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  • K-1 Thread

    At age 41, Ernesto Hoost is about to retire. But the shelf of the greatest champion in the history of K-1 still has room for another trophy

    He is the greatest fighter in K-1 history. Ernesto Hoost, who at age 15 began in kickboxing because he wanted to be cool and in 1989 was world savate champion, was born to fight like few others. With almost one hundred wins as a professional, this Suriname-born Dutchman, whose technique inspired the nickname Mr. Perfect, prepares to quit fighting at the end of the year and become the only five-time K-1 World Grand Prix. Unafraid to face off against this living legend, spoke with Hoost in an exclusive interview, from the Netherlands.

    You’ve been training at Johan Vos’s academy for a long time. Have you ever thought of moving?
    I’ve been training there now for 19 years. But I’m not training with Vos right now, we had disputes about some things, but he sold the academy, so right now I’m not training with him, but I’m training myself. Sometimes we need to make some decisions for ourselves.

    That was unexpected!
    I thought things were wrong for a long time now and now I could do something about it. Things were very wrong. But he sold the gym and I’m still training there.

    Have you trained Jiu-Jitsu with him?
    A little bit, some basics, but not really serious. I like it, but it’s not really my thing. I was too busy with kickboxing.

    What about MMA? Still think about doing it?
    I know I will never be as good at MMA as in K-1, so I don’t want to be second best.

    You once said your loss to Francisco Filho got you feeling pretty bad. How so?
    Francisco knocked me out quite bad and of course you never want to be knocked me out anyway. But when he knocked me out I couldn’t remember what had happened until I was in the dressing room. Then I saw the tape and saw the knockout was very heavy. To this day I don’t know how long I lay unconscious on the ground.

    I even thought, “I don’t know if I want to go on fighting. Do I want this for myself?” My wife was pregnant and she gave birth five days later. It was just a lot of stress. But later I started looking at things from a different angle and I felt better again.

    Why do you think you lost to Bob Sapp twice in 2002?
    Both fights were a very difficult story. I came with an injury from the K-1 Grand Prix. I had fought Stefan Leko and injured my foot. Then I fought in April and in May I fought Leko again and knocked him out. I was in very good shape. Then I was told that I was going to fight Bob Sapp in July.

    A week and a half before the fight I hear that the fight is not going to happen. So I put all of my program for the whole year, it messed my holiday and everything because I was supposed to fight Sapp on July 14 and on July 21 I would call a holiday. Then I could fight in August, so I decided not to go on holiday and keep on training for the other fight in August. So it was too much training and I got sick, because when I’m stressed too much I get skin problems. So I had the skin problem already in August and I did the fight first with the Giant in Las Vegas, then I fought with Semmy Schilt also in August in Tokyo and by that time I was sick.

    So I didn’t want to fight anymore, but then K-1 came with a proposal for a fight with Bob Sapp, saying it would be a live fight on TV. I didn’t want to fight, but my trainer, Johan Vos, asked me to do the fight. I said, “I cannot fight.” And he told me to think about it and he would call me in two days or something.

    Then he called me again and said that, even if I was very sick I should be able to beat Bob Sapp. And he put so much pressure on me that I decided to do the fight. I had everything against me: the referee, and no one in my corner supported me the right way. He hit me a few times after the referee said break. There were no rules for him, and it was okay, because I was supposed to be able to win that fight. I got a cut above my eye and I had to surrender the fight.

    Then they made very much effort to let me do the fight with Bob Sapp again in the K-1 Grand Prix. Semmy Schilt was going to fight Bob Sapp, but I think they pulled him out and I was scheduled to fight Bob Sapp again. I knocked him down in the first round and I got too greedy because I really wanted to finish the fight. Then I started to make some mistakes and stopped moving, then he started hitting me and the referee said I couldn’t continue the fight.

    Do you still have any goals in competitions?
    There is one goal left. I will stop fighting at the end of the year, so there’s one tournament to go. I would be a great achievement in my career to be a five-time K-1 champion.

    In 1995 you said that Benny Urquidez was a little old for high-class fighting, yet now you are almost as old as he was then. Are you perhaps getting too old for it too?
    Of course when you are a younger fighter, you look at the older fighters in a different way. Benny was not fighting that much anymore, and I did a lot more fights than him, so it makes a big difference. For me, I’ve been in competition for a long time and always at a high level. And I think it’s real big time for me to quit fighting, so I want to do one more tournament and then I finish.

