Each month, Combat Press will take a look back at all of the action of the previous month in the kickboxing and Muay Thai world. With the popularity of the sport highest in the Eastern Hemisphere, our coverage will take us to Asia, Europe and back to the West Hemisphere from Las Vegas to Rio de Janeiro. The monthly review will be released in parts that cover the sports of kickboxing and Muay Thai, with all of the results, announcements and videos available for your consumption. Part one can be found here.
In part two, we take a look back at all of the big knockouts, huge announcements and full event results from all of the happenings in the kickboxing world in September. The month featured events from the leading kickboxing organizations, including GLORY, K-1, Kunlun, SuperKombat, Topking World Series and many others. There was plenty of movement in the rankings as many of the top fighters were in action in promotions around the world.
Reviewing the Biggest Events in September
Kunlun Fight 30/Topking TK 5
Kunlun Fighting Championship and Topking World Series combined their promotional efforts for a trip to Zhoukou, Henan, China, on Sept. 4 for Kunlun Fight 30/Topking World Series TK 5. The event featured four of the Topking World Series 70kg 16-man tournament quarterfinal bouts. The diverse lineup of competitors featured one of the world’s most popular Thai fighters, Kem Sitsongpeenong. The multiple-time Thailand, WMC, WBC and Rajadamnern Stadium champion drew 24-year-old Italian Muay Thai champion Martin Meoni in the tournament’s opening round. Kem put the Italian fighter down early in the first frame with a check left hook. He kept pressing Meoni after the knockdown, landing strong punches to the body before another perfectly placed left hook put Meoni down again. Meoni couldn’t collect his senses as Kem continued to pressure forward for the finish, landing stiff jabs and strong elbow strikes in the clinch to end the round. The ringside doctor expressed concern over what looked to be an injured jaw for Meoni. The 31-year-old Kem earned the 135th win of his storied professional career.
In other quarterfinal action, China’s Pu Dongdong battled with Morocco’s Nabil Boujenan in a back-and-forth affair. Boujenan was off to a hot start, landing in combination and even pinning the Chinese fighter against the ropes and landing at will to the head and body. The aggression on part of the Moroccan fighter didn’t last long. Dongdong pushed back in the second round. The 22-year-old Chinese fighter earned his 40th career victory by landing powerful shots throughout the final two frames. Dongdong switched the location of his strikes, landing to the body and coming back with the left hook to the body before slamming home his right hook. Boujenan was able to counter on occasion, but he couldn’t keep pace with the Chinese fighter’s volume.
Young foreign prospects Sergio Giovanni Mazzetti and Carlos De Celis went the distance after trading heavy kicks and punches throughout their three-round quarterfinal bout. Peru’s Mazzetti landed the sharper low kicks and never let De Celis feel comfortable landing one or two strikes without having to worry about the counter strike. Spain’s De Celis landed a strong left middle kick throughout the fight despite Mazzetti chopping down his legs for most of the bout. A small cut marked the face of Mazzetti, who had his hand raised through the use of his superior boxing and kicking skills.
The fourth and final quarterfinal bout featured Ukraine’s Sergey Kulyaba defeating Japan’s Nichikawa Tomoyuki by decision. The 23-year-old Ukrainian fighter pushed the pace throughout, landing effective straight punches and using the clinch to avoid counter strikes while coming in.
Other highlights on the card included heavyweight Steve “Panda” Banks defeating Chinese fighter Asihati by unanimous decision. Youth featured frequently on the card, especially for the Chinese fighters, including Nuerla, who defeated 29-year-old Azerbaijan fighter Perviz Abdullayev.
Former Lumpini Stadium champion Aikpracha Meenayothin wasted no time in dispatching of Belorussian Pavel Dzialendzik. Aikpracha ran through the 24-year-old with aggressive clinch work. Aikpracha put Dzialendzik down with a strong left hand that he followed up with another. The referee counted out the eight count for no reason, as Dzialendizk was already out of his senses.
Apisak Fight Factory Gym fought to a draw with the grizzled Chinese veteran Zhang Chunyu. Apisak looked to land sharp, effective strikes, while the Chinese fighter picked up his aggression in the latter two rounds.
