to fill your schedule on Friday afternoon? This fight card promises excitement from the opening bout and won’t cost a dime to watch, as the promotion will be streaming the event live on their YouTube channel (the embedded stream can be viewed above as well). The event will also be available through EliteBoxingTV. The fight card begins at 12 p.m. ET.

HW (91+kg) Tournament Final: Roman Kriklia vs. Daniel Lentie

Roman Kriklia is a Ukrainian kickboxer who trains with Ayubov Gym in Belarus. The 23-year-old has fought multiple times under the Kunlun FC banner. He finished his opening-round opponent, Dexter Suisse, by knockout in the first round in February. Kriklia scored another knockout in the Tatneft Cup against Croatian fighter Igor Mihaljevic in April. In his semifinal bout with Romanian fighter Claudiu Istrate, Kriklia added his third straight finish of an opponent in the tournament.

The 32-year-old Daniel Lentie has amassed 60 fights in his kickboxing career, winning more than 50 bouts. The Cameroon-born Lentie won his final two fights to earn his shot in the heavyweight tournament finals. Wins over Alexandru Burduja in August and Tural Tokaev in May capped off the former French Muay Thai champion’s Tatneft Cup run.

Lentie is a heavyset fighter with good athleticism for his size. A very durable fighter, he fights while constantly moving forward, looking to be tougher than his opponent in the exchanges. There is no side-to-side movement here. Lentie employs a traditional Muay Thai style with heavy hands and kicks from the inside. The Cameroonian employs a heavy right kick and strong left straight and hook from the southpaw position. Lentie has a very solid chin, allowing him to take damage to land his own.

Kriklia will weigh in on the scales about 20 pounds lighter than his opponent. The difference in weight will be offset by a huge seven-inch height advantage in favor of the up-and-coming Ukrainian prospect. He uses his large reach to land high kicks and knees when his opponent is coming forward. Kriklia is a sound fighter overall with much promise for the future. He’ll claim the decision win.

80kg Tournament Final: Timur Aylyarov vs. Alexander Dmitrenko

Timur Aylyarov is a 26-year-old Russian kickboxer who has impressed in his recent run, racking up an undefeated record in 2015. His five wins in the calendar year began in January when Aylyarov knocked out Giuseppe de Domenico in the second round, dropping his Italian opponent three times in the bout. Aylyarov earned his semifinal berth with a win over German Kyokushin fighter Sergej Braun in April. He defeated Pavel Turuk by decision in August to move into the finals, dropping his Belarusian foe in the second round.

Alexander Dmitrenko has impressed in 2015, winning three consecutive fights in the Tatneft 80-kilogram tournament. He knocked out Marinus Schouten in the second round of their quarterfinal bout in January. The Tolyatti, Russia, native went on to take a four-round decision win from Holland’s Masoud Rahimi in April. His most recent fight, which came in August, resulted in a decision win over Belgian fighter Zakaria Baitar.

Aylyarov is an aggressive fighter who is always keeping his hands and feet in his opponent’s face and constantly touching his opponent with strikes. He uses the teep to his opponent’s stomach and legs, controlling distance and keeping his opponent off balance. He will switch stances to land his hard left straight, heavy right hand and a plethora of kicks. When Aylyarov smells blood, he has great finishing ability, pouring on the punches until he puts an end to his opponent’s night.

Dmitrenko moves well around the ring, staying at optimal range to land his punches. The Russian fighter likes to use his hands while sneaking in the occasional high knee and a vast array of kicking techniques.

This is a good fight that could see Aylyarov controlling distance with his teep. Dmitrenko could put an end to that with his solid footwork. However, it’s Aylyarov who will walk away with the decision nod.

70kg Tournament Final: Itay Gershon vs. Claudiu Badoi

Itay Gershon is a 22-year-old Muay Thai fighter training out of Team Cogan in Israel. He is 6-3 under the Tatneft banner, winning his past three fights overall. Gershon most recently fought at the Tatneft Cup Semifinal event on Aug. 4, defeating Saifullah Hambahadov via a four-round decision.

Romania is well represented on the card with 23-year-old Claudiu Badoi, who fights out of the Respect Gym in Bucharest. A fighter who grew up with hardships early on in life, Badoi slept on a Flower Market floor at the age of 11. Those hardships have led to a career in martial arts. Badoi defeated Malic Groenberg by decision at the Tatneft Cup Semifinal to earn his shot against Gershon in the finals.

Gershon uses his high-flying knees and kicks to land heavy damage to his opponent. He loves the left hook to the body followed by the right low kick. The Israeli throws a high volume of kicks to the legs, body, arms and head.

Badoi will let his opponent dictate the pace of the fight, allowing Gershon to score with his kicks and athletic offensive attacks. Badoi has good fundamentals, but he will come in as the smaller fighter.

In a battle of still-unproven prospects, Gershon should be the man pulling away. He’ll claim the decision win.

HW: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Alexander Soldatkin

Benjamin Adegbuyi is one of the top-ranked heavyweight kickboxers in the world, holding a record of 19-4-1 with 13 knockouts. The 2012 SuperKombat World GP champion made his professional debut in 2011. The 30-year-old newcomer fought GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven at GLORY 22 in May. Adegbuyi lost the bout after five hotly contested rounds, ending a nine-fight winning streak. Outside of Adegbuyi’s most recent defeat at the hands of the world’s No. 1-ranked heavyweight, the Romanian fighter has avenged his only other two losses.

Belgian kickboxer Kirk Krouba was replaced by 22-year-old Russian fighter Alexander Soldatkin on Wednesday. Soldatkin most recently fought and lost to Andrey Seledtsov by armbar submission on Aug. 1.