    How did you manage to stay so good for such a long time?
    First of all, I used my talent very well. I never took many punches at a fight, I think that is very important. I was very careful with my body. Preparing for the fights is very important to me. I think that’s why I was able to last so long.

    Are you going to miss fighting?
    Basically, I will be finished with fighting, but there are going to be a lot of things for me to do, I’m sure.

    What kept you going after you were sure you already had all the titles you could get?
    As I was already European and world champion, I thought that was as big as I could get, but of course I couldn’t know that K-1 would be as big as it is now.

    Do you think huge fighters like Choi Hong-Man and Bob Sapp make K-1 shows interesting? Which big fighter do you like the most?
    I think with Choi they can make it interesting, I think he is making a lot of progress.

    I don’t know when it will come yet. What I do is I write something and put it in my computer. I’m not a writer. I want to write the book myself, but I don’t know if I’m good enough at writing books, so maybe I can talk to somebody who can be my ghostwriter to help me write it. I don’t want to do it with someone interviewing me and then writing about me.

    You say your career really began in 1993 when you went to fight in Japan. What would have happened if you had never gone there?
    I’m sure I would have stopped fighting. I’d be doing something else, I’m not sure what.

    What do you think about Rickson Gracie coming back, perhaps against Sakuraba?
    I think if he is well prepared for it, it’s very interesting. He hasn’t been fighting, but I like his lifestyle. Not especially his fights, but the whole thing around it.

    Have you been managing not to get much hurt in your fights, like you once said you find important?
    If you fight a lot of course you get hurt sometimes, but I’ve succeeded in not getting hurt that much.

    Was it important for you to train for two and a half years before fighting for the first time?
    I think so when I look back, I had time to develop some skill. I think it was very important for me.

    Do you like to visit other fighters to train with them?
    Actually no. I like to train at my gym, and if other fighters want to train with me it’s okay. But I’m not looking to train with other fighters.

    Amongst today’s top K-1 fighters, which do you admire the most for their skill?
    I think Glaube Feitosa made a lot of progress, I was very surprised. He got very good at the combination with the kicking. I think he made the most progress.

    Muscular Development Forum Rules :.

    This Post May be found offensive & may contain offensive material, consider yourself advised.

  • #2
    K-1 World Max

    TOKYO, February 2, 2008 -- Twenty-five year-old kickboxer Yasuhiro Kido rose from relative unknown to Japan Champion tonight at the K-1 World Max '08 Japan. Held before a sellout crowd at the historic Nippon Budokan, the event featured an eight-man elimination tournament fought under K-1 Max Rules (70kg/152lbs weight class; 3min. x 3R Ex.1R). There were also be a couple of Superfights and a trio of K-1 World Youth showcase bouts.

    A bottle-blond fighter from Isehara City (pop. 100,000), Kido won the All-Japan Student Kickboxing Welterweight Championship in '01, and won again, in the Middleweight class, in '02. But the muay thai-trained kickboxer had a mere three K-1 bouts under his belt coming into this tournament, and his name was hardly mentioned in speculation of who might prevail. Most of that attention was focused on Nigerian-Japanese kickboxer Andy Ologun, who met karate stylist Yuya Yamamoto in the first tournament matchup.

    The pair stayed light on their feet and traded occasional low kicks to start, Ologun getting the best strike here -- a left straight punch. In the second, Ologun got a right cross through to score the down that would make the difference here. Yamamoto pressed through the balance of the bout, getting through with some low licks and body blows, but Ologun's defenses were sound enough to deliver him the win by unanimous decision.

    Kido made his debut in the second bout, against Keiji Ozaki, a taekwondo fighter. Some high kicks from Kido to start, Ozaki hanging back. Kido's 12 cm/5" height advantage helped him control the distance through much of the first, although Ozaki did get a dandy right straight through late in the round. In the second and third Ozaki repeatedly closed with the quick left jab, but to no avail, while Kido's legwork kept him ahead, a high kick rattling Ozaki for a standing count at the final clapper. The unanimous decision got Kido a date with Ologun in the semifinals.

    Starting the second bracket were a couple of boxers, go-to guy Tatsuji and Hiroyuki Maeda. One week shy of his 36th birthday, Tatsuji was the oldest fighter in the tournament. His ring entrance music was the theme from "Rocky." Maeda lived up to the music, fighting like a champion here -- mixing it up from the start and scoring an early down with a left hook. Tatsuji beat the count, but Maeda kept on coming, and scarcely a minute in socked in another left in for a second down and the win.

