Karate combat

Karate Combat looks to fill sports void

By Rory Carroll

3 Min Read

(Reuters) - Karate Combat, a league devoted to showcasing the ancient martial art, said it is hoping to take advantage of the stalled sports calendar to premiere its prerecorded second season, which blends real fighting with video game settings.

The full-contact league believes it is sitting on a valuable commodity that can attract viewers, especially the highly-prized younger demographic, at a time when COVID-19 has put the brakes on live sporting events around the world.

“There’s been a big push to fill this void and combat sports are fun to watch,” Karate Combat co-founder Rob Bryan told Reuters in an interview.

“And we’re presenting combat sports in a way that the younger demographic loves.”

While season one relied on large live audiences and glamorous locales, season two incorporates outlandish CGI effects to transport viewers to locations ranging from ancient temples to space stations.

With more than 150 professional fighters, some of whom have Olympic experience, computer-generated settings and celebrity hosts like charismatic NFL great Marshawn Lynch, the league believes it has a formula for success.

Karate Combat also borrows from reality television to highlight the varied backgrounds of its fighters, which include Louisiana preacher and former MMA fighter Josh Quayhagen and German Buddhist monk Maximilian Mathes, who lives a nomadic life.

“Because of the diversity of karate athletes, we have fighters who battled their way out of poverty, some who have PhDs and some who have fought in their country’s Special Forces,” Bryan said.

“We’re doing our best to discover interesting parts of their backgrounds and bring those to life in our videos.”

The missing piece of the puzzle is a deal to broadcast the second season, although discussions are ongoing, Bryan said.

Karate Combat also recently enlisted sports and entertainment agency Octagon to help find a broadcaster.

“We look forward to securing distribution for Karate Combat in this market where networks are aggressively trying to fill content holes and new premium content is scarce,” Daniel Cohen, senior vice president at Octagon, told Reuters.

Sours: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-karate/karate-combat-looks-to-fill-sports-void-idUSKCN2242TA

Karate Combat Names Adam S. Kovacs President and COO

New York, NY, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Karate Combat announced today that it has named Adam S. Kovacs its new President and Chief Operating Officer. Kovacs was previously the founding Head of Karate of the league. He led the team that developed its unique and innovative ruleset and recruited 150 of the top karate stars from 50 countries. Kovacs has recently led the transition of the league to a weekly fight format and the continued expansion of the staff and roster. Karate Combat is the first mainstream, professional, full contact karate league. Its second season runs through December with fights every Sunday.

“When we founded the league we had much of what we needed--a great concept, investors, contacts,” said Rob Bryan, co-founder and CEO of Karate Combat. “But we knew we needed someone with karate and the business of combat sports in their bones. Adam was exactly that guy, and he continues to show incredible leadership every day. Plus the fighters love him.”

Kovacs is the most successful karteka in Hungary, a 5th Dan Karate Master and a former number 1 ranked karateka. He was a World Games winner in Taiwan in 2009 and a Silver Medalist at World Championships in Mexico (2004) and Japan (2009). Before joining Karate Combat, he served as Head of Karate for the most successful multi-sport clubs in Hungary. Kovacs has built martial arts and apparel companies and has served as a lead analyst and color commentator for the UFC on National Sport Television Hungary.

“I’ve seen Adam fight, and I’ve seen Adam doing business,” said combat sports hall-of-famer and Karate Combat Ambassador, Bas Rutten. “And I gotta tell you, I wouldn't want to be on his bad side in the Fighting Pit or the board room. As a fighter, I can tell you he helped design this league with the fighters’ lives and dreams and desires in mind. He inspires them so that they can go out and inspire the fans.”

Karate Combat is presenting fights every Sunday at 7 pm ET during its second season. The fights are available in many regions on beIN SPORTS and also at Karate Combat YouTube.

Watch the Karate Combat Season 2 trailer here.

For photos or to request an interview with Adam S. Kovacs: [email protected]

Meet the fighters, watch past fights, and find out more at karate.com.

Karate Combat President and COO Adam S. Kovacs in the promotion's Fighting Pit. Kovacs is a world champion who led the team that developed Karate Combat's unique, full-contact rule set and recruited the world's top karate stars from over 30 countries. Learn more at karate.com.
Sours: https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2020/10/06/2104120/0/en/Karate-Combat-Names-Adam-S-Kovacs-President-and-COO.html
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Karate Combat chief says Tareg Hamedi 'robbed of a gold medal' at Olympics, offers rematch

If Sajad Ganjzadeh and Tareg Hamedi would like to run things back, Karate Combat is ready to assist in making up for their controversial Olympic gold medal match.