Adegbuyi has a technical fighting style and great athleticism. The Romanian fighter uses his speed to land his sharp jab and follow-up right hand. Adegbuyi likes to work the body, swiping his right and left hands in combination to his opponent’s mid-section. He should have a large speed advantage, making for what should be a great return fight for the top heavyweight. He’ll make quick work of Soldatkin and finish the fight via knockout in the first round.

HW: Kirill Kornilov vs. Marcello Adriaansz

The 24-year-old prospect Kirill Kornilov has just begun his kickboxing career, but he has already showcased his powerful right hand on multiple occasions. The Russian was successful in his last outing, a lopsided decision victory over Alexandru Burduja at Tatneft Cup in May.

Marcello Adriaansz is a Muay Thai fighter born in Suriname. A veteran of over 45 fights, the 33-year-old “Black Panther” has fought all over Europe in such promotions as Enfusion and SuperKombat. Adriaansz fought Romanian Andrei Stoica at the SuperKombat World GP event on March 7, losing a decision to the hometown favorite.

Both men top the charts at over 6-foot-4, which makes for an intriguing match-up of styles. Kornilov likes to move around the ring, hands at shoulder level, throwing hooks while entering exchanges. A short, powerful right hook is the weapon of choice for the Russian fighter. He moves his head well, opening up his ability to attack at different angles.

That movement is in stark contrast to the style of Adriaansz, who tends to stay flat-footed while moving in and out. Adriaansz is a tall fighter that looks to counter with right hooks and uppercuts.

Kornilov’s size will take away the knee strikes of Adriaansz, a technique he usually employs against smaller opponents. This fight should be predicated on distance, an area Kornilov looks to have the upper hand in despite a lack of experience. Kornilov will find the knockout finish in the second round.

HW: Andre Langen vs. Mladen Kujundzie

Mladen “Dynamite” Kujundzie is a kickboxer and mixed martial artist from Rijeka, Croatia. The 26-year-old holds a 21-5-1 mark in kickboxing competition and made a name for himself under the Final Fight Championship banner in Croatia. At FFC 12 on April 25, Kujundzie landed one of his most impressive finishes with a devastating left kick to the body of Denan Poturak.

Andre Langen is a 25-year-old slugger fighting out of Iserlohn, Germany. The Team Venlon Impact fighter has had an up-and-down career since he began fighting in 2009. He last fought in the Fighters Heart promotion in 2015, losing by cut stoppage after he was dropped by Luis Tavares with a flying knee.

With a two-inch height and 10-pound weight advantage over his German foe, Kujundzie will be the larger fighter heading into the bout. The Croatian fighter has quick hands, throwing multiple strikes that usually involve any number of combinations of his strong right straight and left hook.

Langen will need to be careful in the exchanges, as he is hittable at range. Langen is very tough. He has been staggered in fights, but usually finds a way to survive and fight his way back. The German is a compact slugger who likes to grind on his opponents in the clinch.

Kujundzie is the more skillful fighter in this bout, however, and that could be his key to picking up the decision victory.

70kg: Rosario Presti vs. Anatoly Moiseev

Anatoly Moiseev is an undefeated kickboxing prospect fighting out of Krimsk, Russia. The 26-year-old is 13-0 in his kickboxing career and has won all six of his fights in 2015. He fought on the GLORY 20 Super Fight Series fight card against German kickboxer Max Brumert. Moiseev landed a hard leg kick and immediately followed it with a right high kick to the temple that dropped Brumert. With Brumert injured from the low kick, the referee halted the bout at just 38 seconds into round one. Moiseev most recently fought Romanian prospect Cristian Milea at Kunlun Fight: Battle in Sochi in August, taking the split decision after a competitive three-round affair.

Rosario “The Sicilian Don” Presti is an Italian Muay Thai fighter with a long tenure of fighting in French Muay Thai and European kickboxing fights for over a decade. The 30-year-old K-1 veteran has not fought since he lost a four-round decision at the hands of Alexei Ulyanov at the Tatneft Cup 2014 Final in September 2014. Prior to the loss, Presti had won his previous three fights with the promotion. He defeated Czech fighter Michal Krcmar, Slovakian kickboxer Egon Racz and Holland’s Malic Groenberg, whom he knocked down with leg kicks in the second round of their July 2014 bout.

Presti stays true to his Muay Thai style, standing tall and looking to always stay in range to exchange punches. He presses forward, only moving back when defending against his opponent’s strikes. He blocks strikes while planted instead of moving his feet and head.

The footwork and head movement will belong to Moiseev in this fight. The Russian carries a tight, technical style. Moiseev uses his footwork to stay just outside of his opponent’s strikes. He remains just inches away, where he is able to use his own large arsenal of spinning kicks.

Both men are poised to clash in the center of the ring, with neither fighter looking for a way out of a brawl. Presti likes to throw his right hand and right middle kick. He targets the body frequently, using his uppercuts and pressure to get inside and land hooks.

Moiseev has a solid right hand and a kick-heavy offensive attack. Expect all action in the opening bout of the evening, and expect Moiseev to emerge with the decision.

About The Author

Zach Aittama
Staff Writer

Zach Aittama became a fan of martial arts at an early age. Hooked on the sport after one experience, Zach started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai as a teenager. Watching the sport only increased his interest, building a fascination for combat sports around the globe. Years of training and amateur bouts later, Zach continues to train while working and attending school full-time. Zach started writing for Fight Sport Asia in 2014 and joined the Combat Press staff in July of 2015.

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