Am on the last bit of my holiday in the Netherlands now. After an amazing time in Sweden,I sooooooooooo did not want to leave for The Netherlands! Was very very close to changing my flight dates!! =(
Arrived at the smaller Skavsta airport in Sweden only to see my brother from another mother Yukay smiling away!! Always good to see the old man!! =) haha We went straight to his gym,VBC Gym, as he was preparing for battle on the K-1 Scadinavia show in a couple of days. VBC Gym is by the way THE NICEST gym I have seen in awhile!! It's got a fully equipped weights gym,a store that sell all your health supplements,a sauna,a spare room for visiting trainers if they come do seminars or stay for a few months. Was nice to see the swedish trainers and fighters there as I've met a few of them before in Thailand at the World Championships but never really got to chat with them. So this time was nice to finally meet and chat with them. I even got some training done with Ex-WMC Muay Heavy Weight Champion,Jurgen Kruth.
So over the next few days I just pretty much followed Yukay to the gym in the evenings and spent the day walking around the beautiful city!! Checking out the amazing view of the city by the water and also the old town of Gamla Stan. Though everything is in Swedish most people do speak really good english you just gotta initiate it thats all. I was reallly lucky to get good weather for the time that I was there (unlike London)!!! As many of the guys at the gym said,"The nicer the weather the nicer the girls!!" And boy they weren't kidding!!! DAMN!!! Sweden is just full of beautiful people!! I remember looking around and almost never seeing a sort of overweight or unhealthy person?!!
The narrow streets of Gamla Stan and a view of it from a distance.
The Castle in Sweden and another view of Stockholm
Over the next few days,most of the other Contenders arrived,Dzhabar,Yoddi,Bruce and even Pitu. So at the Press Conference for the "Rumble of the Kings", (check out the pics) it was cool to catch up with the boys. We all keep in close touch but it's nothing like hanging out all together!! Eventually we got recognized and had to take loads of pics with people as it was a rare chance to get 5 of the Contenders in a room in Sweden!?! I actually got to meet quite alot of famous fighters there and even hung out with them over the next few days....was super good fun and alot of them are really just bunch of nice guys (who can kick frikkin ass)!!!! Check out the pics and see if you can recognize any of the fighters there.
The Beautiful Boxer,Nongtoom and Yoddi and Jordan Tai
K-1 Superstars,(L-R)Ole laursen,Ray Sefo and Virgil Kalakoda
The Press Conference was just pretty much running through with everyone on whats happening that night,rules,scoring,fight card,check weight and a bit of a photo session. So that everyone was on the same page and that things would run smoothly.
Bruce and Marco Pique had the meanest staredown with no hand shake at the end. IT'S ON BITCH!!
So went out that night after the Press Conference and was crazy coz I met 2 people at two different places who recognized me from The Contender Asia!! They train as well in Muay Thai and have been following the show,but I was out in a club in Stockholm and I mean what are the chances of that happening!?!??! Totally weird but it was nice that they came and said Hi to me!! Very flattered!!
First fight on the night to kick off the 8man Contender Asia/K-1 Max Grand Prix was Yukay, and he knocked Daniel Elias out with an awesome Uppercut and Right Hook in the 3rd round putting him in the Semi Finals. Watching Daniel Elias's legs buckle in and collapse was just a reminder of Pitu!!! Pitu was like..."In all my fights I've NEVER been knocked out like what Yukay do to me man!!"
Next up Bruce McFie vs Marco Pique,I was looking forward to this fight as they had the meanest stare down and was hoping for a total WAR!! The fight was pretty evenly matched right up til the last round. Marco Pique then caught Bruce with a knee to his cheekbone and Bruce was OUT!!! After the fight both fighters shook hands and bowed to each other...No matter what there's always RESPECT in Muay Thai.
Jabba was up against K-1 Fighter Jordan Tai in the next bout....And what a fight this was. In the room Jabba told us already what he wanted me and Pitu to do and instructed us so that we dont waste precious time. Walked in with Jabba to his selected music....and the fire blowing out and all that...Very cool!!! They did their announcenment,fight records,weight and all that and then it was SHOW TIME!! I said my prayers for Jabba and removed his Arabheadress and off he went. Jabba from the bell just seemed the hungrier fighter of the two. Round 1 was both fast paced with fighters coming out with strong punches.....Remember that Jabba was punching at one point and Jordan Tai threw a knee and it literally just missed Jabbas jaw by 1cm and slipped to the side of his head!!! Jabba landed some HEAVY punches tho and he landed an AWESOME spinning kick on Jordan. The fight was stopped in Round 2 when Jabba landed quite a few punches and Jordans right eye was swelling up really badly. So the ref had to call it off. Jabba is in the SEMIFINALS!!!
The Beautiful Boxer,Nongtoom vs Pernilla (Sweden) was quite a highlight for the event. I just gotta say that no one does the Make Up Wai Kru like Nongtoom....She does it very beautifully!! Was glad I got to catch it live!! Nongtoom is no longer the Nongtoom he was...OBVIOUSLY?!?!?! but it does show that she no longer fights or trains hard?!?... Pernilla did well landing some strong punches and kicks but I think because of her Tae Kwon Do background her jumping around didn't do her any good either. Decsicion went to NongToom after 4 rounds.
