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Story K-1 Yokohama 28 march 2009 plus pics
K-1 Yokohama Tokyo Japan 28 march 2009
The first K-1 event of the year had lots of surprises.
Poor Chalid Arrab had influenza and visa problems and was missed in the first four men tournament in Japan, therefore Melvin Manhoef was facing Maeda and Tyrone Spong was matched against Golden Glory / Team Rebel fighter Gokhan Saki.
Gokhan Saki made an impressive debut last year in K-1 with great kicks and speedy hands Gokhan belongs to the new generation of K-1 fighters. In Hawaii he won an impressive K-1 GP Tournament and he also KO’d Paul Slowinsky in round one in the Amsterdam Arena in 2008.
The first fight of the tournament brought the first big surprise of the night when Japanese Maeda KO’d Dutch KO specialist Melvin Manhoef after only 2 minutes in the first round with a well placed right hook to the chin Maeda advanced to the finals without any damage.
The following match Spong against Saki brought a lot of speculation. Would Spong be the best European new Heavyweight fighter and would he be able to defeat a dynamic fighter like Saki.
It became one of the most technical fights of the night, where Spong put a lot of pressure on Saki but Gokhan countering with dangerous left hooks, straight punches and some good high kicks.
After three rounds the K-1 judges decided to have one more round.
Saki is getting stronger in the fight and with a well timed right overhand punch he knocks out Spong in round 4 and advances to the finals.
Can Saki win against a fresh Japanese Madea after his fourth round war with Spong?
In the first three rounds of the heavyweight championships bout we can see Maeda becoming more and more confident and scoring with kicks. Saki stays dangerous with high kicks and low kicks but can not really land any damaging punches.
After three rounds there is another round added by the judges and this is round 8 already for Gokhan Saki. Again Saki is scoring with some leg kicks and punches but Maeda is putting more pressure on Saki and also scoring with low kicks. At the end of the round the Japanese reserve fighter is awarded by the judges with a split decision win over Saki. Maeda becomes the first Japanese heavyweight champion ever! Maeda started as a reserve fighter leaving a surprised Saki with no belt after 8 rounds of hard battle.
Semmy Schilt was planned to fight on the Dream event - an MMA fight on April 5th, but on the 25th of March he received a phone call to fight a K-1 fight on the K-1 Yokohama show. Semmy who trained MMA for 5 months actually loved the idea of returning to the K-1 circuit and trained hard. Two days before his fight his opponent was found in Hesdy Gerges from Chakuriki. Hesdy, who is a young and upcoming talent with an impressive undefeated record of 28 fights, he also stands 2 meters tall. The fight turned out to be a great fight as Hesdy did not come to hang around the waste of Semmy, but actually put up a great fight. Semmy got the chance to show everybody why he is the three time K-1 champ! throwing great combinations and hard punches which surprised many fans. In round two Semmy lands a front kick right to Hesdy’s liver and he has to take an 8 count but recovers. Schilt wins the decision scoring a majority of points over all three rounds, Schilt looked very fit and lost weight and looks sharper then ever. It is going to be a great fight when Schilt fights Badr Hari in the Amsterdam Arena may 16th.
Errol Zimmerman VS Peter Aerts
Another new Generation fighter of Golden Glory is the youngest: Errol Zimmerman.
His last fight with Badr Hari was voted fight of the year in the K-1 GP finals from 2008 which became a thriller. Zimmerman trained for his revenge against Badr but his opponent was changed 10 days before the fight.” Sorry” Errol said K-1, Badr cancelled the fight: would you like to fight Peter Aerts? Yes, fine said Errol and went to Japan with the rest of team Golden Glory.
Zimmerman goes for the kill and every punch/ kick he throws is brutally hard, three rounds of onslaught with an extra extension round made this fight again the fight of the night and it was also voted as the best fight of the night.
Zimmerman lost on a decision but what an awesome fight it was!!,Peter Aerts looking really fit physically and his performance was good this made the fight great as well. Zimmerman is always dangerous as he is always trying to score a KO and Aerts is dangerous with his body punches and kicks. These are the types of fights that make K-1 so great and we hope to see many more of this kind in the near future!
Alistair Overeem VS Remy Bonjasky
After Overeem”s KO win over Badr Hari on NYE Dynamite show many ask if this was a lucky punch and if Alistair was ready to fight again under K-1 rules against Remy the champion from 2008.
At the press conference Alistair told the press and Remy that he found it impressive that Remy was acting in Hollywood and sometimes in the ring and therefore Alistair brought him a little present in the form of an Oscar.
Fuji TV loved the idea and it was later shown on Fuji TV, the fight was really hyped as MMA champ Alistair Overeem against K-1 champ Remy Bonjasky.
K-1 producer Tanigawa even went so far to say that if Remy could not win this fight K-1 was finished.
Alistair prepared well at the Golden Glory gym in Breda and the plan was to block low kicks from Remy and put constant pressure on him and try to penetrate Remy’s extreme defence when he was up against the ropes. This went well and Remy could not carry out his game plan at all, he was not in the fight and it was Alistair who pressed the fight starting by opening the first round with a double jumping knee and attacking Remy full on, who could not place a solid counter attack.
In round two Alistair scored, by taking away Remy’s defence, who was up in the ropes and Alistair scoring with a big right hook. Further in the round Alistair scores with a front kick to Remy’s head and at the end of round two, he then throws a right left right combo which puts Remy down. The audience is shocked as the K-1 ref Kakuta counted the knock down as a slip and the judges gave the round a 10-10?!?
Alistair and team Golden Glory know they now have to take risk so Alistair attacks even more in round three and trying to force a KO. Dominating the first 2.30 minutes the anti climax is bitter for Alistair as Remy hits Alistair with a downward right hook which makes Alistair go down. Alistair get up and tries to force a KO but Remy is to slippery and stays out of the danger zone. K-1 explained in the new rules that if a fighter is better but gets knock down it is not ruled as a 10-8 round but 9-8 especially if the downward fighter is trying to come back by pressing the fight.
We know that if it was Alistair who was knocked down like Remy was in round two, the K-1 ref would have counted immediately but hey, K-1 was saved by Remy defending K-1’s honour, Maeda became the first Japanese K-1 heavyweight champion and the ratings were still above 10 % resulting in 11.1 %.
Overall not a bad event and hopefully K-1 can climb out of the bad times it is currently finding itself in. Let’s hope 2009 will be the year where we get out of the credit crises and things will be better world wide. What does shady point decisions really mean in life when there is so much more to worry about?
For only his third K-1 fight Alistair did great, Semmy was unstoppable and Saki and Errol became the new favourite fighters in Japan, a great start to the New Year - by Team Golden Glory
Story Bas Boon
Last edited by Dirk Stal; 04-02-2009 at 05:26 PM.