Spinning heel KO secures title shot for Levine in Karate Combat: Season 4 Opener

A chance at the Karate Combat World Middleweight Championship awaits you Ross “Turbo” Levine after his spectacular finish of his compatriot Igor de Castaneda in the main event of Saturday Night’s Karate Combat event.

Their globally televised encounter headlined a card filled with explosive finishes and high points. Three other events remain in the Karate Combat: Season 4 line-up, airing every two weeks and culminating in the Season 4 finale on June 25.

With Levine and de Castaneda having a long simmering beef and a streak of knockout victories to their names, combat sports experts predicted this encounter wouldn’t go the distance.

They were right in the second round when Levine – after successfully cutting the thread off Castaneda’s huge right hand – landed a spectacular spinning heel kick that ended their fight.

The fight had been officially named a middleweight eliminator, with the winner guaranteed a title shot. Karate Combat president Adam Kovacs has confirmed that Levine will now go ahead to face defending champion Shahin Atamov, an enigmatic figure with a ferocious finish rate, later this year.

“That’s why they brought me to the karate fight, to come here and make statements,” Rhode Island man Levine said after the fight. “He was hurt badly by that spinning ax kick – my own heel hurts. But he’ll come back, he’s a great fighter.

“Shahin Atamov presents a new puzzle, a new challenge, but I guarantee you that I will be ready for it. I’m going to go home, celebrate a bit, then get back to work to bring that middleweight title back to the United States.

Chief support combat saw Lazar Kukulicic and Mitchell Thorpe meet in a fierce battle of lightweight prospects that produced an incredible highlight in the very first round.

A tense feeling process exploded when Montenegrin mountaineer Kukulicic – a qualified oncology nurse in his native country – suddenly picked up Thorpe, raced to the top of The Pit wall, then leapt into a diving slam that made gasp the crowd.

The move knocked out Thorpe and allowed Kukulicic to take the lead for the rest of the round and much of the second. Brave Thorpe was finally able to turn things around in the third and final round, but that wasn’t enough to affect the outcome – Kukulicic was the clear winner of the decision when the final bell rang.

“It was a battle of titans, a real fireworks display. I knew it would be” said Kukulicic. “I would like to aim for the title next, but maybe I need another win first. It doesn’t matter who is next, I will fight anyone. I am the Lion King and when the lion has hungry, he eats,

Heavy-handed newcomer Stephanie Oliveira shocked fight fans around the world with his second-round stoppage of a three-fight karate veteran Fabiola Esquivel.

Oliveira, who trains with MMA champions Patricky and Patricio Fereire at their Pitbull Brothers gym, put relentless pressure on Esquivel with a non-stop barrage of punches and body shots.

Esquivel weathered the storm until the final moments of round two, when suddenly she began to lay down. As the ruthless Oliveira stepped in to finish off his injured and helpless opponent, the referee jumped between them and waved the fight off, handing Oliveira an impressive win on his Karate Combat debut.

An impressive Karate Combat debut was also on the agenda for the opening bout of the event, when the newcomer Arthur Gasanov took out the return Tommy Azouz in their lightweight contest with what would prove to be one of two rotating kick stops on tonight’s card.

Dodging the punches, Azouz plunged his head into a powerful spinning kick. Somehow he remained upright, but was clearly on his feet. Gasanov’s subsequent punches were useless: the fight was over.

The next Karate Combat event is broadcast Saturday May 28with the lightweight karate world champion fighting Skrivers “The Bear Slayer” by Edgars defend his title in a bloody rematch with a bitter rival Luiz Rocha in the main event.

Karate Combat: Season 4 is televised worldwide – visit Karate.com for regional information on how to watch.


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