Thai lightweight Burneng couldn’t withstand the power of Chinese fighter Zheng Zhaoyu.
Wang Weihao defeated Serbian fighter Marko Adomvic by split decision in a lightweight bout.
Wu Lin Feng Championship 2015
Wu Lin Feng World Championship returned to Guangzhou, China, on Saturday, Sept. 5, with a one-night, four-man 63kg tournament featuring 25-year-old Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym, one of the top-ranked fighters in the world. Pakorn defeated 19-year-old Chinese fighter Wang Zhiwei in his semifinal bout. Pakorn used great defense, footwork and head movement to showcase superior skill and technique while avoiding his opponent’s strikes and landing his own.
Chinese fighter Wang Fangkun decisioned Holland’s Pietro Doorje in the event’s other semifinal bout. The 27-year-old Chinese fighter used effective aggression to land with a higher volume than his 29-year-old opponent. The size difference in the fight played a factor with the use of the Chinese fighter’s unorthodox kicking approach, which included an endless stream of axe kicks.
The final started quickly with Wang pressing Pakorn. Pakorn landed a big right hand before the Chinese fighter returned his own right-hand punch. Pakorn used the clinch to great effectiveness, avoiding the very aggressive striking of Wang on his way to landing counters. Pakorn took over in the second round and pushed the pace, landing with more frequency and closing out the victory while holding back an aggressive fighter. The impressive tournament performance kept Pakorn firmly entrenched as a top fighter under 65 kilograms.
In the evening’s superfight lineup, top-10 fighter Fang Bian defeated Belorussian Aliaksandr Sviryd by decision. Bian started to slug it out with Sviryd before he took the upper hand in the latter two rounds.
Dong Wenfei scored an impressive knockout victory over 22-year-old Japanese fighter Masashi Fukuda. Wongfei pressed early in the fight, throwing a strong right low kick and follow-up right over the top. The two fighters exchanged punches until the young Japanese fighter overextended on a left hook. The lazy strike was caught with a powerful right-hand counter from Dong Wenfei that put the Japanese fight out.
Another battle of Japan vs. China pitted 22-year-old Chinese fighter Ti Yinghua against 25-year-old Nobuyuki Hoshino. Yinghua put an end to Hoshino’s night quickly after a series of big punching exchanges. Yinghua landed a right-leg spinning back kick that turned the lights out of the Japanese fighter.
Female fighter Gong Yanli from China took a dominant decision win over tough Japanese fighter Ketko Matsukawa.
KRUSH returned to a sold-out Korakuen Hall on Saturday, Sept. 12, for KRUSH.58.
Hirotaka Urabe defended his 60-kilogram KRUSH title against 28-year-old Chinese fighter Zhuang Shuson. The 26-year-old Urabe, who trained in Thailand for the bout, used his techniques to outclass the Chinese fighter on his way to victory. A series of right straights and body punches forced the referee to halt the bout just 44 seconds into the third frame, giving Urabe his 31st professional victory. Urabe now faces his brother, K-1 60-kilogram champion Koya Urabe, later this year at K-1 World GP 2015: The Championship on Nov. 21.
In the evening’s co-main event, KRUSH Women’s 52-kilogram champion “Akira” Syuri continued to show her promise as a kickboxer with a victory over former J-Girls flyweight champion Tomoko. The Filipino-Japanese professional wrestler Syuri knocked her opponent down four times throughout the bout to earn lopsided judges’ scorecards of 30-23, 30-22, 30-22.
Yuta Otaki returned to brutally knocking out his opponents after he lost his KRUSH 55-kilogram title shot against Takeru at KRUSH.51 in February 2015. Otaki started to land over the knees and kicks of the 30-year-old Masashi Tanaka. The victory came when an Otaki right hand put Tanaka to sleep in dramatic fashion. The knockout was Otaki’s 16th career win and fourth knockout victory in his past five fights in KRUSH.
The promotion celebrated the exciting career of Naoki Ishikawa. Ishikawa began his career when he was just 15 years old. The veteran of the All-Japan Pro Kickboxing Federation and K-1 made consistent appearances in the KRUSH organization.
