Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Jonay Risco and Tayfun Ozcan headline Enfusiuon Abu Dhabi kickboxing event

Rematch between Spanish and Turkish fighters leads a busy night of action at Du Forum in Yas Island in December

Najmeddin Al Hadad, left, and Michael Adomako go head-to-head ahead of their kickboxing bout in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Enfusion Abu Dhabi.
Najmeddin Al Hadad, left, and Michael Adomako go head-to-head ahead of their kickboxing bout in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Enfusion Abu Dhabi.

Jonay Risco and Tayfun Ozcan will headline the Enfusion Abu Dhabi kickboxing event at Du Forum in Yas Island on December 6.

It will be a rematch between Risco and Ozcan of Turkey in the 70-kilogram title fight after their 2017 meeting in the Netherlands, which the Spaniard won after the latter suffered a shin injury.

The 16-fight card also includes a four-man heavyweight tournament, three women’s undercard fights and an influencer bout between former K1 and WKBF world champion Najmeddin Al Hadad and Ghanaian Michael Adomako in the 80kg.

Al Hadad, returning to competition for the first time in six years, feels his comeback may trigger a revival of his kickboxing career.

“I have never stopped training and this may be an opportunity to get back to competitions, if so, why not,” he said at the launch ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday.

“I’m still fighting fit, I have the technique and the speed, and above all, I’m hungry. This is not just a showdown but a real challenge for me to keep my reputation.”

Born and raised in Dubai to Turkish parents, Al Hadad has been cast in many films and TV serials including a role with his childhood hero Jackie Chan in the film Kung-Fu Yoga.

Adomako insisted he will not be intimidated by Al Hadad’s reputation inside the cage. “I know he’s a legend but I’m here for a competition and my aim would be to win,” he said.

Present at the launch was Rim Al Jabi, making her second professional appearance against Britain’s Sonja Moses on the undercard for women fighters in the 52kg weight.

“I’m very excited and looking forward for the bout and for the first time in the 52kg weight,” she said. “I was competing in 48kg, but actually I have not only increased my weight but increased my strength."

Rim Al Jabi demonstarting her skills at the launch of Enfusion Abu Dhabi . Courtesy Enfusion Abu Dhabi.
Rim Al Jabi demonstarting her skills at the launch of Enfusion Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Enfusion Abu Dhabi.

Al Jabi, 26, is undefeated in kickboxing and turned professional last year. She was born in Romania but spent all her life growing up in the UAE where her father is employed in the Dubai Police.

“I was very active playing basketball, volleyball and swimming, and then suddenly turned in to martial arts, first in jiu-jitsu, muay thai and settled for kickboxing, which I love the best,” she said.

The event promoter Julie Kitchen, a former world champion in both muay thai and kickboxing, said Enfusion Abu Dhabi is now in its sixth year and is another example of the popularity of martial arts sports in the capital.

“Abu Dhabi has set a high benchmark for its rapid growth and openness to the world of martial arts and I am very happy to be part of the sports pillar in Enfusion’s growth in the capital city,” she said.

Updated: November 17, 2019 04:27 PM

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