K-1 2008 DVD VHS
Kickboxing Tapes Videos


K-1 Videos:
K-1 1993
K-1 1994
K-1 1995
K-1 1996
K-1 1997
K-1 1998
K-1 1999
K-1 2000
K-1 2001
K-1 2002
K-1 2003
K-1 2004
K-1 2005
K-1 2006
K-1 2007
K-1 2008
K-1 2009
K-1 2010
K-1 2011
K-1 2012
K-1 2013
K-1 2014

Parts of Quebrada:
Quebrada Homepage
Match Reviews
Quebrada Columns
Videos
Recommended Matches
Merchandise
News Archive
Multimedia
Movie Reviews


K-1 World Max 2008 Nippon Daihyo Kettei Tournament 2/2/08 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1hr 20min. Q=Near Perfect

Nippon (Japan representative decision) Daihyo Kettei Tournament 1st Round

Andy Ologun vs. Yuya Yamamoto 3R. Yamamoto fought relentlessly for 3 rounds, stalking Ologun and keeping him on the defensive by throwing blow after blow. Once the first few Ologun punches landed one sensed he’d win the fight though. Yamamoto is extremely active, but his strikes don’t have much on them. Meanwhile, many of Ologun’s blows knocked Yamamoto’s head back. Ologun landed several good right hands to the nose, bloodying Yamamoto. He put him down early in R2 with a right straight. Yamamoto showed great heart and stamina though, never wavering from his strategy. Backing off or slowing down don’t seem to be in Yamamoto’s vocabulary. He thought he won the fight, but while activity was on his side, impact made it a clear decision for Ologun. Good match.

Keiji Ozaki vs. Yasuhiro Kido 3R (R2 skipped). One of those fights where they are matched evenly enough that nothing much happens. Ozaki was the more aggressive fighter, but while he had a good segment toward the end of R1, he missed way too often, partially due to having to deal with Kido’s 5 inch height advantage. Kido also didn’t have great accuracy, but definitely landed with more consistency than Ozaki. Kido had a good knee, right straight, left high kick combo in R3, but that only made Ozaki fight harder (or more desperately). Kido won a unanimous decision. Average match.

Hiroyuki Maeda vs. TATSUJI 1R 1:10. Both simultaneously missed overhand rights then landed left hooks, but Maeda’s but TATSUJI down. TATSUJI didn’t seem that hurt, but in a tournament, especially with the two knockdown system, you go for the kill. TATSUJI mixed it up rather than slowing the fight down until he was fully recovered, and once Maeda landed a good shot or two TATSUJI was right back in trouble. Maeda mixed his hooks and uppercuts, with most getting through Maeda’s defenses until he didn’t quite go down but wobbled enough the two knockdown rule kicked in.

HAYATO vs. Ryuji 3R. Both fought on a high level, with the advantage going back and forth more times than one could count. Basically one fighter would throw a combination or two while the other covered up then the lead would change with a combination from the previously defending fighter. Ryuji was better at throwing around his opponent’s defenses. He was also the superior ring general, backing HAYATO into the ropes where Ryuji’s connect percentage went way up. Ryuji hurt HAYATO toward the end of R1 from this position. Even though HAYATO wound up stuck against the adjacent ropes after escaping, Ryuji couldn't put him down, which turned out to be the deciding factor in a fight where both landed several solid blows. HAYATO knocked Ryuji down in R2, landing a right cross while Ryuji was in the midst of throwing a right knee. It was a solid punch, but there’s no way Ryuji would have gone down had he not been on one leg shifting all his lower body weight forward. Ryuji didn’t seem hurt, still the more aggressive of the two and accurate of the two, though there wasn’t a big difference. Ryuji’s face was showing the effects of HAYATO’s blows a lot more, red around the eyes and under the nose. Ryuji would have won the decision if not for the knockdown, but instead lost a majority decision. I was hoping they’d go another round, as neither were slowing down and it was doubtful there’d be anything later that would be a match for this intense bombs away battle. Very good match.

Super Fight: Artur Kyshenko vs. Shingo Garyu R1 3:00. Usually a sign of a mismatch is one fighter consistently backing away from the other’s attacks from the outset. Kyshenko knocked Garyu down with a right body blow/left hook combo. In the first exchange after Garyu got up, he was again dropped with a left hook. Garyu got up again, but didn’t even bother throwing this time, he just stood there and ate another left hook for the knockout.

Nippon Daihyo Kettei Tournament Semifinals

Yasuhiro Kido vs. Andy Ologun 3R. Kido fought a smart fight either hitting Ologun when he was getting ready to strike, most notably with front kicks, or simply backing away. Kido would land one shot then retreat before Ologun could fire back. Ologun never found a way to land any of the hard punches we saw in the first round. Kido landed several low kicks, welting Ologun’s left thigh, which opened up an uraken that was the best shot of the match even if it didn’t hit Ologun square. Kido fought more aggressively in the third round, which initially was good for Ologun, but still he never got going. Ologun was getting frustrated, trying to rough Kido up in the clinch but the ref was having none of it. Kido threw enough down the stretch that a decent amount of his punches got through, enough to take this round as well. Kido won a unanimous decision. Average match.

HAYATO vs. Hiroyuki Maeda 1R 3:00. HAYATO was landing low kicks at will, but Maeda defended everything else. Maeda showed impressive quick punch combinations. When HAYATO tried to cover as he did against Ryuji, Maeda kept throwing, altering the destination to circumvent HAYATO’s arms. The final left and right of this five punch combo rocked HAYATO, dropping him. The round was almost over, but Maeda went for the kill and was tagging HAYATO left and right. If Maeda had another 10 seconds he would have finished him. I wasn’t sure if HAYATO would even answer the bell, but it was the grizzled veteran of the tournament, 35-year-old Maeda, who couldn’t continue due to a dislocated right elbow. HAYATO was really lucking out tonight. Good while it lasted.

Super Fight: Yoshihiro Sato vs. Buakaw Por. Pramuk 4R (R1 & R2 skipped). Pramuk was the shorter fighter, punching from an in between angle to clear Sato’s shoulders, which as it turns out may have been a good thing as the overhand is generally more powerful than the hook. Pramuk landed several good punches in R3, though almost all toward the middle of the session. Pramuk dominated the extra round. However, Sato, who was all but dead, hurt Pramuk with 10 seconds when he countering a low body blow with a stiff left hook. This was enough to win over one of the three judges.

K-1 WORLD YOUTH 2008 Japan vs. Holland Final Match: HIROYA vs. Robby Hageman R2 2:02. HIROYA had a tough time with Hageman’s reach advantage. He was was more aggressive, but neither were landing and it was looking as though it would be a dull 3 round decision. Finally HIROYA knocked Hageman down with a big left hook, the first even remotely notable blow from either. This led to what I felt was a bad stoppage by ref Nobuaki Kakuda. Hageman stumbled a bit, but I think the problem was not so much the punch but that he didn’t know how far he was from the corner he was attempting to backing into. Thus, he looked awkward attempting to do so.

Nippon Daihyo Kettei Tournament Final: HAYATO vs. Yasuhiro Kido 1R 1:07. Kido was a long shot to reach the final given his career K-1 record was 2-1 prior to the start of the tournament. This was one wild little match. HAYATO tried to throw his low kicks, but Kido was ready for them, firing back with a left/right punch combo that put HAYATO down. Kido quickly got a second knockdown with HAYATO stumbling to the ground following a left straight. Kido went in for the kill, but during the exchange HAYATO caught him with a left hook. Kido wasn’t knocked completely off his feet, it’s more like he dropped to a knee and popped right back up hoping no one would notice. With the luck HAYATO was having tonight, you began to believe he might even manage to pull this one out. Due to HAYATO scoring the latest knockdown, he went on the offensive, but quickly walked into a right straight for the 3 knockdown TKO. How often do you see 4 knockdowns in the same minute? The win earns Kido the right to represent Japan in the World Max Final in October.

K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Budapest - Europe GP Final Elimination – 2/9/08 Budapest, Hungary Budapest Sports Arena
-2hr 20min. Q=Ex. 1 DVD

Prestige Fight: Dzenan Poturak vs. Tibor Nagy 1R 0:38. Tibor backed Poturak into the ropes and tried to go on the offensive with a right straight and right low kick, but was KO’d with a tight overhand right.

Prestige Fight: Antonin Dusek vs. Tokor Daniel 3R. Horrible match. Dusek fashions himself a tough guy, but fought like a pussy. It looked like his mommy forced him in there, so he decided he’d just cover up for 3 rounds, hoping his opponent would get bored of picking on him. Torok was active, floating around the ring and landing on his largely stationary and passive opponent. He should have utilized low or middle kicks though, as he mostly punched and kneed Dusek’s arms. Torok looked good early, but never really solved Dusek’s consistent defense. Not that he needed to as Dusek was barely even firing back, but the better fighters quickly find a way to either strike around or through, finding the holes to score the early knockout.

Europe GP Final Elimination:

Vitor Miranda vs. Zabit Samedov 3R. They fighters were evenly matched. Samedov was the aggressor, but neither was landing with any regularity. Samedov looked better as he was mixing his techniques with good combinations to keep Miranda guessing. He kept looking for the high kick, but though it connected several times, it never landed cleanly. Miranda mainly scored with knees to the body. Samedov won a majority decision. Average match.

Catalin Morosanu vs. Erhan Deniz 4R. Exciting fight the ref had difficulty maintaining control of. Ex-rugby player Morosanu was a wild man who came out firing haymakers, most of which missed, really keeping the pressure on Deniz. Deniz let Morosanu tire himself in the first minute and a half then settled into his offense with Morosanu already looking exhausted toward the end of the round. Deniz landed a high kick after the ref called for a break, so when the ref brought them together to tell them to listen to him, Morosanu tried to punch Deniz. Cornerman Andre Mannaart was calling for low kicks from the start, and Deniz finally took his advice at the start of the second round only to abandon the strategy. Nonetheless, Deniz landed some other good shots in round 2, particularly a left hook and high kick. Morosanu was awkward and off balance, slipping on his own and going down on contact. Deniz seemed gassed in round 3, while Morosanu got his second wind. Deniz was just covering up, but unlike Daniel, Morosanu was landing regularly by taking what was available. He landed kicks to the legs and body - knocking Deniz off his feet with a low kick - threw hooks around the block, uppercuts underneath it, and straight punches down the middle. The fight was too close to call, so they went to a 4th round, which was by far the worst as both were spent. Neither stepped up, but Morosanu was awarded the decision. Good match.

Freddy Kemayo vs. Sergei Gur R2 2:53. Fairly even until Kemayo injured Gur’s left knee with an inside leg kick. Gur was hobbled and had a hard time remaining on his feet any time Kemayo landed low, so Kemayo took advantage of his opponent’s weakness and quickly finished him off with two more low kick knockdowns.

Hero’s Rule Superfight: Bardosi Sandor vs. Paulius Poska R1 1:12. Poska landed a right hook, but Sandor scored the takedown. Poska kept Sandor from passing to side mount for a brief period, but once he succeeded he quickly forced Poska to submit.

Damir Tomarovic vs. Errol Zimmerman R2 2:32. Zimmerman style is similar to Remy Bonjasky’s: he’s athletic, quick, and fluid. Tomarovic just kind of put his head down and came forward, which made him an easy opponent for a fighter who can stick and move. Zimmerman knocked Tomarovic down with a low kick. Seeing his opponent was now favoring his left knee Zimmerman went for the kill, bringing a flying knee, high kick, and superman punch. An overwhelmed Tomarovic was soon TKO’d. Pretty good match.

Petr Vondracek vs. Karacs Attila R3 1:21. Vondracek is the larger fighter, and tried to overwhelm Attila with his power. He won round 1 picking his spot to come in with a combination to multiple areas, landing 1 or 2 of the 3 or 4. The quicker and more active Attila rally came on in R2. Vondracek was rather predictable, and once Attila became the aggressor he wasn’t able to get his combinations started. Vondracek went down avoiding a left hook counter to his right low kick, and was shocked the ref began counting as Attila’s blow missed completely. Karacs quickly scored a legit knockdown with a series of good punches during an exchange. Attila knocked Vondracek out early in R3 with a right hook you could barely see as it was inside the left hook Vondracek was attempting.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Paula Mataele R2 1:12. Mataele tried to overwhelm Bregy when he got him against the ropes or in the corner, but was largely missing or getting blocked. Bregy returned the favor in the second round, landing far more frequently. Mataele withstood the initial surge, but took a left hook, right uppercut, and left hook combo that largely did him in. Bregy followed with a few straight punches for the knockout. Until the finish it was largely uneventful, and even the finish looked more as though it would be a knockdown than a knockout, as the ref simply called for a count but a hunched Mataele couldn’t recover in time.

