On Saturday, Sept. 24, one of the world’s top kickboxing promotions brought a special event to Beijing, China. Kunlun Fight 53 featured four championship fights, two quarterfinal match-ups in the biggest tournament in kickboxing, and some of the promotions biggest stars. The event marked the opening of the promotion’s newly constructed arena and gym, the Kunlun Fight World Kickboxing Culture Center.
In the main event of the evening, one of the world’s most well-known kickboxers, Buakaw Banchamek, returned to Muay Thai rules against talented Frenchman Dylan Salvador in a battle for Kunlun Fight’s 70-kilogram Muay Thai world title. Buakaw had won four fights – all of which were under the Kunlun Fight banner – since being upset by Russian prospect Khayal Dzhaniev at Topking World Series TK4 in July 2015. Buakaw’s most recent win was a first-round knockout over Chinese prospect Wang Weihao at Kunlun Fight 45. Salvador holds knockout victories over Aleksei Fedoseev and Roman Babaev in the past three months. Salvador returned to the promotion for the first time since being one of only three men to defeat the world’s best kickboxer in the past five years.
Speaking of the top pound-for-pound kickboxer in the world, Sittichai Sitsongpeenong returned to the ring against Buakaw’s training partner and 2015 Kunlun Fight 70-kilogram tournament semifinalist, Superbon Banchamek. The two previously met in the semifinals of the tournament that took place earlier this year at Kunlun Fight 37. Sittichai won the GLORY lightweight title from Robin van Roosmalen at GLORY 31 and continued his path towards back-to-back Kunlun Fight 70-kilogram tournament wins with a victory over Diogo Neves at Kunlun Fight 50. Superbon earned his place in the tournament’s field of eight with a victory over Khayal Dzhaniev at Kunlun Fight 48.
The event aired live on Kunlun Fight’s App and YY.com.