Powerplay 42 Summary

Powerplay 42 is a wrap and now that the dust has settled it is clear that a number of K1 warriors have substantiated themselves as the next crop of legitimate contenders and furthermore a somewhat sleeping giant has been well and truly awoken in the Heavyweight division.

The night kicked off with a competitive contest between XFC trained Mushi Rajabi and Boonchu protégé Liam King. In a tight contest, both combatants enjoyed periods of control, Musihi’s overhand right was the difference in the fight and after connecting and dropping Liam in the third round, the judges rightfully awarded Mushi the Unanimous Decision victory.

Fight two of the evening pitted hometown favourite Nazir Haddara against tough Irishman James McBride. James successfully used heavy leg kicks to his advantage early on, however Nazir consistently landed the cleaner strikes including some ruthless combinations to the body. In doing so he was able to break James’s resistance and although James survived, Nazir got the nod on the judge’s scorecard with a Unanimous Decision victory.

The third fight of the night unearthed a legitimate killer at 85 kg’s in the form of Westside MMA protégé Lucas Dassios. Over three rather one-sided rounds, Lucas attacked Jack’s body with vicious kicks and left rips, he continually changed his levels and confused Jack allowing numerous combinations to land cleanly. To his credit, Jack showed a ton of heart and continued fighting to the final bell however Lucas was the clear winner and consequently was awarded the Unanimous Decision victory.

Fight four was again very competitive, continuing the trend of well-matched fights on the evening. Sarmad Jahanara and James Hutcheson rode waves of momentum with James controlling round 1 with pressure strikes, before Sarmad found his groove and controlled rounds 2 and 3. Saramd successfully changed levels and diversified his strikes to amount point after point which eventually resulted in a well-deserved Unanimous Decision victory.

The fifth contest of the evening was arguably the fight of the night when young warriors Dominic Reed and Brandon Spain ripped into each other for 3 exhilarating rounds. Muay Thai practitioner Brandon Spain easily adjusted to the K1 format and established early control using solid leg and body kicks. Brandon’s hands were fast and his combinations were pin point. Dominic took a little time to warm into the fight however when he did he punished Brandon’s body and snapped his head back regularly with technically perfect pipe punches. Through rounds 2 and 3 Dominic seemed to have the advantage landing the more regular and more punishing strikes. The judges found it hard to separate the fighters and in the end Dominic was awarded a Spilt Decision victory. Based on the performance of both athletes however, it’s probably safe to say the 59 kg fighters in the Country will be having a few sleepless nights in the future.

The co-main event was epic! After a 2 year hiatus the ‘Rockin Moroccan’ Moulay Bekkali took right up where he left off and dissected his opponent over 3 entertaining rounds. Matthew Stevens was incredibly courageous, and he implemented a game plan that pushed Moulay onto the back foot on several occasions, however Moulay’s counter left hook was brutal and he was able to connect so consistently, even dropping Matthew during the fight. Moulay’s speed when counter punching was the difference and the Unanimous Decision victory was well-deserved. Both fighters will no doubt prosper in their careers moving forward; and in particular a massive test for Moulay awaits.

The main event was entertaining; the output was high and the fists were flying; however when it was all said and done a new contender emerged in a talent rich Heavyweight division. Aleksei Dmitriev’s game plan was near perfect; he gave Chris Bradford no time to establish his power game and instead pushed the pressure and left the AK-47 guessing for most of the fight. Aleksei was able to land combinations at ease and tore up the front leg of Bradford with unrelenting leg kicks. Chris gallantly tried to find the big shot all night, and a number uppercuts fell just short, however that seemed to be the problem for Chris, he continually looked for the ‘walk off’ KO while his opponent amassed points through clinical striking. As a result, Aleksei was awarded a comfortable Unanimous Decision victory and in doing so claimed the biggest scalp of his career.

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Powerplay 34 Recap: Riddell squares ledger with Moxon

The Melbourne Pavillion was once again the centre of combat sports in Victoria last night as it played host to the long awaited rematch between New Zealand’s Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Moxon at Powerplay 34. Riddell confirmed why many in the industry had picked him as the favourite, getting the best of Moxon over five rounds to take the fight via unanimous points decision.

