It was a tough weekend for a trio of Australia’s top kickboxing and muay thai fighters after they all fell short in their high-profile bouts across three countries and three promotions. Luis Regis, Indigo Boyd and Junior Tafa all suffered losses against strong, well-credentialed opponents to wrap up their fight year.
ONE Championship: Destiny of Heroes
The Brazillian-born, Sydney based Luis Regis made his debut on ONE Championship against arguably one of the greatest Thai fighters of a generation, Yodsanklai Fairtex. The bout was the main event on ONE’s final show of the year from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The man they call ‘The Boxing Computer’ proved to be just too accurate and too powerful with his attacks, stopping Regis in the first round via some slick boxing off his lead hand with three uppercuts landing in quick succession for the highlight-reel finish.
K-1 World Grand Prix (65kg)
Now one of only a small number of Australians to ever feature in a K1 World Grand Prix, Melbourne’s Indigo Boyd put in a valiant performance against Japanese fighter Kyoshiro before getting caught with a cross late in their quarterfinal bout.
The eight-man 65kg tournament was the organisation’s last event for 2018 and was held at the Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan.
Never outclassed, Boyd kept a high work rate throughout the fight, highlighting the improvements he has made in 2018 following tough bouts with some of Australia’s top lightweights.
GLORY 62: Rotterdam
In what has been a breakout year for the young Queensland fighter, Junior Tafa was unable to progress past the first round of the Glory Heavyweight Tournament, losing to eventual winner Jamal Ben Saddik who earned a potential rematch with Heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and $150,000.
Saddik’s attacks early on proved to be too much for the Australian first going down following a body shot and once again by a well-placed kick to the midsection. Under Glory rules, two knockdowns in one round ends in an automatic stoppage.
Despite ending the year with a 2-3 record, Tafa has performed well against high-level competition and is well placed to continue to push up the rankings in 2019.