Rambling Thoughts, Pt. 2: K-1 Edition

So like I mentioned in my previous fanpost, I also decided to watch every K-1 event because I wanted to get more into professional kickboxing. Ehhhhh, I wasn't anywhere near as successful because it was harder to get my hands on K-1 events (a lot of them are uploaded on Youtube by K-1 themselves, but buffering takes fucking forever for some reason). Still, I managed to watch every World GP and MAX GP, along with a good number of regional tournaments, so that makes me more knowledgeable about K-1 than 90% of the MMA fanbase *sips tea with pinky up*. Anyhoo, onto my rambling thoughts:

  • Not really about K-1, but since we're talking about kickboxing here, does anyone get a sexual vibe from "It's Glory Time!"? I think of glory holes when they say that, and.... well, you can probably figure out the rest.
  • Overall, I found kickboxing a MUCH harder sport to watch than MMA for several reasons. Scoring is definitely harder to do for K-1 (from here on out, when I say K-1, it's more like an abbreviation for kickboxing in general) than MMA because both fighters throw such a huge volume of strikes it's hard to tell who had the advantage. Secondly, for whatever odd reason, I had a difficult time remembering what happened in K-1 events, whereas for most UFC, Pride, and WEC events I could probably give reasonably accurate round-by-round breakdowns of the main card fights. Thirdly, it's tougher to create a rankings list because K-1 fighters fought very frequently on regional tournaments. Whereas most MMA fighters have 3-4 fights per year, it's entirely common for kickboxers to fight as many as 8-10 times per year, making the top 10 rankings constantly in flux. I have much respect for BE's resident K-1 experts (Horselover Fat, Sweet Scientist, Brent Ducharme, Jack Slack, Fraser Coffeen) for being way better K-1 analysts/historians than me, because quite frankly, I fucking suck at the job.
  • As an example of how it's harder to analyze K-1 than MMA, I couldn't observe any metagame changes from 1993 up to the present. It's instantly recognizable how much MMA has changed over the years, even within a brief 3 year period, but the most I could tell with K-1 was that the finishing rate decreased as time went by. I didn't notice any drastic changes in tactics over K-1's history, like an emphasis on jabbing or whatever. I'm pretty sure something happened, but I don't know what.
  • For fight historians, what was up with the year 1993? That's when K-1, the UFC, and Pancrase all started. Awesome year for martial arts fans, but I'm wondering why so many monumental things happened on that exact year.
  • I hear pretty often from K-1 fans that people only care about the World GP's. Whoever says that, NO, FUCK YOU. I found the regional tournaments so much more entertaining than the GP's. It's a shame that I couldn't watch more of them.
  • I think we should all take a moment and give props to Takehiro Murahama. For such a tiny midget, that guy fucking brought it against far better fighters. People usually mention Mike Zambidis as the tough short guy in K-1, but I thought Murahama was complete awesomeness in a hobbit's body.
  • Just for fun, I wish Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg would comment on Remy Bonjasky's explosive athleticism. They would have a field day with Remy.
  • Goddammit, Wikipedia, why the hell did you format the K-1 records so awkwardly?
  • Genki Sudo vs. Masato was probably the best porn I've ever had. Two of Japan's biggest heartthrobs duking it out, all sweaty and well-tanned, with their great hair-do's. Oh no, my dick's hard again, excuse me while I have a Glory Time.
  • The 2002 Japan Max tournament was probably the best K-1 show I saw out of the entire marathon. The Taishin Kohiruimaki vs. Takashi Ohno was such a balls-out affair. Kohi was winning the fight by destroying Ohno's legs, but Ohno was winning the fight by knocking Kohi's head off. By the third round, it was like a Mortal Kombat match I would've played as a little kid, with me spamming nothing but leg kicks, and the computer spamming nothing but head punches. I wish I could find a link to that match. By the way, I think Kohi is very underrated, that guy got violent when he felt like it.
  • Dear god, Masaaki Satake, why are you such an embarrassment to look at?! No, your hair and trousers both look dumb, and stop doing that karate "HAI!" you always do. Stop it, stop it, get off the camera and let me ogle at Masato some more.
  • Y'know what, lemme also add Hayato as another K-1 cutie patootie. Fuck you, bro, I'm not gay, YOU'RE gay. It's not gay at all to admire a young, athletic Japanese guy's boyish good looks... bro.
  • Giorgio Petrosyan is weird to watch, because I can't tell if I'm either incredibly bored or incredibly entertained. On the one hand, he's thee pinnacle of kickboxing to watch, the P4P greatest kickboxer on the planet. He absolutely took apart top guys like Andy Souwer and Albert Kraus, making the fights look more like glorified sparring sessions. I have no clue how the hell he manages to maintain such an effective defense but still land shots, and the fact that I can't figure it out makes him awesome. On the other hand, the fact that he never seems to switch to another gear and just finish the damn fights he's clearly winning makes him frustrating to watch.
