King of Kings returned to Estonia for its 60th event Saturday. A large crowd at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn witnessed a great night of action.
Constantino Nanga of Sweden won the four-man 77 kg tournament impressively. Zaur Dzhavadov, the reigning KOK 77 kg champion, tuned up for his October 27 showdown with Constantin Rusu with a knockout win.
Local favorites Mirkko and Marko Moisar also saw action, entertaining the crowd in their bouts, albeit with different results.
-71 kg: Mirkko Moisar (EST) def. Adell Ekvalhalila (SWE)-Extra Round Decision
The evening’s final bout didn’t disappoint as local favorite Mirkko Moisar and Sweden’s Ekvalhalila engaged in a give and take battle. After three rounds, there was no winner on the scorecards and the extra round was called. The extra round featured more back and forth action, and some late combos from Moisar may have earned him the victory.
-77 kg: Constantino Nanga (SWE) def. Andreas Iversen (NOR)-Round 2 TKO (Nanga Wins KOK 60 77 kg Tournament)
The final match up pitted two fighters with a lot of similarities. Both fighters are tall for the weight class, young, and showed good techniques in advancing to the finals.
Nanga gained the edge in round one, finding a home for his right hand. The Swedish fighter had a quickness advantage, and looked to counter Iversen’s left hand with his right. Iversen’s best technique in round one may have been a low kick that caused Nanga to lose his balance. In round two, Nanga continued to have the advantage, and was in control of the action. A combination of punches had Iversen in trouble, and he fell when he tried to hold on.
Nanga followed up with punches effectively after Iversen got up from the knockdown, leading to referee Denis Lahtikov stopping the bout. Iversen’s corner threw in the towel also.
“I feel awesome. This is awesome. I would like to thank Tallinn,” Nanga said to commentator Daniel Austin after the fight.
“Right now, I won this tournament,” he said when asked about what’s next. Nanga said what’s next is “up to the big bosses.”
-65 kg: Simon Santana (NOR) def. Markko Moisar (EST)-KO Round 2 (Low Kicks)
Santana prevailed over local hero Moisar in a fantastic battle between two veterans.
The bout started at a fast pace. Santana had a speed advantage, and cracked the hometown favorite with some good left hooks and was getting the better of the action. Late in the round, Moisar hurt his right leg while checking a Santana kick, and a follow up low kick dropped him. The bell may have saved the Estonian fighter. In round two, Moisar threw caution to the wind and went on the attack, and the action spilled over the ropes. The crowd tried to rally Moisar, but a couple of low kicks downed the injured Moisar again. He got up, but was soon back on the canvas and the bout was halted. Santana improves to 39-1-14. Moisar is now 85-24.
-85 kg (Bushido MMA Rules) Andrei Manzolo (EST) def. Valdas Pocevicius (LTU)-Round 1 Submission (Arm Bar)
Manzolo avenged a previous defeat to Pocevicius from a decade ago, outclassing the Lithuanian veteran on the mat and locking in an arm bar for the win. There was a grappling scramble early, then Manzolo took down Pocevicius and looked for a submission. He wasn’t able to tap out Pocevicius with his first arm attempt, but locked it in the second time to get the win.
-77 kg Tournament Semifinal 2/2: Constantino Nanga (SWE) def. Hendrik Themas (EST)-Unanimous Decision
Sweden’s Nanga earned a spot in the finals with a clear points win over Themas. Nanga punched effectively as the smaller Themas tried to get into range. When the two exchanged, it was the quicker Nanga who had the advantage. Nanga landed some hard left hooks to the body, and a knee cut Themas over the left eye. Themas tried but was outgunned by the Swede, who is originally from Angola, according to the commentator. Nanga improved to six wins against just one loss.
-77 kg Tournament Semifinal 1/2: Andreas Iversen (NOR) def. Erkan Varol (TUR)-Unanimous Decision
This was a bout of contrasts. Varol had a big experience advantage, but he is 15 years older and gave up big disadvantages in height and reach. Varol also took the bout on late notice, and fought out of his natural weight class of 70 kg.
