Story by: Daniel Hol
Photos: Uffe Brännström & Marcus Syversten
The annual Rumble Of The Kings event in Stockholm is always a greatly awaited happening by fight fans across the globe. Sanctioned by the World governing Body of the Sport the WMC and the Swedish Muaythai Federation Today’s event was no different and the sold out crowd at the Hovet Arena was treated to an absolutely amazing evening of supreme action.
The magnitude of the fight card and its appeal spoke for itself as masses of eager guests stood in line at the gates for the early 4:30pm opening of the doors. Needless to say the first pair of fighters that entered the ring for the pre-event fights received a very warm welcome by the excited and expectant audience.
PRE-EVENT FIGHT 3 – K-1 RULES -75Kg
Meran Zangana Vs Petter Juuhl
Opening fights are supposed to get the audience ina good mood for the main events bouts and that is precisely what the fight between Meran Zangana and Petter Juuhl achieved. No time was wasted as booth men started to trade big shots straight from the bell. In a short moment of exchange Juuhl connected with a hard right hook that shook Meran badly, Juuhl followed it up with more strikes and took Meran to the canvas with them. Up on his feet after receiving an eight count Meran appeared dazed but when Juuhl came in for the finish Meran managed to deliver a perfect left knee straight on to the attacking Juuhl’s liver rewarding a down in the other direction. Juuhl got up but was floored a few seconds later after receiving yet another left knee from Meran. Juuhl refused to give in to the pain and got up yet again and attacked Meran with a wild and seemingly desperate combination but it was to no use as he was downed for the third and final time by one more knee strike from the Swede Meran who stood for the “comeback of the night” with this performance.
With the exhilarating pre-event fights in the bag the show continued with the official opening ceremony that contained music performance by the Rock Band Fatal Smile and more shouting from the thrilled audience. Opening the events main card was the preliminary semi-final of the WMC Nordic Welterweight 4-men tournament.
WMC NORDIC WELTERWEIGHT TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL 1
Rhassan Muhareb Vs Martin Akhtar
First to Tee off in the Nordic WMC 4-men tournament was the aggressive and active fighters Rhassan Muhareb of Denmark and Martin Akhtar from Sweden who turned their meeting in the ring into a bloody battle. Martin took the initiative early on and pressed Rhassan who in return countered swiftly with fast and hard kicks. In the second and third there was a significant increase of clinching and also elbowing leading to big cuts in the head of both men. The high speed action withstood the entire fight even though both fighters looked very tired in the end. The unanimous decision was awarded to the more precise Martin Akhtar who now had about an hour to recover for the final.
WMC NORDIC WELTERWEIGHT TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL 2
Pasi Lukkanen Vs Sanny Dahlbeck
Sanny Dahlbeck posses an extremely solid left hand and he introduced it to Pasi Lukkhanen midway past the first round scoring a knockdown with it. Back on his feet Pasi seemed shaken but he managed to regain his composure and made it thru the round. The second began with each fighter throwing and audibly connecting with more force and also exchanging hard knees in clinch. Coming out in to the third Sanny unleashed several rigid techniques and 30 seconds in to the round he connected with an absolutely fantastic spinning elbow that got the job done sending Pasi crawling on the canvas, this time unable to recover. With this impressive performance done Sanny Dahlbeck headed back to the dressing room preparing for the upcoming final against the fellow Swede Martin Akhtar.
WMC Super Fight
David Onufer Vs Abbe Joof
Subsequent to a short feeling out process both fighters started to throw big punches and kicks at each other and the sound of bone crashing in to bone was heard loudly in the arena. The fight continued in same pattern over the second and third round but with Abbe connecting with allot of firm strikes to Onufer’s midsection taking out its toll on the Czech fighter who lost his pace as a result of it. The Swede Abbe ended the fight with a one minute long bombardment of strikes and kicks apparently looking for the knockout but Onufer kept his hands high and withstood the hard beating. After three active and well fought rounds the judges proclaimed Abbe Joof as the winner by 3-0.
