Week 4 Results: Effective Aggression is the Name of the Game
By Toni Gannon
Welcome to another episode of Karate Combat, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s no surprise that this episode finds us fighting in an apocalyptic Scarp Punk Wasteland!
Also new to this season of Karate Combat are two new hosts: Veteran Commentator Josh Palmer and ground breaking sports media presenter Layla Anna-Lee. We’ll give you in depth interviews with them this week---but trust us, their combat sports knowledge runs deep. Between Ambassador Bas Rutten and these two, the apocalypse is already looking up.
Starting off in the Wasteland pit is Bruno Assis, “The White Dragon”, taking on 20-year-old Hungarian, Gergő Horváth.
One thing you should know about Assis, who had a strong win at Karate Combat Evolution, is that we’ve never seen anyone happier to get hit. While that may seem crazy to most, The White Dragon explained to us that being in the pit is all he’s ever wanted to do, and every strike makes him realize he is living out his dream. Makes perfect sense.
Everyone could see how polar opposite the two were as they stepped through the Portal, with Josh noting how fired up Assis was, and how stoic Horvath seemed.
The Dragon was indeed awakened as Assis wasted no time delivering his first body kick seconds into Round 1. Horvath answered with a Roundhouse kick but slipped, basically gifting Assis 5 seconds of rain down punches on the Hungarian fighter. That must have fueled his fire as Horvath immediately rose up, aggressive AF. As Bas and Josh both noted, there was no feeling-out period here. Keeping in the pocket and the amount of striking kept the energy high. It was hard to believe at this point that the match was barely two minutes in.
Horvath wore Assis’ strikes on his body, and Assis was showing some blood on the face, both proving just how much the Karate Combat contract is worth to them. But then Horvath quickly was taken over with some straight shots from Assis as well as a liver kick, giving Assis the second victory in this fight, as well as the win, with a TKO 1:07 into Round 2
Congratulations to Bruno Assis for the Victory, and for Horvath, for one hell of a fight.
Second match of the night was Stefanos “The Great” Roupakas, from Greece, in the red corner, with Daniel “The Black Diamond” Viveros from Ecuador, coming off a loss just a week ago against the Russian Myrza-Bek Tebuev and hungry for his first win.
Josh noted something interesting about Stefanos, “Roupakas is coming off more rest than Viveros and he said to us earlier, that getting this fight against Viveros was the motivation he really needed to kick his training into high gear.”
Great job, as both fighters were able to mirror each other, with Roupakas switching to South Paw as well, but quickly proving that extra rest may not be all he needs to defeat the Ecuadorian. Then Viveros had a beautiful and swift take down, followed without hesitation by thundering ground and pound. “Lethal with the finish,” said Josh. It was ruled a Ura Nage Slam and fair game.
Roupakas then needed assistance from the Ref to stand up, and it became quite clear that it was a hard landing by Roupakas and that he was knocked out during that takedown. The clip has been a highlight watched worldwide throughout the night (See it and share it here.)
As quickly as the match started, it was over, with Daniel Viveros claiming an amazing – and unusual – win with a TKO at 1:20 into Round 1.
Onto the Main Event: The championship eliminator, Luiz “Pitbull” Rocha from Natal, Brazil, taking on Ilies “The Madman” Mardhi from Paris, France. Josh recapped us by mentioning that, Rocha is, “At three and one with Karate Combat. He said the last fight we saw him against Edgars “The Bearslayer” Skrivers, was a little bit of an upset for him.” As fans can see he learned a lot from his past fight by reviewing the tapes, and working with the famous Pitbull Brothers gym in Natal on not only technique, but redemption. (We were also treated to a video profile on Rocha’s day-to-day life: spoiler alert--he’s seemingly surrounded by beautiful women in bikinis all day long. Good motivation to keep in shape).
Rocha has experience and size on his side, having fought with Karate Combat 4 times already, and Mardhi has youth, being nine years younger than the Brazilian.
Bas dubbed Mardhi “The Energizer Bunny” right as the match kicked off, with Mardhi immediately showing some feints, hoping to throw Rocha off a bit.
Mardhi showing his aggression was matched by Rocha’s fearless spirit made this Title Eliminator Match one to remember. Rocha moved almost Matrix-style as Mardhi moved along the outside of the pit, controlling the center. But Bas and Josh worried that Rocha was showing his cocky side again, with Bas warning that “pride can take everything down.”
With 40 seconds left on the clock in Round 1, Rocha had Mardhi tying up against the pit wall in an almost crucifix-like position.
Round 2 changed the game a bit as Mardhi allowed himself to become more aggressive and involved, giving Rocha that extra bit of fire he needed, but perhaps not enough for the Judges to award points needed. Tension built in the pit as Rocha began to understand Mardhi a little more, allowing him to land a left hook with about a minute left in Round 2.
Mardhi used the walls of the pit to spin and get away from Rocha, as someone in the Scrap Punk Wasteland yelled out “Don’t run away, Illies.”
Finally, in Round 3, Mardhi seemed to explode, per Josh, with a nice left hook. Mardhi had a great striking combination but it wasn’t enough. Winner by Unanimous Decision, and correctly predicted by Bas and Josh, was Luiz Rocha, who is more than ready for his shot at the Golden Belt.
For a wasteland on a doomed planet, Karate Combat has found what is proving to be a valuable space here, don’t you think? We think we’re going to stick around for a bit.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Karate Combat, and look forward to seeing you soon, as the matches heat up. Remember you can watch any time here or at Karate Combat YouTube.