Karate Combat

Karate Combat 45: Pakistan wins the battle of nations. The start of a rivalry in Karate?

Karate Combat 45 Dubai

At Karate Combat 45, Pakistan vs India was a dramatic and violent affair. Out of the 3 bouts, two of the bouts ended in a KO/TKO finish in favor of the Pakistani fighters. We break down all the bouts in detail below.

Rizwan Ali vs Pawan Gupta – Karate Combat 45

Rizwan Ali was coming into this bout as a massive favorite. The young 26-year-old Pakistani fighter had a lot of advantages such as the youth, the reach as well as the overwhelming crowd support from the boisterous Pakistani crowd present at Karate Combat 45.

Pawan Gupta was the clear underdog, the older, more experienced competitor who is a championship-level Sanda fighter but had a clear reach disadvantage going into this bout. However, when the fight started, Pawan refused to make this a one-sided affair! From the very start, the Indian fighter was the more aggressive fighter, landing a solid left hook 6 seconds into the bout which caused Rizwan to be caught off balance early. 

The veteran would continue to try and put pressure on the young 26-year-old, by clinching and dirty boxing, attempting to take him out of his element, and closing the distance early.

“India is not having the slander tonight!” Mike Majeck remarked as Pawan continued to aggressively head hunt against Rizwan Ali. 

Ali, would then adjust, keep the distance, and then land a crisp, straight right hand which would wobble Gupta and was a sign of things to come.  The Pakistani would continue to put the pressure on Gupta and then close the show by KO with 3 solid straight right hands to the chin in a row, which would put the veteran Indian fighter out unconscious.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Karate Combat ???? (@karatecombat)

Rizwan in the post-fight interview would go and thank President Asim for the opportunity and when asked by Din Thomas about how hurt he was from the initial left hook, Rizwan would respond 

” It was quite hard, but I safely managed, allahumdulliah!”

Himanshu Kaushik vs Faizan Khan

Himanshu Kaushik was originally set to face Uloomi Karim, however, Uloomi had to withdraw from the bout due to missing weight by 11 pounds and was replaced a day before by fighter, Faizan Khan. Himanshu’s experience speaks for itself, he has been a champion in Wushu competitions, and based on our previous analysis of him, his side-on style is the closest to that of a traditional Karate style amongst all the Indian/Pakistani fighters at KC45. 

Faizan Khan was also said to have been in great shape, despite the fact that he took the fight on a day’s notice. The fight was mainly a feeling-out process and both fighters were being quite tentative throughout the bout and practising caution which led to a more lacklustre bout than expected.

“I don’t understand Kaushik, his opponent took the fight on short notice, why doesn’t he push the pace a bit more?” George St Pierre would mention from the commentary booth.

Himanshu would go on to get the Unanimous Decision win, based on landing more volume shots, trips, and takedowns. 

Shazaib Rind vs Rana Singh

This was the Pakistan vs India bout that everyone was waiting for! A lot of heated words and insults were traded leading into this bout with Shazaib even delivering an open-handed slap to Rana in their face off a few days prior.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Karate Combat ???? (@karatecombat)

Shazaib Rind, the clear betting favorite is the #1 Ranked Wushu fighter from Pakistan and had the experience, striking advantage and reach advantage on his side. 

Rana Singh, despite having had a lot of experience fighting in Brave FC, The Road to the UFC, and facing off against top competition, Rana isn’t the same level of striker that his rival Pakistani competitor is, which made him a huge underdog going into their bout. From the opening bell, Shazaib controlled the center and even got an early takedown on Rana, allowing him to land a few clean shots of ground and pound early. 

The fight would get stood up by the referee and the 25-year-old Pakistani would continue to swarm with punches, kicks, and nasty left body kicks. He even mixed in a spinning backkick to the face of his Indian adversary too. Shazaib would continue to put an extreme pace and pressure on Rana, including landing a beautifully timed Uchi mata throw and even attempting a crescent kick too.

“Singh is thinking, what do I have to do at this point” – Mike Majeck would mention from the commentary booth in response to Rind’s utter destruction of Singh.

Not even 30 seconds later after this comment from the commentary team, Rind would land a series of fast hook combinations that would drop Singh and Rind would then close the show with nasty ground and pound.

After the bout, Shazaib would show a huge sign of respect to the Indian supporters too by raising both the Indian and Pakistani flags together. Symbolizing his vow that he wishes to fight for peace and not war, based on his interview with Calfkicksports a few days ago.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ashley Terence (Ash) (@ashleytmma)

Rindh would expand further in his post-fight interview “India and Pakistan are not enemies, we are for peace, together we can do anything” 

Overall Pakistan vs India for Karate Combat 45 was a massive success but this brings up the obvious question, “Does Karate Combat lead the way to a less turbulent relationship between India and Pakistan?” Wilder things have happened and only time will tell.

About the author

Ashley Terence
+ posts

Latest Articles