WMC SuperFight -70Kg
Chahid Oulad El Hadj Vs Dzhabar Askerov
As expected the two hard hitting Muay Thai veterans Chahid and WMC European Champion Askerov wasted little time before engaging each other with wild striking combinations and kicks. Shots were traded between them with Askerov as the aggressor controlling the centre of the ring and Chadid countering with combinations. Two minutes in to the fight Askerov accidently kicked Chahid in the groin making the Marrocon fighter twist in agony on the canvass. When three minutes consisting of Chahid crawling on the mat had passed the referee gave Chahid a verbal warning that it was time to get up and fight but this only made Chahid twist and grunt even worse and so the referee started to count him out. Chahid did not stand up which resulted in an unsatisfactory TKO win for Dzhabar Askerov.
NORDIC WMC WELTERWEIGHT TOURNAMENT FINAL
Martin Akhtar Vs Sanny Dahlbeck
In the all Swedish WMC tournament final the taller, heavier and ten years younger Sanny Dahlbeck took the early initiative throwing a 10 strike elbow combination from clinch, Martin Akhtar looked tensed after this and Sanny use his reach advantage to the fullest and secured the first round. In the second Martin came out more active again looking to close gap to be able to connect with his powerful hands but he ran in to allot of well aimed counters from Sanny by doing so. The final minute of the round saw both fighters going all in with power shots hopeful of a quick end of the fight. The third started like the second ended and more big blows were traded between the two, this time with Sanny getting out the most of each trade. Hurt and completely exhausted Akhtar bravely kept on going in to striking duels with Sanny but with little success as Sanny had more gas in the tank and out powered him. After three absolutely stunning and prominent rounds the decision 3-0 came in support for an utterly happy Sanny Dahlbeck who now can ad Nordic WMC Welterweight Champion to this list of titles.
K-1 RULES SUPERFIGHT – 75Kg
Alex Tobiasson Harris Vs Yoshihiro Sato
The fight began with both fighters sizing each other up, connecting with jabs and sharing hard kicks over the block. Alex quickly figured out that he had much success with his one two punch combination and in the second round he used it over and over again combined with solid knees making Sato look frustrated and out of rhythm. Sato came out swinging in the third well aware that he was behind on the scorecards but no matter how hard the two time Japanese K-1 MAX Champion tried he was still unable to figure out the movement pattern of the nonstop striking Swede which resulted in Sato suffering more punches to the face and knees to the body. With big ovations from the crowd Alex Tobiasson Harris got his hand raised by the referee after an absolutely amazing performance made by the pre fight underdog.
WMC Super Challenge -72,5KG
Yodsaenklai Fairtex Vs Artur Kyshenko
The most spoken of match up prior to the event was the massive muaythai contest between the two superstar fighters Yodsenklai Fairtex from Thailand former WMC World Champion , Winner Contender Asia and Artur Kyshenko 2 times IFMA World Champion ,WMC European Champion from the Ukraine. Both men received standing ovations from the expectant audience as they made their way in to the ring and the tension in the Hovet arena was thick as glue as the fight began. With a considerable height advantage Kyshenko initially tried his best to stay outside of reach of Yodsaenklai’s powerful left hook. “Yod” however managed to close the gap and while trading punches Kyshenko connected with a firm left hook of his own and moments later he landed it again visibly shaking “Yod” who impressively managed to withstand the following beating at the end of the round. The second looked like a clip from a Hollywood movie with rigid punches and kicks being thrown constantly both ways resulting in a mutually giving and receiving of rock solid attacks. The ring war continued in the third seeing both warriors in it unleashing more huge kicks and punches and in the last minute of the round a tired and unsteady “Yod” dropped his hands and let Kyshenko beat him immensely in hopes of finding a opportunity to land a knockout punch of his own. When the final bell rang the crowed once again stood up cheering and showing their appreciation for the absolutely spectacular fight. The unanimous decision came in favour for Artur Kyshenko who loudly and clearly relived shouted out “I am the best!”
To summit the event it can with ease be said that it was a fantastic night of first class action that lived up to all expectations and its theme “100 % forward”. A new Champion has been crowned, talent have prevailed over experience and stars have fought each other in battles that already has become classics. In other Words, it was a Rumble Of Kings!
A Thanks as always must go to the event oragnizers and there hard working team ,the Swedish Muaythai Federation and the World Muaythai Council
Story by: Daniel Hol
Photos: Uffe Brännström & Marcus Syversten