Karate Combat 46 Main Event Breakdown

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Your weekend of combat sports begins just a little early this week. There’s still a little bit of business to take care of in the world of competitive violence before the calendar turns to June. Karate is the focus on this Thursday night.

Austin, TX is the host site for Karate Combat‘s latest stop on its itinerary for 2024 when the promotion touches down in the Lone Star State for Karate Combat 46 inside the Austin Convention Center.  Live coverage can be seen gavel-to-gavel on the promotion’s official  YouTube channel beginning at 6:30 pm ET/ 3:30 pm PT with the 30-minute countdown show.

The card itself kicks off at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT on YouTube and UFC Fight Pass with a stacked 14-fight card between karate fighting and submission-only grappling inside the Karate Combat pit. Highlighting the night’s activities is a championship fight at middleweight.

Middleweight Belt at Stake Thursday in Karate Combat 46 Main Event

Current Karate Combat Middleweight Champion Ross Levine (8-1, 4-1 Karate Combat) takes on challenger (and Bellator MMA and LFA veteran Adrian Hadribeaj (12-2. 1-0 Karate Combat) in the Karate Combat 46 main event. As with all Karate Combat championship fights, this one is an advertised maximum of five rounds at three minutes per round to close out the show.

Should there be a draw after the fifth round is completed on the judges’ scorecards, or if there is a split decision on said scorecards after the fifth round, the Karate Combat 46 main event then progresses to a sixth round for the purposes of sudden-death. Whichever man wins the sixth round on the scorecards wins the fight.

However, should the sudden-death sixth round also be called a draw, the result of the match is ruled as such.

Karate Combat 46 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the Karate Combat 46 main event on Thursday night, challenger Adrian Hadribeaj  stands as the taller contestant at 6-foot-1, compared to the 5-foot-11 frame of champion Ross Levine. The latter owns a six-inch reach advantage (75 inches to 69 inches) and a 41-inch leg reach.

No leg reach information was accessible online for Hadribeaj at press time. Additionally, no betting odds were accessible for Thursday’s Karate Combat 46 main event online as of Monday afternoon. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend throughout combat sports, please wager responsibly.

Ross Levine Looking to Rebound on Thursday Night

Ross Levine enters the Karate Combat 46 main event this Thursday having gone 4-1 in his last five fights. A former competitor at welterweight in GLORY Kickboxing, “Turbo” saw an eight-fight winning streak to begin his combat sports career end last December at the hands of current Karate Combat Heavyweight Champion Sam Alvey (34-18-1, 2-1 Karate Combat) by way of majority decision after five rounds.

Away from the arena, Ross Levine is a scholar. The onetime heavyweight championship challenger is a doctor in physical therapy for a decade. He’s used that doctorate to open Turbo Sports Performance in July of 2022, discussing it on Bloody Elbow’s Substack feed in December of last year.

“I work almost exclusively with martial artists [and] combat athletes on the rehab side, on the strength and conditioning side,” Levine said. “I’ve got a great team behind me of coaches. We’re doing the damn thing. It’s growing, just helping people all over the world, man. It’s super fun.”

Ross Levine couldn’t have set himself up for a better post-combat sports career if he tried. He’s giving back to his fellow fighters by helping them get back into the ring.

Levine has had more than six months to think about the missed opportunity to become a double-champ late last fall. Now that he’s back in his normal weight class, will he defend the 185-lb. strap on Thursday night? Tune in and find out.

Hadribeaj Comes In After 14-Month Layoff

In the other corner, challenger Adrian Hadribeaj has posted a record of 4-1 in his last five fights. Most recently, he scored a split decision victory against Sasha Palatnikov (9-8, 1-2 Karate Combat) on April 1, 2023.

Afterward, he was scheduled to fight in December against Raymond Daniels (14-9, 2 NC, 3-2 Karate Combat) but he was unable to make the walk that night. Thursday marks his first appearance in close to 14 months’ time. Thus, the age-old questions have popped up again:

What kind of training camp has Adrian Hadribeaj had? How has he been able to shake off the ring rust?

Only time will tell.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the Karate Combat 46 main event looks to favor Adrian Hadribeaj, a karate fighter, compared to Ross Levine’s status as a kickboxer.

Ross Levine Has Fists of Fury

Given that Ross Levine is a striker by trade, it stands to reason that should he throw the first big punch of the Karate Combat 46 main event, it could set the tone for the rest of the five rounds (or less). Igor de Castaneda knows this firsthand.

During the third round of a scheduled five during the Karate Combat 38 main event in Miami, he landed a shot to the body and fired off a few extra punches against the wall of the pit before the referee stood Levine and de Castaneda back up.

Upon the restart, Levine scored with another shot to the body along with a left-handed punch to knock de Castaneda out. If Ross Levine comes out swinging in the headliner on Thursday night, he’ll be golden.

Hadribeaj Can Get The Job Done Quickly

In the other corner, the Karate Combat 46 main event could be over in a hurry if Adrian Hadribeaj seizes control of the fight, like he did vs. Jay Ellis in 2017.

Round one saw Hadribeaj attempting to take Ellis down before the latter tried to cover up. From there, Hadribeaj just rained down punches to the head of Ellis, with referee Mike Beltran calling the bout off.

If Hadribeaj can land punches in bunches in the Karate Combat 46 main event, we’ll have a new champion by the time the arena closes up shop on Thursday night.

Final Thoughts

With no other combat sports promotions scheduled to hold events on Thursday night, you have no excuse not to watch the Karate Combat 46 main event. Don’t miss it.

Prediction: Ross Levine by Third-Round Knockout. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.