Karate Combat Season 4 marks the return of the Karate G.O.A.T., Rafael Aghayev, to full-contact combat.
Aghayev vs Habda headlined Event 3 to great fanfare, but was certainly not its only fight of great interest.
Certan vs Assis was an intense barnburner of nonstop action.
Not only will that battle will certainly take root in fan discussions as a potential "Fight of the Season" winner, but it determined who would face Gabriel Varga in his Karate Combat debut on June 25th, Live on the backlot of Universal Studios Florida. (Buy Tickets Now.)
But first, two debutants battled for a KC contract!
For lightning-fast access to the Event 3 Results,
VILLA vs STANKUNAS
A Stunning Debut for Gabriel Stankunas
Gabriel Stankunas took on the 2021 US National Tae Kwon Do champion, Damian Villa in a thrilling performance for both men.
While Stankunas showcased himself as a pressure fighter, hungry for action and always moving forward, he did so against a determined and capable offensive-defense by "SuperVilla".
Stankunas lands with Ground and Pound
The kicks never stopped coming from Villa, who often found himself moving in reverse due to Stankunas's aggression.
However, by constantly moving forward, Stankunas forced the fight to take place at a safer distance, making The Pit a puncher's paradise for himself alone.
A Solid Right hand by Stankunas disrupts the Tae Kwon Do master
Karate Combat President Adam Kovacs says fans can expect to see both fighters back inside the Pit, complimenting Villa's heart and his willingness to engage in the battle despite adversity. Nevertheless, it was a clear and impressive win for Gabriel Stankunas.
Gabriel Stankunas won by Unanimous Decision.
LOPEZ vs TEBUEV
Myrza-Bek Tebuev lands a right hand on Jesus Lopez
Jesus Paucarcaja Lopez took on Myrza-bek Tebuev, who intended to prove that no injury [warning: sensitive content at link] could deter his progress toward his goal of becoming a champion.
Intending to slow down his known-to-be crafty opponent, Lopez unveiled a crushing, powerful leg kick that he landed repeatedly throughout the fight.
The Leg Kicks by Jesus Lopez were devastating, but would not be enough.
Tebuev had to adapt his movement to the threat, check the kicks, or escape them. And his success at this, saw Jesus damaging his own foot quite severely during the fight.
With the threat under control, Myrza-bek unveiled more of the crafty get-in-and-get-out striking combinations that he's known for.
Former LW Champ Edgars Skrivers looks on as Myrza-bek lands a crushing body punch.
Myrza-bek Tebuev complimented Jesus's leg-kicking technique and strategy in his Post-Fight Interview, noting that it was not something he expected from Lopez. But "The King" still figured out how to nullify it, and put on a striking clinic for the rest of the fight.
Myrza-bek Tebuev won by Unanimous Decision.
CERTAN vs ASSIS
Vitalie Certan fought Bruno Assis in Event 3's standout battle.
It was immediately clear that "The White Dragon" Bruno Assis was large and in charge, with Bas Rutten commenting that, ~"Assis could be in a higher weight-class".
Assis utilized his height and leg reach advantage to land crushing body-kicks, repeatedly in the first round.
Bruno Assis Delivers a CRUSHING Body Kick into the ribs of Vitalie Certan
Though size and reach were not on his side, Vitalie was prepared to endure the damage.
But the body-kicks were truly sensational for Assis. Who also scored a thudding sweep, and made tremendous good use of his 5 seconds of ground-and-pound.
Vitalie gets knocked off balance, but doesn't go down.
It was heart, heart, heart from Vitalie Certan in the second round.
In Round 2, even as Certan was on the wrong side of an unceasing combination, he managed to time a stunning spinning back kick.
But Assis's will to win was as apparent as Vitalie's will to survive.
A Perfectly Lucid Vitalie Certan Collects Himself Against the Pit-wall
In the final round, the intensity and pace did not let up.
Vitalie had such success in his striking, and even planted Bruno onto his back twice... yet it did not deter "The White Dragon" in the least.
Assis rallied himself to regain control once more.
The Brazilian delivered such a variety of strikes in his combinations, and his striking combinations seemed to go on forever, even as counter-strikes headed his way. It was as if his energy was infinite.
Bruno Assis in Glory and Vitalie Certan giving symbolic deference to the winner.
In his post-fight interview, Bruno Assis revealed just how little energy he truly had left.
I was able to do my best against a great adversary. An incredible person and opponent. I'm very happy for that. I fought with all my heart. In the last round, I had no strength to keep going, but I fought with my heart.
Interviewer Layla Anna-Lee rightly commented that "despite [Bruno] clearly being dominant... [Vitalie] was always constant threat."
Bruno Assis won by Unanimous Decision
Therefore, Bruno Assis will fight Gabriel Varga at Karate Combat: ATAMOV VS. LEVINE.
AGHAYEV vs HABDA
Rafael Aghayev kept up the pressure versus Zsolt Habda
36-year-old karate legend, Rafael Aghayev fought against 29-year-old Zsolt Habda, who once beheld a poster of Aghayev on his wall.
And if you were wondering what a bona-fide master of Karate looks like in a full contact situation, you've come to the right place.
A Landed Kick from Zsolt Habda becomes a Takedown for Rafael Aghayev
Aghayev expertly managed distance, not merely evading most of the danger from Habda, but also scoring multiple takedowns.
Ground-and-pound was significant for Aghayev, who intended to keep the entire fight at ultra-close distance whether it was standing or not.
Habda found more comfort at kicking distance, but it was too difficult to prevent the forward blitz.
Rafael Aghayev is astonishingly strong.
In the third round, Rafael Aghayev landed many of the fights most impressive strikes. (Even if the reverse punches of previous rounds set up their success.)
Habda was visibly rocked by Aghayev's punches at least two times, but Habda gave everything he had to prevent the fight from being finished.
Rafael Aghayev is perhaps the greatest living master of the Karate Blitz
In the aftermath of the battle, the man they call the Karate G.O.A.T. shared a beautiful sentiment:
...I promise I will have a photo with Habda in my own room, too.
Rafael Aghayev won by Unanimous Decision
Therefore, Rafael Aghayev will fight Davy Dona at Karate Combat: ATAMOV VS. LEVINE.
Don't Miss Event 4, June 25th!
Event 4 also features Bruno Assis vs Gabriel Varga & Rafael Aghayev vs Davy Dona
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