Bragging rights are on the line in the main event of Saturday’s KOK World Series event in Kaunas, Lithuania as two of the Baltic nation’s top fighters will battle for the KOK World Lightweight Title.
Champion Henrikas Viksraitis makes his first defense against challenger Mindaugas Narauskas in an all-Lithuanian battle that will be watched by kickboxing fans around the world.
It’s an exciting match up between two fighters who met once previously. In the finals of the KOK 51 lightweight tournament held in 2017, Viksraitis prevailed by unanimous decision over his younger counterpart.
Viskraitis was the quicker and better fighter technically the first time. He used his tight guard to block many Narauskas’s punches, and countered with quick punch combinations of his own and hard low kicks. A left hook to the body caused Naruskas to double over and turn away for an eight-count in the second round.
Narauskas was just 19 at the time, and since then has defeated Spain’s Boum Lambarki, Brazilian Rodrigo Mineiro, and Tomasz Zamyslowski to earn a title opportunity.
The question is whether the youngster has improved enough to upset the champion. Narauskas is eager to test his skills again against the more-experienced Viksraitis.
“I was really looking forward to this fight,” he said in an interview published on KOKfights.com.
“After hearing that I am calling him out for a fight, Henrikas said it was funny to him. I will certainly try my best not to make this fight funny. I think Henrikas felt like a major ring star too soon, but you don’t need to underestimate me.”
Since their first bout, Viksraitis has gone on to win the KOK World Lightweight Title. He defeated Moldova’s Vitalie Matei by split decision at KOK 69 in Vilnius in March.
Champion Viksraitis acknowledged Narauskas may not have been seasoned enough when the two met the first time.
“He is tough guy, it will be difficult to fight him, but when we fought for the first time he had lack of experience,” he told KOK Fights.
Viksraitis struggled to make weight in the fight against Matei which may have contributed to a sluggish performance. Some ringside observers scored the bout in the Moldovan’s favor.
He’ll get a chance to silence the critics and also Narauskas, who openly challenged him to a rematch during the summer.
Both fighters will enter the ring Saturday motivated to settle once and for all who’s the better man and walk away with the KOK title.
The undercard features 2018 Tatneft Cup Champion Fabio Kwasi in action. The Mike’s Gym fighter meets Mantas Rimdeika in a three-round heavyweight bout.
UFC veteran Julija Stoliarenko returns to the KOK ring to face Victoria Dvaraninovich of Belarus, and featherweight prospect Mantas Pultarazinskas faces Holland’s Mika Tahitu.
The KOK World Series in Kaunas begins at 10 p.m. local Kaunas time, which is 8 p.m. in London and 3 p.m. in New York.
Prior to the World Series event, the FightBox KOK Hero’s Series cards takes place starting at 7 p.m. local time (5 p.m. London and 12 p.m. New York).
MMA fans are in for a treat, as the FightBox Hero’s Series will feature seven MMA bouts and one kickboxing bout.
Here is the fight card. FightBox HD will televise the entire event internationally, and KOK Fights TV will stream the event worldwide. For more information, visit KOK Fights TV.