KARL STAHL vs. DEJI KALEJAIYE


A long time ago I had an idea to photograph one professional fighter named Karl Stahl. His real name is Nico Lohmann, but among the professional fighters and fans, he is mostly known as Karl Stahl (from German "Karl Steel"). Nico and I have many common friends in Bochum (Germany), but unfortunately, we have never met. While visiting Bochum in May to do an assignment for one client, I have decided to use the rest of the time to work on my sports portfolio, so I have contacted Nico

Luckily, Nico had a fight in Bremen coming up and I could visit and photograph it.  "Rumble In The Cage", a large fighting show with about 15 fights in K1 (kickboxing), boxing and MMA. 

Nico really earned his name: strong, experienced, brave fighter who never surrenders. Outside the ring, he is open, friendly to people and a loving husband and a father. 

It was the first time, that I was visiting a fighting event. Compared to watching fights on TV it is a completely different feeling you get once you actually see and hear how a devastating sidekick, launched with tremendous speed, hits the body. Quite scary. After capturing the intense moments of the other fights in the cage, I went to Nico's backstage room to watch him getting ready for the fight. 

 Patric, Kojo and Itaken are Nico's friends and talented fighters of the Fight Department school (Nico's fight school in Bochum). In the tiny room with almost no fresh air Nico lunches heavy kicks into the training pads. He speaks honestly about his feelings before going into the cage. After more than 80 professional fights Nico still has the same feelings as at the very beginning of his career: worry, high adrenaline, exiting and the impatient will to meet the opponent in the cage. 

Patric, Kojo and Itaken are Nico's friends and talented fighters of the Fight Department school (Nico's fight school in Bochum). In the tiny room with almost no fresh air Nico lunches heavy kicks into the training pads. He speaks honestly about his feelings before going into the cage. After more than 80 professional fights Nico still has the same feelings as at the very beginning of his career: worry, high adrenaline, exiting and the impatient will to meet the opponent in the cage. 

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 Deji Kalejaiye before going into the cage.

Deji Kalejaiye before going into the cage.

 10 minutes to the fight.

10 minutes to the fight.

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 "In the blue corner, please welcome, Karl Stahl!" - announces the presenter.

"In the blue corner, please welcome, Karl Stahl!" - announces the presenter.

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 "In the red corner, please welcome, Deji Kalejaiye!"

"In the red corner, please welcome, Deji Kalejaiye!"

 Karl Stahl's opponent Deji "Mad Dog" Kalejaiye is a skillful fighter from the Netherlands, a head taller than Stahl and twice is so big. It was a heavyweight round. Karl Stahl prepared for it a few months and gained in that time around 20 kilograms of muscles.

Karl Stahl's opponent Deji "Mad Dog" Kalejaiye is a skillful fighter from the Netherlands, a head taller than Stahl and twice is so big. It was a heavyweight round. Karl Stahl prepared for it a few months and gained in that time around 20 kilograms of muscles.

 Round one.

Round one.

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 Deji Kalejaiye has the advantage of the long limbs. Karl Stahl tries to get closer in the counter attacks.

Deji Kalejaiye has the advantage of the long limbs. Karl Stahl tries to get closer in the counter attacks.

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 Karl Stahl team Patric De Sousa Carneiro and Kojo Ennin.

Karl Stahl team Patric De Sousa Carneiro and Kojo Ennin.

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 Round two.

Round two.

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 Deji Kalejaiye executes a combination in which Karl Stahl's eyebrow is slashed.

Deji Kalejaiye executes a combination in which Karl Stahl's eyebrow is slashed.

 Blood all over his left eye. The referee checks Stahl's condition and allows the fight to be continued. As Stahl would tell me later, he couldn’t see with his left eye because the streaming blood had completely flooded his left eye making it blind. 

Blood all over his left eye. The referee checks Stahl's condition and allows the fight to be continued. As Stahl would tell me later, he couldn’t see with his left eye because the streaming blood had completely flooded his left eye making it blind. 

 Third round. Karl Stahl finds the second wind and leads series of successful attacks.

Third round. Karl Stahl finds the second wind and leads series of successful attacks.

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 Deji Kalejaiye "Mad Dog" becomes highly mad. He starts to scream and executes one brutal attack after another.

Deji Kalejaiye "Mad Dog" becomes highly mad. He starts to scream and executes one brutal attack after another.

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 The fight is over.

The fight is over.

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 "And the winner of the K1 heavyweight fight is Deji Kalejaiye!"

"And the winner of the K1 heavyweight fight is Deji Kalejaiye!"

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 A photo session after the fight.

A photo session after the fight.

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 Discussion and analyze the fight with the colleagues.

Discussion and analyze the fight with the colleagues.

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 Many of Nico's friends came to Bremen to support him.

Many of Nico's friends came to Bremen to support him.

 Karl Stahl and Deji Kalejaiye exchange their feelings and thought about their fight in a friendly manner.

Karl Stahl and Deji Kalejaiye exchange their feelings and thought about their fight in a friendly manner.

 Nico is a good storyteller with the nice  ruhrpottish  sense of humor. A portion of laughter before a night road trip to home.

Nico is a good storyteller with the nice ruhrpottish sense of humor. A portion of laughter before a night road trip to home.

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 Before and after the fight.

Before and after the fight.

 
 

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