Olympic hero Aghayev headlines Karate Combat June 11 Card

New York, New York – With an Olympic silver medal now added to his list of achievements, Rafael Aghayev – the most decorated fighter in karate history – returns to the professional ranks on Saturday, June 11, 2022 when he headlines Karate Combat: Season 4 – Event 3.

With a resume which includes eleven European Championship victories and five WKF World Championships along with his silver medal at the 2020 Olympics, Aghayev’s legacy as the amateur circuit’s most accomplished amateur competitor is beyond question. Now his attention turns towards securing a similar legacy in professional full-contact competition.

To do so, Aghayev needs to win the Karate Combat World Championship title. His journey towards that goal begins Saturday, June 11, when he will step into The Pit to face Zsolt ‘The Soldier’ Habda in a main event fight with career-changing possibilities on the line for both fighters.

Habda, a special forces operator in his native Hungary, holds Aghayev in high esteem: posters of the outstanding Azeri adorn the walls of his gym to this day. In a strange twist of fate, he now has an opportunity to face his hero, a man once dubbed “the Michael Jordan of karate”.

“Rafael Aghayev is a living legend to karate practitioners all over the world – his list of achievements is endless and he’s widely considered the greatest amateur competitor of all time. Now he wants to replicate that success in full-contact professional fights here in Karate Combat,” said Adam Kovacs, Karate Combat President.

“Nobody wanted to step up and take this fight when we offered it. Zsolt Habda did. He wants the opportunity to test himself and face an all-time great. And if he wins, he will make a name for himself overnight.”

In the chief support slot, Bruno Assis looks to bounce back from last season’s unsuccessful title shot by taking on the surging Vitalie Certan, whose blistering run last season culminated in his winning ‘Fighter of the Season’ and ‘Fight of the Season’ awards from Karate Combat fans, along with the ‘Kick of the Season’ award for his head-kick stoppage of Deivis Ferreras.

Lightweight champion Edgars Skrivers defends his world title against Luiz Rocha at Karate Combat: Season 4 – Event 2. The winner of that fight may find himself facing the winner of Assis vs Certan.

Two bantamweight battles open Karate Combat: Season 4 – Event 3 as tough Dagestani Myrza-Bek Tebuev returns from a long injury layoff to face Peruvian power-puncher Jesus Lopez and Mexican-American Damian Villa, the 2021 US National Taekwondo champion, becomes the leagues’ first TKD-stylist competitor when he faces Brazilian national karate team member Gabriel Stankunas.

Featuring Georges St-Pierre and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in sensei roles, Karate Combat: Season 4 features four events airing at two-week intervals, beginning on Saturday, May 14 and culminating in a live finale at a world-famous location in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, June 25.


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