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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, Thailandโ€™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 Bulgarianโ€™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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