Go Kato and Yuki Matsuno fought to a draw in a back-and-forth 60-kilogram fight. Kato landed punches while Matsuno landed heavy kicks. Kato started to land his low kicks while continuing to enter punching exchanges with Matsuno. Kato looked to have edged out the decision victory, but he would only receive one of the judges’ scorecards after Matsuno fought his way back into the fight in the later rounds. Despite not getting the win, Kato halted his four-fight losing streak under the KRUSH banner.
The 25-year-old Jin Hirayama stopped Takehiko Saito with a second-round technical knockout, earning his first KRUSH win with a left hook, right low kick, left hook combination that put the 33-year-old fighter down and out.
On Saturday, Sept. 19, Bellator MMA and GLORY kickboxing held a joint event dubbed Dynamite. The five-fight card from San Jose, Calif., featured both the Bellator cage and GLORY ring.
The main event of the evening was the GLORY light heavyweight world championship between Brazilian Saulo Cavalari and Congo native Zack Mwekassa. Just like in their first bout at GLORY 18 in November 2014, Mwekassa came out aggressive with power punching to the body. With a lead heading into the second round, Mwekassa furthered it when Cavalari was deducted a point for holding too long in the clinch. The setback didn’t deter Cavalari. He got right back into his game plan in the third and following championship rounds. Cavalari chopped down the legs and hit the midsection of Mwekassa with strong leg kicks while defending the heavy-hitting punches from the Congolese warrior. Cavalari fought his way to a controversial majority decision victory, with scores of 48-46, 48-46 and 47-47, after five hard-fought rounds to improve his record to 32 wins with only two defeats. The loss was Mwekassa’s second to the GLORY champion, the first coming by way of head-kick knockout just seconds into the third frame of their GLORY 18 tournament final.
In the kickboxing co-main event, Bellator MMA welterweights battled in the GLORY ring for the first time. Top-10 welterweight kickboxer Paul “Semtex Daley fought Fernando Gonzalez in a 175-pound catchweight bout when the Californian missed weight. Daley didn’t quite live up to expectations in his GLORY debut, finding it difficult to figure out the unorthodox striking style of Gonzalez. Daley did, however, land the more effective strikes throughout the three rounds. The win was Daley’s 21st in the kickboxing ring, but fighters like Daley and Joe Schilling have talked about switching between the rule sets of MMA and kickboxing being a difficult transition.
Keri Anne Taylor-Melendez earned her third professional victory and first win under the GLORY banner with a dominant decision over Washington-based MMA fighter Hadley Griffith. Taylor-Melendez showed superior technique and skill throughout all three rounds in a fight that was a blowout from the opening bell.
Serhiy Adamchuk earned himself a title shot against GLORY featherweight champion Gabriel Vargas with a win over Uzbekistan fighter Anvar Boynazarov. The rough and tumble Adamchuk went all in against Boynazarov, a gritty fighter in his own right. The two men battled back and forth until the final bell. The Ukrainian fighter had his hand raised in victory, the 29th of his professional career.
Kickboxing veterans Jose Palacios and T.J. Arcangel battled to a split decision after three back-and-forth rounds. Palacios earned his 45th win with the judges’ decision.
In the evening’s main event, the Combat Press No. 3-ranked featherweight Minoru “Philip” Kimura fought Ren Hiramoto. Kimura earned a victory on the heels of superior technical abilities. The win set up a title shot for the young Brazilian fighter, who will be facing K-1 World GP 65-kilogram champion Kaew Fairtex at K-1 World GP 2015 The Championship on Nov. 21 in Tokyo. Minoru previously defeated Fairtex in a non-title affair at K-1 World GP 2015 on Jan. 18.
The evening’s co-main event was a 55-kilogram title eliminator bout between French fighter Charles Bongiovanni and Australian fighter Dan Williams. Bongiovanni didn’t waste any time in the bout, stopping Williams with a left uppercut in the first round. Bongiovanni torqued his entire body into the punch, knocking his opponent onto his back, unconscious. The win earned the Frenchman his place opposite K-1 World GP 55-kilogram champion Takeru at K-1 World GP 2015 The Championship.