After freely admitting that the last time the two met in centre ring back in 2014 that he had not performed to his expectations, Riddell was looking to set the record straight and confirm his place as one of the top middleweight kickboxers in the region. With the fight taking place over five rounds, both fighters played a patient game early on looking for any small weakness that could be exploited. With two world-class fighters like Riddell and Moxon the difference between winning and losing is not always how many punches you can throw or how hard you can hit, but the smaller elements and tactics such as footwork, range, timing and head movement. Riddell showed early on in round one that he had vastly improved since the two last met and as the opening round came to a close it was Riddell with the cleaner of the exchanges and a higher work-rate that set him apart from Moxon.

Not to be outdone however Moxon continually pushed the pace and gave little room to Riddell to be able to use his reach. Riddell seemed to find his range later on in the second round and picked his shots, rarely over-committing to any attack and landing himself in a bad position. Trademark heavy hands from Moxon had Riddell on the back foot at times in the third round, but Riddell’s precise footwork largely kept him out of any major trouble.  As the third round went on, Riddell continued to work the body of Moxon, peppering him with both step-up knees and his signature body rips.

The later rounds of the fight again proved to those in attendance that they were watching two high-classed professional athletes in the ring as both men gave it their all while still maintaining an air of composure and strategy. As Riddell pushed forward with a serious of strong high kicks, Moxon answered back with an increase in volume and accurate boxing combinations.

The opening of the fifth round saw Moxon land a clean hook flush on the jaw of Riddell who brushed it off and continued with his game plan seemingly unphased. As the fight drew to a close, it was clear that Riddell had done more than enough and just looked the more polished on the night taking the win and evening out the records between the two. With no love lost between both fighters in their, at times, tense post-fight interviews, it was confirmed in the ring that a third and final fight would be held at a later date to determine a series winner.

Back into the ring after a four-year layoff, former two-time world champion Aaron Goodson appeared to have never left the sport in his fight with New Zealander Alex Redhead in the night’s semi-main event. Looking strong and opening the bout with some great combinations that had Redhead on the backfoot, Goodson kept the pressure up for most of the first round. Speed certainly didn’t leave Goodson during his time off and his leg kicks and follow-up boxing were more than enough to give him the round quite cleanly.

That was all until Redhead picked his moment just before the bell, waiting for Goodson to drop his left hand slightly before landing a perfectly timed high right roundhouse kick dropping Goodson to the canvas. Unable to answer the referees call and be saved by the bell, the fight was officially stopped at 1:59 seconds into the first round via TKO giving Redhead the upset win of the night.

With the World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) Commonwealth Title up for grabs, the crowd in attendance was treated to an absolute war between 46 years-young Roberto Minniti and Indigo Boyd over five rounds. Minniti had a distinct advantage early on with the fight taking place under K1 rules, his preferred rule set compared to Boyd’s muay thai. Both fighters opened the fight with a serious of powerful punches, but it was Boyd who landed a telling right hand to Minniti’s jaw as the bell went at the end of the first round. Both were looking to time their attacks to perfection and not waste too much energy, and in the second round it was Minniti who was able to stay more composed and chip away at Boyd. The strike of the round went to Boyd as he landed a crisp spinning back fist on Minniti who was momentarily stunned but recovered quickly.

As the fight went on it was evident that Minniti’s jaw was rock solid and while Boyd had the higher work rate and more accurate punches, there was only a slim chance those punches were going to result in any kind of knockdown. Toughness is a word thrown around far too much in combat sports, but Minniti showed despite his age he can still mix it with the best in the ring and be a formiddable opponent for many. The fourth round saw Boyd switch his attacks to Minniti’s legs as he began to slowly pick up the pace as the fight went on. The left hook of Boyd was key later in the fight and he continually landed it clean while Minniti seemed to drop down a gear in the fifth round. As the fight drew to a close both fighters went looking for the big finish, with neither taking a backwards step. Boyd continued to rally and was able to take the title via a unanimous points decision.

Coming into his fight with Moulay Bekkali on less than one week’s notice, Sydney-based Dimitri Iliev was never able to establish himself following the opening bell and looked to be wobbled early on with a high head kick landing for Bekkali. Not fully recovered, Bekkali landed a subsequent head kick dropping Iliev who was unable to convince the referee that he could continue,  resulting in a TKO win for Bekkali 58 secs into the first round.