    Last up was Ryuji, who brought a record of 23 wins and 4 losses to his fight with kickboxer Hayato. A fast-paced first, both fighters getting good punches through, the momentum swinging one way then the other. In the second, Ryuji applied early pressure with the fists, smacking in a left hook, before Hayato met his opponent's advance with a right punch to score a down. Ryuji rallied however to finish strongly. The third featured more great action, Ryuji closing with hooks, Hayato good with blocking and countering with straight punches and low kicks. A slugfest to the final bell, the narrowest of majority decisions advancing Hayato to the semis against Maeda.

    The first of the semifinals featured Kido and Ologun. Kido used front kicks to stymie Ologun's early advances. Aside from a fair Ologun high kick not much hurt got delivered until the second, when Kido began to pump in the low kicks and made partial contact with a spinning back punch. In the third Kido's kicks' aggregate effect slowed Ologun, who did not threaten. Kido turned it up toward the end, coming in with the fists, and won the round on all cards to take a unanimous decision.

    In the second semi it was Maeda and Hayato. Maeda was spunky here, fast on his feet and repeatedly closing with the fists. Midway though the first, Hayato looked to have hurt his opponent with stinging low kicks, but Maeda made a terrific late rally, scoring a down with a right hook. Hayato beat the count only to find himself once again on the bad side of a barrage of fists. With his defenseless opponent pinned in the corner, Maeda pumped in the punches, and the referee might have stepped in had the bell not sounded to end the round.

    During the break, however, an ominous air closed on Maeda's corner, as cornermen stretched the fighter's right arm and uneasily examining the elbow. The bell sounded but Maeda did not answer. The ringside doctor had a quick look, then announced to the disappointed crowd that the injury would prevent Maeda from continuing. And so it was Hayato through to the final

    Kido and Hayato threw plenty of punches in this one -- pity it didn't go longer. There were no fewer than four downs in the first minute. Kido got a right straight punch past a sloppy defense to score the first, and put a left hook in seconds after resumption to collect a second. Many in the crowd figured that was it, but Hayato had other ideas, and the still-shaky fighter brought the crowd to their feet with a punch that dramatically deposited Kido on the canvas. Alas, prospects of a comeback crumbled in no time, as Kido put that right in again to score his third down and pick up the win.

    With his tournament victory, Kido becomes Japan's official representative at the World Max '08 Final, scheduled for October.

    In the Main Superfight, it was two-time World Max Champion Buakaw Por Pramuk of Thailand taking on two-time and defending Max Japan Champion Yoshihiro Sato. These boys fought back at the World Max '06 Final, Buakaw stopping Sato with a left to win by KO.

    Dozens of low kicks through the first round, both fighters snapping them in smartly, Buakaw also getting partial contact with a high kick. The second saw more of the same, Buakaw expertly controlling the distance with front kicks, the taller Sato striving but failing to get close with the knees. Buakaw got a right punch through, but otherwise it was kicks. Sato stepped in with the uppercut here and again in the third but Buakaw was deft with the evasions, and scored repeatedly on counters. Sato got a right hook through in the third, Buakaw answering immediately with a left. Sato kept coming in to score with low kicks to keep it close. Late in the round Buakaw pushed his opponent across the ring with a couple of front kicks, then ducked and weaved to avoid a late punching attack.

    Judges could not pick a winner and so an extra round was prescribed. Buakaw and Sato now went almost entirely with the fists, Buakaw repeatedly going around the guard with hooks, Sato unable to take advantage of his opponent's relaxed guard to get the knees up. Buakaw landed a good number of blows to the body and head, while Sato gave the partisan crowd a glimmer of hope with a solid left hook that sent Buakaw stumbling for a moment. It was however too little too late, and Buakaw took the split decision.

    In other Superfight action, dynamic Ukrainian muay thai stylist Artur Kyshenko stepped in against meat and potatoes kickboxer Shingo Garyu of Japan. Kyshenko just wanted to fight, but today Garyu was inclined to theatrics; crouching close and low for a funky staredown during the referee's pre-bout instructions. But from the bell, Kyshenko just fought, and it turned out that was all he had to do, as three hard left hooks yielded three quick downs. A near-perfect technical performance and a well-earned win for Kyshenko.

