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Artur Kyshenko vs. Mohammed "Mootje" Khamal

Artur Kyshenko vs. Mohammed "Mootje" Khamal
K-1 World MAX 2010 Final 16
Seoul, South Korea

Fight Analysis:
The first round shows a tentative Kyshenko who is feeling out his opponent. Lots of push kicks but they usually get caught and used against him. Khamal is not impressed and seriously out-punches Artur: his hand speed is a step above Artur's, so are his combinations. Kyshenko is lucky his guard is closed tight because the gloves are coming in from all directions. This round clearly goes to Mohammed.

Round two has Kyshenko doing a lot of work: he's much more aggressive than before and scores a lot of points. Artur sticks and moves and it looks like Khamal doesn't really know what to do right away: he just closes his guard and takes the punishment. But he isn't hurt, he just keeps on walking forward.
Khamal only takes action in the last seconds of the round but he does place a solid left hook to the body which seems to hurt Artur. 
This round is for Artur, for sure.

The last round starts off hectic: both fighters go at it hard. They both try to score as many points as possible and pour out tons of combinations. At first it looks like it can go either way but the longer the round goes on, the clearer it becomes: Mootje Khamal is out-classing and out-working Artur Kyshenko. He just scores more than Artur does and even manages to catch him with a nice overhand right. 

Khamal is the winner of this fight; no questions asked.

Artur Kyshenko vs Mohammed Mootje Khamal: Kyshenko getting manhandled against the ropes

  • Artur has amazing talent, this is is still evident in this fight. He technique is good and so is his timing. Nothing wrong there. When he lands, you see perfectly executed punches and kicks.

  • Unfortunately, there are a lot of bullets in this category so let's get started...
  • Kyshenko starts too slowly. In the first round, he Khamal gives about three techniques back for every single one he receives from Kyshenko. Artur should have noticed that right away and changed his game-plan from trying out Mohammed's defense to putting him under pressure.
  • As of round three, Artur was running on empty. He was still firing shots but they lacked power and determination. Maybe he's having too hard a time cutting weight and it's eating his stamina? Who knows? But he sure wasn't in the necessary shape for a three-round brawl. 
  • His techniques lacked stopping power. Artur can hit plenty hard, as proven in many other fights but in this one, his punches and kicks didn't slow down his opponent. Which forced him to fight a running battle, which is always a tough thing to do. Especially if your stamina isn't up for it...

Mohammed "Mootje" Khamal deserved the win in this fight. Kyshenko didn't fight at 100% for reasons we don't know just yet. Regardless what these may be, he didn't do enough to take the win here.
As of right now, I'd say his future is questionable. In the last few fights, he lacked the power and stamina that made him such a dangerous fighter a few years ago. But now, he's mainly getting by on his talent and timing. That won't do as he fights stronger opponents who are hungry and out to take his place.
I hope his team and coaches are aware of this and can do what is needed to get his career back on track. Fingers crossed...

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