Rabat – Moroccan fighter Soufiane Merzak won yesterday, November 30, the title of world champion in full-contact in the 75kg category. Merzak won the title during the World Kickboxing Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
The Moroccan athlete became the full-contact world champion in his weight class after defeating Russian fighter Seliansky Nikita in the final match with points.
Merzak’s journey to the title started with a win against Turkmenistan’s Kosmirat Gumanyazov in the first round. He then defeated Slovakia’s Pavol in the round of 16.
In the quarter-finals, Merzak defeated Casanol Khatum from Norway, and in the semi-finals, he won against Ukrainian fighter Vorulov Pehor.
The president of the Moroccan Royal Federation of Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Savate, and similar sports, Abdelkrim El Hilali, expressed his satisfaction with Merzak’s achievement in a statement to the press.
El Hilali explained that the Moroccan champion’s feat is remarkable, as the tournament brought together the best athletes of the discipline from all over the world.
In the same tournament, Moroccan fighter Ayoub Khia won the bronze in the 57kg division. Khia won against fighters from Iran and Turkey in the first round and the quarter-finals, respectively, before losing to Amanbekov Avazbek from Kyrgyzstan in the semi-finals.
The Moroccan team participating in the World Kickboxing Championships also included Oumaima Blourate (48kg division), Chaimae Belkasmi (56kg), Anass Hibaoui (60kg), and Hamza Rachid (63.5kg).
The vice-president of the Moroccan federation of kickboxing, Abdelilah El Idrissi, accompanied the athletes to Turkey, along with coach Lahcen Ouassou and his assistant Fouad Hamdi.
The World Kickboxing Championships took place between November 23 and December 1 and included competitions in four different disciplines; full-contact, point fighting, kick-light, and musical forms.