Russia’s Hasikov en route to becoming K-1 legend
He came, he saw, he conquered – that has essentially been Batu Hasikov’s career to date.
The Russian's captured every major title global kickboxing's welterweight division has to offer. Although, it still takes something more to establish your name in this business. That is where K-1 comes in – the competition where fighters become legends.
Georgio Petrosyan is top of the sport at present. Then comes K-1 living legend Thai boxer Buakawo Pramuk, who is known all over the planet. They are joined by Mike Zambidis, Albert Kraus and Andy Sawer.
However, one of these famous five has already tasted defeat at Hasikov's hands as Batuhan beat the 2002 K-1 champion Kraus by unanimous decision in Moscow last March.
The man known as the Hurricane stopped at the Fight Nights tournament causing K-1 bosses to immediately invite Hasikov to the next edition of their elite event.
“Such big fights are new for Russia and this shouldered great responsibility on me. Plus only a few people believed I could beat Kraus. The fight itself, the action, the competition, the way I overcame myself to overcome the opponent – all this is far more important than any title,” Batu Hasikov said.
It obviously takes a complete fighter to succeed in mixed martial arts. Batu Hasikov is clear proof of that, holding vast experience in a wide range of disciplines from hand-to-hand fighting to combat Sambo.
The 31-year-old started with one of the toughest karate styles, Kyokushin, a full-contact technique where only punches to the head are restricted.
“At first I was a very dedicated karate practitioner, earned a black belt and won a number of domestic titles before getting a spot on the Russian national team. But when I was at the institute, I met a few guys who were fond of boxing. I started training with them, just to develop as a fighter and soon I realized that I liked the sport very much. Then I saw some K-1 tournaments which were held in Japan and realized – this is where I need to compete,” he said.
Batu's mission is well underway. After edging out Kraus, Hasikov is set to face another K-1 great – 15-time world champion Mike Zambidis.
“Zambidis is probably the most popular K-1 fighter. His way of fighting is attractive for spectators. That's why I believe in terms of popularity he's the number one now. And this is extra motivation for me. I want to establish my name and fighting him is the best way to do that,” Hasikov stressed.
Batu Hasikov has already proved to be one of the world's most dangerous fighters in the welterweight class. But that's not enough for him.
Victory in his clash with Zambedis in Moscow on November 5 would go a long way to ensuring he is all alone at the top.