Orlando, Florida — Former Karate Combat world lightweight champion Edgars ‘The Bearslayer’ Skrivers sent a message and staked a claim to title contention following his win over Bruno Souza in the main event of Karate Combat 36 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night.
“You can run, but you can’t hide – Luiz, keep that belt safe for me, I am coming for it,” the former champion warned Karate Combat lightweight champion Luiz Rocha, who took the belt from him Karate Combat 36 results and recap this year.
Skrivers entered the fight as an underdog versus Souza, who was making his second appearance in Karate Combat. The fight was a close one, as evidenced by the scoreline after five rounds, and advantage passed back and forth continually.
Once the extra round was ordered, victory suddenly depended on three minutes of fighting to produce a winner. Skrivers, known for a relentless gas tank, was able to edge Souza – who also impressed with his conditioning – and take a crucial win on his road back to world title contention.
A massive overhand right from Igor de Castaneda ended the fight with Franklin Mina just one minute before the final bell was due to sound, scoring De Castaneda another entry in the library of all-time best Karate Combat knockouts.
The middleweight fight had been even until them, with Mina having won the first round and De Castaneda the second. With everything to play for and Mina still in the fight, De Castaneda ended an exchange with a bull of a right hand which rendered the judges unnecessary.
De Castaneda’s rival, Karate Combat middleweight champion Ross Levine, was Pitside for the fight. De Castaneda is chasing a rematch with his American antagonist but said Levine shouldn’t read anything into the way he set this KO up: “I have something else planned for Ross, something very special,” he smiled enigmatically.
A furious James Vick almost stormed from The Pit on hearing the judges’ decision going the way of his opponent Jorge Perez after three close-fought rounds of fighting.
As soon as the final bell had sounded, Vick had raised his arms in victory and had run up the edge of The Pit to share a moment of celebration with a teammate. Referee Marc Goddard cautioned him to return to the center and await the formal decision, a prescient piece of advice given the result which followed.
Despite pre-fight talk from both fighters professing a “kill or be killed” mentality, the fight itself had more of a strategic quality than a heated one. Vick acknowledged this, but said it made no difference in terms of how he had scored the fight himself.
“I didn’t lose that f–king fight,” he fumed backstage. “The scoring criteria rewards moving forward and pushing the fight, right? I was the one doing that. He hit me with nothing significant. That was absolute bulls–t. I don’t know what those judges were looking at. I couldn’t believe it when he was announced as the winner.”
Thunderous power from Fernando Paz ended his fight with Diego Avendano early, with A thunderous knockout ended
In the main event of the Preliminary Card, Mitchell Thorpe and Tommy Azouz had a three-round war which ended with Azouz furious after the Majority Decision went Thorpe’s way.
Statistics showed Thorpe had massively outlanded Azouz in kicks and takedowns, but Azouz pointed to the damage on Thorpe’s face and felt his effective punch output should have counted for more in the judges’ eyes.
Thorpe nearly didn’t make it into The Pit at all: the British fighter tripped on a concealed step when testing The Pit on Friday evening and suffered an ankle sprain which at one point looked set to take him out of the fight less than 24hrs before he was due to compete. Thorpe gritted it out and went on to take the win.
Earlier on the Preliminary Card, Kenji Grillon scored a big win in his Karate Combat debut, securing a stoppage win over gritty Greek opponent Nikos Gidakos in the second round of their hard-fought encounter.
Gidakos received some heavy blows during the fight but the end appeared to be caused by damage sustained when he threw a kick and had it blocked by Grillon, damaging his foot on Grillon’s shin and being unable to continue.
Elvin Aghayev and Chayil Calaway had a heated heavyweight war which saw both fighters land powerful shots throughout. Calaway at one point looked to have Aghayev in trouble but the moment passed and Aghayev came surging back to stop his American opponent with a big right hand.
Christina Kavakapolou had strong words for Kaye Asesor following a dominant decision win. Asesor had said pre-fight that victory for herself “was already claimed”. Kavakopoulou fired back in her post-fight interview: “The win isn’t claimed until you f–king claim it!” she snapped. The Greek now wants a title shot and says nothing else would make sense for her at this point.
KC 36 Main Card
Edgars Skrivers (LVA) vs. Bruno Souza (BRA) – Unanimous Decision (Extra Round), R6 3:00
Lightweight Main Event
Igor De Castaneda (ESP) def. Franklin Mina (ECU) – KO, R3 1:38
Jorge Perez (DOM) def. James Vick (USA) – Unanimous Decision, R3
Fernando Paz (ESP) def Diego Avendano (VEN) – KO, R2 01:26
KC36 Preliminary Card
Mitchell Thorpe (ENG) – Tommy Azouz (FRA) – Majority Decision, R3
Elvin Aghayev (AZE) def. Chayil Calaway (USA) – TKO, R3 02:36
Kenji Grillon (FRA) def. Nikos Gidakos (GRE) – TKO (Corner Stoppage), R2
Abdessalam Ameknassi (MOR) vs. Kalvis Kalnins (LVA) – Unanimous Decision, R3
Christina Kavakopoulou (GRE) vs. Kaye Asesor (PHI) – Unanimous Decision, R3
Women’s Strawweight Bout
Damian Villa (USA) def. Maximilliano Larrosa (URU) – Unanimous Decision, R3
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.