The outcome this past weekend in Tokyo caused an uproar after Hamedi’s spectacular head-kick knockout apparently was too spectacular for Olympic karate. It was a perfectly timed counter just as Ganjzadeh moved in with an attack.

Upon further review, the judges ruled that Hamedi struck Ganjzadeh – who fell to the mat unconscious – too hard, which is a violation of the rules that state karatekas aren’t supposed to follow through fully on their strikes. What should’ve been a victory and gold medal for Saudi Arabia’s Hamedi instead turned into a disqualification. As a result, Iran’s Ganjzadeh was awarded gold, with Hamedi receiving silver.

This is where Karate Combat comes in. The full-contact karate promotion is prepared to book a rematch under its rules. President Adam Kovacs shared details of the offer with MMA Junkie.

“In my opinion, Hamedi was robbed of a gold medal, and we are duty-bound to try and make it right, or at least to allow both of them the chance to compete against each other under full-contact rules where they can use their full repertoire,” Kovacs said. “And frankly, I think karate needs this after this weekend.”

He continued, “We’re putting six-figure professional contracts behind this, but we’re also going to put an actual gold medal on the line: the same weight as an Olympic medal (500g) but solid gold. It may not have the status of an Olympic medal, but the cash value will be considerably higher.”

According to Kovacs, Karate Combat already had Ganjzadeh under contract. With assistance from Dominance MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz, the promotion is working on a deal with Hamedi.

For Kovacs, there is a personal aspect to wanting to book this rematch in Karate Combat.

“I love amateur karate, but situations like this are a bad look for the sport. I was an international competitor myself for many years, so I’ve encountered situations like this myself. It’s strange to have a combat sport where participants are penalized for stopping their opponent. You don’t see that in amateur boxing, judo or wrestling.

“I think the ruleset needs to evolve. This is actually one of the reasons we formed a full-contact professional league: If you’re an elite karateka who cannot or will not throw anything less than full power, your home is here.”

Photos: Combat sports at the Tokyo Olympics

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Sours: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2021/08/karate-combat-wants-to-book-olympic-gold-medal-rematch-ganjzadeh-vs-hamedi

Georges St-Pierre is going back to his roots.

Karate Combat announced that the former two-division UFC champion will serve as a “Season Sensei” for the upcoming third season of its combat sports program that features karate fighters competing in full contact contests with a modified rule set.

Per a press release, “St Pierre will offer his guidance, analysis and insights as the world’s top karate fighters battle for supremacy in The Pit, Karate Combat’s trademark fighting arena.” St-Pierre elaborated on his involvement in an interview with ESPN.

“I’m going to be helping out, giving my insight, I’m very excited,” St-Pierre said. “I’m gonna be with Bas Rutten and a few other guys, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

“To tell you the truth, if Karate Combat would have existed when I was younger, I would have certainly competed in it,” he added. “I think it’s a great avenue for athletes who are coming from karate backgrounds because the rules make it in a way that they allow also takedowns and everything. So it’s really pure. In terms of rules, it’s the only organization of karate that they allow every style of karate to compete with each other.”

A practitioner of Kyokushin karate, St-Pierre emerged as a star for the UFC during the promotion’s boom period in the 2000s and eventually became regarded as one of MMA’s greatest champions and one of its most well-rounded fighters. He holds the UFC record for most consecutive welterweight title defenses (9) and won a middleweight title in the last fight of his career at UFC 217.

“From his career accomplishments to his personal character, Georges St-Pierre epitomizes everything the art of karate stands for,” Karate Combat President Adam Kovacs said in the release. “Karate Combat is thrilled to have him join forces with us in a partnership that will elevate our entire sport, and we know the fans will be as excited about it as we are.”

Karate Combat seasons are pre-taped and feature fighters competing in events set to elaborate, computer simulated backdrops. Season 3 is currently in production. A date for the season premiere and broadcasting information are pending.

Past episodes of Karate Combat are available to watch on the promotion’s YouTube channel.

