Kunlun Fight 78: Results and Highlights

Mergen Bilyalov KLF Poster

Kunlun Fight returned to Tongling, China with an eight-man 75 kg tournament to crown the 2018 KLF 75 kg champion. The event produced some cracking action. Mergen Bilyalov of Kazakhstan is the new king of the 75 kg weight category, scoring two first round knockouts before winning a close decision over Huang Kai in the final. In a women’s super fight, Wang Kehan used her boxing to turn back Mallaury Kalashnikoff of France.

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament Final: Mergen Bilyalov (KAZ) def. Huang Kai (CHN)-Majority Decision. (Mergen Bilyalov 2018 KLF 75 KG Champion)
Bilyalov wasn’t able to knock out skilled southpaw Huang but did enough in the judges’ eyes to earn the decision. Bilyalov used his wide stance and springy footwork, and looked to catch Huang. Huang looked to land low and body kicks. In round three, the Chinese fighter picked up his work rate. Bilyalov landed the crisper shots and won a close decision. Not much seemed to separate the two fighters, with two judges scoring the bout 29-29.

-63.5 kg Female Super Fight: Wang Kehan (CHN) def. Mallaury Kalachnikoff (FRA)-Majority Decision
Wang’s boxing and footwork led her to victory over the French fighter. Wang connected with a few stiff jabs in round one, and was able to catch Kalachnikoff coming in. Wang used a front kick to the body to gauge distance effectively. In round three, Wang continued to get the better of the action and won by scores of 30-29 twice and 30-30.

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament Semifinal 2/2: Mergen Bilyalov (KAZ) def. Vitaly Gurkov (BLR)-TKO Round 1 (Body Punch)
Bilyalov made it two consecutive first round tournament victories, stopping defending champion Gurkov with a body shot. Bilyalov looked to catch Gurkov coming in early, while the Belorussian fighter threw inside low kicks. The power punching Bilyalov found a spot for his right hand in the rib area, and Gurkov bent down in pain. The referee gave a count and stopped the bout.

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament Semifinal 1/2: Huang Kai (CHN) def. Ravy Brunow (BRA)-Unanimous Decision
The two fighters sized each other up in round one. Huang scored with some good shots at distance in round two, and the Chinese southpaw cracked some left body kicks. In round three, Huang again got the better of the action. Brunow began to tire by the second round.

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament Reserve Match: Sun Weipeng (CHN) def. Diogo Sotero (BRA)-Unanimous Decision
Sun had the Brazilian southpaw in trouble in round one. He knocked Sotero down twice with punches, and it looked like the fight may be over quickly. Sotero survived and looked to keep the fight at distance in round two. Sotero became more aggressive in round three but Sun was the sharper fighter, and won by scores of 30-26 on three scorecards and 30-27 twice.

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament 4/4: Mergen Bilyalov (KAZ) def. Huang Kai (CHN)-KO Round 1
Huang started the bout aggressively, looking to score with jumping knees. He crashed distance and worked knees to the body on the inside. The Kazakh fighter looked to time him coming in. Bilyalov caught Huang with an uppercut and a hook that dropped the Chinese fighter face first to the canvas, and the bout was immediately halted.

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament 3/4: Zhang Yang (CHN) def. Regilio van den Ent (NLD)-Majority Decision
van den Ent started quickly, and seemed to start breathing heavy by round two. Zhang, a southpaw, looked to defend and counter. Zhang was the fresher fighter in round three, and out boxed the Dutch fighter late and scored with some nice low kicks set up by punches. Scores were 30-28, 30-28, 30-29, 30-30,…

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament 2/4: Ravy Brunow (BRA) def. Law Chosing (CHN)-Majority Decision
Brunow advanced with a majority decision in the second quarterfinal. Scores were 30-30, 30-28 on three cards, and 30-27.

-2018 KLF 75 kg Tournament 1/4: Vitaly Gurkov (BLR) def. Tan Xiaofeng (CHN)-Unanimous Decision
The opening bout pitted reigning champion Gurkov against Tan. Gurkov got the better of the smaller Tan, landing some nice knees on the inside and also landed the better punches. Scores were 30-28 four times and 30-29 for “The Patriot” from Belarus, Vitaly Gurkov.

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