There is no doubt that one of the more exciting names involved in the Fight Code Dragons Series was Dzabar Askerov, and sadly for fans, there is no chance that we'll see him move on in said tournament. Fight Code sent out a press release the other day detailing the reasons why Askerov has been removed from the tournament, chiefly that the event is in December and there is a contract clause within each Fight Code contract stating that no fighter may fight within a month of their bout with Fight Code. The trouble arose when Askerov was booked in a bout in Sweden on November 26th against Chahid Oulad el Hadj.
This leaves Abdullah Mabel with a new opponent, which was announced by Fight Code earlier today by the way of Xu Yan. Xu Yan is a Chinese kickboxer and while many might take a glance at his wikipedia entry and write him off, his full record is 29 and 14 with impressive wins over Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, Baxter Humby and Malaipet. Xu Yan's last fight for Fight Code was in March against Sudsakorn sor Klinmee, who is easily one of the best kickfighters of any discipline or weight class in the world. Losing to Suds is nothing to be ashamed of.
It is disappointing to fans that Askerov was forced to drop out, but Xu Yan is a solid fighter who can turn on the sparks when pushed hard enough and there could be huge things for him in the future. Even with the brackets not changing, this changes the entire landscape of the Fight Code Dragons Series tournament.
The tournament's Final 8 takes place in October and unravels as follows;
Marseille – Aix en Provence (France)
SUDSAKORN (THAI) VS HALIM ISSAOUI (MAR)
BRUNO FRANCHI (ITA) VS NORBERT BALOGH (HUN)
ABDELLAH MABEL(FR) VS XU YAN (CHN)
ARMEN PETROSYAN (ITA) VS JURI BESSMERTNY (BY)