Sours: https://www.mmafighting.com/2021/3/17/22336219/georges-st-pierre-to-work-as-season-sensei-for-upcoming-karate-combat-season

Combat karate

Fighters Enter the Pit! Karate Combat Moves to the Next Level

New York, New York, Sept. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Karate Combat has announced a new slate of fights to take place in the league’s secret budokan, KC-1. Karate Combat: Evolution will take place on Saturday, September 21, with two more in 2019 and a regular schedule to be announced for 2020. Bas Rutten continues as an ambassador and commentator, veteran commentator Kenny Rice will join him. 

Expanding on its first successful year of fights which were viewed by millions of fans, Karate Combat’s new season doubles down on a love for 80’s martial arts video games and movies through its Hollywood-level productions. The league will also elevate its fighters, building off their adventures and origin stories in the real world, to make fights more engaging and give fans stand-alone content around their favorite karateka. 

Fights are full contact in the Karate Combat Fighting Pit, at 3 rounds of 3 minutes (5 rounds for title fights). Knockouts are encouraged and frequent. Karate Combat has become a favorite of the world’s best karate fighters, who enjoy the chance to fight without holding back as they have to in sports karate. 

The Main Event at Karate Combat: Evolution will be the league’s first-ever title fight for the Golden Belt. Luis “Pitbull”  Rocha (Brazil) faces. Edgar “The Bearslayer” Skrivers (Latvia), who have a deep history with both karate and full-contact fighting.

“How can you not love Karate Combat?” said Bas Rutten, Karate Combat Ambassador and commentator. “Now we’ve taken the intense, full-contact action and added even more of that Street Fighter-type, 80’s movie fun to the production at KC-1, the league’s secret budokan.  And hell, we’ve still got the Pit!” 

The new events will live stream on the league’s site karate.com.  Distribution partners have included UFC Fight Pass, FITE, USA Today, YouTube, Twitch, Titan and Eleven Sports. Past events have been praised by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sherdog, MMA Fighting, The New York Times, Mashable, CBS News and CNN. 

Karate Combat: Evolution will also feature a co-Main Event Dionicio “El Capitan” Gustavo (Dominican Republic) vs. Joshua “Preacher” Quayhagen (Louisiana, U.S.A.). The whole fight card is packed with world champions and medalists. Altogether 17 countries will be represented on the card, including French stars Davy Dona and Alexander Bouderbane, Spanish stars Igor de Castaneda and Fernando Paz, and champions from Russia, Egypt, New York City and more. Two women’s fights will take place: Nadege Ait Ibrahim (Algeria) vs. Omaira Molina (Venezuela) and Ana Luiza Ferreira da Silva (Brasil) vs. Stephanie Kaup (Sweden).  

Karate Combat events are VIP only. Guests at previous events have included combat sports luminaries Lyoto Machida, Luke Rockhold, Fabrizio Werdum, Frank Shamrock and FaZe Sensei

Karate Combat: Evolution

Streams live September 21, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at karate.com.

More info and fight replays always available on demand.

Press inquiries: Owen Phillips [email protected] 646-757-4689

About Karate Combat

Karate Combat is a premier Karate brand which operates a professional full contact karate league. The company seeks to evolve the traditional sport of Karate via KARATE.com, the World’s Gateway to Karate, and branded mobile apps. The firm is headquartered in New York City with a satellite office in Budapest. For more information visit www.karate.com.

Karate Combat: Evolution September 21 at 7PM ET Live and on demand at karate.com. Fight Card for Karate Combat: Evolution includes the Main Event, a battle for the Golden Belt, Luiz  "Pitbull" Rocha vs. Edgars "The Bearslayer" Skrivers. The Co-Main is Dionicio "El Capitan" Gustavo vs. Joshua "Preacher" Quayhagen. World champions and medaliasts from 17 different countries will compete Sept. 21 at 7PM ET. Live and on demand at karate.com.
Sours: https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2019/09/09/1913111/0/en/Fighters-Enter-the-Pit-Karate-Combat-Moves-to-the-Next-Level.html

Karate Combat

Full-contact Karate League

Karate Combat is a brand which promotes the first professional, full-contact karate league, hosting worldwide events since April 2018. The private company[1] is headquartered in New York and was founded by Michael DePietro and Robert Bryan. The business also encompasses sports equipment, a worldwide Dojo network and mobile apps for viewers. Karate Combat was founded in order to promote karate as a sport and martial art.[2] Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten hosts Karate Combat venues alongside special guests.[3]

Contestants compete in a seasonal championship in which the winner is awarded a golden belt.[4] They consist of karateka from various styles of karate like Shotokan, Shito Ryu, Wado Ryu and American Karate,[5] who are expected to abide by karate-do etiquette and specific tournament rules.[6]

