(Melvin Manhoef highlights just never get old, do they?)
Those of you who love K-1 kickboxing enough to either wake up in the middle of the night or else just stay up until 3:30 am EST probably already know this, but we thought we’d remind the rest of you that the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 goes down early Saturday morning on HDNet. That means Melvin Manhoef vs. Remy Bonjasky and Alistair Overeem vs. Peter Aerts, plus a whole bunch of other fights. So whether you stumble home late enough to catch it, or if you just can’t sleep because of crushing guilt, K-1 will be there for you. Because K-1 knows you’d do the same for it…wouldn’t you?
Before Ray Mercer became known as the unstoppable heavyweight juggernaut who wrecked Tim Sylvia in 8 seconds, Mercer had a two-fight kickboxing stint in K-1, losing his debut to Musashi by unanimous decision in June 2004. His second bout against Remy Bonjasky at the K-1 World GP 2005 in Seoul was even less successful. We won’t spoil the suprise for you, but the fight (if you can call it that) starts at the 3:53 mark of the above video and ends very shortly afterwards. It’s pretty sad when losing a match to Kimbo Slice by submission still isn’t the low point in your fight career.
(Round one. Rounds two and three are after the jump.)
A monstrous-looking Alistair Overeem lost via decision to K-1′s Remy Bonjasky late last night, much to the delight of the K-1 crowd that was trying their hardest to frame this as a K-1 vs. MMA bout. Fortunatley for Bonjasky it wasn’t. Overeem dumped him on the mat several times and would have pounded him out easily if not for that pesky referee stepping in.
Overeem’s bulk did appear to slow him down in the final round, however, and a right hand from Bonjasky put him down and sealed his fate on the judges’ scorecards. Sorry, Alistair. Now come back to MMA where you belong.
The K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 goes down tomorrow in Yokohama, Japan, and will be broadcast live on HDNet. Because of the time difference, it’ll air late tonight in the U.S., at 4 a.m. ET/1 a.m. PT. We’re not fucking vampires, so we’re going to set up the little magic box on our cable TV and watch this thing tomorrow. And it definitely will be worth watching, particularly for the heavyweight headliner between Alistair Overeem and Remy Bonjasky.
The World GP will also feature a four-man heavyweight tournament starring Melvin Manhoef, and a group of "superfights" that include Semmy Schilt, Jerome Le Banner, Peter Aerts, and Errol Zimmerman. The full fight order is after the jump, courtesy of NightmareOfBattle.
Though he’s being courted by both the UFC and Strikeforce, where he is the reigning heavyweight champ, Alistair Overeem will likely have his next fight back in the K-1 ring. A report on MixFight.nl, translated by our trusty friend Robert at Free Fight Videos, says Overeem has accepted an offer to fight 2008 K-1 Grand Prix winner Remy Bonjasky at the end of March.
The bad news for us MMA types is that this further delays Overeem’s return to the land of little gloves. His recent fights have made me all the more eager to see him in against big time MMA heavyweights, either in the UFC or somewhere else, to see if he can keep up these performances against top-notch opponents in places where there are commissions and – I’ll just say it – drug tests. Looks like the wait continues.
Just for shits and giggles, rewatch Overeem’s destruction of Badr Hari after the jump. ‘Cause what else you got to do?
"K-1 is a sport, K-1 is not street fighting. We had the same problem with Bob Sapp in the past, and it’s unfortunate it happened again yesterday. I was sitting ringside with Masato, and he was very angry with Hari’s actions. This morning in the newspapers I read Hari’s comments, he seemed unapologetic, and that is disappointing. We have rules, to fight in K-1 you must have a professional attitude."
Maybe if Hari didn’t compare endangering an opponent’s life with head-stomps to "cycling on the pavement," K-1 officials might have shown some mercy. Unfortunately, they were forced to send him a message, and that message was: "Not cool, bro."
Badr Hari doesn’t seem too concerned about his disqualification loss in the finals of this weekend’s K-1 World GP. In case you missed it, Hari took Remy Bonjasky down, which is already illegal in K-1, but then he decided that as long as he was down there he might as well punch him a couple of times and then stomp on his face. When the interviewer here points out to him that this is “prohibited,” Hari responds: “Yeah, but cycling on the pavement is prohibited too.”
Seriously? That’s his response to illegally attacking an opponent who was under the referee’s care? Apparently Hari didn’t feel that his actions in the fight made him unlikeable enough. No, better go ahead and follow that up with a dismissive statement that reveals your amoral thought process to the world, just to be sure.
The argument that I absolutely don’t buy in this case is that he let his emotions get the better of him because Bonjasky didn’t come to fight. First of all, when Bonjasky dropped him in the first, that seemed an awful lot like fighting. Second, if you get mad in a kickboxing match, why not kick or punch the other guy in the head, torso, or leg region while you’re both standing? It’s an effective expression of anger, and it’s legal!
Then again, if you fight only within the scope of the rules, how is everyone supposed to know what an asshole you are?
Despite getting off to a great start, last night’s K-1 World GP Finals ended in bizarre fashion, with Badr Hari getting disqualified for illegally taking Remy Bonjasky down and then attacking him while he was under the referee’s care, finally stomping on his head before being shoved off by the ref. At first Hari looked like he’d just receive a yellow card, but with Bonjasky complaining of double-vision, the bout was stopped and Bonjasky declared the winner via disqualification.
Upon further review, the illegal blows don’t look so bad. But that’s easy for me to say since I didn’t take them. Bonjasky’s the guy who fought his way into the finals and was taking it to Hari for much of the first round, so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt as a tough bastard who would’ve continued if he could.
You hate to see it end that way, especially considering what a great show it was up until that point. If you’re wondering how Kimbo Slice did in his commentating duties, you can check out the reply on HDNet tonight. Or you can take my word for it that he didn’t say much, but did manage to slip in there how much he loved "the city of Japan." That’s right.
A couple more videos from the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 after the jump.