    The event also provided a peek at some up-and-coming K-1 talent, in the U-18 K-1 World Youth Competition. Three matches were contested under K-1 Rules, with a 60kg/132lb contract and a Japan vs Holland theme -- The Japanese kids managed by Team Dragon President Kensaku Maeda; the legendary Andre Mannaart standing at the helm of the Dutch effort.

    If the Dutch never grew up, Japan would dominate K-1 -- that was the message here, as the local youngsters won all three contests. Overcoming an 11cm/4" height disadvantage, wunderkind Hiroya threaded a left and a right through Robby Hageman's guard to drop the Dutch teen and win by KO; in an otherwise close contest, Kizaemon Saiga won the third round on all cards to beat Bappie "Baby Face" Tetteroo by unanimous decision; and Shota Shimada spun a back punch round and caught Roy Tan hard on the jaw to score a late 2nd round KO win.

    In the World Max Japan tournament reserve, Yasuhito Shirasu beat Kozo Mitsuyama by second round KO.

    Keiji Ozaki vs Yasuhiro Kido

    Hayato vs Yasuhiro Kido
    Muscular Development Forum Rules :.

    This Post May be found offensive & may contain offensive material, consider yourself advised.


    • #3

      TOKYO – Taishin Kohiruimaki prevailed in three bouts in one night to win the K-1 World Max Japan Tournament at the Yoyogi Olympic Stadium in central Tokyo. It was the veteran kickboxer's third World Max Japan Championship -- he also captured the honors in 2004 and 2005.

      At 31 years of age, Kohiruimaki was the oldest fighter in the tournament. Few figured on the Aomori-born kickboxer upsetting the field as he did -- he had won just twice in his last seven World Max bouts, a rough road going back to the summer of 2006.

      It was a classic K-1 eight-man elimination tournament -- a quartet of first-tier bouts sending four fighters to semifinals, the winners then meeting in the final. K-1 World Max bouts are conducted under K-1 rules, with a weight limit of 70kg/154lbs.

      First up in the tournament quarterfinals were 25-year-old kickboxer Hayato and Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, who is the NJKF Super Welterweight Champion and who dresses up as female cartoon characters -- a practice known as "cosplay" (costume play). Nagashima pranced into the ring as the green-haired "Ranka Lee" of the "Macross" science-fiction anime series.

      It turns out Ranka packs a pretty big punch for a pretty little girl. A right straight earned Nagashima a down midway through the first, and in the second the fists put Hayato on the canvas twice, giving Nagashima the win and a trip to the semifinals.

      In the second quarterfinal, boxer Tatsuji, who made it to the final at the '06 and '07 Max Japan Tournaments, stepped in against karateka Yuya Yamamoto.

      Fast and furious action here, both fighters smart with their positioning, combinations and blocking in the early going; each rattling the other with fists in the second to start the final frame even on all cards. A good deal of slugging in the third, Yamamoto also firing in the low kicks. One judge liked Yamamoto, the others saw a draw, and so a tiebreaker round was prescribed.

      In the extra round Yamamoto scored with a high kick and got a down with a straight punch to take the victory and advance to the semis.

      Next up it was Defending World Max Japan Champion Yasuhiro Kido and 22-year-old kickboxer Hinata.

      A spirited start, with Hinata landing a left to the face, Kido matching the pace as the round progressed to keep the score even. A Kido knee and punching combination downed Hinata early in the second. Kido was too defensive in the third, and Hinata's attacks forced an extra round. Both fighters got some stuff through here, but the judges liked Hinata's spunk, and rewarded him with a spot in the semis.

      The last of the first-tier matchups saw Kohiruimaki take his first step to victory in a bout with Nigerian-born, Japan-based kickboxer Andy Ologun. Because Ologun had not made weight, he started down one point on all cards.

      Too much time in the clinch here, with Kohiruimaki twice cautioned for holding in the second round, as Ologun connected with a hard right to the head to inch ahead on one scorecard. In the third Kohiruimaki was shown a yellow card for holding, after which he stood and fought, and well -- although the bout ended with the two, again, locked in the clinch. One judge saw a draw, the other two said Kohiruimaki, sending him to the semis.

