Vitaly Gurkov of Belarus causes a major upset for Thai Team at IFMA 2012 Semi-Finals by beating Kem Pakcotakang Surasak who is also known as Khem Fairtex, Kem Kaewsamrit and Kem Sitsongpeenong.
Two favourites of the strongest weight-divisions 67 and 71kgs from Team Thailand sent home by Belarus Andrei Kulebin who defeated Dee Teerapong and Vitaly Gurkov who beat Kem (Pakcotakang Surasak).
Vitaly Gurkov is known for Australian crowd by another upset he has made by winning the 8 men tournament Brute Force promoted in Melbourne on March 25, 2007. He defeated Grey Foley of Jabout Gym in the final and took all tournament.
Gurkov is a multiple amateur World champion from Minsk, Belarus. He is a participant of the very Thai Fight tournament and was qualified for K-1 World Max where he faced Giorgio Petrosyan.
Particularly in Australia Gurkov fought twice under the management of Darren Curovic.
Regarding the fight Gurkov vs Kem official website of IFMA published the following
Both athletes showed superb skills from the opening bell to the last second of the fight, and the audience was on their feet. In the end it was the Belarusian who won by a majority decision, making his way to the final and sending a very disappointed Kem home. Now Kem will have to go into the second qualification round if he wants to make it to 2013 World Combat Games for SportAccord.
Kem is a true ambassador for the sport, and he demonstrated true sportsmanship after the fight, showing his opponent deep respect. Kem said that he will do everything to qualify for the World Combat Games so that he can have the chance for a re-match, setting the record straight and making his country proud.