|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Tomorrow in Istanbul, Turkey, GLORY will present GLORY 15 Istanbul. GLORY 15 is slated to feature the GLORY Light H...Read more
A few months ago the thought of K-1 running a show past the -63kg MAX Japan tournament seemed unlikely, never mind the thought of running a full K-1 World Grand Prix. The K-1 World Grand Prix is the top combat sports tournament that has run yearly since 1993, the cream of the crop. The K-1 World Grand Prix Finals is usually the one combat sports event of the year that is can't miss with nothing but action and high drama to keep you on the edge of your seat. A lot of us had resigned ourselves to the thought of having to exist in a world where the K-1 World Grand Prix was just an afterthought, but the rumors continue to grow and today Daniel Ghita posted on his Facebook wall a formal explanation as for why he won't be fighting Badr Hari for It's Showtime in September; he's been invited to the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in China.
That, coming alongside a few other rumors makes a strong case for there being a World Grand Prix this year, so it is never too early to speculate on who will round out the Final 16 this year. If they play by the rules of past years, the Final 8 from 2010 will make a return appearance, which means we can look forward to; Mighty Mo, Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt, Kyotaro, Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Tyrone Spong, and the recently-released from the Zuffa stronghold Alistair Overeem. Out of the 8 listed above, there are question marks for a few of them, namely Mighty Mo, who has suffered a few devastating losses since the K-1 World Grand Prix and should be considering retirement, and Peter Aerts who went on record stating that 2010 would be his last World Grand Prix. Of course, this is combat sports, so chances are Mr. K-1 isn't done yet.
So now the real question is, who will help round out the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16?
This is really a no brainer. Badr Hari was a Finalist in both 2008 and 2009, and his absence in 2010 was simply due to legal issues. Hari was set to face off with Daniel Ghita in September and could easily translate into a fight that happens in the world Grand Prix. Badr is easily primed to take the tournament by storm and is an easy pick to enter the tournament.
Hesdy Gerges has to be one of the most unlucky guys in his K-1 career, drawing Semmy Schilt not once but twice as an opponent. In the Final 16 he was unfortunate enough to meet the four-time champion and put up a great fight against him, ultimately losing a decision. The battle with Daniel Ghita in March has been the most substantial Heavyweight contest to date in 2011 and Gerges walked away the better man, expect him to be in the Final 16.
|Jerome Le Banner||
JLB is another living, competing legend who has been keeping himself active in Japan by participating in IGF Pro Wrestling shows with the likes of Ray Sefo, Josh Barnett and Bobby Lashley. JLB is still a household name in Japan and can still go, while he has made disparaging remarks about K-1 and never fighting for them again, being paid what he is owed can help mend some fences. JLB is always a great addition to the K-1 field.
The Bonecrusher. After some spotty performances in 2010, Zimmerman has stepped it up again in 2011 with two big wins in impressive fashion. Seeing as though he has been a part of the World Grand Prix for the past few years, Zimmerman is also a safe bet.
Freddy Kemayo is a guy that just won't stop. He has had a few setbacks over the past few years, but he continues to march forward and has picked up 3 impressive wins this year, with two brutal KOs to his credit. His only possible hangup could be scheduling of Fight Code's Rhinos tournament, which he is involved in.
Ray Sefo is making a name for himself all over again, as he is being introduced to the UFC crowd, first with his Strikeforce fights and now for helping fighters like Vitor Belfort train. Sefo is a huge name in K-1 and as long as they backpay his $700,000 he is owed, I'm sure he'd be happy to get another crack at the crown.
He remains active in Kyokushin tournaments, coming in fifth place in the All American Open Karate Championships this year, but does not kickbox outside of K-1. Seeing as though he had two years of poor performances, he could be invited back, but I would not be surprised if we saw him replaced by a younger, European fighter.
Edwards showed a lot of heart against Alistair Overeem last year, and since then has learned a lot. In the realm of kickboxing in 2011 he put a hurting on Carter Williams and absolutely brutalized Mighty Mo with a knee strike. Ben Edwards deserves another shot at the top.
This is a darkhorse pick, but if K-1 is serious about America as the rumors are saying, they need an American Hero, and Mark Miller's insane comeback story was ripped out of a film. Miller is training with Golden Glory now, who have backed him very strongly, looking to push him as Golden Glory's American fighter. It would be a pleasant surprise to see Mark get a run at the top.
|Sergei Kharitonov||Sergei has had mixed results in K-1, but is extremely popular due to his MMA career. He has been training kickboxing with the best in the world and could make another fine addition to the K-1 World Grand Prix|
Among weeks of speculation and hints here and there, Daniel Ghita has come out and written on his Facebook page that there will be a K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in October. He cites it as the reason why his September showdown with Badr Hari was cancelled.