Speaking of the 55-kilogram champion, he fought 60-kilogram champion Koya Urabe in a two-round “champion vs. champion” exhibition bout. The two men had fun with the contest, starting with a slower pace in the early going of the round, but picking it right back up at the end of the rounds in what was an exciting fight where both men were swinging. The pair compete at the upcoming K-1 World GP event in November.
Lightweights Kazuya Akimoto and Shintaro Matsukura took decision victories over Keiji and Tian Xin, respectively. Taisuke Degai stopped Yuichiro Ito in the first round, and Namito Izawa defeated Satoshi Katashima by extra-round decision in 55-kilogram affairs.
Lion Fight 24
On Friday, Sept. 25, Lion Fight promotions returned to the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., for Lion Fight 24. The fight card featured two title fights and many Lion Fight veterans.
The main event of the evening was a 160-pound catchweight bout between Americans Ky Hollenbeck and Richard Abraham. Hollenbeck earned the technical decision win when a clash of heads halted the bout before the final bell in the fourth round. The decision was lopsided on the judges’ scorecards in the direction of Hollenbeck after both men had the fight stopped to check cuts due to accidental head butts. Hollenbeck’s eye was the worse for the wear, but he kept an aggressive pace that earned him the decision over the course of four rounds.
Ognjen Topic earned a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Stephen Meleady to capture the vacant Lion Fight lightweight title. In a grueling affair, both men fought to the bitter end. Topic battered the body of Meleady with heavy kicks to the midsection throughout the fight. Topic piled on the damage in the championship rounds to earn the decision victory.
Promising 25-year-old Thai fighter Jo Nattawut earned a third-round knockout victory over Charlie Peters to win the Lion Fight super welterweight title. The finish came when Nattawut used two downward chopping elbows to the back of the head of Peters. Nattawut’s foe couldn’t take the beating and the referee mercifully halted the bout. Nattawut showcased superior technique, speed and power, damaging the legs and body of Peters whenever he landed a strike of his own. Nattawut took to the microphone after the bout and called out one of Muay Thai’s best and most popular fighters, Yodsanklai Fairtex.
Gaston Bolanos continued his undefeated streak with a spinning back elbow that dropped Ben Yelle just under a minute into the second round. Yelle couldn’t continue after he was severely staggered from the elbow strike. However, the technical knockout didn’t live up to the brutal finish from the fight before.
Chris Mauceri made his opponent, Nicolas Parlanti, miss with a spinning technique before crushing his own elbow into the chin of his opponent. The spinning back elbow landed perfectly on Parlanti, halting the bout in the third round and giving Mauceri one of the best knockouts of the month of September.
Kunlun Fight 31
On Monday, Sept. 28, Kunlun Fighting Championship returned to Bangkok, Thailand, for the first time in almost two years for Kunlun Fight 31: Bangkok Fight Night. The mixed-rules card featured some of the world’s top fighters. The Middleweight World Championship Tournament continued with Group A bouts in the 70-kilogram weight class.
Superbon Banchamek never let Zheng Zhaoyu feel comfortable, landing hard right low kicks to the outside of the left leg of the Chinese fighter. Superbon controlled the distance in the first round, utilizing the front and rear leg teep and straight punches. Superbon was met with an aggressive Zhaoyu in the second round. The distance of the contest may have changed, but the outcome didn’t. The Thai fighter crushed three heavy knees into the right side of Zhaoyu’s body before the third knee put him down. Zhaoyu survived the first knockdown, but it was only a matter of time before Superbon turned it up for the kill. Superbon landed a hard left knee before switching and landing a quick right knee to the midsection. The final blow came shortly after when another left knee put Zhaoyu down for the count, moving Superbon on to the next round.
The world’s second-best lightweight fighter Sittichai Sitsongpeenong returned to the ring after a busy August. He met Spanish kickboxer Jonay Risco, who recently defeated former top-10er Andy Souwer at Enfusion Live #27. Sittichai showed the superior skill set on his way to a decision victory. He will face GLORY lightweight champion Robin Van Roosmalen for his title at GLORY 25 in Milan, Italy, on Nov. 6.
Female strawweights were in tournament action of their own. In one quarterfinal bout, the Netherland’s Isis Verbeek defeated China’s Zhao Xinrui by decision. China’s Xu Zhurong took a decision victory over Romania’s Delia in the other quarterfinal bout.
Phuket Top Team’s Jonathan Tuhu couldn’t land one of his patented viral-video, tornado-kick knockouts against Chinese fighter Bai Lishuai. Instead, Tuhu lost by decision.
Russian fighter Vladimir Shuliak defeated Chinese fighter Zhao Yan by majority decision in a lightweight contest. Thai fighter Petchtanong Banchamek defeated Chinese fighter Gu Hui by decision in a Muay Thai-rules contest. Australian middleweight Milad Farzad defeated Thai fighter Namphol Nampakdee by unanimous decision in a Muay Thai-rules fight.
The Best of the Rest
Benjamin Adegbuyi Plows Through Competition in Russia
On Friday, Sept. 4, Tatneft Cup held another event in the promotion’s 2015 series in the Tatneft Arena in Kazan, Russia.
The Tatneft Cup 2015 Final featured a headlining bout between up-and-coming Ukrainian prospect Roman Kryklia and Cameroon’s Daniel Lentie. Kryklia didn’t take any time in dispatching of Lentie when he turned up the aggression early in the fight. Kryklia landed a series of knees to the head followed by two right hands and one more knee that halted the bout when Lentie couldn’t fight on. The 23-year-old has shown promise and a surprising athletic frame for being 6-foot-7.
Benjamin Adegbuyi is the No. 4-ranked heavyweight in the Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings. He met late-replacement MMA fighter Alexandr Soldatkin in the co-main event of the evening. The fight was over almost as soon as it started. Adegbuyi pressed forward and showed why he is the favorite to win the upcoming heavyweight tournament at GLORY 24 on Oct. 9. Adegbuyi sensed the finish in the third and final round, pressing forward with a relentless series of punches that put the Russian fighter down and out.
Two tournament finals in the 70- and 80-kilogram divisions highlighted the undercard. Timur Aylyarov defeated Alexander Dmitrenko by decision in the 80-kilogram tournament final. Romanian fighter Claudiu Badoi took a decision in the 70-kilogram tournament final over Israel’s Itay Gershon.
Exciting Russian lightweight prospect Anatoly Moiseev defeated Italian fighter Rosario Presti by decision. Russian kickboxer Kirill Kornilov defeated Algerian fighter Marcello Adriaansz by fourth-round technical knockout when he connected with a big right straight and left hook.
UFC Veteran Guto Inocente Successful in WGP 26 Main Event
On Saturday, Sept. 5, South America’s large kickboxing promotion held WGP Kickboxing #26 in Parana, Brazil.
The evening’s main event featured former UFC fighter Guto Inocente returning to kickboxing to face second-ranked WGP heavyweight Felipe Micheletti in a WGP heavyweight title bout. Inocente earned his 47th professional kickboxing win with a five-round decision over Micheletti.
Middleweight Junior Alpha defeated Rafael “Kratos” by decision in the final of the one-night, four-man title challenger grand prix. Alpha had defeated Ariel Machado by decision in one semifinal bout, while Kratos had decisioned Ricardo Soneca in the other.
Featherweight Barbara Nepomuceno defeated Talita Moreno by first-round knockout when a big right hand dropped Moreno early in the fight.
Artur Kyshenko Continues Case for Holzken Fight
One of the world’s best welterweight fighters, Artur Kyshenko, earned another victory on his way to a No. 1 ranking in his division. He may not earn that spot until he fights GLORY welterweight champion Nieky Holzken, but he certainly has a case for it. Kyshenko earned his 180th professional win when he handed the previously undefeated Cedric Tousch his first loss in 47 fights. Kyshenko showed his superior skill throughout the five-round main event of the Xplosion Fight Series event in Estonia on Saturday, Sept. 12.
Team-based Kickboxing Tournament “The Circle” Debuts
On Saturday, Sept. 12, kickboxing promotion The Circle made its promotional debut at the Vall d-Hebron Pavilion in Barcelona, Spain. Spain swept Australia in team competition, while Thailand fought to a draw with Italy.