The organisation puts emphasis on innovation and technology with the use of video game-style analytics of fighter's biometrics, nutrition and DNA-based data in real-time. Fights regularly feature Mixed Reality environments created with the Unreal Engine as reported by NBC Sports. Marketing and promotion include appearances of Danny Trejo, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, former UFC two-division champion Georges St-Pierre and former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.[8][9]

In 2020 rights to Karate Combat have been acquired by beIN SPORTS. The media group broadcasts the Karate Combat seasons in 37 countries.[3]


Fighting takes place in a 6,5m x 6,5m (21'4" x 21'4") square combat pit surrounded by 45° angled walls. A match consists of 3 rounds each lasting 3 minutes with the possibility of 2 additional rounds for championship fights.

Scoring uses a 10-point must system and is based on aggression and effectivity of attacks. Three judges evaluate each fight from a position around the combat pit. Scoring cards are omitted in case of a knock-out.

Equipment consists of 4oz gloves, mouthpieces, groin protectors for male contestants, karate belts and officially designed long karate trousers with national emblems or flags.

Wrestling, submissions, knees, elbows are not permitted. A grounded opponent may use upkicks while the standing opponent may use ground punches. After 5 seconds any grounded opponent will be brought back to a standing position by the referee.[6]


Karate Combat events feature male and female karateka from a roster of over 100 professional fighters. The first five events were held in front of an invite-only audience. Later events incorporate CGI effects and original music in order to achieve a modern appearance and appeal to a younger demographic.[10] Event locations favor optimal camera angles and cinematic scenery over a big live-audience. Thus locations like the 102nd floor of the One World Trade Center were chosen hosting a selected audience with black-tie dress code.[11] The events attracted the notice of American television[12] and newspaper.[13] Recordings of all events can be accessed for free via the company's website. Past events have also been streamed via UFC Fight Pass.[14][15]

Season Overview[edit]

Season 1[edit]

# Event Date Venue Location Fight Card VOD
0 Karate Combat: Genesis February 3, 2018Secret Warehouse Budapest, HungaryRafael Aghayev - Dionicio Gustavo
Achraf Ouchen - Elhadji G Ndour
Luiz Victor Rocha - Reda Messaoudi
Lahad Cisse - Aykit Usda
Muslum Basturk - Joshua Quayhagen
Deivis Ferreras - Saeid Ahmadikaryani
Randy Cura - Alexandre Bouderbane
1 Karate Combat: Inception April 26, 2018Miami BeachMiami, U.S.Elhadji Ndour - Andras Virag
Alexandre Bouderbane - Dionicio Gustavo
Abdalla Ibrahim - Joshua Quayhagen
Spyros Margaritopoulos - Mohamed Salem Mohamed
Lahad Cisse - Adham Sabry
Pedro Roman Roig - Jerome Brown
2 Karate Combat: Olympus July 28, 2018Zappeion CourtyardAthens, GreeceJerome Brown - Davy Dona
Deivis Ferreras - Myrza-bek Tebuev
Achraf Ouchen - Franklin Mina
Fabiola Esquivel González - Sarah Ait Ibrahim
Fioravante Valentino - Igor De Castañeda
Wellington Barbosa - Yaser Sahintekin
Reda Messaoudi - Nikos Kosmas
3 Karate Combat: One World September 27, 2018One World Trade CenterNew York City, U.S.Abdalla Ibrahim - Dionicio Gustavo
Dimitrios Triantafyllis - Luiz Victor Rocha
Elhadji G Ndour - Adilet Shadykanov
Spyros Margaritopoulos - Jorge Perez
Joshua Quayhagen - Vitalie Certan
Adham Sabry - András Virág
Pedro Roman Roig - Jesus Paucarcaja Lopez
Gabriele Cera - Fernando Moreno Paz
Teeik Silva - Edgars Skrivers
4 Karate Combat: Hollywood January 24, 2019AvalonLos Angeles, U.S.Luiz Victor Rocha - Myrza-bek Tebuev
Elhadji G Ndour - Calum Robb
Igor De Castañeda - Milos Vukovic
Abdalla Ibrahim - Kevin Walker
Daniel Viveros - Ilies Mardhi
Alexandre Bouderbane - Willians Quirino
Nadege Ait Ibrahim - Ana Luiza Ferreira Da Silva
Teeik Silva - Kevin Kowalczik
Luis Diogo - Jonas Correia
5 Karate Combat: Evolution September 21, 2019KC-1 Unknown Luiz Victor Rocha - Edgars Skrivers
Dionicio Gustavo - Joshua Quayhagen
Abdalla Ibrahim - Davy Dona
Jorge Perez - Shahin Atamov
Igor De Castañeda - Zsolt Habda

