Tatneft Cup Kickboxing: 2019 Semifinals Results

-70 kg: Ivan Kondratiev (Russia) def. Miao Wei (China)
2018 Semifinalist Kondratiev (16-4, 12 KOs) earned a place in the 2019 finals with a victory over game Wei (30-9, 23 KOs).

Southpaw Kondratiev was the aggressor while Wei fought off the back foot. The Russian had a slight advantage in round one, landing a couple of hard left punches. Wei used springy footwork, and looked to land high kicks and spinning back fists during the bout.

In round three, Kondratiev landed a good punch and Wei looked disoriented and was given an eight count. Kondratiev wins by advantage under TNA rules.

-80 kg: Dmitry Baranov (Belarus) def. Sharabutdin Magomedov (Russia)-Decision
Great fight. The taller Magomedov looked to counter Baranov’s boxing with knees and kicks, and stunned Baranov with a knee upstairs in round two. Baranov started to work the body later in round two. Both men landed some good shots in the bout. Magomedov countered a Baranov right to the body with a left hook that stunned Baranov. Both fighters picked up the pace in round four with victory on the line, with the judges giving the vote to Baranov.

+80 kg: Francesco Xhaja (Albania) def. Matthieu Kongolo (Belgium)-KO Round 2
Xhaja started quickly. Kongolo (44-12, 27 KOs) threw a body shot then followed with a right high kick that dropped Xhaja. Xhaja (10-4, 3 KOs) wasn’t badly hurt, and stunned Kongolo with a high kick in return later in the round. In the second round, Kongolo was bleeding from the nose and took a knee for the count after getting hit with some good shots. The Belgian was a late replacement for injured Jegis Yegoian.

-70 kg: Zhora Akopyan (Armenia) def. Ilya Sokolov (Russia)-Decision
Akopyan won an extra-round decision over hometown lad Sokolov in an entertaining and hard-fought battle. Akopyan showed crisp punch combinations and nice movement as he countered Sokolov’s kicks. The Russian had a good third round, as he began to score with hard inside low kicks regularly. Because neither fighter had an advantage after three rounds by knockdown or eight-count, the fight went to the extra round. In the fourth, Akopyan had the better of the action as Sokolov tired to earn the victory.

-80 kg: Musa Sultaev (Russia) def. Sher Mamazulunov (Uzbekistan)-Decision
In an upset, Sultaev defeated reigning champion Mamazulunov by extra round decision in a close fight. The fight was a tactical battle, with Mamazulunov looking for openings in Sultaev’s high guard, and the Russian fighter looking to land low kicks. Mamazulunov seemed to land more while Sultaev carried greater power. The action heated up in the extra round, with Sher busier but he tired and initiated clinches. Sultaev landed a good left hook and was the stronger fighter as the round wore on, and he prevailed by decision.

+80 kg: Piotr Romankevich (Belarus) def. Claudio Istrate (Italy/Romania)-TKO Round 2 (Low Kicks)
The heavier and stronger Istrate was able to land a couple of good punches at close range in round one, while Romankevich connected with some good low kicks late. In round two, Romankevich’s low kicks closed the show. After the second eight count, Istrate was leaning on the ropes and shook his head. Former DSF Champion Romankevich advances to face the hard-hitting Xhaja for the heavyweight title.

Today’s winners will meet in the 2019 TNA World Cup Finals on 14 December at the Tatneft Arena in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia.

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