Ross "Turbo" Levine returned to the Karate Combat pit on Saturday night to defend his middleweight championship for the first time since defeating Shahin Atamov last year.
His opponent was a familiar foe, Igor "The Iberian Bull" De Castaneda, who Levine knocked out with a combo capped off by a spinning axe kick as De Castaneda was backed up against the slanted wall of the pit. Although most believed the stoppage was justified, De Castaneda thought it was a bit early and came into this title bout seeking revenge.
The Iberian Bull came out of the gates in round one seeking big shots, a trademark of his fighting style that has earned him several knockouts. Levine, however, had a calm and collected approach in the first round as he efficiently checked leg kicks and countered with strong body kicks when De Castaneda would start swinging.
More of the same took place in the early second round, as the commentators noticed how Turbo could cut off his opponent's movement and apply pressure that kept him near the wall at all times.
The highlight of the second round came near the end, when a calf kick by Levine sent De Castaneda to the tatami and allowed Levine to get some valuable ground and pound. It was evident that Levine could smell blood in the water in round three. He connected with the left hand squarely to the face of his adversary multiple times.
Another strong leg kick sent De Castaneda back to the mat, then after they reset De Castaneda found himself against the wall eating a massive body shot by Levine. Moments later, Levine would cap off the masterclass with a stiff left hook that put De Castaneda asleep for the night.
In his post-fight interview, Levine complimented his opponent's corner and invited middleweights from throughout the martial arts world to come to Karate Combat if they wanted to test their striking skills against him. He expects it to be a while before his next bout as Karate Combat works on building up their middleweight roster following that callout. Levine also delivered a heartfelt thank you to his wife, Maddie, for her patience and support as he continued to prepare for this fight for months on end. With the win for Turbo, sport karate fans around the globe can rejoice as one of our legends remains the middleweight king for Karate Combat.
Speaking of sport karate fans, another prominent point fighter was in the mix on this Karate Combat card as Robbie Lavoie of Canada defeated Damian Villa by split decision. Check out the link below to see that fight, and the entire rest of the card thanks to Karate Combat on YouTube!