'Final Eight' to be held at Yas Island where kick-boxers will compete for grand prize of €100,000 on December 8
Banchamek among world's top eight kick-boxers to fight in Abu Dhabi
Enfusion Live returns to Abu Dhabi on December 8 when the world’s top eight kick-boxing fighters contest for a grand prize of €100,000 (Dh430,493) in an event called the ‘Final Eight’.
Four of the fighters to have gained automatic qualification for the Yas Island competition include Superbon Banchamek of Thailand, Portugal's Diogo Calado, and Moroccans Mohammed Khamal and Nordin ben Mohammed.
The remaining four will come through a final qualifying round in the Netherlands on November 11 for the right to fight at the Du Arena.
Julie Kitchen, a multiple-time Muay Thai world champion who is also the Enfusion promoter, introduced the event as the “first of its kind” during its launch ceremony at the InterContinental Hotel on Wednesday.
“We have staged two events previously, the first at the Ipic Arena in December 2016 and at the Yas Beach in March, but this is in a bigger scale and more glamour,” Kitchen, 40, said.
“This event has drawn the best fighters from around the world. The first two events in Abu Dhabi were successful and we expect this one to be a bigger hit,” added Kitchen, who won 51 of her 61 career fights in Muay Thai before retiring in 2012.
“Usually it’s one fight when they participate in a competition because they take a lot of punishment,” Kitchen pointed out. "But here they will have to go through three fights as in a quarter-final, semi-final and final. If the winner of a fight cannot continue due to injuries, then the fighter who lost gets another opportunity.
“This is an opportunity for them [to compete] in Abu Dhabi with an attractive prize fund," the fighter-turned-commentator said, before adding that the event will be telecast live to more than 25 countries, which she predicted would make "it more interesting".
Between the main fights, there are undercards scheduled for the night, including one that features Emirati Ahmed Al Darmaki.
“The undercards are for the amateurs and a stepping stone for those pursuing on a professional career,” Kitchen said. “It also provides the competition to run without an interruption and provide enough time to recover for the pro fighters."