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I told DUDKO 'ANDREI, this is your only chance to get into the big fighting circuit where the best fighters in the world make a living. This is the door to the big road and you need just one more step…go make it'      USKBA Director of Muay Thai and International Rules Kickboxing, VLADIMIR BORODIN was in the corner of ANDREI DUDKO as he won the K-1 USA Championships held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Mr. BORODIN was called to be the sole corner person for Mr. DUDKO. Mr. BORODINE is a well-respected teacher, trainer, official and champion Muay Thai and International Rules Kickboxing. You can read more about Mr. BORODINE by visiting the "meet the USKBA" section of our website. Mr. BORODINE filed the following insider USKBA exclusive story.
     From the very beginning, everything was smooth and not hurried. The event poster witch I had seen at the entrance to the Bellagio, had Jean Claude Lauyer and Glaube Feitosa on it and gave me an idea who are the most likely fighters to win the tournament. At the press conference, Lauyer looked cut and trim and in good condition. Feitosa seemed nervous. That was probably due to his feelings a lot of pressure from his Japanese bosses. Feitosa is well known in Japan and representing KYOKUSHINKAI Karate. Fuji TV was all around him and even the KYOKUSHINKAI chairman Mr. MATSUI, flew to Las Vegas to support his fighter. Both he and Lauyer had previous K-1 experience. Frankly, before I was called to bring ANDREI DUDKO to K-1 USA and be in his corner, I thought that Feitosa had a great chance to be the winner and Lauyer and TOMASZ KUCHARZEWSKI would be fighting for the second place. Weight in was short with short interviews.
     During the show, I realized what was missing from the USA installment of K- 1 event in Japan; you become amazed with the entire show, the fireworks, the orchestra, the round card girls and of course the audience itself pushing you to think that this is something outstanding, miraculous… something big. This time, it seemed like a regular event. Scott Coker did a tremendous job and helped the fighters and trainers get acknowledged by the American audience. I felt he worked mostly by him self-using very limited resources and with out a lot of help from the major Japanese K-1 promoters. Perhaps because of that, the quality of fighters left something to be desired.
     DUDKO and KUCHARZEWSKI looked like the best fighters there. The first fight had DUDKO going against ROMAN ROYTHERG. DUDKO weighed in at 30lb. more than ROYTHERG making ROYTHBERG'S punches and low kicks not very effective. This also made it easier for DUDKO to clinch and land knee strikes that were effective and designed to fire ROYTHBERG out. During the second round, ROYTHBERG began firing looping swings to the head of DUDKO. ANDREI DUDKO DUDKO landed a short right cross which knocked ROYTHBERG down. ROYTHBERG got up at the count of eight and started to clinch DUDKO. DUDKO landed a short left hook to the jaw of ROYTHBERG that ended the fight. The next fight had KUCHARZEWSKI going against JOHNSON. JOHNSON, looked like a beginner against KUCHARZEWSKI, lasted only seconds into the first round. KUCHARZEWSKI crashing right hook put him down and out.
     The next fight had FEITOSA going against GEORGE RANDOLPH. This bout also ended within a minute of the opening bell. A left hook on the chin put RANDOLPH on the canvas for the count. LEUYER versus PAUL LALONDE was the fight of fights. As always LAUYER was slow from the beginning, but he was working LALONNDE's left leg by chopping it continuously. LALONDE proved he had a great chin by taking about 20 punches. LAUYER landed a solid right low kick, which knocked LALONDE down. LALONDE got up and while limping on his right leg threw a medium speed left, which put LAUYER down. At the count of eight, LAUYER stood up, took half a step and his body began to shake. He sat on the ropes and could not continue. The ref stopped the match right away. What a fight!
     Then came KUCHARZEWSKI's fight with FEITOSA. KUCHARZEWSKI just smashed him with the right hook at the very beginning of the bout and kept pressure on him until he collapsed. I have to say that FEITOSA is a very tough fighter because he took so much punishment and was still standing while KUCHARZEWSKI was nailing him. Frankly speaking, FEITOSA counter punched KUCHARZEWSKI almost causing KUCHARZEWSKI to be knocked down. But the experience of KUCHARZEWSKI's boxing trainer and his pride made him continue punching until FEITOSA went down.
     In between the K-1 fights were a couple of MUAY THAI bouts including a Women's fight, which seemed to slow the pace of the show. Even ALEX GONG and CUNG LE, who are good fighters, seemed to not be at their best, perhaps due to their opponents. One fighter who was truly a new talent was JUSEPPE DE NATALE from Sik Tai Muaythai gym in Canada. He made his opponent, the uncrowned king of Las Vegas kickboxing worlds, DEWEY COOPER, look pale and really worn out. With great kicking skills, DE NATALE was so far ahead at the end of the fifth round; no one had any doubt that he would win. I saw him three years ago in Canada at the MIKE MILES show. He didn't look that good, but now, what a tremendous change.
     The final bout had DUDKO meeting KUCHARZEWSKI just like last year in the Shidokan Semifinal in Chicago. That time. I was in his corner too and actually working under the same tactics less boxing and more distance fighting. The only differences was that this time ALEX ANDRIEVSKY (DUDKO's trainer) was not with us as I was he only person to work DUDKO's corner and influence him. I had to get DUDKO ready for this final fight. At the very last moment, after the referee gave the last instructions I told DUDKO "ANDREI, this is your only chance to get into the big fighting circuit where the best fighters in the world make a living. This is the door to the big road and you need just one more step…go make it" DUDKO's look changed right away. Before, he seemed worried about the bout, but now he had clear eyes, very concentrated and sharp. We had a plan for KUCHARZEWSKI, and it worked well. First round TKO, K-1USA Champion's trophy, a check (of course) and a ticket to FUKUOKA where DUDKO must pass another step to be accepted in the K-1 GRAND PRIX on December 10 before 60,000 people.



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