K-1 ASIA MAX 2008 IN SEOUL -Asia Tournament- 2/24/08 Seoul, Korea Jangchung Gymnasium Part 1
-4hr. Q=Near Perfect. 1 DVD

K-1 WORLD YOUTH Special Match: Tae Hwan Kim vs. Min Seok Kwan 3R. Kwan had a considerable reach advantage and moved forward the entire fight, dominating position as much as humanly possibly by keeping Kim pinned against the ropes. Forcing Kim to try to block everything as he lacked the real estate for much else, Kwan opened up the body as the fight progressed, landing under Kim’s defenses. Kwan caught Kim with a right high kick when he was trapped in the corner for an early knockdown and had his best series in the final minute of round 3, battering Kim in the corner. Kwan breezed to a unanimous decision. Average match.

ASIA Tournament 1st Round:

Su Hwan Lee vs. Sirimongkol Singwangcha 4R. Singwangcha stalked his prey and was more active in the first two rounds, landing several low and body kicks Lee had no answer for. Lee was a good counter puncher, but seemed to only counter when Singwangcha went high with punches. Mongkol was a taunting fool, acting like an animal to prove none of Lee’s shots hurt. Singwangcha faked a head punch and lunged for a body blow only to take a nasty kick in the jimmy, which he at least admitted hurt. Lee came out aggressively in R3 as he definitely needed this round, but walked into a few solid hooks. Lee landed his most blows in R3, but was also on the receiving end of several hard punches as pressing left him prone to the counter. Each round was close, but as much as I found Singwangcha to be a jerk, I can’t say Lee won any. Nonetheless, they went the extra round, which was quite similar to the third with Lee being active but eating counter punches. The key call of the fight was when Lee missed a lunging left hook and tried to follow up with a left low kick only to be leveled by an overhand right. Granted he was off balance, but given the force of the blow I can’t agree with the ref’s decision to rule it a slip even though Lee returned to his feet quickly enough. This clearly cost the Thailand native the fight, as with a knockdown in the extra round there would be no way the judges could have given it to hometown hero Lee via split decision. Pretty good match.

K.Max vs. HAKUTO R1 1:20. Max came out with several blistering low kicks, knocking HAKUTO off his feet twice. This opened up Max’s punches, resulting in a quick knockdown. Max continued to wobble HAKUTO before he finally succumbed to a right hook and right straight.

Chi Bin Lim vs. Satoru Suzuki R3 0:38. Started slow with a nondescript first round, but got better with each round, even if more one-sided. Suzuki is a rangy fighter who utilizes a side stance, but had a hard time connecting with his punches as Lim did an excellent job of bobbing and ducking. Lim came on with punches in round 2, and had a fast start to round 3, backing Suzuki up with low and middle kicks then knocking him down with a right cross. Lim smelled blood, landing a few knees before taking Suzuki out with a low kick. Above average match that would have been good had Suzuki been able to mount any type of offensive.

Doo Suk Oh vs. Dong Jiang Tao 3R. Good fast-paced fight. They never rested or clinched, but the defense was good, so there weren't a ton of big shots despite their constantly mixing it up. Oh controlled the early portion, scoring a flash knockdown with a fast right hook Tao never even saw. Early on Tao was consistently on the defensive, but he gained confidence after knocking Oh’s mouthpiece out with a left hook counter near the end of round 1. Tao came out aggressively in round 2, landing some punch combos which resulted in Oh once again losing his mouthpiece. Oh regain control later in the round, but his left eye was marked up and nose was badly bloodied, possibly broken, from one of a handful of shots that caught him square. Tao clearly won the third round, but it was too little too late as he couldn’t overcome the early knockdown. Oh won a unanimous decision. Good match.

Reserve Fight: Kyeong Jun Lee vs. Taivan 3R. Lee tried knee after knee, but Taivan liked the inside as well, doing a good job of punching from close range. Taivan was wild when he had distance, missing several flashy spinning strikes. When he wasn’t trying something out of pro wrestling he would drop his head and charge in, practically as if he were in an MMA match instead and was looking for the takedown. Lee capitalized a few times connecting with kicks and knees. Taivan was worn down, but kept coming just as aggressively. Lee missed many of his knees, but combined with his low and middle kicks landed enough to win a close fight. Pretty good match.

Super Fight: Se Ki Kim vs. Virgil Kalakoda 4R. Very competitive fight that was about as close as they come. Kim pursues his opponent relentlessly, throwing more punches, but Kalakoda snaps his opponent’s head back with most of what lands. Early Kim was landing left jabs, while Kalakoda was welting his leg with low kicks and landing his punches with far more force. Kim began following the jab with hard right hands. He blitzed Kalakoda at the start of round 2 with a jumping knee and series of punches, but soon after Kalakoda had seemingly settled in he hurt him with a Thai knee followed by a series of hooks. Kalakoda was distraught the ref called a knockdown when he was getting pounded against the ropes, as he was not only defending himself competently the whole time, he was never even wobbled. Kalakoda came back landing some stiff left hooks, but Kim was cocky now, taunting him and connecting with lefts of his own. Kalakoda shut him up with a couple of one-two punch combos. Kim was still coming full force in round 3 looking for the knockdown rather than resting upon the cheap knockdown, once again backing Kalakoda up most of the round with hooks. However, Kalakoda was regularly turning him into a bobble head with crisp straight punches. Apparently the judges correctly ruled Kim’s knockdown a flash down, and with the 1 point deduction (a 10-9 second round rather than 10-8) Kalakoda, who was clearly the better fighter, did enough to get another chance in overtime. The extra round was even closer than the first three, as most of the blows were avoided. I figured the Korean Kim would get the decision over the South African for sure this time, as if nothing else he was in hot pursuit, but Kalakoda edged the split decision for connecting with the more solid blows. Very good match.

ASIA Tournament Semifinals:

K.Max vs. Su Hwan Lee 3R. Max has very quick hands. Lee landed a left hook on the inside, but ate a left-right combo before he could even get his head back. Max pursued his now wobbly opponent, landing a few more blows before the ref called Lee down. Max consistently landed solid punches for the rest of the first round, though he never had Lee in serious trouble. Lee was able to effectively counter Singwangcha’s punches earlier in the night, but when he even got off against Max, he usually missed. It appeared Max could coast along to victory, just as I’d written Lee off he hurt Max with a left straight and followed with a series of largely misses for the Sappdown. Max was on the defensive for the final minute of the round, seeing what was set to be a commanding 2 round to 0 lead including a knockdown evaporate into an even fight. Lee may have started slow, but he was determined to win now that he’d come back. He had Max on the run early in R3, but Max reasserted himself with a series of right hands. The third round was the closest, but the solid punches Max landed in the middle minute were enough to edge out the decision. Good match.

Doo Suk Oh vs. Chi Bin Lim R2 0:33. Oh looked to close the distance, but Lim was throwing combination after combination in the meantime. Oh defended most of Lim’s blows, but wasn’t able to get his own offense off. Lim came into the fight in better shape, as Oh’s face was marked and swollen, and didn’t tire despite throwing nonstop. As the first round progressed he began getting his punches through. Lim’s success greatly increased at the start of R2, landing a left high kick that Oh shrugged off then rocking him with a right hook. Seeing his opponent was in trouble, Lim threw as hard and fast as he could, busting his nose open, until the ref stopped it.

Super Fight: In Jin Chi vs. Ryuji Kajiwara 3R. Hesitant match largely consisting of misses. Both were all too willing to back away from the blows, but even when they did mix it up the defense was so far ahead of the offense even the fastest punches were dodged. Every round was pretty much a stalemate. I thought it should have gone another as I saw nothing to pick a winner on, but was just as happy they gave it to Chi as I’d had enough of these two. Below average match.

Super Fight: Buakaw Por. Pramuk vs. Joon Kim R2 0:37. Pramuk was at the top of his game, looking awesome against his hapless foe who allowed himself to be backed into ropes or corner time after time. In round 1, Pramuk knocked Kim down with a high kick in the corner early then just before the round ended backed him into the corner with a high kick then knocked him down with a right cross, uppercut, cross. Round 2 began with Pramuk backing Kim into the ropes with kicks then avoiding a left straight Kim tried to reestablish position with and putting him down with a left hook. I give Kim credit for still wanting to fight, but Pramuk backed him up again, dodged a punch and put the finishing touches on Kim with a short right cross.

ASIA TOURNAMENT Final: Chi Bin Lim vs. K. Max. The two most active fighters in the tournament delivered a first round almost devoid of action. The defense was too far ahead of the offense here, as they faked and feinted, but still most of their strikes were blocked or avoided. High stakes always help, and though initially dull, as time was running out for both to make their mark the match grew increasingly intense. Max came out throwing his low kicks in R2, but his newfound kicking activity didn’t translate into the success of the earlier rounds. The first real damage came when Lim knocked Max back into the corner with a left hook and landed a few more punches before the second round ended. The confidence boost translated into Lim showing some of his previous aggression in round 3, using kicks to open up his punches. He stunned Max with a right hook following a right low kick then threw a series of blows, landing solidly with the 4th (left hook) then putting Max down with the 5th (right hook). Max couldn’t bide his time, as with only a minute left in the fight he needed a knockdown to even it up, but was soon caught with a left hook for the KO. Pretty good match.

K-1 DREAM.1 LIGHTWEIGHT GRAND PRIX 2008 1st Round 3/15/08 Saitama Super Arena
-1hr 35min. Q=TV Master

DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix 1st Round: Joachim Hansen vs. Kotetsu Boku 2R. The much anticipated DREAM debut was such a bust a one-sided squash was the best match aired by a wide margin. Hansen controlled the fight, taking Boku down at will with some impressive throws. He backdropped Boku early, but later they were too close to the ropes so he lifted Boku and turned him inward toward his stomach then slammed him forward. Hansen was seizing finishing positions off his takedowns, but Kotetsu defended well, frustrating his opponent. At one point, Boku was on his knees and Hansen did a forward roll with a head and shoulder lock to get rear mount with Kotetsu lying on top of him. Another time Joachim gave up on the rear naked choke quickly, shifting to arm bar but Boku rolled to his knees and pulled out. Hansen knocked Boku off his feet with a left hook 20 seconds in, and landed some fierce power punches from time to time, but by Boku the low standards of what Boku was able to be successful win in this fight the striker had better luck in standup, at least peppering Joachim with some jabs. An easy win for Hansen, but it was impressive show of heart and determination from Boku in managing to last the duration against a far superior opponent who regularly had him in trouble. Good match.

Minowaman vs. Kwan Bum Lee R1 1:25. Coming off two consecutive losses, the MMA superhero needed a Bum to reestablish himself, so they served one up, literally. Lee had a 42kg weight advantage, though that’s a meal for Zulu, the fighter Ikuhisa Minowa fought on the 12/31/07 Premium 2007 Dynamite show. The “skill” difference between Lee and Zulu might not be much, but the former pro baseball player was small enough Minowaman had no problem taking him down, which made all the difference in the world. Lee, who was exactly as billed, didn’t appear to have any ground game either, quickly falling prey to a knee bar. Garbage.

Hayato “Mach” Sakurai vs. Hidetaka Monma R1 4:12. Quality short match with some good standup. Sakurai landed a few good Thai knees leading to the takedown, but Monma showed some aptitude as a counter puncher, marking Mach’s nose with jabs. Monma landed a body hook, but was stunned by a left hook Sakurai landed at the same time, stumbling to his back where Sakurai reeled off a barrage of punches. All Monma could do was curl up and cover his head, so the ref stopped it.

DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix 1st Round: Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Black Mamba 2R. I don’t know what happened to Kawajiri, but Crusher seemed to forget his feared ground and pound. It looked as though he spent his training camp developing his submission game, and was so eager to pass guard so he could display his new wares he wound up failing on everything beyond control. Kawajiri had a hold of Black Mamba the entire fight, giving him no room to strike. Mamba has good defense in all areas, regularly slithering out and scrambling back to his feet. Mamba was never able to mount any sort of offense though, so Kawajiri won on positioning. A dreadful bore.

DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix 1st Round: Andre Dida vs. Eddie Alvarez R1 6:47. Alrarez quick simply smoked Dida, tossing him around like a cheap shoe. Alrarez had so much confidence in his ability to take Dida down he’d simply let him back up if he couldn’t quickly mount. After Alrarez did this the first time Dida rocked him with a right hook and I was thinking he’d be better off just pinning Dida, as he’s only dangerous on his feet. But Dida wasn’t even in Alrarez’s class, and once Alrarez got position he pummeled Dida with ground and pound. Dida had less than no defense for Alrarez’s mount, simply covering up.

DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix 1st Round: Shinya Aoki vs. J.Z. Calvan R1 3:46. Some fights just don’t seem meant to happen. First, the much anticipated match was postponed from the 12/31/07 YARENNOKA! OHMISOKA! 2007 a week before the show, now we finally get it amidst rumors J.Z.’s knee still isn’t right only to have a no contest after 3 crappy minutes. Judo player Aoki wasn’t going to stand with Calvan if he could in any way help it, lying around and inviting Calvan on top. Calvan stuffed Aoki’s shot and threw three elbows that injured Aoki badly, numbing his right arm to the point of temporarily paralysis. Aoki grabbed the back of his head, as elbows to the head, neck, and spine are illegal in DREAM, but the one that seemed to really hurt Aoki was to the inside of the shoulder blade. One of the next two got the back of Aoki’s neck, and the other may have got the spine, but these weren’t great shots, arguably connecting the illegal areas more with the triceps than the point of the elbow. In any case, Aoki, who already has controversial DQ victories for being unable to continue after illegal blows by Shigetoshi Iwase & George Sotiropolous, couldn’t go with only one arm functioning so it was ruled a no contest, plummeting the tournament into general disarray.

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Tatsuya Mizuno R1 0:56. Having lost his last 2 fights in UFC after winning the 2006 PRIDE Grand Prix and making a successful US debut, Cro Cop was in need of the kind of tomato can he made his name swiftly destroying. Apparently the Japanese couldn’t find a masked luchador, so they came up with a fighter who is 3-2 in Pancrase with a loss to Jobber Silva and his “big” win coming over .500 veteran Yuji Sakuragi. Mizuno knew you have to be aggressive with Cro Cop in standup, but lacks the striking skills to do so. He hoped his standup was good enough to open up the takedown, but when he tried to shoot high Mirko got hold of his right arm and brought clinch knees then opened up with a big punch combo for the spectacular KO.

K-1 WORLD MAX 2008 World Championship Tournament - FINAL 16 – 4/9/08 Hiroshima Kenritsu Sogo Taiikukan
-1 1/2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Andy Souwer vs. Mike Zambidis R4 4:05. Very close fight with Zambidis, who many expected to be a walk over, really stepping it up to not only give Souwer a tougher fight than he’s had of late, but put his quest to defend as MAX champion in serious jeopardy. I though Zambidis won the 1st using his quick hands for punch combos. As always, after feeling his opponent out, Souwer came out stronger and more aggressive in the second. He worked the low kick to open up the upper body, but Zambidis didn’t back down, coming on at the end of the round with a right left hook jumping knee combo. Souwer didn’t seem to be able to figure Zambidis out the way he normally does, allowing Zambidis to be the overall more aggressive fighter without taking any major blows. Souwer is always a very accurate striker, but while he landed leg kicks at will, Zambidis largely defending the punch portion of Souwer’s combos. Zambidis was quicker to the punch and pounded away with hooks. In the extra round, just as it appeared he had the upset in his grasp, Souwer dropped him with a left high kick for the win. Good match

Buakaw Por. Pramuk vs. Albert Kraus 4R. Something of a defensive battle, as Pramuk threw powerful kicks and knees, forcing Kraus to keep blocking. Pramuk wasn’t getting a high percentage through, but as Frank Shamrock might now admit, blocking one roundhouse kick after another isn’t exactly pleasant. Boxer Kraus landed a solid punch here and there, but was rather predictable as he didn’t use his legs and was rarely on the offensive for more than two consecutive blows. Though Pramuk’s kick and knee game wasn’t really successful, he dictated regulation. Kraus came on in the extra round, getting more aggressive and landing low kicks rather than going for more damaging but less accurate punches. As Kraus stepped it up a few notches in the extra session to dictate the round, the only way to explain the unanimous decision win for Pramuk is to say they gave him the bout based on having the slight but not decisive edge in the three regulation rounds. Average match.

Warren Stevelmans vs. Saro Presti R2 1:06. The tentative first 2:45 wasn’t too exciting, but Stevelmans showed some thrilling and technique once he got going to make the match. Presti used his reach advantage, pumping straight punches and putting the front kick out to keep Stevelmans away. Stevelmans wasn’t having any luck getting inside, and thus wasn’t landing. The first round turned in the final seconds when Stevelmans ate a low kick, firing back with a picture perfect left hook for the knockdown. Stevelmans came out in R2 full of confidence, bringing a spectacular flying double knee where he more or less failed on the right but followed with the left to the chin before landing. Presti ducked Stevelmans head punches, so Warren went low, delivering a wind stealing left body uppercut for the KO. Pretty good match.

Drago vs. Gori R3 2:56. Drago gave Gori a good old fashioned whipping, dominating the contest to the point Gori never had a chance to mount and offensive and probably didn’t land one good blow the entire night. Drago pumped left jabs and hooks early, which Gori was doing little to avoid much less counter, wobbling Gori badly with a left hook at the end of round 1 with what was at least teetering on a knockdown. Drago did a good job of mixing his front, low, and spinning hook kicks with slick 3 step level changing combinations in round 2 and 3. He dropped Gori with a right body hook/left hook/right high kick combo, but Gori got up quickly enough the ref ruled no down. Gori showed guts in hanging around, and to his credit he never gave up, but nothing was leading even his most ardent supporters to believe he had a special bomb in him. Drago inched increasingly closer with his head kicks, but couldn’t catch Gori square. Finally, he dropped Gori midway through round 3 with the liver kick. Gori almost turned away from a front kick, but I guess it caught a rib as Gori did a delayed fall for the second down. With time all but expired, Gori made his last stand charging in with a left hook only to get floored with a left hook for the three knockdown rule. Drago was fun to watch, but Gori was too far out of his depth to make the bout all that interesting. Average match.

Yasuhiro Kido vs. Chi Bin Lim R1 0:40. Kido is a very lanky fighter who is so flexible he can use his knees as close range power kicks. He quickly scored one of the most impressive KO’s I’ve seen in K-1 with a crushing knee to the chin from out of nowhere. It was the kind of thing you might see from Remy Bonjasky, except he was right next to his opponent and didn’t leave his feet.

Yoshihiro Sato vs. Murat Direkci 3R. Sato has almost no punching skills, but is very limber with a great deal of dexterity in his feet. He’s listed at 6’1” to Direkci’s 5’9”, but Sato appears to be a whole head taller. Given his kicking ability, the first round was quite puzzling as Sato wasn’t throwing low or front kicks to capitalize on his reach advantage. In fact, he wasn’t getting off at all. Direkci pretty well dominated him, landing almost every time he made a move in. He backed Sato up with a left/right straight combo, and was very accurate with his hooks as well. Sato ate too many punches early in R2 as well, but came on in a big way when he began to fight in the manner he should have been from the start, taking Direkci’s legs with the low kicks. Though Sato attempted few punches, he managed to cut Direkci as he has no trouble getting the front kick up to the opponent’s forehead. Almost to the second, Direkci won the first half of the contest with Sato taking the second. Considering they are scoring rounds style, it was at least a bit surprising Sato captured the unanimous decision rather than sending them to the extra round. Certainly, this was a closer fight than Pramuk vs. Kraus where Kraus may not have got hurt but he spent the majority of the fight blocking, with Direkci’s opener being the most decisive round of the fight. Good match.

K-1 WORLD YOUTH Special Rule: HIROYA vs. Tsukasa Fuji 3R. Though debuting Fuji is just 15-years-old, he was in no way intimidated. He put HIROYA on the defensive early, but for the most part the match was a wash with neither getting much by. HIROYA had more power, but Fuji kept him at bay with front kicks. HIROYA’s nose was bloodied, but he came on in the third, repeatedly catching Fuji with left body hooks, usually following a right hook. HIROYA won a unanimous decision. Below average match.

Masato vs. Virgil Kalakoda. Kalakoda is a boxer, but couldn’t match Masato’s hand speed. Masato came out fast with low kicks and head punches. He never really got his uppercut going, but was having a lot of success finishing his combos with left body hooks. Kalakoda a period of success landing left hooks when Masato became too eager to stand in front of him, but in the long run Masato was too active and would beat him to the punch. Masato KO’d Kalakoda early in round 3 with a right hook. Average match.

Artur Kyshenko vs. Jordan Tai 0:43 of 4R. The highlights featured Kyshenko since he won, showing him landing a floating knee, rocking Thai with a right straight, and connecting with a high kick. However, after Kyshenko landed a left knee, Tai put him down with a right hook. Kyshenko still captured the unamimous decision.

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in YOKOHAMA 4/13/08 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Hiroyuki Enokida vs. Takashi Tachikawa. 37-year-old Enokida made his K-1 debut in what may have been the worst defense exhibition ever, just walking into punches and flopping twice win the first 20 seconds, though he still managed to quickly win the fight! My father sat down just after the bout started and when Tachikawa knocked Enokida down with a left straight 5 seconds into the match he asked if this was worked or shoot, so I told him it was shoot. However, with Enokida getting knocked down a second time with a left straight and right cross 20 seconds in then coming back to knock Tachikawa out with the first punch he landed when the simultaneously connected with right hooks, he’s sure I was pulling his leg. Lame match.

Alexander Pitchkounov vs. Chalid “Die Faust” 5R. As close a fight as you’ll ever see; all five rounds were even. Chalid started fast, landing his body blows, but Pitchkounov still blocked his head punches. Pitchkounov tried to counter with kicks, but Chalid did a good job of closing the distance and working his boxing from inside. Pitchkounov was able to use his reach to back Chalid up with kicks and jabs in the second, but took some solid hooks and uppercuts on the inside. Chalid basically only punches, using low kicks in an effort make his opponent defend a larger portion of the body, but he was so timid with them it barely mattered. His stamina isn’t bad, but his style is all about aggression, so between slowing up a little and growing increasingly predictable he’s not as strong in the later rounds. His wife also gave birth the day before he flew to Japan, so he wasn’t as focused as he should have been. Pitchkounov tried to slow Chalid with body knees and low kicks. He’d get aggressive in the final minute of the rounds, backing Chalid up with kicks and knees to the midsection and head punches, but it still wasn’t enough to steal the rounds until the judges were forced to finally make a decision. Even then, one voted for Chalid. Neither did a lot of damage, but they fought hard. Above average match.

Mitsugo Noda vs. Petr Vondrachek. Fairly exciting fight mixing Noda’s speed and technique with Vondrachek’s size and power. Vondrachek won five of his first 6 K-1 bouts including winning the 2002 Italia GP on 4/8/02, but has lost his last 6. It’s easy to see why, as he was way out of shape, just brawling with looping hooks. Vondrachek’s footwork was terrible, stumbling all over the place, winding up with his back turned, and getting shoved down by his much lighter opponent. Noda did an excellent job of controlling position, repeatedly backing Vondrachek into the corner with straight punches then flurrying with punch combos until the ref called the down. This occured once in the first, with the bell saving him from a repeat. Noda had his second down when Vondrachek turned his back because he got tired of getting peppered in the corner. Vondrachek landed a nice hook here and there, but the ref wouldn’t allow his strategy of leaning on Noda to tire the opponent while he rested. Still, he made a brief comeback seeming to have Noda in trouble in the final minute of the second. The tide turned back quickly though, as Noda wobbled Vondrachek him with a ½ clinch uppercut then put him away with a series of punches. Above average match.

