Tarik “The Tank” Khbabez produced yet another striking masterclass in his ONE Super Series career on Saturday, 15 June.
Khbabez was dominant in all three rounds of the pair’s light heavyweight kickboxing contest from the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China, and the judges promptly awarded him with the unanimous decision nod.
WHAT A BOUT! In a ONE Super Series instant classic, Moroccan revelation Tarik Khbabez goes 4-0 with a unanimous decision victory over Brazilian beast Anderson Silva!: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, June 15, 2019
Khbabez, a two-time SUPERKOMBAT Heavyweight World Champion, put his opposite number in reverse gear immediately – just as he did in his previous bouts against Alain Ngalani, Ibrahim El Bouni, and Andrei Stoica.
When the bell rang to begin the opening round, the 27-year-old put “Braddock” on the back foot with a combination of strikes.
The Dutch-Moroccan powerhouse walked his opponent down with confidence, and then burst into action with an overhand left and a thudding overhand right, which sent Silva to the canvas barely 60 seconds into the contest.
Silva – still clearly in shock after the knockdown – started to emphasize his game plan with body shots, but Khbabez wasn’t afraid to receive the series of strikes. He remained calm, and then brilliantly countered with straight punches, uppercuts, and overhands.
Khbabez continued to advance with confidence in the second round by closing his opponent’s reach advantage and keeping the battle within his range.
The 32-year-old Brazilian continued to pound away with heavy shots, but “The Tank” remained unfazed. Whether it was Silva’s roundhouse kicks, body shots, or outside leg kicks, the Arj Trainingen representative had an answer for it all.
With Khbabez clearly ahead on the judges’ scorecards, Silva knew he had to score a few knockdowns or a knockout if he were to steal the victory away from his shorter rival.
The Brazilian National Kickboxing Champion started off the final stanza with a couple of body shots, but it did not cause any damage to “The Tank.”
In fact, he continued to walk forward and launch his barrage of striking combinations, which landed with precision. Silva’s frustration grew as the seconds ticked away. Khbabez continued to slice past his adversary’s defense with textbook strikes until the final bell.
After three highly-entertaining rounds, it was clear Khbabez did enough to have his arm raised. The three judges at ringside agreed, and they awarded the unanimous decision in his favor.
“The Tank” improves his professional record to 46-5-1 and remains unbeaten in ONE Super Series. Now, he moves another step closer to his dream of becoming the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion.