What a year it’s been for Karate Combat!
The action we witnessed in the Pit was nothing short of remarkable in 2022, and now it’s time to reflect on some of the biggest moments the league has produced.
We’ve had knockouts, upsets, and all out wars. Coach Nick will be counting down his Top 5 Fights of 2022. Continue reading below and let us know on KC's Discord if you agree!
KAVAKOPOULOU vs ASESOR
Kavakopoulou plants a foot on Asesor at Karate Combat 36
It was hard to tell if Christina Kavakopoulou was putting on a karate clinic, or a judo seminar.
Her kuzushi waza (off balancing techniques) were crisp, clean, and absolutely relentless. Christina has been known for her desire to get inside the 50/50 range and let her hands fly, so to see such beautiful takedowns the entire fight was a special treat, and one that must have been difficult for her opponent to prepare for.
No opportunity in the clinch was wasted, as Christina was constantly looking for trips, throws, and takedowns. From a distance, Kavakopoulou connected with the most impressive spinning hook kick I’ve seen in the pit so far.
SOUZA vs SKRIVERS
"Six Round Spectacle"
A Favorite Technique of Souza's: The Capoeira Hand-plant Head-kick
When it comes to Bruno Souza and Edgars Skrivers, fight fans may struggle to find a more action packed addition to this list.
One former champion: Skrivers. And Souza? Certainly looks to be a future champion.
These two pushed the action for their scheduled 5 rounds as the main event in KC36, and then went into a SIXTH "sudden victory" round.
Exhausted as they were, both competitors squared off and returned shots at one another for the entire extra round. Skrivers walked away the winner, and so did fight fans.
THORPE vs KUKULICIC
"The Slam Heard 'Round the World"
Mitchell Thorpe gets Taken for a Ride by Lazar Kukulicic at KC31 (KCS4E1)
There is no more iconic use of the Pit wall than when Lazar Kukulicic ran up it with Mitchell Thorpe on his shoulders.
Lazar lept off the wall and slammed Thorpe onto the floor!
This occurred in the first round, and the fight somehow managed to keep this frantic energy the entire way through. Sweeps, throws, spinning kicks, and rolling thunders were plentiful, and both fighters demonstrated techniques that few other fighters would dream of attempting.
The action sequences in this fight were at such a high caliber, one could assume it was choreographed by a professional stunt team. This war between Thorpe and Kukulicic could arguably be one of the most enticing fights to show your friends if you're trying to get them hooked on the Karate Combat promotion. With action like that, who could resist wanting to see more?
ROCHA vs QUAYHAGEN
"Champ vs Champ Super Fight"
Two Golden-belted Warriors Faced Off at KC35
Winning a fight against ANYONE on the immensely talented KC roster is hard... Becoming champion in your division? That accolade is reserved solely for the very best.
So, what kind of hard work, discipline, and skill is required to beat the champions of two different weight divisions?
Luiz Rocha and Joshua Quayhagen battled intensely for five rounds in Karate Combat's first Super Fight.
Lightweight champ Rocha seemed to have the welterweight champ figured out, punishing him for the first three rounds. But the grit, endurance, and resolve of Josh Quayhagen enabled him completely turn the tables in rounds 4 and 5.
It took every ounce of Luiz Rocha’s toughness and will to survive the championship rounds, and that effort paid off with a decision victory when he did. It was an incredible fight.
AGHAYEV vs DANIELS
"The Karate G.O.A.T."
Aghayev Closed a Gap in Reach and Full-Contact Fighting Experience
Karate Combat has attracted some of the greatest fighters in combat sports. None greater can be associated with karate (in point/sport format) than Rafael Aghayev and Raymond Daniels.
These karate superstars faced off in the last Karate Combat event of the year for the Interim Welterweight Championship.
Given the immense experience that Raymond Daniels has in full contact competition (Aghayev's full contact experience is limited only to Karate Combat), plus a considerable height and reach advantage, many thought that this contest could only end one way.
That way being a Raymond Daniels win.
Much to the surprise of many, Rafael Aghayev not only won, but won in a dominant fashion. Aghayev’s game plan was so disciplined that he left no room for error.
His distance management, timing of techniques, and attention to Raymond Daniel’s movement patterns made him nearly impossible to hit. Aghayev gave the performance of a lifetime and it paid dividends, earning him a golden belt.
Are Nick's picks the best KC fights of 2022?
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