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Thai Muay Thai Legend Buakaw Defeated in K-1 Championship

In a gripping three-round bout at the K-1 World MAX Championship, held on Sunday night at the Yoyogi 2nd Gymnasium in Tokyo, Thailand’s renowned Muay Thai boxer Buakaw Banchamek was defeated by Bulgarian fighter Stoyan Koprivlenski. The event marked Buakaw’s comeback attempt at the age of 42 in the under 70kg weight category, a championship he previously won in 2004 and 2006.

Buakaw’s return to the ring was part of the first round of the eight-fighter marathon tournament, where victors advance to the semi-finals and ultimately the final to determine the champion. The K-1 rules, which prohibit the use of elbow and knee jabs while pulling an opponent’s body, set the stage for a strategic and technical battle.

During the second round, Buakaw was momentarily halted by a kick to the chin from Koprivlenski, prompting the referee to issue an eight-count. The tension escalated in the third round when Buakaw received a warning from the referee for using his knee. Despite a spirited performance, the judges unanimously declared Koprivlenski the winner after three intense rounds.

Reflecting on his performance, Buakaw admitted, “I was unable to dodge the Bulgarian’s kick to the chin, but I am considering fighting in K-1 again. I want to fight in Japan. K-1 will get bigger in the future, but right now, my main promoter is the Rizin Fighting Federation. I want to thank everyone for not forgetting Buakaw, and I will continue to train hard in Thailand. I might be an older and different Buakaw now, but I can still fight. I will fight anyone.”

Stoyan Koprivlenski’s victory over Buakaw propelled him to the semi-final and final rounds of the championship, where he went on to knock out his Russian opponent, Akimov, to claim the K-1 World MAX crown. The event was attended by numerous officials and dignitaries, highlighting its significance in the world of kickboxing.

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