      The first of the semifinals featured Yamamoto and Nagashima, who had thoughtfully prepared a costume change and choreographed a second ring entrance number for Ranka Lee. Nagashima was again adept with his lateral movement and precise with his punches and took the first round by a point on two cards. He weathered a Yamamoto challenge early in the second, and came back with big punches only to be felled when Yamamoto smacked home a left. Nagashima made a valiant effort to catch up in the third, pounding in punches, but Yamamoto answered in kind, aggravating a nasty cut over the scrappy cross-dresser's right eye to force a doctor's check and stoppage. Yamamoto to the final.

      Kohiruimaki was meant to meet Hinata in the second semifinal, but it was announced that the fighter had a busted nose and could not continue in the tournament. Under K-1 Rules, Yasuhiro Kido took Hinata's place.

      After a tentative start the fighters tested with kicks, and in the late first began swinging, both making good contact, Kohiruimaki finishing stronger. Kohi carried the momentum into the second, scoring an early down with a flurry of punches. Kido beat the count but was less than 100% at resumption, and Kohiruimaki quickly exploited, firing in fists to score a second down and pick up the win.

      It was Kohiruimaki and Yamamoto in the final, and what a final it was.

      Yamamoto chased Kohiruimaki from the bell, laying in with the fists, but Kohi was no slouch, and repeatedly sunk his opponent's head and brought up the knee, a maneuver that scored points and delivered a down. Coming into the second with a two-point lead on all three judges' cards, Kohiruimaki elected to circle beyond harm's reach. But Yamamoto cut off the ring, and stunned Kohiruimaki with a left hook. Kohiruimaki countered by again working the knee from the clinch to brutalize Yamamoto's face. The third was a thrilling round, as the determined Yamamoto answered Kohiruimaki's high kicks and hit-and-rum strategy by rushing in with a right straight punch that connected hard for a down.

      Yamamoto pressed after resumption, while Kohiruimaki stalled with the clinch before answering fists with fists. That's the way it ended, the pair in a toe-to-toe slugfest, each giving it their all. Try as he might, Yamamoto could not put Kohi down again, and when the bell sounded and the scores were tallied he had fallen just short. A smart fight and a smart night from Kohiruimaki, whose experience proved the difference here.

      "My first opponent, Andy Ologun, was pretty tough," said Kohiruimaki afterward, "but I knew I could win if I fought my style of fight. For the second match I expected to face Hinata, but it turned out to be Kido. In the third fight, Yamamoto had strong heart, but I finally managed to win!"

      "I didn't have any damage at all," continued Kohiruimaki, "I only got punched and went down during the final because I slackened my concentration a little. In the last few years, I'd had quite a long blank in my carrier. But I volunteered to fight in this Japan tournament, and I'm ready now for the next stage, for the World Max Tournament!"

      "I took a lot of kicks in my first fight, so my legs were really heavy and I couldn't use them," said Yamamoto. "I had to go with my punches, and I thought I was lucky to face Kohiruimaki, who doesn't like getting punched. However, I barely remember the match, I fought with nothing but pure willpower!"

      By winning the Japan Tournament, Kohiruimaki earns the right to represent the Land of the Rising Sun at the World Max 2009 Final-8 elimination in July.

      There were three Superfights on the card.

      Yoshihiro Sato of Japan took on Russian boxer Sergey Golyaev. Standing 185cm/6'1", World Max '06 Japan Champ Sato has fought many shorter opponents over the years, but in Golyaev meet a man his own height.

      Sato was not intimidated, and outperformed Golyaev through the first, connecting with low kicks while the Russian misfired his overhand punches. In the second, Golyaev's big punches again failed as he got caught on counters, Sato scoring successive downs with low kicks. Now the wobbly Russian's legs were gone, and Sato delivered the coup de grace with a right low kick.

      The inaugural (2002) World Max Champion, hard-punching Albert "Hurricane" Kraus of Holland, stepped in against Korean kickboxer Su Hwan Lee.

      Lee used his 5cm/2" height advantage to set the distance, firing low kicks and reaching in with straight punches; but a speedy Kraus closed effectively with body blows and punch combinations, and in the second round added low kicks and knees to his attacks. Kraus brought a slight points advantage into the third, and again pummeled the right to the body before clocking Lee in the chops a coupla times at the clapper. A unanimous decision for the Dutchman.

      "I think it was a good fight for the crowd," said Kraus afterward. "I knew from the beginning that he was a good fighter, and he really was a good fighter -- so I had to do my very best to win!"

