Kunlun Fight 69 took place today in Guiyang, China. The show commemorated the Chinese New Year (Happy New Year to you!), and the show featured a legend in Buakaw Banchamek, the finals of the 70 KG and 100+ KG tournaments, and a couple of superfights also. Here is a quick recap.
Iraz Azizpour WD4 Roman Kryklia (2017 100+ KG Final)
Iran’s Azizpour claimed the heavyweight tournament championship with an extra round decision over Kryklia that was questionable. After a slow first round, the taller Kryklia tagged Azizpour regularly with clean punches and mixed in a few low kicks, and it seemed he’d done enough to earn the nod. Azizpour started to tire after the first round. Neither fighter landed much of note in the extra round, and the judges awarded the decision to Azizpour, who was the aggressor.
Zhang Yang WD4 Vitaly Gurkov Zhang and Gurkov had to fight the extra round, after two judges had it a draw after an untidy three rounds. The referee warned Gurkov for clinching multiple times, but never issued the Ukrainian a yellow card. Zhang started to score with his hands more in the third, and in the fourth his punches earned him more points than Gurkov’s clinch and knee style.
Buakaw Banchamek KO1 Nayanesh Ayman (70 KG Superfight) An easy win for the Thai legend. Ayman, who took the fight on just three weeks notice, fought cautiously. Buakaw took his time and stepped in with a left hook to floor Ayman. Ayman got up was on shaky legs and the ref stopped the fight.
Roman Kryklia UD3 Felipe Stievano (2017 100+ KG Semifinal)
The taller Kryklia, from Ukraine, busted up Brazil’s Stievano with his jab. Stievano tried to make a fight out of it in the third, but Roman landed some good knees and had Stievano in some trouble at the final bell.
Iraj Azizpour KO2 Asihati (2017 100+ KG Semifinal)
Asihati, of China, looked in control of the fight after a cautious first round against Iran’s Azizpour. Ashiati had better boxing skills and controlled distance against a fading Azizpour. But late in the round after getting tagged, Azizpour pushed Asihati off and landed a left leg kick to the jaw that dropped Asihati for the count.
Marat Grigorian KO1 Superbon Banchamek (2017 Kunlun Fight 70 KG Tournament Final)
Grigorian had a tougher fight in the semifinals as he ate a few solid shots from Zuev. Banchamek looked like it was his first fight of the night! Grigorian pressured the Thai behind a high guard, and Banchamek threw some teeps and rear round kicks to keep distance. Grigorian threw a left hook, and with Banchamek on the ropes, BOOM! Grigorian caught Superbon with a big right hand, followed by a left and another right. and Banchamek crashed to the canvas face first. Marat Grigorian, of Belgium, is the Kunlun tournament champion, and was awarded the Kunlun Fight World Max belt.
“I feel great. I prepared very hard for this tournament. One of my goals in my life in this sport to do it. Thank you China for this opportunity. I want to challenge Buakaw in my next fight,” Grigorian said in the postfight interview.
Andrei Kulebin WD3 Gu Hui (67 KG)
Kulebin won a close decision over China’s Hui in a 67 KG fight. Kulebin, from Belarus, landed some good knees in the second and third rounds to get the nod.
Superbon Banchamek MD3 Sergii Kuliaba (70KG Tournament Semifinal)
Superbon cruised to a unanimous decision over Ukraine’s Kuliaba, showcasing his kicking skills. Not a lot of action. Two judges had the bout bout even.
Marat Grigorian UD3 Dzianis Zuev (70 KG Tournament Semifinal)
Zuev, a southpaw who is a Belarussian Special Forces soldier, tried to use lateral movement and body kicks to keep the stronger Grigorian off him. In the second, Zuev stood his ground more and Grigorian had him in trouble late in the round. The ref seemed to miss a Grigorian knockdown.Zuev stood his ground and was busier in the last round, but Grigorian slipped and blocked a lot and his punches did a lot more damage.
Kong Lingfeng WD3 Takuya Imamura (70 KG tournament reserve fight)
Close fight. Imamura pressed the fight and landed some good punches to both body and head. Kong, who fights out of the southpaw stance, tenderized the Japanese fighter’s leg with some hard leg kicks. The Chinese fighter got the nod after three hard fought rounds.
Beybulat Isaev KO1 Wu Chao (100 KG+ tournament reserve fight)
Isaev hails from Russia and trains in Phuket, Thailand. Both he and Chao made their Kunlun debuts. Chao, a beefy southpaw, was the aggressor. Late in the round, Isaev nailed Chao with a big right hand over the top as Chao came in, and followed up with a quick left. Chao couldn’t beat the count.