KARIM GHAJJI BECOMES THE FIRST KICKBOXING CHAMPION IN PROMOTIONAL HISTORY AT INAUGURAL ‘BELLATOR KICKBOXING: TORINO’ EVENT
TORINO, ITALY. (April 22, 2016) – Italy’s largest indoor arena, The Pala Alpitour was packed with over 13,000 fans for the historic, inaugural “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” event. The kickoff event was one for the ages with fierce competitors making a name for themselves with their world-class kickboxing on display. The card aired tonight on SPIKE through a delayed broadcast following “Bellator 153: Koreshkov vs. Henderson.”
Melvin Manhoef (37-13) was upset by Milan’s Alexandru Negrea (9-2) via decision in the evening’s main event. Negrea, also known as “The Volcano,” erupted in the second round, scoring a knockdown that forced an eight-count for Manhoef. The closely contested bout resulted in a decision victory for the Romanian-born fighter (30-25, 29-26, 29-26).
Mustapha Haida (40-5-2) and Karim Ghajji (96-12) battled it out for five hard-fought, exciting rounds of action for the ISKA and Bellator Kickboxing World Titles. At the culmination of the bout, France’s Ghajji emerged victorious with the scorecards reading (50-44, 50-44, 46-48).
Los Angeles native Raymond Daniels (11-3) has a knack for producing highlight-reel finishes, and he was back at it again during the “Bellator Kickboxing: Torino” event, flooring Francesco Moricca (15-3-1) with a spinning heel liver kick just 30 seconds into round one.
Here is the answer to a future trivia question: Veronica Vernocchi (31-7-1) was the first fighter to ever step into a Bellator Kickboxing ring. Denise Kielholtz (44-2), however, was all business from the very beginning. The Dutch striker made her historic walk to the ring to Rihanna’s hit song, “B*tch Better Have my Money,” and she fought as though her opponent showed up with empty pockets, winning a decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 28-29). With the win, Kielholtz became the first fighter to have their hand raised in a Bellator Kickboxing contest.
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