Season 2[edit]

# Event Date Venue Location Fight Card VOD
1 Karate Combat: Anger Wat I 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Abdalla Ibrahim - Jerome Brown
Maximilian Mathes - Stefanos Roupakas
Deivis Ferreras - Jesús López
2 Karate Combat: Anger Wat II 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Ilies Mardhi - Pedro Roig Roman
Reda Messaoudi - Joshua Quayhagen
Craig Ryan - Rida Boutadout
3 Karate Combat: Anger Wat III 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Myrza-Bek Tebuev - Daniel Viveros
Calum Robb - Franklin Mina
Vitalie Certan - Gabriele Cera
4 Karate Combat: Scrap Punk I 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Luiz Victor Rocha - Ilies Mardhi
Stefanos Roupakas - Daniel Viveros
Bruno Assis - Gergő Horváth
5 Karate Combat: Scrap Punk II 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Jerome Brown - Joshua Quayhagen
Bryan van Waesberghe - Lahad Cisse
6 Karate Combat: Scrap Punk III 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Shahin Atamov - Franklin Mina
Dionicio Gustavo - Reda Messaoudi
Gilmarcos de Bastos Jr. - András Virág
7 Karate Combat: Neo Tokyo I 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Edgars Skrivers - Myrza-bek Tebuev
Willians Quirino - Nikos Gikados
8 Karate Combat: Neo Tokyo II 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Christina Kavakopoulou - Fabiola Esquivel
Andrei Grinevich - Achraf Ouchen
9 Karate Combat: Neo Tokyo III 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Bruno Assis - Teeik Silva
Melinda Fabian - Ana Luiza Ferreira Da Silva
10 Karate Combat: Valhalla I 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Davy Dona - Nikos Gidakos
Igor de Castañeda - Shahin Atamov
Franklin Mina - Bryan Van Waesberghe
11 Karate Combat: Valhalla II 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Vitalie Certan - Nikita Yanchuk
Anna Laura Prezzoti - Omaira Molina
12 Karate Combat: Valhalla III 2020 Mixed Reality Unknown Bruno Assis - Jesus Lopez
Teeik Silva - Pedro Roman Roig
Willians Quirino - Vasilii Antokhii

Season 3[edit]

# Event Date Venue Location Fight Card VOD
1 Karate Combat: Okinawa I 2021 Mixed Reality Unknown Myrza-Bet Tebuev - Teeik Silva
Nikolasz Lukacs - Abdessalam Ameknassi
Edghan Chelmiah - Kevin Azouz

Current championships[edit]

Championship Current Champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Event Venue Location Previous Champion(s)
Karate Combat Middleweight championship Shahin Atamov 1 2 September 2021 1+ Karate Combat Unknown Unknown
Karate Combat Welterweight championship United StatesJosh Quayhagen1 9 November 2019 707+ Karate Combat Unknown Unknown
Karate Combat Lightweight championship Edgars Skrivers 2 21 September 2019 550+ Karate Combat Unknown Unknown

Divisions and Classification[edit]

Division Upper weight limit
Heavyweight no limit
Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lb)
Middleweight 84 kg (185 lb)
Welterweight 75 kg (165 lb)
Lightweight 68 kg (150 lb)
Bantamweight 61 kg (135 lb)
Women's Bantamweight no limit
Women's Flyweight 55 kg (121 lb)


Honoring the japanese heritage of karate, combat techniques in Karate Combat are often referenced with original japanese terminology.

Term Translation
Tsuki Punch
Keri Kick
Jodan Upper-Section (Head)
Chudan Mid-Section (Body)
Gedan Lower-Section
Mae Front
Mawashi Roundhouse (Spin)
Ushiro Back
Keage Snap
Kekomi Thrust
Oss / Osu Acknowledgement

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karate_Combat

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Karate Combat is carving out its own path in the crowded space of combat sports

Karate Combat is quickly carving out its own niche in the crowded space of combat sports. 

"We always say it's like real fighting in an unreal world," Karate Combat's Adam Kovacs explains. "If you ever get a chance to visit 'The Pit', it's basically like a movie set."

