It was an interesting night in Chechnya for kickboxing fans around the world as Badr Hari returned to the ring yet again, fighting under the Akhmat FC banner for his good friend and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov was shown on screen multiple times throughout the fight, pumping his fists when Badr was in control and looking upset when Badr went down. The fight opened with a rather strangely-subtitled full version of the video that we posted the other day that saw Badr Hari detained and questioned only to be saved by a Chechen SWAT team.
That same SWAT team then led Hari to the ring while Ismael Londt stood and watched. Then the announcer read off both men's resumes while they stood staring at each other in the center of the ring for what felt like a solid five minutes. It was a very, very long stare down, everyone agrees on that.
The first round started off with a bang with Hari connecting with a sneaky short right straight that put Londt down onto the canvas early. Londt flopped over and it looked like that might've been the end of the fight right there, but Londt got up. From there Londt looked unsteady on his feet and walked into another short right in what was a slip that was ruled a down by referee Joop Ubeda (no comment). Londt was able to weather Hari's relentless attack and survive to the second round, but it was already looking like doom for him without a knockout.
Crazily enough that almost happened in the second round. Badr was looking to finish things and when Badr goes too hot and heavy he opens himself up. Londt scored a right hook to the temple and Hari was down, stunned silence washing over the arena. Hari was up, though, and if you've seen Hari fight before you know that if you knock him down he gets mad. The only problem is that he looked a bit punch drunk. Luckily for him Londt was hurt as well and he was able to put Londt down. Londt got back up to his feet and kept fighting, scoring a series of rights that had Hari in the ropes only for Londt to not be able to capitalize on it before the bell rung.
This had turned into a fight when most were expecting Hari to walk through Londt. They were both hurt and tired going into the third but Badr was perhaps just a bit fresher. Hari scored another short right straight and it sent Londt flying across the comically large ring, with Ubeda administering a standing 8-count only to then wave the fight off under the pretense of a third down. Technically it's four downs in a fight and that's it, so it was the correct call, but was announced as a third down.
Regardless that was the best competition that Hari has faced since Samedov in 2013 (who knocked him out) and a solid win for the Bad Boy.