Sudden Victory: When 3 Rounds Aren’t Enough

The full-contact karate league just used its OT rule for the first time

By Rufus Ashmount 

It was a rough night off-world at Anger Wat. The card started with Irishman Craig Ryan’s corner throwing in the towel midway through Round 2, and then in the second fight of the night Josh “The Preacher”  Quayhagen brutalized Reeda “The Cobra” Messaoudi’s nose during his 5 seconds of ground and pound. But it was the main event that surprised everyone, and caused the combat sports league to call for a Sudden Victory Round for the first time ever. 

Pedro Roman Roig of Spain and Ilies Mardhi of France were a tremendous match for each other in the Karate Combat Fighting Pit. Roig took the first round and Mardhi the second. Roig was rewarded by the judges for his aggressive approach, while the commentators Marshawn Lynch and Bas Rutten worried about Mardhi’s tendency to get locked up in the corners. In the third, you could see the live scoring meter on the screens at home stayed steadily in the center. But both fights kept coming at each other and when time was up no one was sure who would win. (Well, Mardhi thought he would--always the showman like his coach Davy Dona, he did a full back flip off the upper edge of the Pit just before the ref called them back to the center). The ref held the fighter’s gloves but then there was some hubbub with the judges--and BAM

Just like that a Sudden Victory Round was called. The fighters had to go instantly from relaxed, end-of-round ease, to touching gloves and going at it zero-to-sixty. “It’s a Karate Combat first!” said Bas, who quoted the rules: “If the final judges’ scores result in a draw, there will be one additional Sudden Victory round, the results of which will determine the winner.” And it pushed these fighters to the limit for another three minutes. Roig had a point deduction which gave Mardhi the edge--the bout went to Mardhi. Watch the whole event here.

(Bone up on Karate Combat’s ruleset here. It’s like no other and was developed for the league by its President, Adam S. Kovacs with a dream team of martial arts experts).