KC40: Who is Rafael Aghayev, the Karate Combat golden child?

In sport there are legends and then there are giants. Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Saenchai, and more have all transcended their sports into the minds and hearts of the mainstream audience who don’t typically consume that sport. Rafael Aghayev may not be mainstream to the point of Tyson, Aghayev’s accomplishments have eclipsed him and more.

Aghayev looks to become a champion at Karate Combat 40 and he takes on a tough opponent in Joshua Quayhagen. The bout will headline the card as Aghayev looks to unify his interim belt from Quayhagen.

Today, I want to give Aghayev a little shine. Being such an accomplished karateka, Aghayev deserves the recognition. Let’s go over a little bit of his accomplishments.

Rafael Aghayev: The King of Karate

Aghayev is one of karate’s most accomplished fighters. He’s won a total of five World Championships. While he’s slowed down in his later years, Aghayev managed to turn back the clock and take home a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, karate’s first appearance in the event.

His golds came in 2006, two in 08, 10, and 16. He’s won 11 European Championships. There’s also a World Games gold in 2013, a World Combat Games, an European Games gold and two golds at the Islamic Solidarity Games. All in all, Aghayev is a winner.

Since joining Karate Combat, opting to go to a full contact karate league instead of point fighting, Aghayev has absolutely shined. He debut at the inaugural Karate Combat event in 2018 and defeated Dionicio Gustavo. Then Karate Combat took a break.

Since coming back in 2022, Aghayev has been on a tear. In 2022 along, Zoltan Habda, Davy Dona and Raymond Daniels have all been unable to crack the Aghayev puzzle. Aghayev won all three of those by convincing unanimous decision as well.

The Daniels fight was for the interim strap and now, Quayhagen is next. While I’m a big fan of Quayhagen as a fellow Louisianan, Aghayev winning would benefit Karate Combat and the sport of karate as a whole.

Regardless, I’m tuning in to watch some great fights, you should too. June 24th on YouTube. It’s the fight to watch that weekend.


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