RECAP | Karate Combat 37: Aghayev vs Daniels | Karate.com
RECAP - Karate Combat 37: Aghayev vs Daniels

RECAP - Karate Combat 37: Aghayev vs Daniels

One of the Greatest Events in Karate History
by Mac Tyson, 2022-12-21

Karate Combat 37 returned once again to the backlot of Universal Studios Florida on December 17th. It is arguably the greatest event so far in Karate Combat history. The card was action packed from start to finish with many knockouts.

In this article we will be focusing on 4 of these amazing fights:

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AGHAYEV VS DANIELS

Aghayev lands clean on Daniels at KC37
Aghayev lands clean on Daniels at KC37

Aghayev landed clean on Daniels' Chin on Repeat Occasion (Ryan Loco for KC)

This was the type of fight that fans dreamed about since the first season of Karate Combat. Now that it has concluded, one thing is certain. It lived up to the hype.

Before the fight there were some people who thought Raymond Daniels' superior full contact experience would have him easily walk through Rafael Aghayev. But Aghayev doesn't play karate. He came to fight.

Aghayev’s expertly implemented fighting style made a horrible matchup for Daniels. At Raymond Daniels' core he is a kick heavy fighter who uses unorthodox blitz movements to set up his attacks, and the one thing kickers need is space. A kicker's number one enemy is getting jammed.

Rafael Aghayev’s whole game for the last 20+ years has been built around his ability to close the distance and purposely jam himself into his opponent. He is most comfortable in a situation Daniels actively tries to avoid. Combine this with Aghayev’s brilliant head movement and footwork or his devastating cross that sets up combinations. Daniels could not figure him out in time.

Over the course of the fight, Daniels was able to adjust, but by time the last bell rang, it was Aghayev taking the belt home with a clear decision victory.

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DIAZ VS ENNKHAILI

Gabo Diaz lands a spinning back fist to the head of Samy Ennkhaili in their debuts at KC37
Gabo Diaz lands a spinning back fist to the head of Samy Ennkhaili in their debuts at KC37

Gabo Diaz lands a spinning backfist on Samy Ennkhaili in their debuts at KC37 (Ryan Loco for KC)

Sanda Kickboxer "Gabo Lee" (Gabo Diaz) opened the bout with a Spinning Hook Kick immediately after touching gloves with his opponent. This moment has since gone viral and been a great cause of debate among fight enthusiasts.

Either way, it disoriented his opponent and led to a dominant 1st round for Gabo. However, in the 2nd round Samy Enkahili composed himself and made adjustments. He started landing consistently with a Gyaku Tsuki (Reverse Punch).

Unfortunately, in the 3rd round Samy dislocated his shoulder in the fight, causing Gabo Lee to win by TKO via Injury.

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PALATNIKOV VS BUXTON

Sasha Palatnikov nails Rob Buxton with a punch at KC37
Sasha Palatnikov nails Rob Buxton with a punch at KC37

Sasha Palatnikov blasts Rob Buxton at KC37 (Ryan Loco for KC)

From the start, Rob Buxton came out firing. And while some of his shots hit their mark, Hong Kong's Sasha Palatnikov displayed footwork and head movement that proved too elusive for the Canadian.

Later in the fight, Rob accidentally poked Sasha’s eye while framing off of him. This angered Sasha, as he's suffered eye-pokes rather often throughout his career in other organizations. He did not, however, lose himself in his anger.

The ending sequence was a beautiful display of Goju-Ryu (Hard-Soft Style) fighting philosophy. Palatnikov came in hard linearly with strikes, backed off, switched stances, then used soft lateral foot work to get angles on Buxton while peppering him with shots.

Then, he used an Oi-Tsuki (lunge punch) to once again shift stances. All of this takes him off his Buxton's center line, but keeps his opponent in his. Sasha followed up with a 1-2, using fantastic head movement to slip his opponent’s counter, and land the knockout with a devastating Kagi-Tsuki (Short Hook Punch) and Gyaku Tsuki (Reverse Punch) combination.

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ERICSSON VS KHELIFI

Ericsson lands hard on Khelifi at KC37 by Ryan Loco for KC
Ericsson lands hard on Khelifi at KC37 by Ryan Loco for KC

Ericsson lands hard on Khelifi at KC37 (Ryan Loco for KC)

The story of this fight is that of the calf kick. While there were some other highlights. Such as Tarek Khelifi frustrating Ericsson with his distance management or Samuel Ericsson catching Tarek with a cross and hook, respectively.

Ultimately, it was the calf kick that gave Ericsson the victory.

When Ericsson landed a heavy Calf Kick, Khelifi didn’t know it, but he had already lost. That kick had caused serious damage to the peroneal nerve. This can cause symptoms such as decreased sensation in the foot, walking problems, and the inability to hold the foot up.

When Khelifi started feeling the symptoms, he was already rhythm stepping. So due to the nerve damage, he landed on his ankle in a particularly nasty manner. He dropped to the ground and was unable to stand and put weight on that foot, leading to the referee to stop the fight.

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