Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 September 2020

Emirates K-1 Combat kickboxing championship is next up in Abu Dhabi fight schedule

Fighters from around the globe set to take part in pro kickboxing event that is set to take place on September 18

UAE's Nouredine Samir, left, reached the final of the 63.5kgs final at the IFMA Asian Championship in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Victor Besa / The National
UAE's Nouredine Samir, left, reached the final of the 63.5kgs final at the IFMA Asian Championship in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Victor Besa / The National

Following the successful staging of UFC’s Fight Island, two UAE Warriors mixed martial arts events and the Muaythai Fight Night, the Emirates K-1 Combat championship is set to be the next up in Abu Dhabi.

Fighters will arrive from around the globe for the professional kickboxing event that is set to take place at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort on September 18.

The UAE Muaythai and Kickboxing Federation, assisted by the International Kickboxing Federation, is already in the process of putting together a shortlist of the best available fighters for the event.

“We expect some of the world’s best to be at this championship,” Tareq Al Muhairi, executive director of the UAE Muaythai and Kickboxing Federation, said at the launch ceremony on Tuesday.

“The list of fighters will be announced once they have confirmed, along with all other details. We also want to provide fighters from the region and in the country with more opportunities.”

The federation staged a successful Asian Muaythai Championship in the capital last December and will be hosting World Muaythai Championship next year but this will be its first kickboxing championship at this level.

“We obviously are very excited and looking forward for this new addition to our calendar of event and we really want to put up a grand show providing top fare kickboxing action for our fans,” Al Muhairi said.

“Our federation is the newest of all the combat sports federations in the country but we have made great progress and still moving forward in this short period of time.

“Here we are dealing with two different martial art sports that may appear to be similar.

“Muaythai has an eight-point striking system that allows the fighter to use elbows and knees.

“In contrast, kickboxing allows only punches and kicks, and prohibits striking with elbows and knees. However, many of the techniques taught in the two martial arts are similar.”

The UAE federation made a big impact on the Muaythai world stage by winning a gold at the World Championship in Mexico in 2018 and later by hosting the Asian Championship in Abu Dhabi in December 2019.

“That success in hosting the continental championship that won us in our bid to host the World Championship [originally set for July 2019] which had to be postponed after the Covid-19 breakout.”

“The K-1 Combat will take place with all safety measures in place with the fighters as well as all those involved in having to go through the new normal Covid-19 precautionary process.

“The Muaythai Night [on July 24] served as a trial and now we are ready to step up for hosting a bigger event.

“At the moment, the plan is to conduct the championship behind closed doors. We are not sure if that’s going to change in a month’s time. But we are prepared for any changes that may take place.

“In any case, we are catering to a global audience and all action can be watched live on our UAM digital platform and affiliated websites.”

Updated: August 5, 2020 10:53 AM

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