«LEGEND III: Pour Homme» Results
LEGEND III marked the Russian fight promotion’s first event outside of its homeland.
And it delivered a high octane seven-fight, fashion-themed bill in front of a 10,000, crowd at the Mediolanum Forum, with Groenhart closing the show in ruthless fashion.
Murthel Groenhart vs Dzhabar Askerovnew
The 2012 K-1 Max champion was fortunate not to receive a count from referee Atsushi Onari after being floored while caught off balance by a left hook in the opening exchanges by LEGEND tournament winner Askerov. But he showed the knockdown was a flash one as he sent Askerov sprawling with a hard right hand which followed a jumping knee. Askerov gamely beat the count but was badly hurt, and Dutchman Groenhart applied a fight-finishing three punch combination which ended the Russian’s night after just 2minutes 17seconds.
Andy Souwer vs Yuri Bessmertny
Double K-1 Max champion Andy Souwer showed why he is still one of the undisputed kings of the 70 kilogram division in the chief support as he got the better of rising star Yuri ‘The Prince’ Bessmertny on unanimous points to collect his first victory in Milan at the third attempt. Holland’s Souwer showed the benefit of a new diet and fresh focus as he kept the younger Fight Code champion from Belarus under pressure and popped in trademark tight punch combinations and occasional solid low kicks. Souwer took the first two rounds by keeping on the front foot, but Bessmertny made a strong finish, making the Dutchman hold after trapping him square on the ropes with head shots.
Pavel Zhuravlev vs Michal Turynski
LEGEND heavyweight champion Pavel Zhuravlev from the Ukraine struggled at times in registering a unanimous points win over late substitute from Poland Michal Turynski. Turynski only stepped in on two days’ notice, but showed he came to fight as he sent Zhuravlev stumbling from a counter right knee early in the first round, and swept out his Ukrainian opponent’s legs in the second. Zhuravlev had the odd impressive burst - including a left hook to the body followed by a left high kick - but Turynski was slippery and deservedly went the distance.
Alexander Surjko vs Paul Daley
Brute power overcame reach as former UFC and Strikeforce heavy hitter Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley exploded with his prime weapon the left hook to stop rangy Russian Alexander Surjko in the third round of a compelling 77 kilos contest. Daley had a hard time getting past Surjko’s long limbs in the first frame and had to contend with blood streaming from his nose from the start of the second after being kept on the end of a lancing jab. But the Englishman began to ram in some hard shots as the fight went deeper, cutting out the need for a possible extra round as he put Surjko down twice before referee Joop Ubeda saved the badly rocked Moscow fighter from further punishment after 2minutes 25 seconds of the closing session.
Enriko Gogokhia vs Alessandro Campagna
Russian southpaw Enrikho Gogokhia wasted little time as he collected a first round stoppage win against Italy’s Alessandro Campagna. Gogokhia found a home for his punches straight away and dropped Campagna to his knees with a straight left followed by a curling right hand which landed on the back of the Rome fighter’s head. Campagna rose at referee Onari’s count of four, but the Japanese official waved the contest off after taking a good look into the dazed home fighter’s eyes.
Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs Mohamed Khamal
Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong’s extra fight rhythm proved the difference in the second match as he saw off Morocco’s returning Mohamed Khamal on unanimous points – despite having a point deducted. The Thai southpaw came out firing from the start as he spoiled former K-1 Max Western Europe champion Khamal’s comeback from a two-year lay-off. Khamal landed a stiff counter right hand in the first round and fought very well after such a long absence, but his timing was slightly off as Sitthichai connected with rear leg low and middle kicks. The Bangkok left hander received a yellow card from referee Ubeda in the second round for one too many two-handed head clinches. Khamal showed nice evasion to duck under a flying knee attempt which saw the Thai almost leap through the ropes. But Sitthichai kept the attacks coming in the final round to post his 25th win in his last 26 fights.
Armen Petrosyan vs Alim Nabievnew
Russian 19-year-old Alim Nabiev proved too long and strong for Armen Petrosyan in the opening fight as he beat the Italian on points for the second time in six months. Nabiev outscored the younger brother of two-time K-1 Max champion Giorgio Petrosyan in Russia in November, and landed the better shots throughout as he claimed a unanimous decision victory.
The teenager stamped his authority in the centre of the ring early and continued to apply steady pressure, mixing in straight right hands, knees from the clinch and scoring with a slapping right high kick in the second round. Petrosyan had his moments and dug deep to launch a small rally in the last round, but was under fire on the ropes when the final bell sounded.