For all the controversy swirling around the Misaki / Akiyama kick from Yarennoka, another instance of illegal strikes finishing the fight has been completely swept under the rug. Fighting on the K1 Dynamite card, Rani Yahya was kicked in the face on his hands and knees by Kid Yamamoto, ending the fight. At the time I just assumed that only Yarennoka banned kicks to a downed opponent. But here’s Rani telling us what the score is:
Denis: The outcome of that fight was controversial because fans weren’t certain if soccer kicks were allowed. So are they or not?
Yahya: They weren’t. He waited until the referee raised his arm, announcing he was the winner, and then he left the ring quickly to not be disqualified.
Yahya goes on to say he doesn’t really care if the contest is overturned or not (it won’t be), but I still think it’s bullshit. When you go into a cage understanding there’s certain rules in place, they change the way you fight and the way you respond to different situations. If kicks to a grounded opponent are illegal, you don’t protect yourself on the ground the same way you would if they were. Rani essentially left his head wide open for a foot to the face because he trusted Kid Yamamoto not to be a fucking spazz.