Keijiro Maeda vs. Mighty Mo 4R. I have to be seriously hard up to root for a guy with a Tanny Mouse tail and pigtails, but I must admit I enjoyed Maeda’s example of how a small quick fighter can pick apart a powerful sloth. The 2007 YOUNG JAPAN GP winner fought a smart fight, avoiding Mo when he was fresh, chipping away with low kicks in the middle, then attacking late when the Samoan had once again been transformed into Slo-Mo. Maeda wasn’t exactly elusive early, he mainly refused to engage, instead trotting around the ring. Mo knocked him off his feet with an overhand right, but Maeda was up quick enough that it wasn’t even ruled a flash down. Mo had few highlights after though, as he displayed no aptitude for cutting off the ring, simply standing in the center and turning to adjust to his circling opponent. Thus, Maeda attacked whenever he wanted, getting close enough for the low kick than running like hell. If Mo was able to get too near Maeda, he’d essentially shoot for a double leg. Maeda wasn’t driving for the takedown, but by ducking and grabbing the waistlock Mo wasn’t able to punch him (it would be a rabbit punch) and the ref would quickly separate the fighters. Maeda came on in the third when Mo’s failure to check the low kicks began to catch up to him, but since he probably lost points for not fighting early it still wasn’t quite enough to win the judges over. Maeda didn’t land many good shots other than his third low blow where he tried to follow a right jab with a low kick, but Mo backed away, and quickly was folded over from the direct hit. Between the legal and illegal low kicks, Mo wasn’t looking very lively in the extra round, leading to a unanimous decision for Maeda Mouse. Good match.

Glaube Feitosa vs. Alex Roberts R2 1:58. Top ranked Shoot Boxer Alex Roberts made his K-1 debut. They had similar strengths with low kicks and the ability to work the body, but Feitosa was too strong for Roberts. Feitosa too often relies upon his kicking, but as he could manhandle this opponent he just stood in front of him and punched around and through his defense. Once he put enough uppercuts and straights through the block, exploding his nose, he was able to catch Roberts with his Brazilian kick for the KO. Above average match.

Badr Hari vs. Ray Sefo R1 2:43. Hari announced his arrival as a major fighter, putting everyone on notice by beating the hell out of one of the promotions longtime luminaries. Sefo looked to get inside Hari’s kicks, coming forward with a counter punch, but after brief success Hari was having none of it, blocking all his overhand rights. Sefo is at his worst when he gets into being a stationary target slugging it out, his lack of any lateral movement making him easy prey for a good opponent, much less one giving a major performance. Hari repeatedly backed Sefo into the ropes and went to town on him, unloading big knees and heavy punches against a sitting duck who was only covering. Sefo got up from two knockdowns, but the story was always the same, once he ran out of room he was brutalized, probably sustaining a broken nose from a knee before the ref finally called a halt to it. Though not the least bit competitive, certainly the most exciting fight on the show. Good match.

Junichi Sawayashiki vs. Musashi R2 2:16. Sawayashiki had the chance to claim the #1 native rank in just his 7th fight, but two time WORLD GP finalist Musashi wasn’t ready to surrender the mantle just yet. The first round was marked by near misses, but the veteran took over in the second, nearly knocking Sawayashiki out when he followed a body knee with a left high kick. I thought they could have stopped it after the first knockdown as Sawayashiki didn’t appear to be all there, but K-1 seemed to be hoping the new sensation could win, as the ref gave Sawayashiki every opportunity to continue. Sawayashiki managed to tie Musashi up after being backed into the corner, but actually began to collapse into the rope after the break. The ref may not have seen it as he was probably busy getting Musashi away, but Musashi made good on his second chance, knocking his still wobbly opponent down with a left uppercut as soon as they restarted. Again Sawayashiki didn’t appear to be on solid ground, but the match continued for a few more seconds until Musashi sealed it with a left hook. Average match.

Yusuke Fujimoto vs. Ewerton Teixeira R5 2:01. Kyokoshin Karate world champion Teixeira made his kickboxing debut, trying to show his powerful kicks, but Fujimoto wanted no part of them, standing well out of range. Fujimoto’s strategy was to force a boxing match by only engaging when Teixeira came in to punch. I realize that my description doesn’t make the most sense, but Teixeira was rather flatfooted, seeming unable to kick on the move or from the inside because he didn’t have time to plant his feet. Though both did land some hard low kicks, the contest was more of a chess match, something of a battle of wills until Teixeira would get tired of kicking air and agree to box. Fujimoto was aggressive in the boxing portions, doing a good job of countering with left hands, but that’s not his power hand. Fujimoto was good for three rounds, but slowed down in overtime. Both had their moments, but neither did anything decisive until the 2nd extra round when Fujimoto started to throw a left body blow only to duck into a left straight for the knockdown. Fujimoto has enough trouble maintaining his balance when he’s fresh, so the loopy version managed to stumble his way to a down without really even getting hit. It didn’t matter, as Fujimoto had so little left after the first down that Teixeira was able to finish him decisively with a left straight/right cross combo. Average match.

K-1 Super Heavyweight Title Match: Semmy Schilt vs. Mark Hunt R1 3:06. Returning after the collapse of PRIDE, Hunt received a title shot in his first K-1 match since 5/3/03. Unfortunately, he’s a tailor made opponent for the giant, who had as little trouble as you’d expect using his massive reach advantage to keep the slugger out of punching range. Really, this was too easy, like taking candy from a baby. Schilt is only getting better, as in the past he would have been content to pick away with jabs, low and front kicks for the easy decision, but as we saw against Glaube Feitosa at the WORLD GP 2007 FINAL, now when his confidence is soaring he pulls out more advanced techniques that can finish. In this case, he knocked Hunt out with a spinning heel kick.

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in AMSTERDAM -EUROPE GP FINAL- 4/26/08 Amsterdam, Holland Amsterdam ArenA
-2 1/2hr. Q=Perfect. 1 DVD

K-1 Europe GP Final Reserve Fight: Brian Douwes vs. James McSweeney R1 1:10. Douwes has former RINGS Holland stars Dick Vrij and Hans Nyman in his corner. He backed McSweeney into the corner and threw hooks until he went down. McSweeney got up with a bloody nose, but Douwes countered his left jab/right hook combo with a right hook for the KO.

K-1 Europe GP Final: 1st Round:

Zabit Samedov vs. Doug Viney 3R. A revenge bout from 8/11/07 when reserve fighter Viney entered the Las Vegas GP in the Semifinals, and shockingly defeated favorites Aleksandr Pitchkounov and then Samedov to win the tournament. Their previous fight was a decision, and this defensive struggle quickly looked to be a repeat with Samedov slipping Viney’s punches, but Viney avoiding Samedov’s kicks. Samedov is the most elusive fighter in the tournament, and has nice quick combos but rarely lands his power punches. Decent first round where neither really penetrated the other’s defenses. Samedov came on some in the second, knocking Viney off balance a few times with low kicks, but they were all obvious slips. Samedov scored with a few more low kicks in the third then evaded a left straight and got a flash down firing back with an overhand right. Samedov clearly won due to the flash down, but even that round could easily have still been a 10-9, so I have no clue how one judge came up with 30-24. Average match.

Freddy Kemayo vs. Catalin Morosanu R1 0:35. Morosanu makes Stefan Leko seem to be playing prevent defense, coming out with all guns blazing and blasting away until someone goes down. Kemayo hardly had a chance to counter, which is a good thing for Morosanu as he doesn’t even consider defense. When Kemayo finally had enough time to take a breath, he knocked Morosanu out with a clinch knee, cutting his left eyebrow badly in the process.

Errol Zimmerman vs. Attila Karacs R1 2:10. A cut somehow opened on Karacs shin, forcing the fight to be stopped before it got going.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Jan “The Giant” Nortje R1 1:10. A dominant performance by Bregy, never allowing the big man to get his bearings. Bregy brought straights down the middle to get inside Nortje’s Giant reach then banged him with a series of short hooks. Nortje was quickly in trouble, and Bregy kept the heat on, backing him into the ropes and grazing with a right high kick then putting together a flurry of punches for the KO.

Super Fight: Tyrone Spong vs. Azem Maksutaj R2 0:45. Maksutaj was completely outclassed in this one-sided contest, displaying poor footwork and looking uncoordinated as he slipped and stumbled around the ring. Spong had no trouble closing the distance, bringing the knee when he got inside, which had Maksutaj on the canvas by the middle of the first. Maksutaj was caught hunched over when he missed a wild haymaker, allowing Spong to knee him in the head, land a high kick, and then follow with a few punches for the knockdown, except the round ended by this point. They traded low kicks to start the 2nd, but Azem’s didn’t have much zip on them and Spong soon KO’d him with another knee to the gut. Below average match.

K-1 Europe GP Final: Semifinals:

Zabit Samedov vs. Brian Douwes 4R. Kemayo bowed out due to injury, thrusting reserver Douwes into the semis. Samedov had his best round of the night in the first, picking Douwes apart with crisp combos. Having fought three hard rounds earlier to Douwes 70 seconds, Samedov began tiring in the 2nd, evening the contest out. Douwes began to answer with a left hook, and started pressing the action more. Samedov had a nice sequence where Douwes mostly avoided his right hook, but he evaded Douwes right hand comeback and smacked him with a left hook. After an even 2nd, Douwes seemed to stun Samedov with a left hook early in the 3rd, but made no attempt to follow up. The bout went to the extension, where neither seemed to step it up and most of their attacks were blocked or dodged. Samedov landed a few left hooks late, which may have been enough to eke out the decision as the 4th was the closest round of the fight. Average match.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Errol Zimmerman R3 2:59. One of the wildest K-1 fights I’ve seen. Not a technical gem, but a surprising and thrilling war featuring some serious heavy hitting that caused the tide to turn quickly and regularly. Started tentatively, but once it got going it never let up. Bregy almost had a down with a right hook, but Zimmerman was saved from tumbling by catching the ropes with his arm. Bregy was a head taller and was consistently backing up an opponent who lacked the reach to strike from the outside and was on the defensive when Bregy allowed him within distance. Bregy did a nice job of using the left jab to start Zimmerman backing, charging in with hooks or knees to get him against the ropes where he could wail away. Just as I was thinking Zimmerman seemed a lot quicker and more explosive the last time I saw him, he threw a flying knee that missed but, while still in midair, he followed with a punch that connected. Finally putting Bregy on the defensive, Zimmerman was able to land a few good rights in the exchange, cutting Bregy around the left eye. Bregy dropped his hands and screamed for Zimmerman to come on, with Zimmerman obliging by dropping Bregy with a nice hook combo. Bregy doesn’t believe in recovery, always attacking after a knockdown, but the round ended. Zimmerman stunned Bjorn with a punch early in round three, but Bregy used his own mistake to fire himself up and mount a comeback. Some bad footwork found Bregy with his back to his opponent, but he had the presence of mind to whip around with a backfist that sent his opponent wobbling back then follow with a few punches for a flash down Errol protested. Bregy pressed with punch after punch with Zimmerman against the ropes, but suddenly Zimmerman came back to life and knocked Bregy down with a big right hook. Bregy went right back on the attack, but with the round just about to end Zimmerman backed him all the way across the ring into the ropes with punches for a standing down when Zimmerman turned his back. Bregy seemed more interested in walking out of the ring while the ref was counting than sturdying himself and maintaining a fighting posture, and needless to say the fight was stopped with 1 second left! Excellent match.