The biggest upset of the night featured media member “Muay Farang” Mathias Gallo Cassarino defeating Channel 7 stadium champion Rungravee Sasiprapa, a veteran of 125 fights. The 21-year-old Italian Gabriele Casella gained his 40th career victory with an upset of Peemai Jitmuangnon, a veteran of over 100 fights. The 21-year-old Thai fighter Chomanee Sor Taehiran turned the record around for Thailand with a victory over her bantamweight opponent, Donatella Panu. Littewada Sittikul earned his 91st career win when he defeated Fabio Di Marco.
In the other team match-up, Spanish bantamweight Eva Naranjo earned her 93rd victory with a win over Australia’s Sam “Nanu” Brown. Former It’s Showtime champion Javier Hernández defeated Michael Thompson in a lightweight bout. Welterweight Hichem Menaouine defeated Brendon Harris. Middleweight Francis Javier Jorge earned his 40th career victory with a win over former WMF Muay Thai champion Rob Powdrill.
Hinata Drops Andy Souwer from the Top 10
One of the biggest upsets of the month took place on Wednesday, Sept. 16, when Andy Souwer fell to Hinata Watanabe at Rebels 38 in Tokyo. The fight that dropped Souwer from the Combat Press Kickboxing Rankings was a rematch of a 2010 Shootoboxing bout that Souwer won with a standing rear-naked choke in under a minute of the first round. Watanabe’s revenge five years later came with loud applause from the Japanese crowd at the sold-out Korakuen Hall. Hinata has continued to improve upon his resume with the decision win over Souwer being the biggest win of his career.
Jason Wilnis Keeps Fighting Up the Ranks
Final Fighting Championships returned to Tips Arena in Linz, Austria, on Friday, Sept. 18, for FFC 19. The 15-fight card featured both kickboxing and MMA-rules bouts and included former UFC veteran Alessio Sakara and top-10 middleweight kickboxer Jason Wilnis. The No. 4-ranked Wilnis proved to be among the best middleweights in the world with another dominant victory overseas. Wilnis destroyed the legs of his Austrian opponent David Keclik, dropping him multiple times with chopping leg kicks. Wilnis landed a string of heavy combinations throughout the first two rounds. Keclik had enough between the second and third rounds, giving Wilnis his 24th professional victory in only his 29th professional bout. Wilnis next fights Joe Schilling in the main event of GLORY 24 on Friday, Oct. 9.
Brutal knockouts highlighted the undercard. Serbian middleweight Stevan Živković landed with an endless barrage of punches to the head and body of Henry Bannert in the second round. Czech lightweight Tigran Movsisyan ended Croatian Teo Mikelić’s night with a big left-hook knockdown followed by a swarm of heavy leather that forced the referee to call a halt to the contest in the third round. Croatian heavyweight Tomislav Čikotić earned a first-round technical knockout victory over Greece’s Christos Sioulas. Croatian light heavyweight Antonio Plazibat earned a second-round knockout of Czech kickboxer Daniel Skvor.
Tayfun Ozcan Cannot Be Stopped
Enfusion Live invaded Malaga, Spain, on Saturday, Sept. 19, for Enfusion Live #31. The event featured one of kickboxing’s most promising prospects, Tayfun Ozcan, fighting hometown fighter Fran Palenzuela for the Enfusion 72.5-kilogram title. The 23-year-old Ozcan continued his progression with another dominant victory that was capped off with a walk-off left hook from hell. The punch that finally put the Spaniard away and won the Turkish fighter the title came in the fifth and final round. With over 65 victories in his surprisingly young career, Ozcan has fighters waiting in line to stop his winning streak.
French lightweight Philippe Salmon defeated two fighters on his way to the four-man, one-night 70-kilogram tournament victory. Salmon met Spanish kickboxer Adam Martins in the opening round, taking all of an extra round to move on to the finals. On the opposite side of the bracket, Colombian fighter Christopher Mena earned his 43rd career win when he took a decision over Thai fighter Beau Superpro Samui, a veteran of over 100 fights. Salmon would get the better of Mena in the finals, earning the decision victory and his 63rd career win after three hard-fought rounds.