      In another Superfight, Japanese kickboxer Daisuke Uematsu, the ISKA World Lightweight Champion, took on compatriot Kazuhisa Watanabe, a freewheeling boxer making his K-1 debut.

      Speedy hands and amusing antics from Watanabe throughout, the showman surprising with a number of unusual kicking attacks. Uematsu's evasions remained sound, especially in the face of a frenetic Watanabe punching assault at the onset of the third. Lots of fun here -- although Uematsu did not appear amused, only allowing a faint smile when his victory by unanimous decision was announced.

      Theirs was an undercard bout, but that didn't stop Shingo Garyu and Hiroyuki Owatari from turning it into a thoroughly entertaining dance -- Garyu taking the win by majority decision.

      In a K-1 World Youth Rules 62kg bout, K-1 Koshien 2008 Champion Hiroya eked out a majority decision over karateka Kizaemon Saiga.

      In the Japan Tournament Reserve bout, Yasuhito Shirasu beat Keiji Ozaki by unanimous decision.

      This was the opening event of the eighth K-1 World Max season. All fights were conducted under K-1 Official Rules, 3Min. x 3R, with a possible tiebreaker round, and two possible tiebreakers in the tournament final.

      The K-1 World Max Japan Tournament attracted a sellout crowd of 10,421 to the Yoyogi Olympic Complex in central Tokyo. It was broadcast live across Japan on the TBS network, and will be delay-broadcast internationally on Eurosport, HD Net, CJ Media, GloboSat, ViaSat, Al Jazeera Sport and Saran Media. Contact local providers for broadcast times.
      Muscular Development Forum Rules :.

      This Post May be found offensive & may contain offensive material, consider yourself advised.


      • #4

        With possibly the best card in World Max history, Tuesday's K-1 World Max 2009 World Championship Tournament - Final-16 has garnered tremendous media attention both in Japan and internationally. And so it was standing room only at the Sea Hawk Hotel Monday, as the 26 participating fighters met the media in advance of the fightsport extravaganza.

        In the midst of it all, cool as always, was reigning World Max Champion Masato, the Japanese superstar making his first public appearance since announcing retirement three weeks ago. You wouldn't know it judging by the media scrum, but Masato's involvement Tuesday is limited to a three-minute 'exhibition' bout with 17 year-old Hiroya, the 2008 K-1 Koshien (high school) Champion.

        This will be the first of three farewell bouts for Masato, who is slated to exit the ring for good this New Year's Eve. To be sure, Tuesday's is a fun matchup -- Hiroya an emerging Japanese fighter, meeting his hero. Although the fight is an exhibition -- basically three minutes of sparring -- anticipation is running high.

        The two fighters were in good spirits Monday, Hiroya referring to the bout as his "graduation," and promising to give Masato a challenge that he will remember "for a long time."

        Masato told the assembled, "I know that young Japanese fighters have good skills. I first met Hiroya two years ago, and he had great potential then, and he's great now, so I'm looking forward to this fight. It's an exhibition, and I'm preparing for a fight in July (against a still undetermined opponent), so I'm not in great shape now," quipped Masato. "But I take Hiroya seriously as an opponent!"

        While the Masato - Hiroya exhibition provides a novel subplot, the focus Tuesday is the World Max Final-16 Tournament -- a one-match elimination that will halve the field fighting for this year's World Max Championship. The world's strongest 70kg/154kg fighters are here, well aware that a victory sets them on the road to glory, while a loss deposits them in the ditch. There'll be no fancy strategies floating around -- for these warriors, Tuesday is simply do or die.

        In the Main Event, respected Japanese fighter Yoshihiro Sato will meet Armenian muay thai dynamo Drago. Setting off a gray pinstripe suit with a pink tie and thin-rimmed glasses, Sato played heir apparent to Masato. "I know Drago is fierce," said the lanky kickboxer, "but I'm in 100% condition, and I'll show my ability 100%. The other fighters are great, but this year I will be the best of the best, and I'll win!" Drago kept his cards close to the chest. "Fukuoka is nice city, it will be a nice fight tomorrow, don't miss it!"

        The explosive Nieky "The Natural" Holzken fights out of the prestigious Dutch Golden Glory gym, which has produced many top K-1 fighters. Tuesday Holzken steps in against another newcomer -- 20-year-old Chahid, a Moroccan Muay thai fighter. The confident Holzken boasted he would "win like last time," and wished "success to everybody." Countered Chalid, "I came to fight, not make friends. I just want to kick him."