Super Fight: Remy Bonjasky vs. Melvin Manhoef R3 2:32. The previous fight was going to be tough to top. Certainly, when we were treated to a live performance of the atrocious rap song dedicated to Melvin Manhoef, with the thoughtful chorus of, you guessed it, MEL-VEEN MAN-HOOF, it wasn’t off to a good start. However, things quickly picked up with Bonjasky coming out to Ennio Morricone’s Man with a Harmonica from Sergio Leone’s greatest western Once Upon a Time in the West, and never let down. Propelled by a tremendous first round of furious action, they may well have exceeded Bregy vs. Zimmerman. If you thought Manhoef was a torrid starter who never had to go any deeper, you were wrong, as he can bring the haymakers for three rounds. He threw everything he had at Bonjasky and then some, but when he’s on, as he was today, Bonjasky is such a skilled counter striker. Aside from giving up 6 inches and close to 50 pounds, Manhoef’s big problem is throwing looping bombs is all he can do while Bonjasky can change styles, strategies, and pace. Bonjasky knew Manhoef would come out like a house on fire, so he immediately took Manhoef out of his game by putting him on the defensive with a series of flying knees. Manhoef would back away and fire back with his hooks to Bonjasky’s block, so Bonjasky shifted to kicking but Manhoef did a great job of catching his leg. Manhoef would, of course, fire back with his hooks, but though he did get an uppercut through, he’s such a headhunter that he threw all his hooks high into Bonjasky’s block even though the gut was open. Bonjasky rocked Manhoef with a right high kick when Melvin was trying to throw the right hand, sending him stumbling back several feet, following with a jumping knee for the knockdown. Manhoef was ready for Bonjasky’s flying knee at the restart, cracking Remy with an overhand right that sent him stumbling backwards, nearly evening the fight. Bonjasky’s hand hit the deck, but he boosted himself off the canvas, regaining his balance in time to push his in for the kill opponent off then turn the fight back in his favor by knocking a charging Manhoef down with a jumping roundhouse. The first round of this furious contest was the best because Bonjasky took more chances. Up two downs to none, Bonjasky began to rely on his stonewall block, lulling Manhoef into complacency so he could use his height advantage to quickly stuff Manhoef’s head into his knee. Bonjasky connected with a big clinch knee midway through the 2nd, but Manhoef ducked under the top rope to prevent Remy from following with a high kick that would have been lights out. Manhoef again had success countering the jumping knee with an overhand right, hurting Bonjasky, but Remy blocked Manhoef’s flurry and knocked him down. I didn’t see any real blow here; it appeared Manhoef simply dropped to avoid the clinch knee, but in any case he wasn’t up quickly and it did count as another down. Manhoef fought with desperation in a more wide open 3rd, but Bonjasky blocked enough of his big blows, firing back with low and high kicks. Even though Manhoef mostly blocked a high kick (he had better success when he was ducking them), it was powerful enough to knock him back into the ropes, and a subsequent high kick sent Manhoef to the canvas for the 4th time. Manhoef was back on his feet yet again, but this time Remy flew in at the restart with a high kick to finally put him out of his misery. A valiant effort by Manhoef, who didn’t back down despite being out of his depth and weight class against a two-time world champion. Excellent match.

K-1 Europe GP Final: Final: Zabit Samedov vs. Errol Zimmerman 3R. The previous two bouts were so good these two couldn’t hold my attention with their feeling out and missing. Samedov was having a hard time landing, whiffing on the big swings but maybe landing one out of three on his quick combos, though without much force. Even that was a higher percentage than Zimmerman landed, as the much quicker and lighter on his feet Samedov was dancing, bobbing and weaving out of danger. Zimmerman was landing a right hand counter, but again not with any power. I thought there was a 10% chance Samedov would get the decision and a 90% chance they’d call for the extra round, which shows how much I know as Zimmerman captured the majority decision. It helps to be the hometown fighter. Average match.

It's Showtime & K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in AMSTERDAM -EUROPE GP FINAL- 4/26/08 Amsterdam, Holland Amsterdam ArenA
-2 1/2hr. Q=Near Perfect. 1 DVD

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in AMSTERDAM

Super Fight: Remy Bonjasky vs. Melvin Manhoef R3 2:32. The previous fight was going to be tough to top. Certainly, when we were treated to a live performance of the atrocious rap song dedicated to Melvin Manhoef, with the thoughtful chorus of, you guessed it, MEL-VEEN MAN-HOOF, it wasn’t off to a good start. However, things quickly picked up with Bonjasky coming out to Ennio Morricone’s Man with a Harmonica from Sergio Leone’s greatest western Once Upon a Time in the West, and never let down. Propelled by a tremendous first round of furious action, they may well have exceeded Bregy vs. Zimmerman. If you thought Manhoef was a torrid starter who never had to go any deeper, you were wrong, as he can bring the haymakers for three rounds. He threw everything he had at Bonjasky and then some, but when he’s on, as he was today, Bonjasky is such a skilled counter striker. Aside from giving up 6 inches and close to 50 pounds, Manhoef’s big problem is throwing looping bombs is all he can do while Bonjasky can change styles, strategies, and pace. Bonjasky knew Manhoef would come out like a house on fire, so he immediately took Manhoef out of his game by putting him on the defensive with a series of flying knees. Manhoef would back away and fire back with his hooks to Bonjasky’s block, so Bonjasky shifted to kicking but Manhoef did a great job of catching his leg. Manhoef would, of course, fire back with his hooks, but though he did get an uppercut through, he’s such a headhunter that he threw all his hooks high into Bonjasky’s block even though the gut was open. Bonjasky rocked Manhoef with a right high kick when Melvin was trying to throw the right hand, sending him stumbling back several feet, following with a jumping knee for the knockdown. Manhoef was ready for Bonjasky’s flying knee at the restart, cracking Remy with an overhand right that sent him stumbling backwards, nearly evening the fight. Bonjasky’s hand hit the deck, but he boosted himself off the canvas, regaining his balance in time to push his in for the kill opponent off then turn the fight back in his favor by knocking a charging Manhoef down with a jumping roundhouse. The first round of this furious contest was the best because Bonjasky took more chances. Up two downs to none, Bonjasky began to rely on his stonewall block, lulling Manhoef into complacency so he could use his height advantage to quickly stuff Manhoef’s head into his knee. Bonjasky connected with a big clinch knee midway through the 2nd, but Manhoef ducked under the top rope to prevent Remy from following with a high kick that would have been lights out. Manhoef again had success countering the jumping knee with an overhand right, hurting Bonjasky, but Remy blocked Manhoef’s flurry and knocked him down. I didn’t see any real blow here; it appeared Manhoef simply dropped to avoid the clinch knee, but in any case he wasn’t up quickly and it did count as another down. Manhoef fought with desperation in a more wide open 3rd, but Bonjasky blocked enough of his big blows, firing back with low and high kicks. Even though Manhoef mostly blocked a high kick (he had better success when he was ducking them), it was powerful enough to knock him back into the ropes, and a subsequent high kick sent Manhoef to the canvas for the 4th time. Manhoef was back on his feet yet again, but this time Remy flew in at the restart with a high kick to finally put him out of his misery. A valiant effort by Manhoef, who didn’t back down despite being out of his depth and weight class against a two-time world champion. Excellent match.

Super Fight: Tyrone Spong vs. Azem Maksutaj R2 0:45. Maksutaj was completely outclassed in this one-sided contest, displaying poor footwork and looking uncoordinated as he slipped and stumbled around the ring. Spong had no trouble closing the distance, bringing the knee when he got inside, which had Maksutaj on the canvas by the middle of the first. Maksutaj was caught hunched over when he missed a wild haymaker, allowing Spong to knee him in the head, land a high kick, and then follow with a few punches for the knockdown, except the round ended by this point. They traded low kicks to start the 2nd, but Azem’s didn’t have much zip on them and Spong soon KO’d him with another knee to the gut. Below average match.

K-1 Europe GP Final: 1st Round:

Errol Zimmerman vs. Attila Karacs R1 2:10. A cut somehow opened on Karacs shin, forcing the fight to be stopped before it got going.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Jan “The Giant” Nortje R1 1:10. A dominant performance by Bregy, never allowing the big man to get his bearings. Bregy brought straights down the middle to get inside Nortje’s Giant reach then banged him with a series of short hooks. Nortje was quickly in trouble, and Bregy kept the heat on, backing him into the ropes and grazing with a right high kick then putting together a flurry of punches for the KO.

K-1 Europe GP Final: Semifinals:

Zabit Samedov vs. Brian Douwes 4R. Kemayo bowed out due to injury, thrusting reserver Douwes into the semis. Samedov had his best round of the night in the first, picking Douwes apart with crisp combos. Having fought three hard rounds earlier to Douwes 70 seconds, Samedov began tiring in the 2nd, evening the contest out. Douwes began to answer with a left hook, and started pressing the action more. Samedov had a nice sequence where Douwes mostly avoided his right hook, but he evaded Douwes right hand comeback and smacked him with a left hook. After an even 2nd, Douwes seemed to stun Samedov with a left hook early in the 3rd, but made no attempt to follow up. The bout went to the extension, where neither seemed to step it up and most of their attacks were blocked or dodged. Samedov landed a few left hooks late, which may have been enough to eke out the decision as the 4th was the closest round of the fight. Average match.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Errol Zimmerman R3 2:59. One of the wildest K-1 fights I’ve seen. Not a technical gem, but a surprising and thrilling war featuring some serious heavy hitting that caused the tide to turn quickly and regularly. Started tentatively, but once it got going it never let up. Bregy almost had a down with a right hook, but Zimmerman was saved from tumbling by catching the ropes with his arm. Bregy was a head taller and was consistently backing up an opponent who lacked the reach to strike from the outside and was on the defensive when Bregy allowed him within distance. Bregy did a nice job of using the left jab to start Zimmerman backing, charging in with hooks or knees to get him against the ropes where he could wail away. Just as I was thinking Zimmerman seemed a lot quicker and more explosive the last time I saw him, he threw a flying knee that missed but, while still in midair, he followed with a punch that connected. Finally putting Bregy on the defensive, Zimmerman was able to land a few good rights in the exchange, cutting Bregy around the left eye. Bregy dropped his hands and screamed for Zimmerman to come on, with Zimmerman obliging by dropping Bregy with a nice hook combo. Bregy doesn’t believe in recovery, always attacking after a knockdown, but the round ended. Zimmerman stunned Bjorn with a punch early in round three, but Bregy used his own mistake to fire himself up and mount a comeback. Some bad footwork found Bregy with his back to his opponent, but he had the presence of mind to whip around with a backfist that sent his opponent wobbling back then follow with a few punches for a flash down Errol protested. Bregy pressed with punch after punch with Zimmerman against the ropes, but suddenly Zimmerman came back to life and knocked Bregy down with a big right hook. Bregy went right back on the attack, but with the round just about to end Zimmerman backed him all the way across the ring into the ropes with punches for a standing down when Zimmerman turned his back. Bregy seemed more interested in walking out of the ring while the ref was counting than sturdying himself and maintaining a fighting posture, and needless to say the fight was stopped with 1 second left! Excellent match.

K-1 Europe GP Final: Final: Zabit Samedov vs. Errol Zimmerman 3R. The previous two bouts were so good these two couldn’t hold my attention with their feeling out and missing. Samedov was having a hard time landing, whiffing on the big swings but maybe landing one out of three on his quick combos, though without much force. Even that was a higher percentage than Zimmerman landed, as the much quicker and lighter on his feet Samedov was dancing, bobbing and weaving out of danger. Zimmerman was landing a right hand counter, but again not with any power. I thought there was a 10% chance Samedov would get the decision and a 90% chance they’d call for the extra round, which shows how much I know as Zimmerman captured the majority decision. It helps to be the hometown fighter. Average match.

European Fighting Network presents It's Showtime

Sem Braan vs. Alexandro Cosmo 3R. Cosmo was too quick and athletic from Braan. He did a nice job of slipping Braan’s punch and firing back with a fast blow. Cosmo was such a counter puncher that he never took over the fight even though it seemed he could have. Braan was active and aggressive, and I guess the judges where impressed by the way he pressed forward. Neither fighter hurt each other, but Cosmo certainly landed with more consistency than Braan. Braan won a decision. Average match.

Perry Ubeda vs. Stephen Tapilatu R5. One-sided fight with Ubeda stalking Tapilatu, keeping him on the defensive. He was the much better boxer, and once he closed the distance Tapilatu wasn’t able to throw his kicks. When Tapilatu wanted to throw a kick, he’d usually switch to side stance. Though kicks were Tapilatu’s primary weapon, he didn’t have much on them. They were designed to keep Ubeda away, but Ubeda had little trouble getting inside and working the body with punch combos. Tapilatu’s nose was busted up, and Ubeda knocked him down in the third with a punch combo in the corner. Finally, Ubeda landed a middle kick then brought it to the head for the KO. Average match.