A battle of borders highlighted the prelims, as hometown fighter Ruben Lee earned his 41st professional win when he defeated Portugal’s Gil Silva by three-round decision.
Topking World Series TK 6 Tournament
On Sunday, Sept. 20, Topking World Series debuted in Laos for Topking World Series: TK 6. The event featured the other leg of the 16-man, 70-kilogram tournament featuring fighters from all over the world. The fight card featured tournament bouts between Thai fighter Dejirit Poptheeratham and Belarusian Dmitry Varets, Russian Khayal Dzhaniev versus Albania’s Eddy Paci, Swiss kickboxer Jimmy Vienot versus Congolese fighter Aymu Nayanesh and Australian Tass Tsitsiras versus Iranian kickboxer Saeid Chahardouli.
The fight card featured four heavyweight tournament bouts preceding the heavyweight superfight between Ukrainian Pavel Zhyravlev and French kickboxer Freddy Kemayo. Zhyravlev defeated Kemayo with a third-round knockout, moving his stock up in the heavyweight rankings to just outside the top 15.
In the first heavyweight tournament quarterfinal, Lithuanian Julius Mocka took a split decision over Romanian fighter Sebastian Ciobanu. In the second quarterfinal bout, local fighter Stepan Kyrlig defeated Emidio Barone by third-round knockout. In the third quarterfinal bout, Polish heavyweight Michal Turynski earned a decision win over Germany’s Vladimir Tok. The fourth and final quarterfinal bout featured the Czech Republic’s Tomáš Hron stopping Holland’s Colin George in the second round by way of knockout.
On the undercard, Moldova’s Stanislav Renita earned a four-man, one-night 65-kilogram tournament victory with wins over Poland’s Dariusz Skocjek and Lithuania’s Igor Osinin, both by decision. Osinin had defeated Italy’s Andrea Serra by split decision in the other semifinal bout.
Ranked 71-kilogram King of Kings fighter Cristian Dorel defeated Lithuania’s Ilmiras Churmatulinas by split decision.
ACB Change in the System
Mixed martial arts promotion Absolute Championship Berkut made a move to the kickboxing field with ACB – KB 2 on Sunday, Sept. 27, in Vityaz, Russia. The event featured the continuation of the ACB Grand Prix in multiple weight categories.
Russian fighter Saifullah Hambahadov earned a unanimous decision victory over Serbian fighter Alexander Topic in one of the 71-kilogram semifinal bouts. Kazbek Zubairaev moved on in the 71-kilogram tournament with a win over fellow Russian fighter Maxim Smirnov by decision. Serbian fighter Alexander Konovalov defeated Russian Umar Pashaev in a 61-kilogram semifinal bout. Russian fighter Yakub Bersanukaev defeated Holland’s Sergio Wielzen in the other 61-kilogram semifinal bout. Belarusian Valentin Slavikovsky earned a unanimous decision win over Serbia’s Stefan Andjelkovic in a heavyweight semifinal bout.
WBC Muay Thai World Title Unification in Tokyo
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, the New Japan Kickboxing Federation returned to Japan for NJKF 2015 6th. The WBC Muay Thai World Super Lightweight title was on the line when Aranchai Pran26 Kiatpatarapan met Japanese fighter Tetusya Yamato in the evening’s main event. Yamato was coming off a big technical knockout victory over Kevin Ross at Lion Fight 21 in March 2015. Aranchai dropped the Japanese fighter with a right hook in the very first round. The Thai fighter would fight his way to a unanimous decision and the WBC title.
The WBC Muay Thai International Super Bantamweight title was on the line when No. 15-ranked WBC fighter Keisuke Miyamoto defeated No. 16-ranked Alexis Baratrau by second-round knockout. The finishing blow was a heavy left hook that rattled the liver of the French fighter, earning the Japanese fighter the WBC title.
In other Muay Thai-rules action, Momotaro defeated WBC Muay Thai Nippon featherweight champion Sasara Ayumu with a fifth-round cut stoppage due to elbow strikes.
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