Back to the 8man Tournament,Yukay vs Marcus Öberg,fight started well with Yukay working both punches and kicks. But Marcus was on top of his game and kept his distance with kicks and followed up with punches and left knees whenever Yukay came near. Yukay came in the extra round pushing hard to knock Marcus out and giving him a bloody nose. Marcus wins the fight and moves on to the Final!
Once again it was Jabba's turn to shine and this time he was gonna have a WAR with Marco Pique. Jabba once again came out with all guns firing and landed some heavy hands on Marco....Not backing down and showing him that height and size doesn't always matter. Marco landed some very good leg kicks on Jabba but Jabba blocked and came back with strong punches and even caught Marco's leg and swept him off the ground having him land HARD on the canvas.
In the 3rd Round,Marco caught Jabba with a knee to the head and that split Jabba just above the eyebrow and it bled a fair bit but doctor managed to stop the bleeding. Jabba pressed on for points and still never backed down even with blood gushing down his face. The bell went and I honestly thought that there was no need for an extra round as Jabba had won ...but judges scored a draw....one to the red corner and one to the blue....So we got busy trying to stop the bleeding. We told Jabba got busy again and stay out of trouble moving in and out to get points, the tactic works a charm and Jabba is in the FINALS!!! Sweeeeeeeeeeeettt!!!!
1st Super Fight of the night was Virgil Kalakoda vs Ole Laursen!! Another fight that I wanted to catch. Having known Ole for a while he is a top top guy!! All the fighters just dont get how lean he can get!?? Never going to the beach with him!! Coz all the ladies gonna go for him instead!!!!!!! hahah Never met Virgil before but at the press conference I asked for a picture with him and he was like..."Oh gotta get a picture with a celebrity too!!" hahahah I'd rather be famous fighting in K-1 then on a TV show to be honest?!?! haha!! Watching the fight was awesome...Virgil I've seen fight before and his hands are just AWESOME having been a champion boxer before moving to K-1...Remember watching Virgil land some punches and I just went Owwwwwwwwww!!! Ole Laursen landed some awesome kicks to Virgil tho and really taking the fight to him. At one point Ole was limping and I was hoping that his broken foot injury didn''t reoccur...coz there's nothing worse for a Pro fighter to be injured and not be able to train and fight to make money. He walked it off and carried on...but Virgil's punches proved too much and he took the fight on Points.
Main fight of the night....Artem Levin vs Yodsaenklai for the WMC Middleweight Title! I remember watching Artem a year or two ago and he is a very cocky style kinda fighter dropping his hands bobbing and weaving....but he can definetly back it up!! However Yodsaenklai is just a machine and he is just in a class of his own at the moment. I remmeber meeting guys who have seen Artem fight and they said if anyone can beat Yoddi it's Artem Levin.....I was rather doubtful even though Artem is like 1.92m tall and 72kgs?!?!?!?!? Artem started the fight coming out strong and troubling Yoddi....but I think after the 2nd mintue things turned when Yoddi finally found his ground. Landing some awesome left kicks of his and a few good punches. Bell went and it was evenly fought with Yoddi being the more counter fighter. In Round 2....the tables turned and Yoddi just walked in and press Artem with some good punches and finally landing a HARD RIGHT HOOK on Artem putting him down and OUT!!! He didn't know what hit him. So there we go Yoddi proving that it'll take more than a giant to stop him!!!!
Last fight of the night Marcus Öberg vs Dzhabar Askerovvvvvvvvv!!! Jabba controlled the fight moving in and out perfectly to get his points and staying out of trouble to avoid getting his cut opened again. When Jabba got punched or kicked he just put his gloves out and goes..." Cmon kick harder!! Punch harder" taunting Marcus....Jabba was just on FIRE. But all good things come to an end.......................................................
In the 3rd round with maybe 1min 30seconds to go Jabbas cut wouldn't stop bleeding.....Jabba pleaded and begged the Doctor,but his pleas fell on deaf ears and the Dr called off the fight.................We were alll soooooooooooooooooo upset....No one in the stadium cheered the desicion.......Jabba fell on his knees crying.......everyone felt so sad for him..........But everyone knew that night that the real winner and the star of the night was Dzhabar "Chengis Khan" Askerov.......a name that will not be forgotten and a name that will only go further and further after this event. If only I had an OUNCE of what Jabba has in his heart,mind and power that drives him to be the fighter that he is.... I would be extremely happy!!!!!! Stars are shining bright for you bro!! Keep your chin up enjoy your holiday with you family and I'll see you again soon!!!
Thank you to Yukay my brother for life,Tanya and Sebastian for letting me stay over at his place and Kasra the promoter of Rumble of the Kings for being such an awesome host and taking care of me whilst I was there. Peter,Jurgen,Mats,Sasha,Abbe.....you guys are awesome good fun and thanks to you guys I had an awesome time in Sweden!! I really hope to make it back again soon and hopefully be get a chance to fight at one of the events there!!! For more pics of the amazing "Rumble of the Kings" event check out this forum http://www.k-1fans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=41993
Right with that note Im signing off and going to enjoy the last few days in Holland catching up with my family and some yummy home cooked food!!!! Mhhhmmm nothing beats my mom's home cooked food!! Shes been spoiling me with all my favourite stuff!! Am gonna be very overweight and struggle to make weight for my next fight!!! Which is July 5th in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia against South American Champion Leonardo "Amendoim" Monteiro. Should be good fun!!! Check out, www.muaythaisuperfights.com for more info!!!