The ladies of the sport take center stage this Sunday September 9, as Kunlun Fight presents the 8 woman “Mulan Legend” tournament.
Unlike last year’s tournament, this year’s version will have the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship bout all on the same night.The previous tournament was fought on three different events.
The reigning tournament champion, Anissa Haddaoui, returns to defend her title. Haddaoui replaced Laetitia Madjene of France in the final, and defeated Wang Kehan to win the tournament last summer. Madjene had defeated Haddaoui in the semifinals, but the French fighter then withdrew from the competition.
Haddaoui fights out of the legendary Mike’s Gym in Amsterdam, and the Moroccan-Dutch fighter is coming off a decision win against Anke Van Gestel at Kunlun Fight 73. Haddaoui has a fight scheduled with top fighter Jorina Baars at a WFL event on September 22. In order to make that appointment and avenge an earlier defeat, Anissa will have to escape from the tournament unscathed.
Four Chinese fighters are entered in the tournament. Shi Lijiang, Zhu Mengjia, Li Mingrui, and Sanda standout Wang Cong, who won the Mulan tournament in 2015.
An American and Brit are also participating. Nili Block, born in the United States but now residing in Israel, faces Mingrui in the opening round. Block is a decorated amateur in Muay Thai, winning an IFMA world championship in 2016. Niamh Kinehan, hailing from the fighting city of Manchester, is also an IFMA champion who unsuccessfully challenged Van Gestel for the Enfusion Ladies 64 kg title last year.
The other entrant is Svetlana Vinnikova. Vinnikova, like Block and Kinehan, is an accomplished Muay Thai amateur fighter. However, the Russian fighter has even been honored in the Russian Federation as Martial Arts Athlete of the Year, an impressive accomplishment!
Eight man or woman tournaments are often known to bring surprises. Defeating three skilled opponents in the same night is never easy, and avoiding damage and injuries and preserving energy will be of importance to the participants. Stars can be made in eight person tournaments, as previous unknowns exhibit speed, skill, savvy, stamina, courage, and resilience to make a name for themselves for years to come.
Sunday will be an interesting event. An experienced veteran may take the crown, or a relative unknown may defy the odds and kick conventional thinking in the head. Regardless, it’s nice to see the women take center stage, and hopefully the event goes well for all involved.
Kunlun Fight 76 also features a match up between Superbon Banchamek and Nayanesh Ayman to determine a place in the quarterfinals of the 2018 KLF World Max 70kg tournament.
The event is available for pay-per-view purchase from Elite Boxing, Epicentre.TV, and 8 Count TV. Fite TV will also broadcast.
Kunlun Fight 76
Sunday September 9, 2018
Solife Stadium, Zhangqiu, China.
Start Time: 12pm London, 7am ET, 4am PT
Anissa Haddaoui (MAR) vs Shi Lijiang (CHN)-2018 KLF 60kg Mulan Legend 1/4 FINAL 1
Svetlana Vinnikova (RUS) vs Zhu Mengjia (CHN)-2018 KLF 60KG Mulan Legend 2/4 FINAL 2
Nili Block (USA) vs Li Mingrui (CHN)-2018 KLF 60KG Mulan Legend 3/4 FINAL 3
Niamh Kinehan (GBR) vs Wang Cong (CHN)-2018 KLF 60KG Mulan Legend 4/4 FINAL 4
Keijiro Miyakoshi (JPN) vs Sun Zhixiang (CHN)-66KG Super Fight
Daniel Stefanovski (MKD) vs Yang Yu (CHN)-88KG Super Fight
Yan Kibo (CHN) vs TBA-MMA
Winner Fight 1 vs Winner Fight 2-2018 KLF 60 KG Mulan Legend Semifinal 1
Winner Fight 3 vs Winner Fight 4-2018 KLF 60 KG Mulan Legend Semifinal 2
Nayanesh Ayman (COD) vs Superbon Banchamek (THA)-2018 KLF 70KG World Championship 1/8
Fang Feida (CHN) vs Lin Qiangbang (CHN)-62 KG Super Fight
Jordan Kranio (BRA) vs Wei Ninghui (CHN)-66 KG Super Fight
James Chaney (USA) vs Zhang Lipeng (CHN)-77 KG MMA
Winner Semifinal 1 vs Winner Semifinal 2-2018 KLF 60 KG Mulan Legend Final