Ali Gunyar (born 22 September 1979 in Eindhoven) is a Turkish-Dutch middleweight Muay Thai kickboxer fighting out of Eindhoven, Netherlands for Team Gunyar, where he is trained by his brother Suleyman Gunyar. Ali is a four-time kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion, who has made appearances for the K-1 MAX, SuperLeague and It’s Showtime organizations. As of 2011 Ali is the current W.I.P.U. “King of the Ring” super middleweight world champion in K-1 rules
Biography and career
Growing up in his home town of Eindhoven, Ali started training in Kyokushin karate at the age of five with his older brother (and now trainer) Suleyman, taking up also Thai-boxing at the age of eight. As well as studying martial arts, the young Ali played youth football for PSV Eindhoven but would be unable to gain a pro-contract so re-focused on kickboxing. At the age of thirteen he took the Dutch youth title in 1992, along with friend and fellow gym member Yücel Fidan and would accumalate an impressive record of 47 wins with just one defeat at B-Klass and C-Klass level.
In 1996, aged seventeen, Ali made his A-Klass debut. He would go on to win his first major title the very year, defeating Oliver Winter to win the I.S.K.A. European title before winning the I.K.B.O. European title the following year. Between 1999 and 2002 Ali would win more honors, a Dutch national title (W.P.K.L) and two world titles; the I.M.T.F. against Mohamed Mustati and World Full Contact Association (W.F.C.A.) against Baker Barakat. He also became a trainer in 2000 at the Al-Fid Gym along with his brother Suleyman and Yücel Fidan, helping to teach young fighters as well as fight himself.
Ali made his K-1 MAX debut in 2006 when he was invited to take part in an elimination fight at the K-1 World MAX Open. He was denied his dream of a quarter final place at the final in Tokyo, losing by decision to first time K-1 MAX champion Albert Kraus. The very same year he also made his debut with (the now defunct) SuperLeague organization at their eight man middleweight tournament, held in Ali’s homeland of Turkey. Ali did well in his quarter final match beating the experienced Muay Thai specialist Ole Laursen in the quarter finals before losing to the organizations top fighter Aalviar Lima by technical knockout due to a hand injury that left Ali unable to continue. Sandwiched between his appearances for two of kickboxing’s top organizations, was a win against Jose Barradas to claim the Muay Thai version of the W.F.C.A. world title in his hometown of Eindhoven.
Since the end of 2006, Ali has had a number of fights in the Netherlands and abroad, winning the relatively unheard of. O.P.B.U. Europe-African title against the tough Moroccan pitbull Chahid Oulad El Hadj but losing title fights against Farid Villaume, Albert Kraus (rematch) and most recently against Mike Zambidis. He also made a brief return to K-1 MAX, losing to Leroy Kaestner in a failed bid at qualification for the final 16 stage of the 2009 K-1 World MAX final. In 2011 Ali won his fourth world title – winning the W.I.P.U. “King of the Ring” super middleweight belt beating former SuperLeague fighter Fadi Merza at the A-1 Combat World Cup in Eindhoven.
He defeated Grega Smole via unanimous decision at Enfusion Live 5 in Eindhoven, Netherlands on May 11, 2013 and became first Enfusion Live -75 kg World Champion. He lost the title at Enfusion Live 11 in London on December 1, 2013 to Michael Wakeling. In third round Wakeling threw a spinning back fist and caught Ali on the jaw with forearm, with Ali refusing to fight anymore. Due an accidental clash judges scored the fight with unanimous decision for Wakeling.
- 2013 Enfusion Live -75 kg World Title
- 2011 W.I.P.U. “King of the Ring” K-1 Rules Super Middleweight world champion -75 kg
- 2008 O.P.B.U. K-1 Rules Euro-African champion -72.5 kg
- 2006 W.F.C.A. Muay Thai world champion -72.5 kg
- 2002 W.F.C.A. Full-Contact world champion -76.2 kg
- 2002 I.T.M.F. Muay Thai world champion -72.5 kg
- 1999 W.P.K.L. Muay Thai Dutch champion -79 kg
- 1998 I.K.B.O. Muay Thai European champion -76.2 kg
- 1997 I.S.K.A. Full-Contact European champion -79 kg