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Karate Combat 38 goes down tonight from Miami, Florida with two titles on the line in the main and co-main events.
In the card’s marquee matchup, the promotion’s middleweight champion, Ross Levine, will defend his title in a rematch with a man he already holds a finish over, Igor de Castaneda. The first time these athletes met, Levine walked away with an insane spinning wheel kick TKO, while de Castaneda was left slumped on the embankment. Some say the fight was stopped a bit prematurely, so now these two will run it back to see what’s what.
The Karate Combat 38 co-main event had looked to be an immediate rematch of a Karate Combat 37 banger between the current bantamweight champion, Eoghan Chelmiah, and the man that nearly took his title, Jesus Lopez. However, health issues prevented Lopez from even stepping on the scale. The new co-main event will be a battle of the Brunos when Bruno Souza vs. Bruno Assis.
Karate Combat 38 Full Results
- Ross Levine def. Igor de Castaneda by KO in round 3: Middleweight Title
Levine was dictating the pace from the start of the match. He was pushing Castaneda backwards while picking his shots wisely. Castaneda started to answer back with clean crosses, but when he would put some arc into his punches, that’s when Levine would evade. This was a strong round for the champ.
Castaneda showed up with some spinning attacks to begin round two, but he was missing by a mile. Levine was sliding just out of the way of virtually anything that wasn’t directed in a straight line. Ross also hit a sweet sweep at the end of the round, and then landed a brief barrage of ground strikes to boot.
The pressure remained constant for Levine in the third round, and then KABOOM!!!! Ross unloaded a massive left hook that landed clean as day, rendering Castaneda unconscious on the embankment. OH MY!!!
- Bruno Souza def. Bruno Assis by unanimous decision: Lightweight
This one was fun before it even started. The fighters took turns playfully taunting one another from their respective corners. The fight began and the fun continued. Right away combos were being exchanged. Assis was connecting with the better shots early on, doing a solid job of mixing in his kicks with punches. Souza went right back at him, throwing his hands three and four at a time. Assis would come right back with a hard trip that made Souza fall face first.
Assis had some more big moments early in the second stanza. He was tagging Souza with some clean punches, and seemed to hold the power advantage. Assis ended up dropping Souza along the embankment, but he was unable to get his fellow Bruno out of there. The fight was stood up, and Souza went right to pressuring, but ate several thudding counters as a result.
Souza decided to lead the stance to open the third act. He was catching Assis being stationary, and was able to unload a bit of volume. Souza appeared to have more in the tank as Assis started to slow down. Souza was rallying hard, blasting Assis with everything but the kitchen sink. Assis found a way to weather the storm and survive the round. The crowd was so engaged that a ‘one more round’ chant broke out, and sure enough the bout was headed to overtime.
Souza picked up where he left off, showing off the more robust gas tank. Assis was a lot more stationary, but he was swinging counters. The better, cleaner, and more plentiful blows were being landed by Souza, who appears to be better suited for championship rounds.
- Adriano Hadribeaj def. Sasha Palatnikov by split decision: Middleweight
Hadribeaj scored first here when a big punch briefly sat down Palatnikov. The former UFC quickly sprung up to his feet and went back to pressuring. Sasha was landing hard crosses to both the head and body. As Hadribeaj was laying on the embankment, Palatnikov threw a rolling thunder kick, but missed and ate some hard counters because of it. The biggest moments of this round were owned by Hadribeaj.
A bit of a brawl broke out in the second round. Both men were dishing out heavy punches, and both men were taking it quite well. Palatnikov would connect with an angry combo on the inside, and then it was Hadribeaj’s turn to go. It was such a close three-minutes, that I’m really sure who won this one.
We got an unfortunate clash of heads to start the third act, which prompted a short break. The fight continued on, and another clash of skulls caused Palatnikov to complain to the ref. Sasha started to walk down Hadribeaj, and was able to land a takedown to get in some ground and pound before the bell.
- James Vick def. Gabriele Cera by unanimous decision: Welterweight
Vick methodically pressured forward to start the contest, backing up Cera to the embankment. Leg kicks and superman punches were working for Vick, who keeping his opponent on the outside. Cera did score a set of takedowns, but the ground defense of the former UFC fighter held up.
The pressure from Vick continued into the third. He was poking and prodding from range, staying ahead on the strike count. It was the hands of Vick that were doing the best work, as he was maximizing his reach advantage. Cera did score a sweet leg sweep just before the bell.
Cera opened the third round with some aggression. He was catching Vick with some heavy leather over the top, until a takedown plus ground and pound from Vick diluted that burst. Another takedown happened for Vick, who continued to land pinpoint punches on the floor.
