ORLANDO, Florida – Fresh off a standout performance in his Karate Combat debut last month, Bruno "The Tiger" Souza is looking to fast-track himself to world title contention when he takes on former lightweight champion Edgars "The Bearslayer" Skrivers in the main event of Karate Combat 36 when the organization returns to The Backlot at Universal Studios Florida on Saturday, October 29.
Set for five rounds, this main event fight will be the toughest challenge of both men's careers, with UFC veteran and former LFA champion Souza taking on a fighter who reigned supreme over the division until earlier this year.
The winner will immediately step into the title contender picture and join the pool of potential challengers looking to take a shot at current lightweight champion Luiz Victor Rocha when the Brazilian dynamo – who defeated Josh Quayhagen in a champion vs. champion superfight last month – next lays his belt on the line.
Former Karate Combat lightweight champion Skrivers has been a dominant force in the division, undefeated in four fights until the rematch with Rocha earlier this year, where he suffered the first loss of his career.
With the scoreline between Rocha and Skrivers now standing at 1-1, he's eager to get back into contention and regain his title via winning a rubber match which will also win him the trilogy.
Standing in the way is Souza, who trained under sensei Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida from the age of four at the Machida Dojo in their native Belem, Brazil and holds black belts in Machida karate plus judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Now based in Los Angeles, he competed for Legacy Fighting Alliance – promoted by Anderson Silva's longtime manager Ed Soares – and won the LFA featherweight championship in August 2021 before moving to the UFC.
Last month he made an auspicious debut at Karate Combat 35, winning a clear unanimous decision following a dynamic three rounds of fighting. In October, he's looking to fast-track himself into title contention by taking out the former champion.
October's Karate Combat 36 card will also feature the Karate Combat debut of James Vick, a 14-fight UFC veteran with karate roots.
Vick faced some household names of the MMA world during his eight-year UFC run – including recent UFC lightweight title challenger Justin Gaethje – and brings extensive experience to the Karate Combat pit.
First to welcome him to the pit will be four-fight Karate Combat veteran Jorge Perez, a heavy-handed Dominican Republic middleweight who has secured both of his Karate Combat wins by stoppage.
New contenders in the bantamweight – ruled by Irish champion Eoghan Chelmiah – look set to emerge over the coming months, starting with two contests on this card.
Kalvis Kalnins – who is turning professional after competing at the 2020 Olympic Games – makes his Karate Combat debut at bantamweight against fellow newcomer Tom Soulliere of France, while an All-American bout sees Damian Villa take on newcomer Maximilliano Larrosa.
Also confirmed for Karate Combat 36 card is Greek contender Christina Kavakopoulou, who looks to take a step closer to title contention when she takes on American newcomer Kaye Asesor in a strawweight bout, and more exciting new talent will be showcased when Azerbaijan's Elvin Aghayev faces the U.S.'s Chayil Calaway in a heavyweight fight.
The full card for Karate Combat 36 – live from The Backlot at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida on Saturday October 29th – will be announced soon.