Iversen used his height and reach effectively to control the bout, and landed with some clean punches and kicks. The Norwegian also looked for the knees on his shorter opponent. Varol landed a couple of good left hooks to the body and a couple of punch upstairs, but his 22-year-old opponent controlled the bout to win a unanimous decision. Iversen improves to 11-4. Varol is now 180-37.
KOK Hero’s Results
-77 kg: Zaur Dzhavadov (LVA) def. Yauheni Matsiushonak (BLR)-KO 2 (Non-Title Bout)
Reigning KOK 77 kg champion Dzhavadov prepped for his 27 October showdown defense against Moldovan standout Constantin Rusu, stopping the game Matsiushonak with a big counter right hand. Dzhavadov pressured the Belorussian in round one, with Matsiushonak keeping his hands high and scoring with some inside low kicks. In round two, Dzhavadov picked up his work rate, and after Matsiushonak threw a kick, Dzhavadov fired the right that landed in the ear area and dropped Matsiushonak. Matsisuhonak couldn’t beat the count, and was noticeably bleeding from the ear afterward. Zaur improves to 35-10, and is now unbeaten in nine KOK bouts. Matsiushonak is 3-3.
“Thank you very much. I love you all Tallinn. “He show good fight,” Zaur said in the post fight interview. The champion dedicated the fight to the memory of his father who passed away five years ago. He’ll be back in the ring on 27 October against contender Rusu, and recalled their first encounter as “a real war”.
-77 kg (Bushido MMA Rules): Ibragim Ibragimov (RUS) def. Vakhtang Chumburidze (EST)-Round 1 (head and arm choke-submission)
Young Russian Ibragimov was able to neutralize Chumburidze’s judo, submitting the Estonia-based Georgian and spoiling his unbeaten record. Ibragimov cracked Chumburidze with a good left hand as he tried to clinch, and ended up in side control after Chumburidze attempted a throw. Ibragimov maintained dominant position, and eventually mounted Chumburidze before securing the choke for the submission win. Ibragimov improves to 3-0. Chumburidze is now 4-1.
-57 kg: Andra Aho (EST) def. Greta Giedraityte (LTU)- Unanimous Decision (Muay Thai Rules, 3 x 2)
The shorter Giedraityte looked to get inside on Aho. Aho seemed to outland Greta in the clinch, scoring with some good knees to the body. The Estonian fighter was also able to use her reach effectively, connecting with some clean punches and low kicks. Aho improves to 7-3 with the win.
-71 kg: Ruslan Mamuto (BLR) def. Ott Remmer (EST)-Extra Round Split Decision
Mamuto edged Remmer in an evenly matched battle of 71 kg fighters. Remmer landed some good inside low kicks, while Mamuto did his best work with his hands. The action heated up in the last minute of the third round, with Remmer tagging Mamuto with a couple of good punches. In the extra round, Remmer landed a few good strikes, but it wasn’t enough as the judges awarded the verdict to Mamuto. Mamuto improves to 6-4. Remmer is 16-9.
-57 kg: Astrid Johanna Grents (EST) def. Gabija Morkunaite (LTU)-Unanimous Decision
Grents used her boxing to get the decision over Morkunaite. The Estonian mixed her attack nicely to the head and body, and was able to land some quick punches. She also scored with some clean leg kicks. Morkunaite scored with some knees on the inside, but was outscored. Grents improves to 2-0. Morkunaite is now 5-6.
-71 kg: Andres Oitsar (EST) def. Artem Ivanousky (BLR)-Unanimous Decision
The opener of the Hero’s portion of the show featured a bout between two youngsters. Oitsar, 18, knocked down Ivanousky, 17, with a left hook upstairs in round one, and pressed his taller opponent to earn a unanimous decision. Oitsar improves to 6-0. Ivanousky suffered his second setback to slip to 3-2.
KOK 60 was broadcast live on FightBox HD and the KOK Fights TV streaming platform.
Daniel Austin and Lukasz Czarnowski called the action, and Rytis Kuzmenka was the ring announcer.
The next KOK event is on 27 October in Riga, Latvia, featuring the 77 kg title fight between Zaur Dzhavadov and Constantin Rusu.
In other news, KOK will return to Turkey on December 8 for another event.