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Mastov KO’s Vondracek In Vegas Barnburner

Monday, August 13, 2007
Mastov KO's Vondracek In Vegas Barnburner
By By Michael Afromowitz (muaythaimes@aol.com )

One year after he made an early exit from Las Vegas, Nevada's annual, summer K-1 tournament affair, Israel's Ariel Mastov returned to Sin City and stopped Petr Vondracek in the third round of an all-out Superfight war during "Battle at Bellagio" on Saturday, August 11th. Bjorn "The Rock" Bregy, meanwhile, did little more than use his long jab to ward off and secure a split judges' decision victory over superstar Ray Sefo and Stefan "Blitz" Leko fought off knockout artist "Mighty Mo" Siligia to earn the a unanimous decision in the card's other Superfight contests.

The 30-year-old, 205 pound Mastov, small relative to much of the competition in K-1's super heavyweight field, aggressively pursued his considerably heavier, 238 pound opponent with a flashy combination of wheel kicks and spinning back kicks that kept Vondracek on his toes for most of their meeting scheduled for three rounds.

It was an overhand right by Mastov that sent Vondracek to the canvas momentarily early on in the first round. Vondracek responded by cornering his speedy opponent and firing away with punches. Mastov punched his way out of trouble, however, and shoved Vondracek to the mat before the close of the first round.

In the second round, Vondracek scored a pair of overhand rights and, shortly thereafter, a third that sent Mastov down. The Israeli quickly stood up, though, and changed the momentum of the fight by catching a Vondracek roundhouse kick intended for the body. Mastov released Vondracek's leg and, at the same time, unloaded a right hand to put his opponent on the mat. After Vondracek sprung back to his feet, the referee ruled that he had slipped.

Mastov clearly wanted to finish the fight in the third as he rushed out of the gates and swung away with his right hand. A Mastov spinning back kick sent Vondracek reeling back into the corner. Mastov rushed in and scored a hard knee strike that put Vondracek down. Referee Cecil Peoples counted the downed fighter out and Mastov was announced the victory by way of knockout at the 1:52 mark of the final round.

The 32 year old Leko, a winner of four K-1 tournament titles, two of which he captured in Las Vegas, was unable to utilize his speedy combinations against the unorthodox Siligia, who resorted to pushing his way forward and holding Leko. The frustrating matchup forced Leko to rely on pot-shotting his opponent with leg kicks.

Siligia, who had weighed in at a K-1 career-high of 299 pounds one day earlier, occasionally tried to fend off Leko with leg kicks. Not as sound with his feet as he is with his hands, particularly his notorious overhand right that he surprisingly did not attempt during the bout, Siligia was unable to do any kind of substantial damage to Leko.

After three rounds came to a finish, Leko was announced the winner via unanimous decision.

On paper, the towering 6'8" Bregy, who tipped the scales at 279 pounds one day prior to the K-1 event, appeared to be a critical threat to Sefo despite the latter fighter's outstanding resume that includes four world kickboxing titles and victories over some of the all-time greatest K-1 competitors. The much-anticipated challenge did not unfold as expected as Bregy chose to remain out of harm's way and simply keep the 6'0", 250 pound Sefo at bay with a long jab.

After landing a spinning back kick to Bregy's midsection early in the second round, Sefo began to press the action by closing in on the larger fighter and dishing out as many punches as possible. Bregy was able to escape each time by countering with his fists.

Sefo maintained his poise and strategy in the third round and was able to corner and bombard Bregy with a flurry of punches early on before partially taking a Bregy round kick to the head. The heavy blow did not discourage Sefo's forward movement, which continued until the final bell. Although Sefo had clearly done his part to bring the fight to Bregy, two of three judges, Cecil Peoples and Dalby Shirley, scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Bregy. Only Judge Al Lefkowitz awarded the fight to Sefo by a margin of 28-29, thus rendering Bregy the winner by way of majority decision.

K-1 "Battle At Bellagio" Preliminary Bout Results:

185 pound limit - Raymond Daniels def. Peyton Russell - TKO Round 3 (2:20)

K-1 Super Heavyweight Tournament "Reserve" Bout - Doug Viney def. Mo Fawzy - TKO Round 2 (2:08)

115 pound limit - Van Do def. Ardra Hernandez - Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds)


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