Tommy Azouz
Tommy Azouz

Tommy Azouz: “I am writing my own story.”

Karate Combat season 4 is rapidly approaching, set to return in Spring of 2022. A litany of new and returning fighters mark the return of everyone’s favorite karate promotion. Among those returning is France’s Tommy Azouz. The Frenchman made his debut in season 3 with a unanimous decision win over Gabriel Brito. Going into his fight with Artur Gasanov, Azouz looks to have a big splash in Karate Combat season 4.

Karate is a lifelong endeavor for Tommy Azouz. At a young age, he started out in the sport that he would soon learn to love. With his father and his brother, Kevin Azouz, influencing him and keeping him on path to become the karateka he is today.

“I started karate at the age of 4 or 5 years old but I wasn’t really a fan at first. But I didn’t have much choice because my father had done karate and my brother was doing it,” Azouz says with a laugh. “But over time, I loved fighting, winning, putting on a show, it really became a passion to this day.”

Azouz draws inspiration from across many combat sports, not only karate. While he has his karateka influences, like the great Rafael Aghayev, he looks to other combat sports and even cinema for inspiration.

“I had several inspirations, enormously even, like [Rafael] Aghayev, [Luigi] Busa, Christophe Pinna but also in other combat sports like Ali, Tyson, but also personalities like Bruce Lee, and Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. But my number one idol is Jean-Claude Van Damme! This person is really an example for me, and not only for me. I think otherwise he would not be this huge star he is today.”

Tommy Azouz made his debut with Karate Combat in season three. His first impressions for the promotion were that of excitement. Azouz mentions the names, production and more as what had him excited about his fight in season three.

“Wow! Impressive,” Azouz exclaimed. “Before the big day of the fight, there are interviews, shootings, etc. But with big names in world karate, like Aghayev, for example, and to find yourself next to people like that is huge. There were also guests like Georges St-Pierre, Machida, Bas, etc. It puts us in the mood! Then once the day of the fight it was really cool to feel like I’m in a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie,” said Tommy Azouz laughing. “I think I was a little reserved on my first fight because my opponent was very defensive, he hung back a lot and suddenly it prevents me from realizing my karate. But it was a very good experience I love this pit and fight in it I could do that every month.”

As mentioned earlier, Tommy’s brother, Kevin, is also a karateka. He competes in Karate Combat as well and Tommy holds him in high regards as a fighter.

“Yes my brother also fought, he had a very big fight. He is very intelligent in his fights. If you have a weakness, he will see it and it’s over for you.”

Tommy Azouz vs. Artur Gasanov in Karate Combat Season 4

Tommy Azouz
Tommy Azouz

As for season four of Karate Combat, Tommy Azouz is ready to take on his opponent and knows how good as he comes into this fight. But Azouz isn’t sweating the pressure and is looking to put on a good show in the pit for karate fans around the world.

“I hope to make a big fight against Artur Gasanov who is a very good fighter. [He is] world class so it’s interesting. I’m young, I have long teeth but I don’t worry, I have time, whether I win or lose, it will benefit me, I am writing my own story.”

Azouz lives to fight. He loves the stage of Karate Combat but still looks to the World Champions as inspiration to strive for. He is only 22 and has a storied career already. He has won some, he has lost some. One thing remains constant, however, and that is Tommy Azouz’s fire inside to compete at a high level.

“Living from my passion is a dream, fighting in these conditions is a dream so my goal is always to go further, I think that I have the capacities for one day to go to seek the belt of World Champion, I am 22 years old, I won a lot of fights in my young career against people who were sometimes better than me but no one has the rage that I have and that makes the difference.”

“Yes, karate was removed from the Olympics. It’s a very big mistake because it worked very well people loved it.” But Azouz is focused on a different kind of karate, and that is Karate Combat. “It’s very different from Karate Combat but it seduced an audience and it made karate known because a lot of people do kung-fu stuff to me when I tell them that I do karate but it’s not the same sport!” says Azouz laughing.

Goals are everything in life, and double so in combat sports like karate and judo. For Azouz, his dream remains constant. A scene from a Jean-Claude Van Damme or Rocky movie: Azouz goes in the underdog for a title fight. “My dream fight would be against an undefeated world champion, with a freaking good head, to make a great fight poster. And then win on a knockout with a back kick and become World Champion.”

So why tune in? Why watch Tommy Azouz take on Artur Gasanov in Karate Combat season four? Azouz promises one thing: a good and entertaining fight. He knows that karate isn’t a game, saying that the danger is what draws eyes to any combat sport. His fight will be no different.

“I think the public likes to see fights between fighters hungry for victories, like lion fights in cages. But this time it’s us tying for them and as we’ve always been told, we’re not playing the game, karate! Its very important! It’s a dangerous sport and anything can happen and that’s also what makes the beauty of combat sports for me.”

If that isn’t a good enough reason to tune in, nothing is. Tommy Azouz is planning on making season 4 of Karate Combat even better than the stellar season 3. Be sure to tune in, this is the type of action you don’t want to miss. With names like Rafael Aghayev, Teeik Silva, Gabriel Varga, and Dastonbek Otabolyaev in addition to Tommy Azouz, it is something built for fans of combat sports and karate.

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Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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