Sergei Kuliaba wins 66kgs tournament at Kunlun Fight 79
Sergei Kuliaba outpointed three opponents in a single night at Kunlun Fight 79 yesterday. The Ukrainian won the eight man 66kgs tournament, beating local favourite Gu Hui in the final at the Taiyuan Sports Centre Stadium.
Earlier this year Kuliaba reached the semi finals of the 70kgs tournament at Kunlun 69. He was beaten by Superbon Banchamek on that occasion but competing at a lighter weight seemed to suit the Ukrainian.
The final was a scrappy affair. Kuliaba set out his stall to attack with punches and low kicks and Hui decided to try and catch the kicks instead of blocking them, a strategy which saw him successfully sweep the Ukrainian on a couple of occasions.
There was a lot of clinching but it was Kuliaba on the front foot and this pattern continued throughout the fight. In the second stanza Hui scored with another sweep but he was struggling to withstand the pressure put on by an opponent who kept coming forwards.
The final round saw Kuliaba start to score with punches and Hui was dumped on his backside by a low kick which took his legs away. Neither fight succeeded in landing many clean shots but in the end the judges favoured the Ukrainian’s pressure and work rate.
Kuluaba reached the final with decision wins over Chinese fighters Sun Zhixiang and Jia Aoqi. Hui went the distance in all three of his fights too, beating Nafi Bilalovski in the quarter final and Soufiane Kaddouri in the penultimate round.