The A1 World Combat Cup 32 man tournament came to an end yesterday in Eindhoven, Netherlands, with the final eight competitors at 63.5kg remaining. All eight remaining tournament competitors won two fights each earlier in the year to advance to the eight man, one night tournament in the finals.
Going into the final tournament, I expected Jesus di Semedo and Buray Bozaryilmaz to be the favorites. Surprisingly though, both lost in their first, quarter final match-ups. di Semedo fought the Georgian now based out of Holland, Papuna Margvelashvili, with Papuna winning by decision and advancing to the semi finals. Bozaryilmaz also lost by way of decision, to Pietje Doorje. This only goes to show just how much young talent there is at this weight category in Holland. The other two quarter finals saw Valdrin Vatnikaj defeat Redouane Boukerch and Idris Demirci defeat Khalid Larifi, both by decision.
The semi final match-ups were Valdrin Vatnikaj vs. Papuna Margvelashvili and Pietje Doorje vs. Idris Demirci. Papuna took another decision win over Vatnikaj while Doorje got the only TKO win of the tournament against Demirci, setting the finals up to be Papuna Margvelashvili vs. Pietje Doorje.
In the finals it was again Pietje Doorje from the El Otmani Gym winning by decision and winning the tournament, taking home €10 000 and cementing himself as one to look out for at this weight category around 63.5kg.
There were a few other up and comers on the card, with Golden Glory's Robbie Hageman taking on Mohamed Bouzagou at -69.85kg. Hageman, the It's Showtime veteran, took a decision. Another up and comer at 70kg fighting was Tayfun Ozcan, who won by TKO against Hicham Boubkari in the second round You can see the video of Ozcan's fight here.