新西兰本土赛事King in the Ring于本月当地时间19日打响重量级冠军八人赛,奖金为10000美金,最终经过多轮厮杀,最终纳瓦霍·斯特林(Navajo Stirling)夺冠,这也是迄今为止第二位此量级冠军,另一位中量级世界冠军是阿迪萨亚(Adesanya),下面为比赛对阵,赛后视频将逐步更新。

New Zealand's top K1 kickboxers go head to head in a series of elimination bouts, for the coveted crown and a $10,000 prize. Who will be the last man standing?

2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺

对阵表:

60kg Superfight: Ayisha 'Baby Mumble' Abied vs Wendy Talbot

62kg Superfight: Nick Thornton vs Alex Sorensen

Quarterfinal 4: Riini 'The Count' Le Comte vs Nato 'Hard Knox' La'auli

Quarterfinal 3: Joel 'Maverick' Martin vs Navajo Stirling

Quarterfinal 2: Eli Taito vs Pane 'Punisher' Haraki

Quarterfinal 1: James Craughwell vs Epe Kaihau

Reserve Fight: Cameron Rowston vs Viliami 'Dangerous' Tutone

2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺

Stirling striving to be crowned two-time King

Navajo Stirling after winning King in the Ring Photo: Supplied, The Lion Pit gym

2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺

Crowned the King in the Ring 92kg champion in December, Stirling would attempt to add the 100kg title when the latest edition of New Zealand's premier combat sports event was held in Auckland on Saturday night.

Success would mean the 23-year-old joining middleweight world champion Adesanya and fellow Kiwi UFC fighter Carlos Ulberg as the only two-weight champions in the history of the eight-man elimination tournament.

2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺

But the similarities didn't end there.

Stirling shifted north from Wellington in March to join City Kickboxing, the Auckland gym home to Adesanya, Ulberg and four other New Zealand UFC athletes.

Adesanya took a similar journey from Whanganui early in his career, before rising to become one of the sport's most dominant and entertaining champions.

Ahead of his tilt to be a two-time King, Stirling said the move had already proved fruitful.

"For the past few months I've been sparring with a murderer's row of champions including Israel, Carlos, Blood Diamond (two-time KITR winners) and Davor Matarugic (former 92kg champion).

"It's great to have so many highly skilled big guys to learn from and sharpen my tools."

The City Kickboxing coaches had also been key to that progression for Stirling, who hoped to eventually join his new team-mates in the UFC.

2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺

Stirling said he had enjoyed working with former K1 Las Vegas champion and boxing Olympian, Doug Viney, in his first few months at City Kickboxing.

"Doug's great, he's no nonsense in his approach and has really sharpened up my hands, which I plan on putting on display."

Along with event favourite Stirling, six current or former national champions would be featured in Saturday night's edition of a tournament which had helped propel former winners Adesanya, Ulberg and Dan Hooker into the UFC.

Included in that group were three-time finalist Nato Laauli and former world champion Pane Haraki, who had 38 and 37 professional bouts, respectively.

The undercard featured the comeback of former King and world champion Victor Metchov, while veteran international fighter Wendy Talbot would take on talented up-and-comer Aisha "Baby Mumble" Abied in a hotly anticipated rematch.

2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺

King in the Ring: Navajo Stirling wants second title then follow City Kickboxing blueprint toward UFC

Navajo Stirling's family and supporters perform stirring haka after his King in the Ring win last December.

Around a decade ago, a promising fighter packed his life into a car and drove from Whanganui to Auckland gym City Kickboxing with minimal possessions and a monumental dream.

His name was Israel Adesanya and he would go on to become a three-time King in the Ring champion, the UFC's middleweight champion and a global sporting superstar.

Fast-forward to March this year and Navajo Stirling, already a King of the Ring champion, made an eerily similar trip from Wellington.

Crowned the 92kg King in December as a largely unknown prospect, Stirling’s not bothered about looking too far ahead but the UFC carrot is what he is hungry for.

Stirling is the favourite for Saturday night's heavyweight (100kg limit) King in the Ring at Auckland's Eventfinda Stadium despite moving up in weight and still light on experience with just 14 (12-2) fights.

The 23-year-old, only in his fourth year of fighting, left his job and his flat in Wellington with not much of a plan but a huge desire to learn and develop.

“I'm a minimalist, I don't have that many things so it was mostly my clothes and that which I threw into the car and then pumped it up with gas,” Stirling told Stuff.

His gym in Wellington, The Lion Pit, donated money to keep Stirling on his feet until he quickly found work as a storeman and a place to call home.

He trains in the morning before working at night and there's not much time for anything else. That's a sacrifice Stirling's willing to make to work with some of the world's best at City Kickboxing.

He was just a teenager when King in the Ring veteran and fellow Wellingtonian Nato Laauli – who is back in the 100kg draw on Saturday night – was fighting in the finals.

"I remember watching it with my dad and he was like 'you've got to get through that guy to win it' and it seemed like a bit of a fairytale at the time," Stirling, who defeated Laauli via unanimous decision in the 92kg final, said.

His proud parents will be in the crowd to watch him on Saturday as the slick and powerful striker edges closer to his end goal.

When he was watching the rise of MMA superstar Conor McGregor and first started dreaming of fighting in the UFC, Stirling kept the goal to himself because he thought it was embarrassing to tell people, it seemed too far-fetched.

Being crowned the 92kg King in the Ring champion was the highlight of Stirling's career, but this time he's the favourite and very much the hunted, not the hunter.

"To me, it was always like if you can win that, you are the current number one in that division in the country."

Two-time and two-weight winners are few and far between.

"There's only a shortlist of people who have done that so if I could pull that off at the age of 23 that would be a huge thing.

"I want to staple my name in history, I want to be a household name,” Stirling said.

But expectation is all white noise for Stirling.

2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺2021年6月19日新西兰King in the Ring赛事 – 对阵[视频] 重量级冠军八人赛争夺
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