Results

  • Brad Riddell def Steve Moxon via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Alex Redhead def Aaron Goodson via TKO, Rd 1
  • Indigo Boyd def Roberto Minniti via Decision (Unanimous) WKBF Commonwealth Title
  • Moulay Bekkali def Dimitri Iliev via TKO, Rd 1
  • Tristan Papadopoulos def Salvatore Signorino via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Mini Nachar def Rob Morgillo via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Jayden Wright def Glen Brown via TKO, Rd 2

Article by Chris Quirk

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Powerplay 33 Recap: Victor Nagbe captures world title

A new World Kickboxing Federation (WKBF) champion was crowned on Saturday night at the Melbourne Pavilion with Victor ‘Hot Chilli’ Nagbe winning a unanimous points decision over Elliot Compton in a five-round war on Powerplay 33.

With solid fight experience behind both fighters, the start to the main event saw a slow and composed pace with both using the round to gauge distance and look for weaknesses in each other’s defence. Boxing combinations flowed cleanly from Nagbe, catching Compton on several occasions before Compton began firing away strong roundhouse kicks to try and keep some distance between Nagbe who was intent on walking forward. On more than one occasion in the second round both fighters were warned by the referee for catching kicks, a technique which is not allowed under K1 rules. Great footwork from Nagbe provided him an edge in the second round as he continued to land a series of punches on Compton.

The third round saw Compton pick up the pace and begin to challenge Nagbe with some quick footwork and accurate boxing of his own. Both fighters remained patient and aimed to land clean shots looking to provide style over substance in what was a tight matchup between two warriors. Compton seemed to have trouble under the K1 rules with the referee deducting a point following several warnings not to catch his opponent’s kicks. Nagbe took advantage of this and begun switching his attacks, landing a series of strong knees to the body. Ultimately it was Nagbe who took the initiative on the night, doing more than enough to secure him the world title with a unanimous decision over a tough-as-nails Compton.

Powerplay 33 Replay

In the night’s semi-main event New Zealand fighter Brad Riddell was able to beat Adelaide-based Thai Janrob Strong Heart in a five-round fight that saw the Thai unable to adapt to the changing rule set with the fight taking place under K1 rules. Removing some of the traditional weapons that accompany muay thai, Janrob was unable to really challenge his opponent and the first half of the fight saw Riddell landing strong attacks including several well-timed body shots. These were set up with a series of stiff jabs and powerful hooks, none of which seemed to slow the Thai down significantly but scored highly in the eyes of the judges.

Janrob was able to batter the arm of Riddell later in the fight with constant round kicks, but this did little to stop Riddell moving forward landing heavy punches to the body. The solid chin and tough exterior of the Thai helped to keep him in the fight as the body shots continued to land with an audible thud heard throughout the venue. In the end it was Riddell’s ability to adapt to the K1 rule set and his picture-perfect boxing combinations that were the deciding factors with all three judges scoring it 50-45 in a unanimous decision to Riddell.

In his post-fight interview Riddell announced that he would be travelling to London in May to fight British veteran and former two-time World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai World Champion Steve Wakeling.

Earlier on the card local Melbourne fighter Tristan Papadoplous put his undefeated record on the line against Sydney based Alireza Badragheh in a five-round fight for the WKBF Australian title. The early stages of the fight seemed to go the way of Badragheh who dictated the pace and constantly pushed forward on Papadoplous who seemed overly tentative. It was the third round that marked the turning point in the fight as Papadoplous was able to string together cleaner sets of combinations with a much higher work rate. Badragheh searched for the single knockout shot, but was unable to find an opening, Papadoplous taking the title with a unanimous decision.

After the main event, promoter Joe Nadar announced a 4-Man K1 tournament for the return of Powerplay 34 on Saturday July 22nd. Confirmed already are Elliot Compton, Victor Nagbe and Brad Riddell. Also invited to the event is well-credentialed international fighter Dzhabar Askerov. His participation is yet to be confirmed.

Results:

  • Victor Nagbe def. Elliot Compton via Decision (Unanimous) WKBF World Title 70kg
  • Brad Riddell def. Janrob Strong Heart via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Moulay Bekkali def. Josh Fitzroy via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Keith Azzopardi def. Steve Baldacchino via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Tristan Papadopoulos def. Alireza Badragheh via Decision (Unanimous) WKBF Australian 59kg Title
  • Ramesh Habib def. Oliver Hale via TKO, Rd 3
  •  Chris Nguyen def. Albert Xavier via Decision (Split)
  • Roberto Minniti def. Ramen Habib via Decision (Unanimous)
  • Jayden Wright def. Francis Kombukon via Decision (Unanimous)
  •  Richan Vischer def. Robert Majhen via Decision (Unanimous)
  •  Ajay Gurung def. Anthony Kwok via Decision (Unanimous)

Article by Chris Quirk

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