The fight, which can you watch in full below, was almost over in the first fifteen seconds as Londt walked onto a Hari right cross and was knocked down. He managed to beat the count and recover but was on wobbly legs and looked ready to be put away.
Londt was able to survive the first round and to his credit did not attempt to avoid the fight while doing so. What initially looked like it was going to be quick and one-sided encounter turned into a much more even contest, with Londt getting back into the fight and scoring a knockdown of his own in the second round.
Both fighters are well-trained kickboxers but the second round was characterized by heavy exchanges of firepower in which finesse was discarded in favor of trying to do damage.
These exchanges seemed to tire both of them, placing a question mark over their conditioning, though it should also be noted that at nearly 4,000ft above sea level, Grozny is just 1,000ft from being officially categorized high-altitude. It is thus entirely possible that some oxygen deficit could be experienced while competing there.
Hari was bloodied up when he returned to his corner at the end of the second round, experiencing his hardest contest since a 2013 loss to Zambit Samedov.
By the final round Hari’s face was wearing significant battle-damage, sporting a cut on the side of his nose and with his left eye nearly closed up. But he had figured Londt out by this point; extensive use of the jab at the start of the round tested Londt’s range and reactions before a crisp 1-2 resulted in Londt taking another right cross full-force.
Londt staggered backwards and fell to the canvas to suffer his fourth knockdown of the fight. That prompted referee Joop Ubeda to step in and wave the fight off under the ‘four knockdowns’ rule (in most kickboxing organizations fights end if there are three knockdowns in one round or four in the course of the fight).
Once Hari had his arm raised, friends and team-mates swarmed the ring to congratulate him. Among them was Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen president and patron of Akhmat Fight Show. The event is named in memory of his father Akhmat, assassinated by dissident militia in 2004, as is the Akhmat Fight Club MMA team.
Kadyrov is a big fan of fight sports and has also set up an MMA and boxing team, Akhmat Fight Club. He regularly has top fighters from around the world flown in. Saturday’s event had UFC light-heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa ringside as guests of honor.
Hari’s win over Londt rekindles the discussion of his place in the current heavyweight hierarchy. A fully fit and competition-sharp Hari is a very dangerous beast but Saturday’s performance certainly showed some layers of ring-rust. November is set to provide another look at Hari’s 2015 form as he is scheduled to face Romania’s Catalin Morosanu.
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