Karate Combat Season 4 breaks new ground with every event, and Event 2 was no exception.
Skrivers vs. Rocha marks the very first Championship Rematch in Karate Combat and so it was the very first time the lightweight champion Edgars Skrivers met an opponent in The Pit whom he had already beaten.
But first, a very exciting Full-Contact Debut for two elite sport karateka.
For lightning-fast access to the Event 2 Results,
Blitzes on Both Sides
The threat of damage is significantly higher in Karate Combat than it is in "tournament style" karate. And while timing the perfect blitz is always challenging, doing so under the threat of great damage, and without the promise of calm after a strike lands, is even more difficult.
So, what happened when two elite sport-karateka met and did not have to pull their punches?
Andres Madera, in particular, seemed most willing to evolve his fighting style to add punching combinations to his arsenal.
No longer was he content to land one-and-done. That won't fly in Karate Combat.
Naturally, emotions ran high for both men throughout all three rounds, as two masters of the karate blitz attempted to replicate their sporting success in an instance of true combat.
The Intensity of True Combat
Again and again, the two fighters, even when unsure of themselves -- and even through fear -- met in clashes within The Pit.
Fierce karate blitzes were on full and repeated display. It was not an easy fight for anyone.
As the fight went through the distance, Andres Madera maintained an aggressive edge, being just a bit more willing to initiate his attacks despite his uncertainty and nervousness.
Editor's Note: Madera admitted after the fight that he was surprised by his own fears and nerves, and that he was more hesitant to throw punches than ever before. He vowed to absorb this experience to forge a more confident mindset for his second fight, where his nerves will be better under his control.
The future will very likely prove that this battle unlocked a new level of capability for both Otabolaev and Madera. And whoever they fight next will have the disadvantage of their time in The Pit.
Andres Madera won by Unanimous Decision.
Nikita Yanchuk managed distance against Dionicio "El Capitan" Gustavo
Gustavo nearly KO'd the Welterweight champion before losing a decision, and Yanchuk was finished one division lower at Lightweight by Luiz Rocha.
This match should settle who's closest to reinserting themselves into title contention talks.
As such, Yanchuk entered the match with considerable respect for Gustavo's punching power. After all, "El Capitan" boasts a slew of KOs and knockdowns inside The Pit.
Nikita Yanchuk scores a takedown on Dionicio Gustavo
Impactful calf-kicks kept coming from Yanchuk in the opening round, forcing a stance-change by Gustavo.
Even missed kicks tended to disrupt Dionicio's movement, keeping him at bay and making him less likely to throw his fight-ending strikes.
When Yanchuk wasn't able to dissuade Gustavo from striking him, and found himself on the receiving end of heavy blows, he prevented multiple shots from accumulating damage by scoring a takedown.
To his credit, Yanchuk ate a liver-kick that looked reminiscent of the one that finished him in his previous fight.
He winced, but maintained control. Perhaps the extra weight, being a division up at Welterweight, gave him a bit more cushion and endurance.
Yanchuk put himself back in the winner's circle by consistently delivering upon a carefully designed gameplan.
Nikita Yanchuk won by Unanimous Decision.
THE LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Luiz Rocha brings his maximum effort to Edgars Skrivers
The undefeated champion looked confident from the start, taunting Rocha, sticking his tongue out at him, and waving him on, all while covering up and moving forward through the Brazilian's strikes.
It was a busy first minute for both men, trading leg and body kicks, many of which landed for each one.
The first round was extremely competitive, with the first half going to the challenger and the final minute proving more effective for the champion they call "The Bearslayer."
Skrivers caught multiple missed kicks from Rocha, and planted him on his back a couple times.
While the ground-and-pound wasn't severe, the champion also landed two clean straight lefts from southpaw.
In Round 2, just when it looked like as if there was momentum to the control established by the champion, Luiz Rocha capitalized on his opponent's aggression and landed a short left-hook precisely on the chin!
Luiz Rocha Knocks Down The Undefeated Bearslayer
Skrivers was knocked down and badly hurt, crashing onto the floor with his chest, but survived all the punches Rocha rained down from above across the five seconds of allotted time.
Amazingly, the champ seemed sure-footed as soon as the ref stood him back up.
But Rocha's onslaught did not let up.
The Pitbull swung full-force through Skrivers's guard, crushing through the defenses with two maximum power left hooks.
When Skrivers guard was let down, a maximum power right hook was sent in. It landed.
Finally, a power left hook rocked the champion's chin, rolling his eyes back and sending him down onto his elbow.
The Finishing Blow
The referee immediately waved off the match, with Skrivers rapidly rallying back up to his feet.
And your NEW Lightweight Champion, Luiz Rocha by Round 2 KO.
The First Dethroning of a Karate Combat Champion
Edgars Skrivers protested the stoppage, admitting that while he was hurt, he was not finished or unconscious, asserting that it should not have been ruled a KO.
If I was Luiz, I wouldn't consider this a 100% victory.
said Skrivers in his post-fight interview, suggesting a rematch may be what the fans desire.
The two are now 1-1 versus each other, after all.
The New Karate Combat Lightweight Champion, Luiz "The Pitbull" Rocha
But Luiz was not of the same mind, and instead turned his attention to future targets, calling out for a chance to fight the Welterweight Champion Joshua Quayhagen, or the Bantamweight Champion, next. Whoever wants to give him his second belt.
When Skrivers watches the footage, he'll see.
said the newly crowned LW champ, who likened his finishing blows to "attempted murder," and noted he was the only person ever to knockout the Bearslayer, who had only been finished once before in over 25 professional fights (by submission in professional MMA).
Don't Miss Event 3, June 11th!
Subscribe to our newsletter for discounts and breaking news.