I don’t know how Karate Combat keeps topping themselves, but Karate Combat 35 might be the best event they have done yet. From the return of the heavyweights in spectacular fashion, to a “Rocky” like Super Fight, this card left all the fans on their feet.
To start off this show Bas Rutten talked directly to the audience about the upcoming fights for that night. This is something that no other Combat Sports organization does.
He also brought GSP along with him!
Also, the 4D-ride feeling and the party-like atmosphere that I mentioned in a prior fan experience article (KCS4E4), was still present. If not more so. Even including a group of fans dancing. (They were there cheering for Josh Quayhagen, by the way!) At this point, KC fans dancing to V.I.C’s “Wobble” during an event is becoming a tradition.
But the most important aspect of any combat sports show are the fights and as I alluded to above, they did not disappoint. (Spoilers ahead for a few of the fights)
Achraf Ouchen vs "Black Magic" Elhadji Ndour
Black Magic eats a solid right from Ouchen
The return of the heavyweights was an absolute war that had everyone on their feet at the end. "Black Magic" landed good work early in both the pocket and at range.
However, as the fight went on, Ouchen began to walk Ndour down and demonstrated a high fight IQ when it came to using knees under this ruleset. But eventually, it was his hands that wobbled Ndour, finishing the fight by knockout.
Raymond Daniels vs Franklin Mina
Jumping High Kick by Raymond Daniels
The much-anticipated debut of Raymond Daniels ended in a dominant Unanimous Decision victory by the former Bellator Kickboxing World Champion. Daniels quickly won over the hearts of the fans with the most entertaining walk out of the night, and later, with spectacular striking throughout the fight.
Franklin Mina showed his heart by not getting finished even when getting dropped a few times that night. He also landed some clean Gyaku Tsukis (Reverse Punches) on Daniels. But overall Daniels dominated the fight, even after some self-inflicted damage from a crash into the Pit wall!
Josh Quayhagen vs Luiz Rocha
The historic Super Fight ended in a “Rocky” like performance that had everyone on their feet at the end of the night.
In the early rounds, the protégé of the Pitbull Bros Luiz Rocha landed the cleaner of the shots and was doing excellent work landing hard right hands in particular. But constantly throwing power shots drained Rocha and his pace slowed in the 3rd round.
Quayhagen then took advantage of this to drag the Lightweight Champion into deep waters and brutalize him for the last two rounds. In the end Rocha wins a controversial majority decision to take home the super fight trophy. But the decision doesn't take away from a glorious fight from both.
(One judge scored it a draw, with a 10-8 round in the final. Had another done so, a majority draw would have forced a sudden death round.)
The presentation was amazing as always and the fights kept on getting better as the night went on. Karate Combat will be back in Orlando in October. So, follow their social media and subscribe to their newsletter because you owe it to yourself to be there in person for Karate Combat 36.