The field for the four-man Enfusion Abu Dhabi Heavyweight Tournament taking place on 6 December was finalized recently, with Levi Rigters of the Netherlands and Slovakia’s Martin “Paco” Pacas added to the tournament.
The four fighters taking part in the tournament, which features €25,000 in prize money, are:
Rigters-the reigning Enfusion Heavyweight Champion. The young Dutchman captured the vacant title last year with a close decision victory over Pacas. Rigters retained the title for the first time in February via unanimous decision over Belgium’s Nidal Bchiri. In his last outing in June, Rigters defeated Croatia’s Mihajlo Kecojevic on points at Enfusion 86 in Belgrade.
Pacas-fighting out of the Diamond Gym in Slovakia, Pacas is currently the number one contender in the Enfusion heavyweight rankings. He lost the close decision to Rigters last October, then faced Roman Kryklia at Kunlun Fight 80 but was defeated on points by the Ukrainian. In his last Enfusion bout, Pacas looked sharp in going the distance in a win against Rade Opacic.
Opacic-the young Serbian power puncher earned a place in the tournament by winning a qualifier held at Enfusion 86. Opacic scored two first-round KOs to win the four-man tournament. After he stopped Bulgaria’s Daniel Gabarov in the semifinals, Opacic followed up with another quick win over Bchiri.
Like Pacas, Opacic competed in this year’s KLF +100 kg World Championship tournament held at Kunlun Fight 80 in February. He stopped Chinese heavyweight Liu Wei with a first-round body shot in the quarterfinals, but lost via TKO to tournament winner Krylia in the next round.
Giannis Stoforidis-The Greek heavyweight, like Opacic, earned a berth by winning the qualifier held at Enfusion 84 in Germany in May. Stoforidis landed a big punch in round three to score an eight-count against Andre Schmeling, and secure a decision win. In the final, the southpaw needed less than a round to stop France’s Karim Zeghad and earn his ticket to Abu Dhabi.
The first-round match ups will be announced at the tournament weigh-ins, taking place on 5 December.
The year-end Enfusion Abu Dhabi event figures to be one of the top events of 2019. In addition to the heavyweight tournament, Enfusion 70 kg Champion Jonay Risco Perez of Spain defends against Tayfun “Turkish Turbine” Ozcan. Ozcan is the organization’s defending 72.5 kg champion, and regarded as one of the best K-1 rules fighters in the world pound-for-pound. He’s moving down in weight to face Risco. The two fighters met once before, but the bout ended prematurely due to a cut on the shin sustained by Ozcan.