7 foot 3 inch kickboxing giant vs. karate champion

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Japanese have been the undisputed kings of David vs. Goliath match-ups for many years, as was the case at the end-of-year ‘K-1 Premium Dynamite!!’ event on December 31st of 2007.

That night they would put on a K-1 kickboxing bout with a massive disparity in size between the 7ft 3”, 313lb South Korean, Kim Young Hyun and the 5ft 11”, 216lb Nicholas Pettas.

At the time the 31-year-old ‘Goliath Of The Sand’ Hyun was coming off a successful K-1 debut, having earned a dominant decision win over Ryushi Yanagisawa just a few months earlier.

As for Pettas, the 34-year-old Greek fighter had risen to prominence as a Kyokushin Karate heavyweight champion, before competing in K-1, where he would win their Japan Grand Prix in 2001, defeating Musashi in the final.

However, Pettas was undersized for a heavyweight and would suffer some tough losses during his career against bigger men, but his courage would only help make him a bigger star in Japan, where he would eventually star in his own award-winning TV show, ‘Samurai Spirit.’

The fight with Hyun was indicative of Pettas’ willingness to fight anyone, but his 14” taller opponent immediately put him under pressure with a series of punches and knees to the head in the opening round.

However, Pettas survived that early storm and began chipping away at the giant’s lead leg with heavy kicks, often doubling up on them in a rapid-fire fashion.

After also threatening with an axe kick and a spinning back kick to the body, Pettas landed a kick to Hyun’s lower leg in the closing stages of the round that sent him staggering against the ropes.

Early in the second round, Pettas was able to partially connecting with a head kick, then repeatedly blasted his opponent’s legs with more kicks.

With the giant’s lower half weakened, Pettas then switched upstairs, landing a left hook to the head and then a hard overhand right that put Hyun in reverse gear.

A flurry of punches against the ropes then sealed the deal, with Hyun sinking woozily to the canvas to hand the Greek fighter a well-earned TKO victory.

Next: The top 7 times UFC athletes fought outside the cage