KOK ended its 2018 season with a return to Turkey. Presented in collaboration with KOK Turkey representative Erkan Varol, the upscale Gonen Hotel in Istanbul was the venue for a night of fights that highlighted talent from Turkey and neighboring nations.
Ilknur Kurt is the queen of the Turkish 60 kg female fighters. The tough Kurt defeated Tugce Fedakarturk in the semifinals and IFMA champion Irem Capar by decision to win a four-lady 60 kg tournament. Entering the tournament, Kurt was only 2-0 as a professional, and her wins over the more experienced Capar and Fedakarturk establish her as a young fighter to watch.
Here are results:
-80 kg: Ceygaver Taylan Kemik (TUR) def. Mehdi Farahani (IRN)-Decision
The 19-year-old Kemik knocked the smaller Farahani down with a high kick in round one, and scored another eight count after. Kemik couldn’t finish the tough Iranian and won a clear decision.
-75 kg: Okan Bitane (TUR) def. Sukhrob Nematov (UZB)-TKO Round 1 (Corner Stoppage)
Bitane landed with a good left and right early. The Turkish fighter threw a spinning kick, and Nematov moved his head away but ran into a follow up left hook that dropped him. Nematov beat the count, but his corner stopped the fight shortly after to rescue him from further punishment. Bitane is now 8-0-3(3 KOs). Nematov is now 5-0-1.
-94 kg: Sinan Uluturk (TUR) def. Alisher Pulatov (UZB)-TKO Round 1 (Injury)
Fan favorite Uluturk was too much for Pulatov, scoring an eight count and knocking down Pulatov in round one. Between rounds, the fight was stopped due to Pulatov injuring his left arm.
Uluturk improves to 22-0-1(13 Kos). Pulatov is 2-0-2.
-75 kg: Fathuddin Gayratov (UZB) DRAW Cesur Tugay (TUR)
Gayratov seemed unlucky to get a draw against Tugay. Tugay started well, but the Uzbek fighter established control. Gayratov was the quicker fighter, throwing some nice spinning back kicks. He was also able to make Tugay miss. Gayratov seemed to have the edge in rounds two and three, but neither fighter was able to score a knockdown and the fight was ruled a draw.
It was Tugay’s first draw, and his record is now 32-1-3(19). Gayratov is now 4-1-1.
-71 kg: Tofik Abdullayev (AZE) def. Farshad Ambari (ZAF)-TKO Round 1 (Referee Stoppage)
Ambari landed a big push kick to the face moments into the bout that surprised Abdullayev. The South African went for the finish, and walked into a big left hook that dropped him. Ambari got up but his legs were shaky, and the fight was called. Official time was 45 seconds.
Abdullayev improved to 25-0-8(4 KOs). Ambari suffers his third defeat, and is now 2-0-3.
-75 kg: Mehdi Mehdizade (AZE) def. Mehmet Yilmaz (TUR)-TKO Round 2 (Doctor Advised Stoppage)
Mehdizade swarmed Yilmaz right from the opening bell. He grabbed and landed a knee to the face that stunned Yilmaz, leading the Turkish fighter to turn away. The referee gave Yilmaz an eight count. The doctor checked the nose and allowed the bout to continue. Yilmaz landed a couple of good punches early in round two as Mehdizade continued to pressure. Yilmaz’s nose was bleeding, and the fight was stopped after another examination.
Mehdizade improves to 5-0-1(2 KOs). Yilmaz is now 1-0-4(0 KOs).
-60 kg: Ilknur Kurt (TUR) def. Tugce Fedakarturk (TUR)-Unanimous Decision (60 kg Women’s Tournament Semifinal 2/2)
In what can best be described as an intense, physical battle, Kurt scored the upset with a unanimous decision over the more experienced Fedakarturk.
The bout featured a lot of grabbing,, and both fighters were cautioned for infractions by the referee. Fedakarturk hit the back of her head on a ringside table in round one when the two fighters tumbled through the ropes. Neither fighter had a clear edge, and the bout was decided by a second round knockdown. Kurt connected with a spinning back fist that dropped Fedakarturk late in that round.
Kurt improved to 3-0 with the win. Fedakarturk suffered her second loss to slip to 13-0-2.
-60 kg: Irem Capar (TUR) def. Elanur Yugel (TUR)-TKO Round 1 (60 kg Women’s Tournament Semifinal 1/2)
The first tournament semifinal was between IFMA champion Capar and Yugel, both 18 year olds starting their professional careers.
The bout started at a quick tempo, with Yugel pressing the action. Capar caught Yugel with some good right hands and landed a body kick. They locked up on the ropes, and Capar landed a couple of knees to the body before the referee separated the fighters. Yugel was hurt and given an eight count. During the eight count, she made a signal with her glove that she didn’t want to continue. The bout was then stopped. Yugel’s record is now 1-0-1.
In the first bout of the KOK Fights broadcast, Benjamin Aliyev of Azerbaijan won a decision against Jamshidjonov of Uzbekistan. Aliyev pressured while the Uzbek fighter was defensive and looked for openings. Aliyev improves to 6-0-3 with the win. It was Jamshidjonov’s pro debut.
Saturday’s fight card was broadcast internationally in over 50 countries on FightBox HD and also streamed worldwide on the KOK Fights TV streaming platform. Sandy Holt from the U.K., Lukasz Czarnoski, and Fikret Engim called the action. Rytis Kuzmenka was the ring announcer.
KOK Turkey representative Erkan Varol and KOK president Donatas Simanaitis gave a welcome speech to the crowd, and there are big plans for KOK next year in Turkey.
In February, KOK will hold a MMA event in the cage. Bushido MMA will take place in February in Riga, Latvia.
KOK returns to Lithuania on 16 March, and makes its Netherlands debut on the 30th with an event featuring Dutch sensation Georgina van der Linden and Russian star Vlad Tuinov.