On September 16, 2017 in Koper, Slovenia the young superstar Vlad Tuinov will step into the ring to fight Danish great Rhassan Muhareb. Vlad will be going for his 8th title, that’s right if he wins this will be his 8th title. Now that may not seem so impressive until I tell you that he is only 19y.o. Granted two of these titles were at 65kg and when he jumped up weight classes to 71kg he had to vacate them. So, in actuality he currently holds 5 titles between 71kg and 72.5kg weight classes. But that does not change the impressiveness of his accomplishments at such a young age.
Vlad is a raw talent, a natural, a once in a lifetime fighter for a trainer that has the skills, knowledge and poise to perform like a veteran fighter even though he is still essentially starting his career. These types of fighters don’t come around often but when they do they are both feared and respected. Veterans try to avoid him while up-and-comers see the significance in beating him. He has 32 fights, 30 wins (8KO) and 2 losses with no draws. He has lost only once in Asia and once in Europe to Milan Pales. He can take a punch and he hits like a truck. He is patient when he needs to be and aggressive when he sees an opportunity. And no matter what, he always shows poise in every situation he finds himself. One of the things that I really like about him though is the humility and respect that he always shows to his opponents. Though, I would not confuse that with lack of confidence, confidence is something Vlad is in no shortage of. He knows he is good, and he knows he is hard to beat and you can see that from the opening bell to the final bell.
On September 16th, in Koper, Slovenia everyone will get a chance to see this young talent in the ring live and uncut. He is by far one of the few young fighters out there that are the future of kickboxing. Fighters like Andrej Kedves (Croatia), Massaro Glunder (Netherlands), Darryl Sichtman (Netherlands), Nikola Cimesa (Serbia) and Rhassan Muhareb (Denmark). And this is what will make this fight so awesome, two of the great young talents will be facing off in the ring. For Rhassan this is a redemption fight as he recently lost a controversial decision to the legendary Dazabar Askerov. Many feel that Rhassan convincingly won that fight in 3 rounds, however, the judges awarded a 4th round and Rhassan came out tired and just could not control the round and eventually lost by decision. It was a heartbreaking loss for him and his team as many felt he won. So he will be coming in to this fight looking to make his mark against the tough Tuinov.
This fight will be exciting for sure, and the key for Tuinov may just be in not trying to end the fight early but to go 3-4 rounds as it seems that Rhassan has difficulty in the later rounds. Whereas for Rhassan, his key is to try to control the fight early on. In my opinion, one of Vlad’s weaknesses is he loves the high risk, high return strikes, like the spinning back-fist or the spinning heel-kick. Considering his landing rate and the landing rate of those strikes in general, it is sometimes surprising to those watching, how many times he throws them in a single fight. If Rhassan is prepared and times a counter properly he could end Vlad’s night early. However, relying on a KO punch against a guy with a chin like Vlad’s may make Rhassan exhaust his energy much earlier than he wants or expects.
For true fight fans this is a tough one to call. Both have their strengths and weaknesses and both are at the top of their game. The only way to truly tell who is better is to get them in a ring together. This is what will happen at W5’s Legends Collide in Koper, Slovenia on September 16th at 6pm in Arena Bonifika. No matter what the outcome there is one thing for sure, whoever wins will have bragging rights in their weight division for the foreseeable future.