The Hungarian karateka is one of the youngest promoters in mixed martial arts today and the kingpin behind Karate Combat. The wisecracking company president is the key man putting on the events and fights behind closed doors who has been instrumental in keeping Karate Combat afloat despite the recent uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. 

Kovacs recently sat down with GIVEMESPORT for an exclusive interview to discuss all things Karate Combat, including a ground-breaking media rights deal with CBS Sports, cornering a gap in the market, fighter updates, free agency, and more. 

"We always say if this season doesn't get us there, then we don't know what else to pull out of the hat," Kovacs said with a laugh. "But you know, all jokes aside, what else can you do? 

"I mean, when you're a karate company, we've got the likes of Bas Rutten and Georges St-Pierre onboard, Lyoto Machida, you name it, we've also got crazy fights over the course of the entire season.

"We've just signed a record-breaking deal with CBS, which is massive for us, particularly in North America. So if people don't love this season, then I should probably go and find another job and go and do something else."

Backed by MedSec founder Robert Bryan, Karate Combat has already begun to seize control of the market, snapping up world-class talents like Machida, Rutten and St-Pierre to serve as Season Sensei's who will also act as mentors to its roster of elite fighters including the likes of Josh Quayhagen and Eoghan Chelmiah. 

"We're still a really young organisation, but what we've heard from partners and sponsors is that, we don't have many big names yet," said Kovacs, who won a gold medal at the World Games in 2009. "But how can you have big names in a league which basically just started, right?

"So we had a few options. First of all, we could just do what everyone else does, like bareknuckle boxing, Bellator, you name it, who reach out to retired MMA fighters, and pay them a lot of money simply to promote the brand and talk s--- about the UFC.

"But we didn't want to do that, we want to build our fighters from scratch, although we're not actually building them up from scratch because many of them are world champions in karate, right? But for sure, when it comes to entertainment, they aren't household names yet.  

"So for us, it was a no brainer to work with guys like Bas, GSP and Lyoto. We could have signed hundreds of big names but we specifically wanted to work with these guys whose values are similar to ours as a company.

"One of the main reasons they became such big stars in the first place was not only because of their work ethic, their dedication, their principles, and their values, but all of these things come from their roots in karate. So that's why that's why we chose them. We are super excited to have them working with us." 

He does acknowledge, however, that this wasn't his initial plan, as he revealed that he had originally planned to pit them against each other in 'The Pit' before they encountered an unexpected problem. 

"To be perfectly honest with you, my original idea was, Georges is retired, basically, Lyoto only has one or two more fights left on his contract," he added. "So why don't we just figure out who's the best karateka of all time, and have them fight each other, right? So that was the original idea.

"But then of course you come to the lawyers and those contracts and all those obligations, and then we figured out that at this point, you saw what happened with GSP, Oscar De La Hoya, you know, the UFC didn't really like that idea. Lyoto also has one or two fights left on his Bellator contract. 

"But we were able to find a solution where we were able to integrate them into the entire narrative of the whole show. They haven't fought yet but who knows what the future will bring?" 

Kovacs also credits popular television series Cobra Kai - a spinoff to the original The Karate Kid films - with helping to keep karate relevant in the mainstream spotlight, although he also insists that there isn't any genuine competition as he feels that they have created something completely unique. 

"There are only two players in the game right now," said the 40-year-old. "One is Cobra Kai. The other one is Karate Combat. And the good thing is we don't really have to compete with Cobra Kai.

"We got a little bit lucky with our timing and being the first ones to understand that there is a gap in the market in terms of the fact that nobody has ever really leveraged karate as a brand or indeed as a combat sport. 

"This is something that karate itself has been kind of crying out for in a way, because anyone with a background in karate beforehand would have only had the option to switch to mixed martial arts, whereas now if they want to fight full contact they can put their years of training to the test at the highest level.

"We think we are not only doing a favour to karate but also to the entire martial arts community who have grown tired of the copycats because pretty much every single one of these other promotions are trying to copy what the UFC is doing. 

"Here we are, four years in, and we have created a niche sport, a niche martial art where we aren't copying anyone else. Of course, we do take some inspiration from some things, but we have created something almost entirely new."  

Karate Combat Season 3 airs every Thursday on Eurosport. For more information, visit the Karate Combat website at www.karate.com

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Sours: https://www.givemesport.com/1719277-karate-combat-is-carving-out-its-own-path-in-the-crowded-space-of-combat-sports

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