Who has secured the most victories at this historic sport karate tournament?
The Diamond Nationals World Karate Championships is one of the most prestigious martial arts tournaments in the world. Winning the coveted Diamond Ring is a dream come true for any sport karate competitor. The event has done an incredible job of documenting sport karate history with a list of every Diamond Nationals champion. This article ranks many legendary point fighters based on their total Diamond Nationals victories according to the official website of the event, available here. Superfights, a special point fighting division that was exclusive to the Diamonds, has been taken into account in addition to regular overall grand championships. Keep reading to find out who the greatest ring collectors in point fighting history are.
T-5. Multiple Fighters - 3 Titles
Steve "Nasty" Anderson (pictured), Linda Denley, Jack Felton, Morgan Plowden, and Dottie White have all won three titles at the Diamond Nationals. The late Steve Anderson won his three rings in the eighties in the men's overall sparring grands, whereas Jack Felton secured all three of his titles in the Superfights division from 2012-2014. Denley, Plowden, and White are three fantastic female fighters that have secured three rings each. Felton and Plowden are still active competitors who have a chance to climb these rankings in the coming years.
T-4. Multiple Fighters - 4 Titles
Jason Tankson-Bourelly (pictured), Hamed Firouzi, and Trevor Nash make up the select group of fighters to secure four Diamond Nationals titles. Tankson-Bourelly's wins were split evenly between the men's overall grand and Superfights, all of Firouzi's wins were in the Superfights division, and Nash collected three overall grand championships with one Superfights title. Some of these athletes may increase their title count, as Tankson-Bourelly is still an active competitor in the 30+ division and Nash is widely regarded as an ageless wonder who can fight at any given tournament.
3. Chelsey Nash - 5 Titles
Chelsey Nash stands alone at number three in this countdown with five consecutive women's overall grand championship diamond rings from 2008-2012. This dominant run was one of the most impressive streaks in the history of sport karate and earned Nash the all-time record for the most consecutive Diamond Nationals titles in any division, including forms and weapons. Nash maintained her success with an extremely high fight IQ and consistent, clean execution of techniques during her matches.
2. Nicki Carlson-Lee - 8 Titles
Nicki Carlson-Lee is considered by many to be the greatest female point fighter of all time. Her first two rings at the Diamond Nationals came with back-to-back wins in 1990 and 1991. These titles were followed by her longest win streak of four championships from 1994-1997, and she capped off her ring winning with another pair of back-to-back titles from 1999-2000. This level of dominance is made even more impressive by the depth of women's fighting in the nineties, a time when winning titles meant you had to get through other legends like Christine Bannon-Rodrigues and Dottie White.
1. Raymond Daniels - 11 Titles
Raymond "The Real Deal" Daniels taking the top spot on this list should not surprise anybody. The welterweight champion of Bellator Kickboxing is widely accepted as the greatest point fighter of all time. His flashy style of fighting featuring jump-spinning back kicks and no-look blitz techniques earned him a staggering eleven titles at the Diamond Nationals. Six of these titles were earned as men's sparring overall grand championships, and the other five were obtained in the Superfights division. His victories span over a decade from 2000 to 2014, and he won both Superfights and the overall grand championship at the same Diamond Nationals on multiple occasions. Daniels has since retired from point fighting to focus on a career in mixed martial arts, but recently made a comeback to the sport the sport karate arena by competing alongside Team All-Stars in team fighting at the Irish Open. It is safe to say that his 11 Diamond Nationals championships will not be contested for a long time, if ever.
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