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S-Cup Update: Tournament Field Settled, Quarterfinal Matchups Announced

After a confusing week that left us with a myriad of different S-Cup competitors, the dust has settled and we are left with an official final 8: Andy Souwer, Henri van Opstal, Kem Sitsongpeenong, Hiroaki Suzuki, Hiroki Shishido, Bovy Sor Udomson, Joachim Hansen and Gesias Cavalcante. Warren Stevelmans, who qualified with a win over Hinata in September, will not participate, likely because of his sudden participation in GLORY 3 Rome this past week, filling in as a late replacement for Yoshihiro Sato, who replaced Albert Kraus. The finalization of the tournament field also came with the quarterfinal matchups. In the upper half of the bracket, Shootboxing Lightweight champion Hiroaki Suzuki takes on former DREAM Lightweight champion Joachim Hansen while 2010 S-Cup semifinalist Henri van Opstal fights Bovy Sor Udomson. In the lower half, 2004 S-Cup finalist Hiroki Shishido fights K-1 HERO*S 2x Middleweight GP winner Gesias Cavalcante while the most intriguing quarterfinal pits 3-time S-Cup winner Andy Souwer against Kem Sitsongpeenong.

In the first half of the bracket, I expect a Suzuki-van Opstal semifinal as Suzuki will likely be the better striker against Hansen and with Suzuki's entire pro career coming in Shootboxing, Hansen will have trouble exploiting throws and standing submissions. I favor van Opstal as he is the better fighter at this point in their careers. In the other half, I give Gesias Cavalcante the best chance to score an opening round upset as Shishido is slowly approaching the twilight of his career and is just 2-4 since losing in the opening round of the S-Cup in 2010. The final quarterfinal is very hard to call, but it's hard to pick against Souwer in this case as he has a size advantage, as well as a huge experience advantage under this ruleset, as it is something Kem is foreign to. That being said, I give Kem the best chance to beat Souwer in this tournament and stop him from winning a 4th S-Cup.

On the reserve side of things, Akihiro Gono will fight Satoru Suzuki in one reserve fight while Hinata is set for the other reserve fight with a yet to be named opponent. During the past week of confusion, one of the names tied to this event was Andy Ristie and it looks as though that is more than just a rumor, as Shootboxing has added him as an expected participant. If he does compete it would likely be in a reserve fight. That's probably not the best news Hinata would want to hear as the two fought at It's Showtime 55 in January, with Ristie dominating Hinata en route to 3 knockdowns and a stoppage just under 2 minutes into the first round.

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K-1 World MAX Final 8: Tournament Line-up

 



K-1 has announced the match-ups for their MAX Final 8 tournament happening on December 15 in Athens, Greece. 

The tournament will feature the winners from the First 16 event in Madrid that took place earlier this year, including Liverkick top 10 fighters Artur Kyshenko, Andy Souwer, and Andy Ristie, who entered the Final 8 with wins over Su Hwan Lee, Abraham Roqueni, and Gago Drago, respectively. Mike Zambidis enters the tournaments riding a win over Chahid in what might have been the fight of the year, and a solid performance against Fadi Merza back in April. He'll certainly have the fans behind him fighting in his home country. Also on the card is former It's Showtime champion Chris Ngimbi, Murthel Groenhart, Reece McAllister, and Yasuhiro Kido. Most interesting perhaps is the inclusion of both Ristie and Groenhart, who competed on the GLORY 2 Brussels card in October and were presumed to be under contract with the rival organization.                                                                                                                             
In the first fight of the tournament Mike Zambidis takes on Reece McAllister, followed by Yasuhiro Kido against Murthel Groenhart, Artur Kyshenko vs. Chris Ngimbi, and Andy Souwer vs. Andy Ristie. This is a very interesting field. While Artur Kyshenko is most likely the favorite to win, Mike Zambidis, Chris Ngimbi, Andy Souwer are the clearest opposition. Plus, Andy Ristie has been on fire lately, knocking out most of his opponents in the first few seconds of the first round, so it's never wise to count him out. Don't sleep on Groenhart either. He's an absolutely massive middleweight and packs a ton of punch. 

The 8 man single-elimination tournament will culminate in 7 fights over the course of one day, with the winner receiving a grand prize of $300,000. The tournament will operate in bracket form, with the winner of fight one facing the winner of fight two, the winner of fight three facing the winner of fight four, and the winners of fights five and six meeting in the finals. 

Official Fight Card

Mike Zambidis (Greece) vs. Reece McAllister (UK)

Yasuhiro Kido (Japan) vs. Murthel Groenhart (Netherlands)

 Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine) vs. Chris Ngimbi (Congo)

 Andy Souwer (Netherlands) vs. Andy Ristie (Suriname)

 

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Badr Hari To Be Charged With Attempted Manslaughter, Facing Possibly 10 Years in Prison

Badr

Things have been up-in-the-air for the bad boy, Badr Hari, as he has been in jail awaiting sentencing for quite a while now. It appears that the courts have decided what to do with him, and if you are a Badr Hari fan, it does not look good for him right now. The charges to be levied against the former K-1 fighter who recently attempted to switch gears to professional Boxing before returning to the Kickboxing ring in May is that of Attempted Manslaughter.

If you are wondering about the kind of evidence they have against him, they have DNA evidence from a towel that they found and there are also nine open cases against Badr Hari right now. Of course, the most serious is the Attempted Manslaughter of Koen Everink in July, and it looks like with the evidence that they have and his past history, things might be looking bleak for Hari. The court is going to attempt to put Hari away for ten years, which would effectively mean the end of Badr Hari's career as a Kickboxer, Boxer or anything else in the world of combat sports. [Source]

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K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 Tonight

For the uninitiated the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 takes place on Sunday afternoon in Japan, which means for Americans and most in Europe, it will be starting a bit earlier. For Americans, it means staying up really, really late to watch a Japanese event, which hasn't been the case for quite a while and is actually a nice change of pace. We've been getting a lot of questions about how to watch the event, what time it is airing and exactly what is going on. Never fear, while information-tracking hasn't been entirely easy, here is what we've got for you.

The event goes down at 16:00 Tokyo time, which means 3:00am Eastern time in the US/12:00am Pacific.

How do you watch it? Well, Spike should be providing access to a stream at http://www.spike.com/shows/k-1/live. As the event draws near we'll keep you updated with how to watch.

Now the fight card.

Final 16:

Raul Catinas vs. Ben Edwards

Makoto Uehara vs. Hiromi Amada

Xavier Vigney vs. Zabit Samedov

Hesdy Gerges vs. Sergei Lascenko

Singh Jaideep vs. Ismael Londt

Jarrell Miller vs. Arnold Oborotov

Paul Slowinski vs. Catalin Morosanu

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Randy Blake

Super Fights:

Genji Umeno vs. Changhyun Lee

Zhou Zhi Peng vs. Koutaro Moro

Jafar Ahmadi vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi

Saulo Calavari vs. Pavel Zhuravlev

James Wilson vs. Rick Roufus

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