Gokhan Saki vs. Paul Slowinsky R1. Dominant performance by undersized underdog Saki, upsetting a top 10 K-1 fighter whose career seemed to be on the rise. Saki was getting off quick and mixing his blows well, connecting with almost everything he threw, many of which had good zip on them. He stunned Slowinsky with a punch combo then followed with another fore the knockdown. Slowinsky knew he was in a fight, and increased his concentration, but still had no answer for Saki’s precision blows. Saki soon stunned Slowinsky with a left hook then KO’d him with another.

Chris Ngimbi vs. Georgio Petrosyan 3R. Petrosyan is a very quick fighter who kept his distance, throwing roundhouses then darting in when the opening presented itself. Ngimbi is a good athlete, but Petrosyan largely made him look silly, as the space Georgio kept allowed him enough time to evade the majority of what Ngimbi threw at him. Ngimbi stopped fighting after taking a left hook, so Petrosyan was credited with a knockdown. Petrosyan won a unanimous decision. Average match.

knockdown in the second with a right straight that caught Mes off guard. Mess seemed more determined, but Holzken weathered his attack and dropped him with a spinning hook kick for a second knockdown. Holzken smelled blood and kept backing Mes into the corner, soon landing a spinning high kick for the 3rd knockdown. Above average match.

Buakaw Por Pramuk vs. Faldir Chabari 3R. Chabari tried to utilize his reach advantage, but Buakaw walked right through his jab. Pramuk kept moving forward, backing Chabari with front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and jabs then pounding the body with punch combos. Pramuk was really pushing Chabari around, and time and time again Chabari would wind up stuck in the ropes covering while his opponent unleashed a barrage. Easy decision win for Pramuk. Average match.

Warren Stevelmans vs. Drago 3R. Good fast-paced match. As soon as one kickboxer finished their combo the other would fire back with a combo of their own. The first round was pretty even, but Drago’s combos were even faster than Stevelmans, and he was scoring with his low kick finishes. Though the combos were high level, the defense was on par with the offense. The main difference is that as the bout progressed, Drago was able to keep Stevelmans’ on the defensive more and more because he could get off quicker. Drago won a unanimous decision. Good match.

K-1 MAX Hungary 2008 6/7/08 Dunaujvaros, Hungary Dunaujvarosi Sportcsarnok
-1 1/2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Ruben Stoia vs. Nandor Vancsik

K-1 MAX Tournament:

Krisztian Jaszka vs. Szabolcs Balogh

Viktor Pethes vs. Istvan Zeller

Zsolt Vincze vs. Csaba Gyorfi

Roland Voros vs. Balazs Matoricz

K-1 MAX Tournament Final: Krisztian Jaszka vs. Csaba Gyorfi

K-1 MAX Tournament Final: Viktor Pethes vs. Roland Voros

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 IN FUKUOKA -JAPAN GP- 6/29/08 Marinemesse Fukuoka
-2hr 10min. Q=TV Master. 1 DVD

Super Fight: Peter Aerts vs. Jan “The Giant” Nortje R3 2:49. Aerts showed how he can beat a much larger man in what he hopes is a tune up for Semmy Schilt. Granted, The Giant really isn’t much preparation given he’s so slow and more importantly lacks a front kick and a jab, thus failing to utilize his size to control distance and ring position. Still, even if Bob Sapp is the only fighter he can beat in MMA, Nortje isn’t a bad kickboxer and managed to put up solid resistance against the 3 time World GP Champion. Nortje did his best work early on, as whoever backed their opponent into the ropes did the damage. Shifting his game plan to the hit and run, Aerts kept out of Nortje’s reach then darted in for a single blow or a combo if he could get Nortje backing. Nortje lacks the conditioning to stand up to Aerts’ activity, but he was able to adjust to Aerts strategy, landing the left hand when Aerts lunged forward to attack. Aerts took some good shots in the latter portion of the second, getting knocked back a few times. Aerts ring generalship was simply too much for The Giant though, backing him into the ropes with punches then flurrying or even knocking him back with his punches. Aerts opened up a cut above Nortje’s left eye with a 1-2-3 combo, but just as Nortje was about ready to fade away the ref called for the doctor to check the cut. The momentary reprieve didn’t help The Giant much, as Aerts backed him into the ropes with two good punch combos, only to have the ref call for the doctor a second time! Yes, that’s two doctor stops for the same injury within 30 seconds, both with the fighter on the ropes and in trouble!! The ref did allow Aerts to get away with punching Nortje on the break before he finally stopped it after Aerts landed a high kick followed by some punches. Good match.

K-1 JAPAN GP Quarterfinals:

Keijiro Maeda vs. Musashi 3R. Maeda fought Musashi the same way he did Mighty Mo at K-1 WORLD GP 2008 IN YOKOHAMA 4/13/08, throwing a low kick then running away. He was doing laps around the perimeter of the ring, but he landed with some regularity, while Musashi couldn’t touch him. Musashi landed the better punches on the rare occasion they actually exchanged, but Maeda is smart enough to know he has to control the fight by implementing a peck and run style because he lacks size and thus firepower. Musashi hasn’t been on top of his game lately, but I don’t think it mattered, as you can’t beat a fighter you can’t touch. Maeda won a majority decision. Below average.

Takumi Sato vs. Mitsugo Noda 3R. Noda was very persistent, coming forward the whole match despite Sato’s counters. He turned the fight into a brawl by denying Sato distance. Noda seemed the better inside fighter, connecting with short hooks and knees. He won round 1 with solid punching, but Sato came on in the middle of the second, battering Noda with punch after punch, and even scoring when Noda had him on the ropes. I thought Noda won this fight despite Sato’s second round being the clearest to call for one fighter, but Sato took the majority decision. Above average match.

Ewerton Teixeira vs. Tsutomu Takakagi R1 2:18. Takakagi appeared to be taking balance lessons from Yusuke Fujimoto, as he was down three times in 138 seconds. Teixeira has good power, but it was more that Takakagi was off balance trying to scamper away from Teixeira’s punch attacks than Teixeira really cracking him. Takakagi’s first trip to the canvas was ruled a slip, but the second two were called knockdowns. Teixeira showed quite a powerful knee, putting Takakagi down even though he mostly blocked it, though again Takakagi seemed to go down more as a stumble trying to evade a follow up.

Tsuyoshi Nakasako vs. Bernard Ackah 3R. Kind of a bizarre fight, as Ackah wanted it so badly but lacked the skill, so he threw until his arms were ready to fall off. Nakasako injured Ackah with a low kick late in the fight, but generally just let his opponent miss. Ackah throws all these loopy arm hooks, but you have to sort of admire a competitor who fights with such desperation, going on 30 second binges where he’d throw punches and knees as fast as he could. Since Ackah lacked diversity, in the second round Nakasako realized he could get inside Ackah’s punches and connect with straights down the middle. Still, a weak performance by Nakasako, who often seemed a spectator in his own fight. Nakasako won a unanimous decision. Poor match.

K-1 JAPAN GP Semifinals:

Keijiro Maeda vs. Takumi Sato 3R. Maeda seems to be the fastest fighter on K-1’s heavyweight circuit. He doesn’t have to respect Sato’s power as much as Mighty Mo’s or Musashi’s, so he finally delivered an active, fast-paced fight, running less and darting in more. While Maeda circled away from Sato’s kicks, he did mix it up with some good punch combos. Sato hurt Maeda with punches early in the third, but rather than retreat into passivity, Maeda returned the favor a minute in. Sato’s left eye was moused up and swollen closed in the third, increasing the accuracy of Maeda’s right hands. Sato had a nice flurry at the end to try to steal the fight, but Maeda still claimed the unanimous decision. Good match.

Ewerton Teixeira vs. Tsuyoshi Nakasako 3R. Even though he didn’t finish this fight, Teixeira really began to impress here. You don’t expect a Kyokushin Karate champion to be this good a boxer. The fact that you have to give so much respect to his punching power and incredible accuracy opens up his formidable kicking game. Teixeira took Nakasako apart, particularly destroying Nakasako’s leg with both inside and outside leg kicks. They aren’t likely to lead to a flashy knockdown, but early in the second round the pain was so great that Nakasako actually took a knee 5 seconds after a leg sweep. Later on, Nakasako tried to brush the low kicks off with a grunt, but there was ugly bruising all over the thigh. Teixeira won a unamimous decision. Above average match.

K-1 Heavyweight Title Match: Badr Hari vs. Glaube Feitosa R1 2:33. Hari is an exciting young fighter K-1 more or less handed the title to based on his potential. I mean, the guy was 4-2 when they put him in the title decision match with the very ordinary Yusuke Fujimoto at the 4/28/07 WORLD GP 2007 in HAWAII show. Glaube Feitosa is only a .500 fighter, but he’s lost 3 times to Schilt, twice to Aerts, and once to Hug, Cro Cop, Hoost, and Bonjasky, so I gave him about a 50-50 chance given Hari’s big win is against arguably the all-time overrated K-1 fighter Ray Sefo at the WORLD GP 2008 IN YOKOHAMA 4/13/08. Hari silenced his doubters with this performance, overwhelming Feitosa to the point Glaube barely even threw a blow. I couldn’t even begin to guess what Feitosa’s strategy was here, and he seemed awfully lethargic, but much of his problem is Hari was very aggressive from the outset, throwing at full power and quickly damaging the Brazilian. Feitosa seemed to just be standing in front of Hari, but what makes Hari so good is he has such a long reach and either explodes with heavy blows from what’s actually a long ways away for fighters his size or comes in quickly. Even though Feitosa was blocking, Badr had so much power behind his blows that Feitosa was quickly gazing up at the lights. After the knockdown, Hari’s blows got through with more regularity, and he quickly finished Feitosa off with a series of hooks. Sheer domination.

K-1 Super Heavyweight Title Match: Semmy Schilt vs. Jerome Le Banner 3R. Le Banner is undefeated in K-1 in single fights, quite a feat for someone whose been in the league since the early days, and his performance on the 12/8/07 WORLD GP 2007 FINAL show gave legitimate belief that he had the knowledge and ability to beat Schilt if he was healthy. Le Banner seemed 100%, but the dominant force in K-1 continues to grow as a fighter. When actually pushed, Schilt proves he can change gears and strategies. This was a very intense fight with Le Banner taking it to Schilt from the get go, utilizing his kicks well. Schilt isn’t one of those big guys who is slow enough that you can escape unscathed if you don’t get greedy. Though Le Banner attacked and landed, Schilt connected before Le Banner retreated out of range. Le Banner won the first round, but Schilt was a very active fighter in the second and third, shifting the pressure back to Le Banner, who fights as though his motto is “the best defense is a good aggressive offense.” Schilt was very effective with his left jab and hook, but Le Banner wasn’t giving him much opportunity to utilize his front kick, as he decided to stay inside it’s range. They kept an incredible pace for big men, with neither willing to surrender an inch. Very close fight, but Schilt was able to step up when he needed to, taking the second and third rounds with activity and aggressiveness. Le Banner didn’t fade by any means, but he didn’t utilize his hands well enough to wrestle the title away. Schilt won a majority decision, breaking Peter Aerts record with his 14th consecutive K-1 win. Very good match.

K-1 JAPAN GP Final: Ewerton Teixeira vs. Keijiro Maeda 3R. Teixeira theoretically only has a 22 pound weight advantage, but Maeda at least fights as though he’s much smaller than his 209 pound claimed weight. He couldn’t even hold his ground when Teixeira hit him. I mean, Teixeira knocked Maeda back about 5 feet with a right straight, and that was only because the ropes saved him! Teixeira’s accuracy posed the biggest problem for Maeda, as he could run all he wanted, but he was the one who was getting hit as soon as he was in range. In other words, Maeda never had a chance against K-1’s newest star, who was showing major potential tonight. Maeda did landed some punches on the inside, but the power advantage was so far in his opponent’s favor it seemed that Maeda needed to land more than 2 to 1 to even think about getting the better of the exchanges. Since Teixeira doesn’t miss much and has good stamina and reactions, the chances of that were, well, about the chances of Maeda winning this match. Teixeira won a unanimous decision. Average match.