        A two-time World Max champion, Dutch shoot boxer Andy Souwer will take on compatriot Leroy Kaestner, a protégé of K-1 legend Peter Aerts. Souwer, who showed up sharp in sharkskin, will also have a sharp guy in his corner -- super trainer Andre Mannaart. Pegged by many to win last year's World Max, Souwer Monday spoke of new beginnings. "Last year I was on the road, but almost at the end, I lost. Now I'm back on the road to reclaim my title, and you can expect a lot from me tomorrow!" Speaking in Japanese from prepared notes, Kaestner said, "I came all away from Holland, and I'm a big fan of Japan so I want to come back, so I have to do my best to beat Andy!"

        Another two-time World Max champ, the hard-kicking Buakaw Por Pramuk of Thailand, will step in against Brazilian MMA fighter Andre Dida. Said Buakaw: "There are lots of wonderful fighters here this year, I will do my best!" Replied Dida: "I will do a fast and furious fight against this elite fighter, and I'm dedicating this to my family!"

        In the K-1 World Max inaugural year of 2002, Dutch boxer Albert Kraus punched his way to the crown. Kraus has been on a hot streak of late, and hopes to ride the momentum past his opponent Tuesday, who is a Japanese schoolgirl. Well, appearances can be deceiving. Actually, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima is a "cosplayer" -- a Japanese neologism for a nerd subculture bent on obsessive personal reification of anime characters. Anyway, Tuesday, Kraus and Nagashima will try to beat each other up.

        "I'm in great shape, I'll fight hard and do my best," said Kraus in his steadily-improving Japanese. Nagashima, meanwhile, vowed "revenge" for a stunt in which Kraus tore up a photograph of one of his beloved anime characters.

        Asked by reporters to comment on his opponent's schoolgirl outfit (complete with racy garters), Kraus let a barb through his otherwise unflappable Dutch open-mindedness: "It's a very nice costume, but I think a real champion doesn't wear this costume..."

        Japanese fighter Yuya Yamamoto, a late substitute for injured Taishin Kohiruimaki, will meet Chi Bin Lim of the Republic of Korea. Asked the soft-spoken Yamamoto, "Can you please support me? I want to make a great fight!" Lim, standing bolt upright, pledged: "This is a big fight for me, I trained hard, will I will show everyone a fresh style."

        Rising World Max fighter Artur Kyshenko of the Ukraine will take on Alviar Lima of Cape Verdi. Said Kyshenko: "Hello all, being in this top 16 is exciting. Some will win, some will lose, I will do my best!" Countered Lima: "I'm not here to do my best, I'm here to make a war, tomorrow it will be a big war!"

        And finally, Italian hotshot Giorgo Petrosyan will step in against Dzhabar "Chengiskhan" Askerov of the United Arab Emirates. Portended Petrosyan: "I didn't come to Japan as a tourist -- my nickname is 'the doctor,' and my opponent is a virus, so I'll destroy him tomorrow!" Really? Askerov seemed benign enough: "I'm happy to show Japan my skills, and will do my best!"

        Tuesday's winners will advance to the K-1 World Max Final-8, set for July at the Nippon Budokan in central Tokyo.

        In other fights -- the Final-16 reserve bout pits Yasuhiro Kido of Japan against Su Hwan Lee of the Republic of Korea. In undercard action featuring Japanese fighters, the mononymic Tatsuji and Ryuji will clash; while Masahiro Yamamoto meets Yuki; and
        Kazuki Hamasaki takes on Hareruya.

        Bouts will be contested under K-1 Rules, three rounds of three minutes each, with a possible tiebreaker round possible in all but the opening fights.

        The K-1 World Max 2009 World Championship Tournament Final-16 kicks off at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, April 21, at the Marine Messe in Fukuoka, Japan. It will be broadcast live in Japan on the TBS network.
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        • #5
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          • #6
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            • #7
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              • #8
                hey UG you forgot Remi Bonjanski and Badr Hari maby semi schielt


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zak ATLAS View Post
                  hey UG you forgot Remi Bonjanski and Badr Hari maby semi schielt

                  BADR HARI

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                  • #10
                    alister looks like a BBr have you seen thier fights against each over???


                    • #11
                      yeap - every entertaining matches
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                      • #12
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                        • #13

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                          • #14

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                            • #15

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