Despite the limitations caused by the pandemic, the beginning of 2022 has become very busy in terms of high-performance sports. There are multiple events: qualifying tournaments for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, NHL hockey matches, and Winter Olympic Games hosted in Beijing from February 4 to 20.
Individual sports are no exception. After the suggestion of Vladimir Hryunov, the sports show “Ren TV Fight Club” has adopted an unusual format. The well-known sports manager, promoter and organiser of professional boxing fights has proved his high competence once again. A new season of the Super Series has started on Ren TV. This time, Russian athletes will face the foreign ones in the boxing ring.
The fight between Magomed Ismailov and Olanrewaju Durodola, who secured himself as a favourite in MMA betting, has become the key event of the new large-scale project. The match was held in the arena “Vegas City Hall” and had unprecedented success with the audience.
Magomed Ismailov, a mixed martial arts fighter, performed in the boxing ring for the first time in his professional career. He had only a few weeks to prepare. And considering who the opponent was, even the best bookmakers had no doubts about who the fight’s winner would be.
When it became known that Ismailov’s opponent would be an invincible Durodola, the official representatives of the Russian athlete strongly recommended he withdraw his consent to the fight. Even an inexperienced spectator knew how dangerous that was and what consequences could be expected from this fight. However, instead of listening to the representative’s opinion, the Bald predator spent all his time and energy preparing for the fight.
Magomed Ismailov is a mixed martial arts fighter. He made his debut as a professional fighter in 2011. Since then, the athlete has won many titles, including the world champion in combat sambo and master of sports of Russia of international standard. Ismailov was recognised as the best MMA fighter in Russia in 2020. He had 21 fights, 17 of which ended with his victory. Eight knockouts, three defeats and one draw: such an impressive history granted the fighter the right to perform in a sports show without any problems.
By the way, the anthropometric measures of a fighter are excellent for mixed martial arts, which cannot be said about boxing. A short opponent with a height of 175 cm with low endurance and weak defence skills is an excellent target in the boxing ring.
Despite his age, Ismailov’s opponent, 41-year-old professional boxer Olanrewaju Durodola, is a great danger in the ring: an athlete has great experience, excellent physique and professional, high-level training. It was clear to everyone that Durodola is a better fighter, but the fight was genuinely unpredictable this time.
Durodola has fought boxing stars, such as Mairis Briedis, Ilunga Makabu and even Abraham Tabul, many times. The boxer has 37 fights that ended with victory, including 34 knockouts. Durodola lost nine times during his professional career, each of which was quite understandable and easily explainable. He didn’t take big breaks, and his last fight was in January 2022. What happened this time? To us, it seems that he did not understand how this could have happened.
Olanrewaju looks impressive: 189 cm tall, with a flexible body and quick moves, easily hitting the opponent with significant strikes. Their skills levels were uneven, and the only good thing for Ismailov was that the MMA matches are pretty short: 4 rounds of three minutes each.
From the first round, it became clear that the Russian fighter took the initiative. Advancing cautiously and boldly, Magomed greeted the enemy with a series of short strikes. Some of them have achieved their goal. Durodola looked surprised and broken from the first minutes of the fight. He could not prepare for the opponent’s left-handed attack.
In the second round, again, there was little attack by Durodola. Magomed was advancing, pressing his opponent back and hitting sharply, trying to shorten the distance.
The third round was relatively relaxed for both fighters. Magomed resorted to defensive tactics and reduced the pressure. Olanrewaju still tried to pull himself together but was still inactive.
The fourth round managed to please the viewers with a takedown, but the fight itself remained the same: The bald predator is attacking, Durodola is defending. After the fight, the verdict was announced: the victory was awarded to Magomed Ismailov by a judicial decision.
However, the confrontation between the two fighters did not end there. In the interview before the fight, Durodola declared he was ready to show himself in all his might, telling his opponent to surrender. According to the athlete, this is no friendly fight for him, and he will be satisfied only with victory.
After the fight, which did not go according to the planned scenario, Olanrewaju wrote many posts on his social media pages, complaining about his opponent and the tournament organisers.
He blames his defeat on such reasons as inappropriate clothing equipment, an ill-conceived fight schedule and its regulations. Durodola got 16-ounce gloves instead of the usual 10-ounce ones, adversely affecting his attacking strikes. In addition, due to problems in the schedule, he had to go onto the ring without proper preparation. And another problem was that the organisers of the tournament assured him that they would not announce the fight’s result.
The battle’s tactics and conduct looked a little strange, but it is very difficult to believe that these small nuances could affect the invincible Durodola so much.