K-1 World Max 2008 World Championship Tournament -FINAL 8- 7/7/08 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1hr 35min. Q=Perfect

K-1 WORLD MAX 2008 World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal: Artur Kyshenko vs. Yasuhiro Kido

K-1 WORLD MAX 2008 World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal: Andy Souwer vs. Warren Stevelmans

Haruaki Otsuki vs. David Douge

K-1 WORLD MAX 2008 World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal: Buakaw Por. Pramuk vs. Yoshihiro Sato

Daisuke Uematsu vs. Eddy Juozapavicius

Albert Kraus vs. Mike Zambidis

K-1 WORLD MAX 2008 World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal: Masato vs. DRAGO

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in TAIPEI 7/13/08 Taiwan TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall
& Ultimate Glory 9 7/6/08 Nijmegen, Netherlands
-40min. Q=Near Perfect

Super Fight: Remy Bonjasky vs. Volk Atajev R3 0:33

Nieky Holzken vs. William Diender R4 0:47

Faldir Chahbari vs. David Kyrya

Mesut Derin vs. Halim Issaoui

K-1 Asia GP 2008 in TAIPEI Semifinal: Vaughn Anderson vs. Aleksandr Pichkunov R1 2:58

K-1 Asia GP 2008 in TAIPEI Final: Ruslan Karaev vs. Aleksandr Pichkunov R1 2:03

K-1 DREAM.5 LIGHTWEIGHT GRAND PRIX 2008 Final Round 7/21/08 Osaka Jo Hall
-3hr 20min. Q=VG. 1 DVD

Daisuke Nakamura vs. Andy Ologun R1 3:41

Lightweight Grand Prix Semifinals

Shinya Aoki vs. Caol Uno 2R unanimous decision

Eddie Alvarez vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri R1 7:35

Lightweight Grand Prix Reserve Match: Joachim Hansen vs. Kultar Gill R1 2:33

Joseph Benavidez vs. Junya Kudo R1 2:42

Kuniyoshi Hironaka vs. Motoki Miyazawa R1 8:57

Hideo Tokoro vs. Takeshi Yamazaki 2R unanimous decision

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Katsuyori Shibata R1 6:34

Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt R1 1:11

Lightweight Grand Prix Final: Joachim Hansen vs. Shinya Aoki R1 4:19

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in HAWAII 8/9/08 Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Reserve Matches:

Rico Verhoeven vs. KOICHI. Verhoeven was the aggressor, working KOICHI’s body and legs and keeping him on the ropes. Verhoeven would get inside with a low kick or keep KOICHI off him with a front kick. KOICHI might just as well have been in a boxing match, as kicks and knees were just something he took punishment from. Verhoeven won a unanimous decision. Average match.

Stefan Leko vs. Junior Sua R1 2:36. Leko was a last minute replacement, taking Gokhan Saki’s spot in the reserve match when Saki was promoted to the main draw due to Chalid Die Faust’s inability to attain a visa. Even if Leko’s results haven’t been as impressive in the last few years, given this pathetic field designed to allow Mighty Mo to repeat, he might have been the favorite to win if he found his way in. In the meantime, Leko was having no trouble with the 41-year-old local. Leko dominated position, backing Sua into the ropes and landing sharp combos. Just as this was appearing to be the expected walkover with Sua getting punished against the ropes, Sua put Leko down with a right hand out of nowhere. Leko quickly recovered, coming back with a vengeance and depositing his opponent on the canvas after a flurry against the ropes. Leko did a really nice job of mixing uppercuts in with hooks, and was able to finish Sua off with a body knee. Good action.

Randy Kim vs. Vilitonu Fonokalafi R2 1:13. Kim hadn’t won anything since he was a shot-putter, so it was a shock that he managed to put things together tonight. This sloppy brawl wasn’t giving any indication of good things to come, as neither seemed to land cleanly. Though the short left he won with was a nice shot, Fonokalafi had quickly blown up to the point Randy needed to do little more than blow him down.

K-1 USA GP Quarter Finals:

Mighty Mo vs. Justice Smith 3R. You know you are in trouble when Mo is the better technical fighter. This brawl was pretty good for what it was when they actually fought, but unfortunately for Mo this Smith is wilder than Bison. The former Tough Enough competitor seemed to take over the slugfest with a nice Thai knee, but his second was such a damaging low blow Mo still had trouble standing after it was time for him to continue. Nonetheless, Mo came out firing angry body hooks, but Smith got the clinch again and dropped him with a clean knee to the gut. Mo was cut over the left eye during the scuffle, though from an unintentional butt that garnered Smith a point docking yellow card and resulted in Mo spending more time in his corner. Smith is an okay puncher with a strong Thai knee game that’s aided by his skyscraper height, but the absence of a kick game makes it hard for him to slow Mo. Another problem is while he can take a big punch, Justice seems to believe it’s unfair to actually attempt to block your opponent’s strikes. Mo dominated the boxing portions with big hooks, though Smith would eventually tie him up and bring the knees. Smith made his K-1 debut here, and that was really the difference; the primary reason Mo won is he has enough experience to take what’s given to him, working the legs and body rather than simply head hunting. Mo won a majority decision. Average match.

Butterbean vs. Wesley “Cabbage” Correira R2 0:53. It’s hard to stoop any lower than booking a has been sideshow toughman against a never was who actually managed to lose to Tank Abbott in the last decade. Butterball didn’t look like he’d been eating too many vegetables lately; he was even heavier than when he lost to Pat Smith at YAMMA 4/11/08. He certainly wasn’t going out of his way to pursue them, basically just standing in the center of the ring and hoping Cabbag would serve himself up on a platter. The first round was exceptionally boring and uneventful, but Correira managed to catch Butterbean with a left high kick early in the second. It was a bizarre knockout as rather than simply flop, Butterbean seemed to drive forward and try to tackle Cabbage to keep from going down. Butterbean shockingly was able to get back to his feet, expending all his effort only to have the ref waive it off. Horrible match.

Gokhan Saki vs. Deutsch Pau R1 2:15. Impressive showing by Saki, crumbling Pau with a couple blasts to the leg and relentlessly pursuing the 2 knockdown rule.

Nicholas Pettas vs. Rick Cheek. Pettas started well, but quickly reaggravated a groin injury when he was on offense. No one had a clue why Pettas stopped fighting, and by the time the ref figured out he was unable to continue, the crowd was hissing. Pettas was ticked because he’d worked so hard for nothing, and now the fans were treating him like a pussy, so he got on the mic and made a weak attempt to explain the situation.

Super Fight: Paul Slowinski vs. Aziz Jahjah R3 1:54. You figured Slowinski, a borderline top 10 K-1 heavyweight who is on the rise wouldn’t have too much trouble with a debuting fighter, but this turned out to be one of the wildest back and forth brawls of the year with the tide regularly turning from big power punches. Jahjah seemed the better puncher, and even though predictable for doing about 85% of his damage with the right hand, Slowinski simply couldn’t stop it. Slowinski was able to work his low kicks, but Jahjah had him eating hooks when he tried to get inside. Jahjah’s punches were really taking their toll on Slowinski, and he was able to put him down early in the second by doubling up on the right hook. Jahjah got his knees going in between rocking Slowinski with right hands, but as soon as he took over the fight Slowinski put him down with a left hook and right that was more of a wrist/forearm. Jahjah responded with a series of big rights for the momentary knockdown, tagging Paul with a nasty right hook as soon as he got up. The three knockdown rule was in effect, and late in the round Jahjah actually knocked Slowinski off balance but didn’t pursue him, perhaps assuming he’d already won the fight. Even though it was still looking bleak for Slowinski’s, that’s the sort of mistake the underdog rarely gets away with. Slowinski gave up on technique in the third, coming out fast and trying to overwhelm his opponent with size and strength. He muscled Aziz into the corner, but Jahjah reversed position before Slowinski could do any damage. However, in the fiery that ensued, Slowinski leveling Jahjah with a right hook that sent Jahjah stumbling all the way across the ring as if he were in a movie. Slowinski perhaps got hit one too many times in the head, as he decided it was a good idea to try to assist Jahjah in falling by coming up from behind and hitting him in the back of the head. Jahjah was able to continue, but Slowinski blitzed him the rest of the round, getting 2 more knockdowns to end one of the best K-1 fights of the year. Excellent match.

K-1 USA GP Semifinals:

Randy Kim vs. Wesley “Cabbage” Correira R2 1:00. Mighty Mo was, as usual, in no shape so Kim stepped in and put a hurting on the UFC reject. Kim used low kicks and knees to the midsection to slow Cabbage then backed him all the way across the ring with a series of overhand rights. An inside leg kick early in round 2 did the major damage to the back leg, leaving Cabbage hobbled and easy prey for the next leg kick that took him out. The knockdowns were really cool because Kim was actually sending Cabbage into the air before he came crashing down on his stomach. Average match.

Gohkan Saki vs. Rick Cheek R1 2:36. Saki was consistently the best fighter in the tournament. His powerful strikes were quite simply violent. He weakened Cheek’s legs blasting away with low kicks. However, instead of simply targeting that area he opened up the entire body only to finish the combo with a leg kick Cheek was rarely able to defend. A low kick late in the round crumbled Cheek, who was able to beat the count but could ward off Saki’s follow up attack, succumbing to a right high kick and left body hook.

Super Fight: Badr Hari vs. Domagoj Ostojic R1 0:19. I was suspect of Hari in the beginning because they essentially gave him the title on potential rather than accomplishments, but the 23-year-old is really coming into his own this year. He shredded longtime FINAL 16 member Ray Sefo on 4/13/08, top 10 heavyweight Glaube Feitosa in his title defense on 6/29/08, and now scored his third first round KO of the year beating muay thai stylist Ostojic not only on first contact but actually doing it with his off hand. Debuting Ostojic is more of an MMA fighter these days, but was looking to avenge his loss to Hari three years ago, and seemed to hurt Hari right off the bat, knocking him off balance with a left hook. Hari may have been a bit lucky, but all that matters is the left straight he launched a fraction of a second after Ostojic’s left hook knocked the Croatian silly.

Super Fight: Min Soo Kim vs. Scott Junk 3R. Junk appeared to be a junky fighter who was only there because he was from the host island, but made it competitive after a shaky start to the point he most likely would have won if the fight was a 5 rounder. Junk came out anxious after a long delay for receiving a low blow, walking into a short straight for the knockdown. Junk blocked a few kicks, but the high kick did enough that Kim was able to put him down with a short punch down the middle. There was bad blood with Kim getting in Junk’s face and yelling at him after the first and Junk trying to trip Kim after the 2nd, which may have fired Junk up. Even though his attacks were slow and deliberate enough they weren’t difficult to defend, he was getting his low kicks through to Kim’s bad knees, and the lack of mobility combined with the lack of stamina led to the momentum swinging in Junk’s favor. Kim was forced to pressure Junk to take away the distance, and thus avoid getting repeatedly clipped in the knee, but this strategy was taking Mr. Shark's own tank. Junk won the 2nd round and his confidence was growing steadily, with his movement noticeably improving. Junk won the 3rd round as well as a hobbled Kim couldn’t get anything going. Obviously even winning 2 rounds to 1 wasn’t going to overcome two knockdowns, but Junk’s good comeback made the fight interesting and even though it didn’t happen, he did enough to make you believe he was capable of at least getting one knockdown back. Above average match.

K-1 USA GP Final: Gohkan Saki vs. Randy Kim R2 1:39. Though watching the fights it would be near impossible to suggest the better fighter didn’t win, the odds on two originally scheduled reserves meeting in the final are considerably long. Both men rose to the occasion, delivering the best back and forth kicking duel of the show. Saki landed a left high kick to start the 2nd and countered Kim’s left hook with his own for a knockdown. Kim didn’t stall or back down, charging right back into the fire and trying to even the score. However, just as you thought he was recovered, Saki took him out with a left hook out of nowhere. Above average match.

