It’s been a year filled with ups and downs for Igor De Castañeda, but the Iberian Bull found his stride October 29th when he defeated Franklin Mina in devastating fashion at Karate Combat 36.
Coming off of a loss against current Middleweight Champion Ross “Turbo” Levine, Igor needed a win to finish out the year on a high note. To say that he completed that objective would be an understatement.
Mess with the Bull, Get the Horns
Igor gets it done. (Mark Somay for Karate Combat)
Igor was much more disciplined in his fight against Franklin than he has been in recent showings. We’ve seen in the past that when the Iberian Bull is fatigued or injured, he betrays a good base in exchange for flair.
Shahin Atamov was able to make him pay for this during Episode 10 - Vahalla, after Igor recklessly released a spinning hook kick late into their third round. Exhausted, Igor planted his feet right into the path of Atamov’s atomic right hand and had no answer in the way of defending.
At KC36, Igor knew better.
The way in which he navigated the pit was not like one would expect a bull to be in a China Shop. Igor was careful, composed, and confident with his movement. Still one for flair, he was dynamic and executed spinning moves in every round.
What gave Igor the edge that night was his impeccable timing. A straight right hand was all it took to put Mina down and out, and the knockout was one of the most brutal in Karate Combat’s history. Mina was down for minutes and needed assistance exiting the pit; a true testament to the power in Igor’s fists.
"Who’s Ross Levine?"
Pit-side reactions of the KO were appropriate (Mark Somay for Karate Combat)
A loss to (now-Middleweight Champion) Ross Levine was the result of Igor’s last venture into the Pit. Based on his post-fight interview at KC36, it seems Igor doesn’t place much value into that blemish on his record.
When it was pointed out to Igor that Ross Levine was carefully watching in the crowd, Igor responded by saying, “Who’s Ross Levine?”
The crowd went wild, of course. And Igor continued on to assert himself as the best fighter in his division.
However, we know that to be the best, one must beat the best. Right now, the Golden Belt belongs to the former Glory Kickboxing star Levine. So what’s next for De Castañeda’s career?
I, for one, think that refreshing Igor’s memory via a rematch with Levine is the only logical answer.
Ross Levine defeated Igor de Castaneda by TKO, a Result Igor Protests as an Early Stoppage
The battle between Igor and Ross ended in a fashion that many considered to be contentious. After a series of attempts to clinch with Ross, Igor walked away from their exchange with his hands out to his side, talking to the referee. The fight was not stopped, and Ross took full advantage of the miscommunication by berating Igor with a series of strikes.
The finishing blow was a powerful wheel kick to the guard of De Castañeda, but it appeared to many that De Castañeda was fully alert and still in the fight. A chance to rectify his mistakes against Levine would be proof that Igor is a force to be reckoned with. And a loss? Only solidifies why Ross Levine is perhaps the most dynamic fighter in the organization and could warrant him the ability to call out some names in the Heavyweight division.