Swedish promotion "Rumble of The Kings" ran their annual November show yesterday, a night of big fights usually somehow involving Jorgen Kruth in a fight. This year was no different, but this year also hosted some fireworks as Yodsaenklai Fairtex vs. Artur Kyshenko as well as Dzabar Askerov vs. Chahid Oulad el Hadj. It was an internet PPV show with a mixed card of Mixed Martial Arts and K-1 fights, with the fight between Marius Zaromskis and Bruno Carvalho making international headlines thanks to Zaromskis landing a somersault kick during the fight.
A fight originally advertised as the main attraction was Ray Sefo vs. Jorgen Kruth in MMA rules, but apparently that fight was scrapped in favor of Kruth taking on Yusuki Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi is a fighter who never quite moved up the ranks in Japan as he is a Heavyweight, a division known to be weak for Japanese fighters, but he does have one notable victory over James Thompson in DREAM and has fought Mariusz Pudzianowski. The fight with Pudz leaves one to believe that he knew what he was getting into stepping into the ring against Jorgen Kruth in his home promotion and went down to Kruth in the first round via TKO after controlling him with his Judo early on. This is Kruth's fifth consecutive MMA win, most of which happened in his home promotion of ROTK, so take that with a grain of salt.
Yoshihiro Sato stepped up to fight at 75kg against Alex Tobiasson Harris. Sato held his own in the first round using his kicks and length to his advantage as he usually does before getting overwhelmed in the second round by Harris's boxing. The third round proved to be equally frustrating for Sato who was unable to break Harris's rhythm and he ended up dropping yet another decision to a fighter that many have only seen fight a few times. Sato has had a frustrating few years and should stick to 70kg fights, but it is always good to see a Japanese Kickboxer hitting the international scene, win or lose. Another disappointing fight came when Askerov met Chahid. This was an evenly-matched bout between two of the world's most exciting 70kg fighters and had a strange ending. Chahid took an unintentional low blow, much like in the Giorgio Petrosyan fight from earlier this year, and much like that fight, did not return to his feet to fight. Now, this is where it gets strange. The ref gave Chahid three minutes to recover, and after Chahid did not get back to his feet, the ref simply counted him down and gave the victory to Askerov. To say that this is wrong is an understatement, in situations like this a fight like that would be considered a No Contest, not be ruled in the favor of the fighter delivering a foul.
The feature bout of the evening at least saw some better action, as Artur Kyshenko was able to best Yodsaenklai Fairtex in three rounds. Both men stood toe-to-toe and threw everything they had at each other, with Yod simply being the smaller of the two fighters and having lost a step with his weight gain over the past few years was not as nimble as he needed to be. This included in the third round dropping his hands and taking damage with hopes of finding an opening from Kyshenko, which sadly did not work out. Kyshenko took the win and is having a stellar year.
For the full results and photos check out the Rumble of the Kings website.