- Melinda Fabian def. Erica Santos by unanimous decision: (W) Bantamweight
Fabian was marching forward behind her boxing to start the match, while Santos had a much more elusive approach. We got a bunch of hip tosses from either side, however neither fighter was able to solidify the top position in order to drop some hammers. Santos connected with a nice flurry towards the end of the round, but this one felt like Fabian’s.
Santos was working her straight line attacks to open the second round. Front kicks up the middle, jabs, and crosses were all scoring for Erica. The punches of Fabian were wide, but they seemed to be more powerful. She was having more success landing with said power the longer the round went on, and she was stinging Santos.
Fabian stuck with her heavy leather in the final round. She did get stuck with some clean counters from Santos, but whenever she connected it would totally nullify whatever progress Santos had made. Fabian was visibly moving Santos with each punch landed, which was impossible to ignore.
- Shahzaib Rindh def. Gabo Diaz by unanimous decision: Lightweight
Rindh wasted no time in kicking this one off. He was peppering Diaz with an assortment of front kicks that had him retreating. There was even a moment where Diaz ran up the embankment to avoid the onslaught. Rindh then snagged a takedown, complete with beautiful ground strikes. Diaz was trying to fire back, but Rindh gave him very few opportunities to mount some offense.
The kicks continued to be the primary weapon for Rindh in the second round, and Diaz was still fighting off of his back foot. As the round went on, the output of Rindh began to slow down, which allowed Diaz some chances to land some punches. The round ended with another Rindh takedown, followed more of his quality ground and pound.
Diaz continued to give up the takedown in the third round, and was paying for it by getting pounded on. Rindh was hitting his trips with relative ease, completely taking Diaz out of the fight. Diaz never gave up and showed tremendous heart, but he was simply out-matched here.
- Kenji Grillon def. Jorge Perez by unanimous decision: Welterweight
Grillon was the aggressor right away, and was hunting for several takedowns. Perez was making him work for them, and would often win the scramble to end up on top. On a referee break, Perez threw a punch and was deducted a point right away for the infraction. Grillon then scored a clean takedown and delivered some descent shots before the standup. Back on the feet, Perez bapped Grillon with a huge right hand that seemed to register.
The takedowns were there again for Grillon in the second stanza. Perez would punch himself into the clinch, and that’s where Grillon was hunting for the trips. Grillon also started to find a home for his right hand, landing it clean on a few occasions. This was a strong round for Grillon.
The momentum stayed with Grillon into the third act. He was backing up Perez and steadily breaking him down. He even landed a flush head kick that briefly staggered Perez. On Grillon’s next takedown, he dropped several pistons before the fight returned to its feet.
**It should be noted that Kenji Grillon missed weight for this bout
- Robbie LaVoie def. Damian Villa by split decision: Bantamweight
Villa was working his range weapons right away. He was launching a lot side kicks and roundhouses, while LaVoie was more focused on his counter punching. LaVoie ended up scoring a takedown, but the punch block defense of Villa was on point.
There was a bit of a limp to the walk of Villa to begin round two. He immediately went for a takedown, but didn’t really do much with it. Back on the feet, LaVoie unloaded a massive haymaker that snapped back the head of Villa. We got an accidental oil check (kick to the b-hole) to Robbie that gave us a brief timeout, which is the very first time I personally have ever seen that.
The final round began a bit tentative, but LaVoie started to find some openings. He snagged a takedown and landed some stinging shots before being stood back up. The output of Villa had dwindled, which set up another LaVoie takedown to G&P.
The judges did not have a winner declared after three, so we got an overtime round here. LaVoie appeared to be the fresher of the two fighters out there, but he was still having a difficult time getting inside of the reach of Villa. Down the stretch we got a lot of staring going on, but LaVoie was the one that produced a couple of big punches before the bell.
- Dionicio Gustavo def. Davy Dona by unanimous decision: Welterweight
Gustavo was pressing the action, while Dona was sitting back looking to counter. A takedown was achieved by Gustavo on the embankment, but nothing substantial was really landed before the standup. In open space, Dona landed a couple of clean rights. That lead to Gustavo blitzing and getting on top again. This time he capitalized on the moment by dropping some quality ground and pound.
We got a lot of feeling out to open the second round. After nearly two-minutes, Gustavo attacked with a flurry of rights and lefts that caused Dona to fall on the embankment. Gustavo was able to sneak in a few blows before the standup, which surely should have won him the round.
The third round saw a speedy start, but an accidental clash of heads brought about a brief timeout. As the ref was yelling ‘stop,’ Dona then went for a belly to back suplex, to which he received a stern warning. Shortly after that, the referee said to stop, but Dona then threw a right hand. He was instantly deducted a point. Dona picked up the pace, showing some much needed urgency, but time expired before he could sniff out the finish he needed.
Disclosure: Karate Combat covered the author’s travel expenses to this event.
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