There has been many rumors going around for the past few weeks about whether there will be a Grand Prix this year. A few notable figures in the kickboxing world had dropped hints - or at the least thought that there was a possibility of it happening. Tyrone Spong recently said in an interview with Ariel Helwani that he had heard of a World GP happening but was unsure. Simon Rutz, when asked on Facebook when Badr Hari was fighting next, replied saying, "I think Badr's next fight will be in October in China." This also adds to the growing speculation of the Final 16 taking place in China.
This is very interesting news, as earlier in the year it seemed as if K-1 was all but done for. Now with the announcement of the sale to Barbizon Co. Ltd, there is some light for the K-1 franchise. For now we can only speculate, but this announcement from Daniel Ghita raises some key questions. Will fighters who haven't been paid by K-1 still want to return to fight in the GP? Which other heavyweight fighters will participate? Will a Grand Prix this year spark the kickboxing returns of Peter Aerts and Semmy Schilt, who haven't fought since last year's Grand Prix? These questions will likely be answered over the course of the next few months as K-1 tries to get things back on track.
Be on the lookout for more news about the Final 16 here at Liverkick.comAdd a comment
Buakaw Por. Pramuk returned to the ring again today, this time making his return to Japan. Only this time, it was his Japanese debut under muay thai rules. Buakaw has been staying very active this year, having fought on three Thai Fight shows this year. Needless to say, he's won all three of those fights. Buakaw's next fight will be against Warren Stevelmans on Sept. 2 for the MuayThai Premier League. Check out the video in two parts.Add a comment
It was a peculiar sight to behold at UFC 133, and no, I don't mean Dennis Hallaman's poor choice of costume or Brian Ebersole's arrow made of chest hair. Instead, I mean the amount of times we got to hear about K-1 level striking on a UFC broadcast and that it was hard to argue. No, sadly it did not coincide with the action in the cage, but instead the choice of trainers that the elite MMA fighters of the world have been choosing to help round out their game.
We've already seen Kenny Florian working with Cosmo Alexandre, Jose Aldo working with Andy Souwer, Jake Shields prepared for his fight with GSP by training with the legendary Rob Kaman and more. Tonight at UFC 133, though, the two feature attraction fights also featured two elite kickboxers in a corner, as "Sugar" Ray Sefo, a K-1 legend and the 2000 K-1 World Grand Prix runner-up cornering Vitor Belfort. Belfort is known for his top notch hands, for his speed, precision and power, but bringing on Ray Sefo has helped him to round out his full spectrum of striking after a quick loss to Anderson Silva. Without a doubt having a legend like Ray Sefo helping him prepare will give him some helpful tips and pointers, both in offense and defense and the results looked promising with Belfort picking up a win tonight.
In the main event, Rashad Evans brought a younger K-1 fighter to the ring with him, as he came to the ring with Tyrone Spong. Spong has been an integral part of Rashad's training camp to prepare for his fight, originally against Phil Davis before Davis had to pull out, and now against Tito Ortiz. The fight turned into more of a grapple-heavy contest, but some of the techniques that Rashad picked up along the way and the sparring with a fighter like Spong who is known for his strong clinch game and heavy kicks were apparent in the way Rashad moved and how he responded to situations. One of the clearest examples of him working on his clinch striking more came with the finish of the fight, where Tito Ortiz was on his knees covering his head up and Rashad landed what was a picture perfect knee strike to the midsection that dropped Ortiz and led to the finish.
A technique like that is often overlooked in the MMA world because one false move and the knee becomes an illegal strike to the head and can cause a point deduction, disqualification or a no contest if the opponent cannot continue. It takes a great deal of confidence and dedication to drill moves like that for a fighter to be comfortable throwing them, and Rashad timed it perfectly and it landed exactly where it should have.
If UFC 133 was any sort of indicator, the chances are that more and more UFC fighters will be turning to high level kickboxers and muay thai fighters to help them prepare for their fights. The days of fighters preparing with noted MMA striking trainers without much real combat experience might be coming to a close, or at least be supplemented by having modern professional fighters at the top of their game helping to spar and round out a fighter. Right now Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is preparing in his camp with American kickboxing sensation Mark "Fightshark" Miller, who has notably trained with Rampage's upcoming opponent, Jon "Bones" Jones in the past and can only help Rampage out more and more as he prepares for his title fight.Add a comment