Maslobojev Def. Bridgewater, El Ameri Wins GP
King of Kings kickboxing held an event on Saturday, March 18, featuring a heavyweight main event and a one-night, four-man middleweight contenders’ grand prix tournament.
There was a feeling the main event may not last the full way with two heavy-hitting fighters, but it went further than expected. Thomas Bridgewater wasn’t the favorite, but he came right after Sergeij Maslobojev. Bridgewater was aggressive, attacking “Sledgehammer” Maslobojev with combinations and flying knees. Maslobojev fired back to start the second, delivering hard shots of his own and knocking Bridgewater off his game. But with about 50 seconds left in the second round, Bridgewater threw a jumping knee to Maslobojev’s head, out of nowhere, to score a knockdown. But Maslobojev got up and got through the end of the second round.
In the final round, Maslobojev seemed to due more damage, but the judges ruled an extra round was needed to determine a winner. About a minute into the extra three-minute round, Maslobojev clearly damaged Bridgewater, as Bridgewater became more defensive. Bridgewater’s back was forced to the ropes a few times in the final minutes, and Maslobojev was given the extra-round unanimous decision.
Daniel Forsberg and Karolis Liukaitis got off to a fast start in the opening minute of their middleweight grand prix bout. Liukaitis focused on his kicking early on, pressuring Forsberg. Forsberg recovered, putting up an even fight with his opposition and charging at and busting open Liukaitis at the end of the first round. The referee called for the doctor halfway into the second round to look at the cut, but the doctor said Liukaitis was well enough to continue.
After bringing out every weapon possible in the second round, Forsberg continued his dominance into the third, but faced some bumps in the road when Liukaitis came back in the second half of round three, roughing up Forsberg’s knee and giving him a cut. But it was too little and too late, as Forsberg was given the decision win.
In the other middleweight grand prix semifinal, Vitalij Buhrjakov seemed to come out aggressive, while Ali El Ameri was more relaxed, sometimes dropping his hands. El Ameri stepped things up with more aggressive attacks within the last minute. A little more than a minute into the second, El Ameri unleashed a left head kick that came out of nowhere, knocking Buhrjakov silly, and El Ameri sealed his spot in the finals.
El Ameri did not need much in the final bout, and one hard knee caused Forsberg to collapse in a corner, bringing the fight to an end in just 25 seconds. As a result, El Ameri earns a future KOK middleweight title shot.
Theodosiadis Panagiotis faced KOK heavyweight champion Julius Mocka in a special non-title fight. Mocka dominated the opening round, scoring a knockdown with about a minute remaining via a hard knee to the face, but Panagiotis somehow managed to survive. Mocka knocked down Panagiotis again in the second with to two knees to his left leg. Panagiotis survived that, but another low kick from Mocka within the closing seconds of the second round hurt him and brought the bout to an end.
In the lone welterweight bout of the evening, Youssef El Hadami faced off with KOK lightweight champion Tadas Jokus in another special non-title bout. Jokus came out as the more aggressive fighters, trapping El Hadami against the ropes three times during the opening round. The bout was delayed after the opening round because the ring’s top rope was too loose. The combinations continued to fly from Jokus, and El Hadami was forced back to the ropes multiple times again in the second. El Hadami survived, however, and opened the third round with a head kick that rocked Jokus. Halfway through the third, El Hadami found a weakness in the KOK champion with a couple of knees to the body, but Jokus came back with a few hard hands. Eli Hadami continued to fire with the knees, as both fighters fired out combinations hard in the final 90 seconds of the bout.
The judges ruled an extra round was needed. With a very active crowd behind him, the fighters went back and forth in having control of the round, but Jokus took over in the last minute to win the extra round and bout. Both fighters received a standing ovation after the bout.
KOK 45 Official Results:
Heavyweight bout: Sergeij Maslobojev def. Thomas Bridgewater via extra-round unanimous decision
Middleweight Grand Prix Final bout: Ali El Ameri def. Daniel Forsberg via KO (Rd. 1, 0:25)
Heavyweight bout: Julius Mocka def. Theodosiadis Panagiotis via TKO (Rd. 2, 2:57)
Welterweight bout: Tadas Jokus def. Youssef El Hadami via extra-round unanimous decision
Middleweight Grand Prix bout: Ali El Ameri def. Vitalij Buhrjakov via KO (Rd. 2, 1:15)
Middleweight Grand Prix bout: Daniel Forsberg def. Karolis Liukaitis via unanimous decision