Under the lights of the Auditorio Municipal in Tijuana, Baja California, The Netherlands’ Victor Kuiks was met with cheers as he began his walkout at UWC 46.
Tijuana’s adopted Dutch middleweight cut a calm yet focussed demeanour as he walked towards the cage, intermittently glancing towards Edgar González – the 29-year-old Duranguense opponent waiting inside.
Victor immediately took centre-cage upon entry, locking eyes with the promotional debutant before taking his corner.
As referee Edgard Lopez summoned both athletes to the centre, Victor dwarfed his opponent; indeed, the Dutchman’s muscular frame boasted a 4.7″ height, and 6.7″ reach advantage.
Once both athletes touched gloves, they returned to their respective corners. Victor literally bounced in anticipation before Lopez initiated the bout.
After both athletes touched gloves once more, Edgar was the first to attack, throwing a left jab. Victor landed a 1-2 in response. Edgar again threw a left jab, this time immediately following up with an overhand-right. Victor, however, ducked the overhand, capitalising with a body-lock before taking Edgar down at the 10-second mark.
For the next 2 minutes and 47 seconds, Victor dominated his opponent from the top position, eventually submitting Edgar with an arm-triangle.
At 2 minutes and 57 seconds of the first-round, Victor Kuiks extended his professional record to 4-1.
Once Alex Rique announced the official result of the contest, Victor engaged in dialogue with his opponent. The exchange was inaudible, although the camera’s capture a smile erupting across Edgar’s face before both athletes embrace.
In the post-fight interview that immediately followed, Victor was asked to share what was said between the two athletes:
“My opponent Edgar González – ‘Jaguar’ – listen, he didn’t make weight; he was 4lbs over-weight. So… the consequence [is] he’s gotta pay me 30% of his purse. But I saw him; I saw his wife. His wife is pregnant. So I told him ‘I don’t want your money. You need to take care of your family; you’ve got mouths to feed. So, I don’t want that 30% man’. That’s what I told him”.
Therein lies all that is wonderful about Victor Kuiks.
Victor entered UWC 46 in the pursuance of making a statement. Having been out-grappled across three-rounds in his last outing against Jesus Wong, the Dutchman wanted to advertise the lessons he learnt from his first professional loss; Victor said as much further in the post-fight interview:
“Well, they call me the ‘Striking Viking’, and I came here to knock someone the eff out. But hey, last fight, what can I say man, I got out grappled, so I had a point to prove; I got jitsu God damnit!”.
For Victor, it was mission accomplished.
There was no animosity towards his opponent for missing weight. Victor did not want financial gain at the expense of his opponent’s family; the money, in his own words, was irrelevant. Victor knew that money was worth more for his opponent’s family.
Victor concluded the night by announcing what comes next; a move down to welterweight:
“This is going to be my last fight at 185 [Ibs]. My next fight’s gonna be at 170 [lbs], and l’m coming for the belt. I came here to Mexico to become a champion, and I will. I will become a champion. I’m coming for that gold!”.
It’s abundantly clear that Victor loves Tijuana; equally, Tijuana loves Victor. With all that Victor offered at UWC 46, there is no denying that the fan-favourite “Striking Viking” will continue making big waves in Mexico.
(Image courtesy of uwc.com.mx)