I am a proud member of the Bloody Elbow Night Crew. We stay in on Friday nights and find ways to stay awake to watch K1, DREAM, and Sengoku. We get drunk and rowdy and often times will create a playlist to pass the time until "The Voice" and "Twinkletoes" kick off the show. Last night/this morning (I don't want to get into semantics) FEG kicked off the K1 World Grand Prix from Seoul, South Korea.
The card had to be changed up last minute with Andrei Arlovski pulling out of his fight with Raul Catinas due to a broken nose. His late replacement was "Mighty Mo" Siligia, famous for his knockout of Hong Man Choi, a Korean giant. Ray Sefo was also a late replacement, with only three weeks to prepare for his fight with Tyrone Spong . K1 mainstays Badr Hari and Remy Bojansky were also missing from the card. Badr was removed from the tournament after being DQ'd at It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam for kicking Hedsy Georges while he was down. Hedsy took his spot in the K1 tournament. Remy Bojansky was unable to compete for health reasons. The show's competitors were comprised of K1 legends Semmy Schilt, Peter Aerts, Jerome LeBanner, and Ray Sefo and the young fighters that will carry K1 for the next 6 years in Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Tyrone Spong, and Kyotaro, who many in the FEG office hope will fill the space created at last year's Dynamite!!! event when Masato retired.
The card opened up with three fantastic fights that weren't part of the tournament. The highlight was the absolute clinic that Sergei Kharitonov put on Takumi Sato. He ended it in devastating fashion with a punch combination followed by a knee. Sato was out at 2:30 in the first round.
The tournament opened with a bout between the aging legend in Ray Sefo and the young lion that is Tyrone Spong. For those that aren't aware, Tyrone Spong is the heir apparent of Mr. Perfect himself, Ernesto Hoost. He showed it last night with hard leg kicks and fast hands. Sefo was unable to really get off and lost 30-27, 30-28x2. The next two fights were complete routs with Gokhan Saki and Daniel Ghita putting their opponents on queer street with combinations only seen in the most destructive of power punchers. Errol Zimmerman, Ghita's opponent, was still down while Daniel was being awarded his trophy.
The "What the fuck?" moment came at the end of the absolute war between Kyotaro and Jerome LeBanner. LeBanner was furious and tried to put the fear of French Jesus in Kyotaro's heart before the fight by getting in the young Japanese fighter's face, but French Jesus doesn't exist in Japan. The first round was fairly even with both men landing. Jerome LeBanner tried to end the fight in the second and ended up blowing out, unable to finish the K1 HW champ. Kyotaro took the best that JLB had and returned the favor in the 3rd, pummeling his face and causing a broken nose. The Judges scored the fight a draw, Kyotaro was ready for the extended period but JLB walked out of the ring and backstage in protest. Everyone watching was left scratching their heads.
The next three bouts showed that the old guard still can compete Aerts, Siligia, and Schilt victorious over the young upstarts. The final fight was the one everyone was waiting for, with the sun coming up Alistair Overeem entered the ring to take on the K1 Oceana champ Ben Edwards. Prior to the fight, many pundits commented how this wasn't as easy of a fight as most thought, as Edwards was extremely heavy handed. Overeem quickly told those pundits to shut their whore mouths and proceeded to send Edwards to the canvas three times in just over two minutes.
I stay awake until 7am because while the UFC may not deliver as seen with UFC119, K1 will always showcase the best standup fighters in the world. I can forget about a shit UFC card when I have FEG booking their Grand Prix. I stay awake because while I still like the intricacies of the ground game, a highlight knock out will always excite me more than an armbar. I stay awake because everyone else does. I stay awake because at the end of the day, I am a degenerate.
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON UNINTELLIGENT DEFENSE