  • I'm sure a good portion of the MMA fanbase knows who Yuichiro Nagashima is because of his cosplaying and fucking awesome KO win over Shinya Aoki. They should definitely watch his fights though, because they're hilarious. Besides the fact that his walk-ins are like whory, cross-dressed versions of Genki Sudo's walk-ins, Nagashima's actual fighting style looks girly. I've never seen someone throw such awkward punches that can legitimately knock people out. If you got a 7 year old girl and gave her KO power, you'd basically have Nagashima. God bless you, Japan, keep fighting the good fight and never change. Always stay fucking weird.
  • Another standout event is the 2004 MAX GP, where Buakaw completely trucked everyone. Holy shit, that was such a beautiful display of muay Thai anal fucking everyone else. It's sad that Por Pramuk screwed Buakaw over so badly, because he's one of the greatest fighters to ever grace this planet.
  • BE's been having a couple of good discussions lately about how MMA fighters have to deliberately dumbify their striking in order to defend takedowns, which there's a lot of merit to. That said, after watching K-1, I realize, yeah no, most of the bad striking in MMA isn't because of the threat of takedowns, but because most MMA fighters simply suck at striking. If you want a good example of how inferior striking is in MMA compared to K-1, watch Sergei Kharitonov's fight against Singh Jaideep in the 2010 World GP. Sergei's widely recognized as one of MMA's finest HW strikers, but he looked like a moron versus Jaideep, who's not exactly lighting the kickboxing world on fire himself.
  • Branko Cikatic has to be one of the most terrifying examples of how far brute strength will get you. 82 KO's out of 87 career wins, that's an insanely high KO ratio for a kickboxer. Furthermore, he managed to put up a good fight against Mark Kerr back in Pride 2, when Kerr was still in his prime. For someone that had no grappling experience making his MMA debut against wrestling freak Kerr, Branko was able to get up from a takedown with seemingly little more than freak strength.
  • Mirko Cro Cop's performance in the 1999 World GP? Holy shit, he was terrifying back then. Yeah, he lost to Ernesto Hoost, but 1) it's Ernesto Fucking Hoost, and 2) he demolished everyone else in that tournament.
  • Mike Bernardo (RIP) is one of those guys who got buried underneath K-1 greats like Hoost, Aerts, and Hug. As Rogan would say, Bernardo was a bad motherfucker back in his prime.
  • To be honest, I couldn't get into a lot of K-1's top fighters. Aerts, Souwer, Kraus, Hoost, etc., I didn't find them that interesting.
  • Ernesto Hoost vs. Bob Sapp. Ahahahahahaha. Ahahahaha. Ahahahaha AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAAAAA HA HA.
  • Jesus Christ, Remy, I know why you faked your injury in the 2008 WGP when Badr Hari's "stomped" on you with the prize money at stake and all, but fucking ay, get over yourself. Even if Hari actually did hit you while you were grounded, suck it up, MMA fighters do it all the time.
  • I thought Jadamba Narantungalag (don't ask me to write that again) was awesome while he competed in K-1. He didn't actually win many fights, but he was able to stand toe-to-toe with some of K-1's best fighters at 70 kg.
  • Yoshihiro Sato looks like he might as well not have any arms, because that guy refuses to punch. Despite his tall frame at 70 kg, that guy only throws leg kicks and knees. I know he's strongest in the clinch, but dear god, he could close the distance every now and then with a punch. Use that reach, dammit.
  • K-1 fans seem to be overly defensive of their sport. Honestly, Mike Schiavello and the It's Showtime commentators try so hard to convince viewers that kickboxing is the best damn sport ever, but they only end up sounding desperate and needy.
  • MMA is better than K-1. Like, seriously, there's no contest.
  • Have any of you guys ever wondered just how bizarre the history of leg kicks must've been? Because honestly, the first time you check a leg kick, it hurts so much that you'd rather just take the kick straight to the thighs, but you're supposed to condition your pain tolerance so eventually you can check with your shin. Seriously, who was the crazy bastard who decided, "Ow, when you kick my shin, it fucking hurts!... Let's do that a couple thousand more times to see if that'll kill off all the nerve endings"? As for me, about 10 leg kicks into the conditioning phase, I would've been like, "No, no, stop that, this isn't improving my pain tolerance, it's just hurting more. I'll just... dodge leg kicks, no need to take it like a man."
  • The post-fight announcement for Rena vs. Su Jeong Lim in K-1 MAX Korea 2009 is quite possibly the most awkward, sad post-fight announcement in the history of post-fight announcements. Just watch the clip:
  • Most of the copies of the WGP's I have aren't commentated at all. I think the earliest one with commentating from Mike Schiavello is something as recent as the 2008 tournament. Did K-1 really not have an English commentator for that long, or is it just the copies I have?
  • Does Tatsuji have any fans to speak of? I don't think I've ever seen a fighter throw so many strikes and do absolutely no damage with any of them.
  • The striking analysts here have to break down Sato's KO over Buakaw for me. How the fuck did that happen? Was Buakaw sick or something, there's no way that should've happened, right?

All right, that's enough for now, but once again, I'll probably be adding onto this list. Hope you guys were mildly entertained by my random thoughts.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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