K-1 DREAM.6 MIDDLEWEIGHT GRAND PRIX 2008 Final Round 9/23/08 Saitama Super Arena
-3hr 10min. Q=VG. 1 DVD

Middleweight Grand Prix reserve bout: Andrews Nakahara vs. Dong Sik Yoon R2 0:30

Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinals

Gegard Mousasi vs. Melvin Manhoef R1 1:28

Ronaldo Souza vs. Zelg Galesic R1 1:27

Keita Nakamura vs. Adriano Martins 2R split decision

Sergei Kharitonov vs. Jimmy Ambriz R1 2:15

Atsushi Yamamoto vs. Hideo Tokoro 2R unanimous decision

Masakatsu Funaki vs. Ikuhisa Minowa R1 0:52

Hayato Sakurai vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka 2R unanimous decision

Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Masanori Tonooka R1 6:26

Shinya Aoki vs. Todd Moore R1 1:10

Alistair Overeem vs. Mirko Filipovic R1 6:09

Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Final: Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza R1 2:15

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 IN SEOUL -FINAL16- 9/27/08 Seoul, Korea Olympic Gymnasium-1
-2hr 45min. Q=Ex

Opening Fight: Zabit Samedov vs. Fabiano Da Silva 3R. Samedov overpowed Da Silva when they stood toe to toe, but Da Silva did a good job of darting in and out, and utilizing kicks from odd angles. In a sense, Samedov seemed a good opponent for Da Silva because he’s a very straightforward and orthodox foe, but his size and strength advantages forced Da Silva to almost completely rely on his creativity. As the fight progressed, Samedov pressed Da Silva more to eliminate the distance that allowed him to kick and select his moment to enter and exit the pocket. It was a fairly entertaining fight, but in the end Da Silva simply couldn’t stop Samedov from imposing his will upon him. Above average match.

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 FINAL 16:

Ruslan Karaev vs. Chalid Die Faust 2R 2:30. Exciting action packed slugfest, just throwing bombs back and forth until someone’s body gave way. Karaev stormed Chalid at the bell and was dominating him for the first minute and a half, only to be dropped by a short right counter. Die Faust became the aggressor in the second half of the round, backing a much more tentative Karaev. Karaev came out for the second with renewed vigor, landing a couple good straights, but The Fist fired back with bombs of his own. Just after the tempo slowed, Karaev connected with an overhand right followed by an uppercut for the knockdown. Karaev’s nose was busted open, but he kept swinging, putting Die Faust down from the cumulative effect. Chalid rolled to his feet and stumbled to the corner, but Karaev unloaded on him after the 8 count. Chalid finally came back with an uppercut and hook just after the ref stopped the fight, so Karaev KO’d him with a right cross as the ref was separating them. Very good match.

Jerome Le Banner vs. Junichi Sawayashiki 3R. A rematch of the ultimate K-1 upset from WORLD GP in YOKOHAMA 3/4/07. Sawayashiki tried to utilize the same style of circling against the ropes, but was unable to get off counter punches when Le Banner stepped in. Le Banner again stalked his prey, but this time he not only pulled the trigger on his punches, he even scored with some solid kicks. Le Banner was on his game and at his most determined, showing no fear and even taunting his opponent to try to embarrass him into attacking. Sawayashiki wasn’t going to stop Le Banner when Le Banner was right, but it would have been nice if he at least tried to slow the Cyborg down. Sawayashiki knew he couldn’t win trading with the Jerome, but really his only offense was landing left outside leg kicks or right inside leg kicks as he circled left, and he wasn’t doing nearly enough damage with them to win the fight. Sawayashiki’s strategy grew increasingly puzzling as he just got further and further behind waiting for an opening that wasn’t appearing. At the end of round 2, Le Banner landed a right high kick as Sawayashiki was circling away and followed it up with punches for the knockdown. Le Banner won a unanimous decision. Below average match.

Ray Sefo vs. Gohkan Saki 4R. Sefo never really played any defense, but he used to be a very explosive striker. Now that he’s older, slower, and too heavy he seems to either go for the early KO as he did in his prime except now he winds up being the one who is stopped quickly or fight the conservative not particularly aggressive style we saw here that ends with him losing a decision. The first round was pretty weak from both men, as Saki failed to capitalize on Sefo’s lack of defense despite Sefo giving him time. Sefo woke up in the second, coming forward and pressuring Saki in an attempt to stay on the offensive. Sefo used his 30 pound weight advantage to make it difficult for Saki to stop his forward momentum. Though Sefo continued backing Saki in the third, Saki began landing regularly, particularly with kicks as Sefo was stepping forward. I had Saki winning the first, Sefo the second, with the third being pretty debatable since both were effective at what they were trying to do though I lean toward Saki. I was glad they sent it into overtime, where Sefo might have been able to steal it, but probably didn’t have the stamina for a final surge, and wound up being too conservative in the later stages. Saki won a unanimous decision. Average match.

Errol Zimmerman vs. Glaube Feitosa 3R. Zimmerman isn’t a good matchup for Feitosa, who is prone to an aggressive inside fighter as the lack of distance takes his kicks away and he’s not a great defender by any means. Feitosa attempted to use his kicks to control the distance, which worked early because he’d come in with a punch combo when Zimmerman backed away. Zimmerman took over in the last 30 seconds of round 1, doubling up on the right hook in the corner then stunning Glaube with a left hook. Feitosa refused to fall, so Zimmerman battered him until the ref called a down when Feitosa stumbled. At the restart, Errol leaped in with a knee that knocked Glaube halfway across the ring, but then the round ended. Zimmerman continued the onslaught early in the second, stunning Feitosa with a straight down the pip but then letting him out of the corner for some unknown reason. Zimmerman worked Feitosa over with hooks and knees, but Feitosa was able to spin off the ropes and take the offensive. Suddenly, Zimmerman turned him with a right hook and pounded on Feitosa against the ropes for the second knockdown. Zimmerman went to town on Feitosa to try to finish it in the second, but Feitosa somehow managed to survive the round. I was surprised by how badly Feitosa was pummeled, but to his credit there was no quit in him. They fought hard, delivering consistently good action, and while Feitosa was usually on the receiving end, he did have his moments. Zimmerman won a unanimous decision. Good match.

Remy Bonjasky vs. Paul Slowinski 3R. Bonjasky came forward blocking then threw kicks from the inside. Slowinski isn’t nearly as flexible as Bonjasky and is more of an extension leg kicker than a diagonal one, so he wasn’t able to use his low kicks from this distance, and as such was mostly punching right into Remy’s block. The first two rounds weren’t super interesting, but round 3 saw a much higher punch count from both as the fight was close enough they knew they might need to make a statement. This more wide open style boded well for Slowinski, who is more of a brawler. He stunned Bonjasky early with a flurry of punches, sending Bonjasky into blocking mode for a minute or so until he recovered. Slowinski definitely won the third, which was by far the most decisive round, but Bonjasky still got the majority decision for winning the first two. Average match.

Ewerton Teixeira vs. Musashi 3R. Teixeira came forward, but was really looking to counter Musashi. Unfortunately, Musashi gave another uninspiring performance, hardly throwing anything. He was quite content to simply back away, and yellow carded for tying Teixeira up repeatedly. Musashi did have some good one or two punch counters, but never really went on the offensive. Teixeira opened the fight up in the 2nd, hurting Musashi with a big right hand counter in the second then making a big push to finish it. Musashi went down, but it was ruled a slip and time soon expired. Teixeira won ever round. Average fight.

Badr Hari vs. Hong Man Choi 3R. Hari wanted to take it right to Choi, but wasn’t sure quite how to engage his giant foe. Should he fake his way in or just leap at Hong Man? Choi made Hari’s job easier by not attacking very often. The jab and front kick were open all night, but he’s no Semmy Schilt. Hari began using inside leg kicks to open up an overhand right, but when he tried to follow with a left hook, Choi caught him with a short left for the knockdown. Choi was content to sit on his lead, but Hari circled the ropes in the second, forcing Choi to come forward then stopping to strike him. This strategy was fairly successful, with Hari landing some effective combos compared to more of not much for Choi. Hari unleashed a nasty body attack in the third, using hooks and the occasional middle kick, while utilizing his quickness to evade Choi’s slow replies. After a few minutes of this, Choi was forced to guard his waist, but Hari didn’t have enough time for many of the head punches he was setting up. Choi did little beyond the knockdown, so he was only able to secure one judge, with the other two ruling it a draw. Choi’s side was beat up pretty badly by this time, so he wimped out before the start of the extra round. Above average match.

Peter Aerts vs. Semmy Schilt 3R. Schilt’s fights have been much better of late because everyone brings their A+ game in a desperate attempt to end his reign of terror. Aerts is the second greatest kickboxer in the history of the company, but the grizzled veteran fought as though his entire career was meaningless if he couldn’t overcome this foe. Aerts applied relentless pressure, just plowing forward all night and forcing the big right hand combo finish almost without regard to what Schilt was trying to fire back with. Schilt began to time Aerts and rip the jab, but Aerts was willing to take punishment as long as he diminished distance. Schilt was accurate as ever, landing with most everything he got off, but rarely had the space for his effective front kick, and wasn’t able to get many knees in either because he was usually forced into retreating mode. I felt Aerts edged Schilt in this super intense battle, but even if the fans got what they wanted with Aerts majority decision victory it’s hard to argue against sending it to another round given Schilt’s amazing success the past 4 years. Very good match.

K-1 SBS-6 TV WORLD GP 2008 in SEOUL FINAL 16 9/27/08 Seoul Olympic Gymnasium-1
& K-1 SBS-6 TV WORLD MAX World Championship Tournament -FINAL- 10/1/08 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2hr 50min. Q=Ex. 1 PAL DVD

9/27/08

Peter Aerts vs. Semmy Schilt 3R

Badr Hari vs. Hong Man Choi R4 0:00

Remy Bonjaski vs. Paul Slowinski 3R

Errol Zimmerman vs. Glaube Feitosa 3R

Gokhan Saki vs. Ray Sefo 4R

10/1/08

World Championship Tournament Reserve Fight: Yasuhiro Kido vs. Albert Kraus R2 0:48

World Championship Tournament Semifinals

Masato vs. Yoshihiro Sato 4R

Andy Souwer vs. Artur Kyshenko 4R

Takayuki Kohiruimaki vs. Joeri Mes R3 2:59

World Championship Tournament Final: Masato vs. Artur Kyshenko 4R

Nicky Holzken vs. Virgil Kalakoda R1 1:42

K-1 WORLD MAX World Championship Tournament -FINAL- 10/1/08 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1 1/2hr. Q=VG

Nicky Holzken vs. Virgil Kalakoda R1 1:42

Takayuki Kohiruimaki vs. Joeri Mes R3 2:59

World Championship Tournament Reserve Fight: Yasuhiro Kido vs. Albert Kraus R2 0:48

World Championship Tournament Semifinals

Masato vs. Yoshihiro Sato 4R

Andy Souwer vs. Artur Kyshenko 4R

World Championship Tournament Reserve Fight: Buakaw Por. Pramuk vs. Black Mamba R1 2:18

World Championship Tournament Final: Masato vs. Artur Kyshenko 4R

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 FINAL 12/6/08 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena
-3 1/2. Q=Ex. 1 DVD

Quarterfinals

Peter Aerts vs. Badr Hari R2 1:39

Errol Zimmerman vs. Ewerton Teixeira 3R

Gokhan Saki vs. Ruslan Karaev 3R

Remy Bonjasky vs. Jerome Le Banner R3 1:46

Reserve Fight: Ray Sefo vs. Hong Man Choi 3R

Reserve Fight: Paul Slowinsky vs. Melvin Manhoef R1 2:26

Semifinals

Badr Hari vs. Errol Zimmerman R3 2:15

Gokhan Saki vs. Remy Bonjasky R2 0:53

Final: Badr Hari vs. Remy Bonjasky R2 0:53

K-1 Dynamite!! ~2008~ 12/31/08 Saitama Super Arena
-3hr 20min. Q=Ex. 1 DVD

Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Errol Zimmerman R1 1:01

Yoshihiro Sato vs. Artur Kyshenko 3R

Hideo Tokoro vs. Daisuke Nakamura R1 2:23

Yukio Sakaguchi vs. Andy Ologun R1 3:52

Kinniku Mantaro vs. Bob Sapp R1 5:22

Semmy Schilt vs. Mighty Mo R1 5:31

Hayato "Mach" Sakurai vs. Katsuyori Shibata R1 7:02

Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kozo Takeda R1 2:37

Badr Hari vs. Alistair Overeem R1 2:07

Gegard Mousasi vs. Musashi R1 2:32

Mark Hunt vs. Melvin Manhoef R1 0:18

Shinya Aoki vs. Eddie Alvarez R1 1:32

Mirko Cro Cop vs. Hong Man Choi R1 6:32

Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Kiyoshi Tamura 2R

 

BACK TO QUEBRADA DVDs