The world’s premier full-contact karate league, Karate Combat, has announced its 2023 debut event, Karate Combat 38, will take place in Miami, Florida. The promotion also announced that Karate Combat 39 and Karate Combat 40 will also take place in Miami on May 20 and June 24 respectively.
Karate Combat 38 Main Event – Ross Levine vs. Igor De Castaneda II
The Karate Combat 38 main event puts the middleweight belt on the line, as champion Ross Levine takes on Igor De Castaneda in a rematch from their title eliminator fight last year. The American “Turbo” Levine has been tearing through his opponents in The Pit, including defeating De Castaneda by second-round TKO last year at Karate Combat Season 4 Episode 1 and then Shahin Atamov to become the champion at Karate Combat Season 4 Episode 4.
Along with a number of fans, “The Iberian Bull” De Castaneda believed that his first fight with Levine was stopped early by the referee. That controversy along with a statement-making, show-stopping knockout over Franklin Mina at Karate Combat 36 have earned him a shot at redemption.
Karate Combat 38 Co-Main Event – Eoghan Chelmiah vs. Jesus Lopez II
Another rematch with a controversial ending in the first fight will look to settle the score between bantamweight champion Eoghan Chelmiah and challenger Jesus Lopez.
The two met at Karate Combat’s latest event, Karate Combat 37, competing to a closely-contested affair across all five championship rounds. Inside of The Pit, Lopez was declared the winner and new champion. However, in the minutes following, the commission made Karate Combat aware of a malfunction in their scoring software, stating that Chelmiah was the rightful winner and had retained his belt. With the ensuing confusion and outrage, the promotion announced that an immediate rematch would be set up, leading to this co-main event fight.
Three UFC Vets to Compete at Karate Combat 38
Former LFA featherweight champion Bruno Souza will make his third Karate Combat outing in the feature fight, facing longtime contender Bruno Assis. The Lyoto Machida protege Souza is 1-1 in the promotion so far, defeating Maciej Tercjak via decision at Karate Combat 35 before dropping a champion to former champion Edgars Skrivers in the Karate Combat 36 main event. “The White Dragon” Assis, meanwhile, is 5-2 in the promotion, most recently falling to former Glory and Bellator kickboxing champion Gabriel Varga last June at Karate Combat Season 4 Episode 4. Both Brazilian Brunos will be looking to get back on track and work their way to a title shot.
Former UFC lightweight contender James Vick returns to The Pit for his second fight to face “The Toughest Animal” Gabriele Cera. In “The Texecutioner” Vick’s debut, he dropped a decision to Jorge Perez at Karate Combat 35, although Vick is still convinced that he did enough to win. He’ll attempt to make up for it against Cera, who defeated Jonathan Broad in his last fight at Karate Combat 35 to bring his record to 2-3.
With a brand new contract, TUF 26 alum and UFC veteran Melinda Fabian is set to return to the promotion and to combat sports competition for the first time in nearly two and a half years to battle Pitbull Brothers product Erica Santos. Fabian made a successful debut against Ana Luiza Ferreira at Karate Combat: Neo Tokyo 3, while “The Brazilian Muse” Santos lost to standout Omaira Molina in her debut at Karate Combat Season 3 Episode 7.
Karate Combat 38 Full Fight Card
Ross Levine vs. Igor De Castaneda — for the Karate Combat Middleweight Championship
Eoghan Chelmiah vs. Jesus Lopez — for the Karate Combat Bantamweight Championship
Bruno Souza vs. Bruno Assis
Gabriele Cera vs. James Vick
Erica Santos vs. Melinda Fabian
Kenji Grillon vs. Jorge Perez
Robbie Lavoie vs. Damian Villa
Dionicio Gustavo vs. Davy Dona