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Interview: Sem Schilt. Big absence in the upcoming Final



(source: Veronica)


(This interview was original in Dutch, but I've tried my best to translate it)

"I feel ripped!"
Sem Schilt is the big absente in de K1 Final

Sem Schilt is angry. The three time K1 champion will be sitting at home this Saturday when the K1 Final is being held in Japan. The organization doesn't want the 2.12m Drent (Dutch province) to attend.

 Why aren't you there this Saturday?
"That's a mystery for me as well. In the final elimination, I didn't lose to Peter Aerts, I lost from the judges. Sure, I could've done more, but there should at least have been an extra round. "

 You're not even in one the reserve fights.
"They've eliminated me from the tournament and don't want to give a reserve spot. I understand though: the Japanese want a new champion and they've done everything to stop me from getting into the tournament as a reserve fighter. This confirms the fact that they see me as a great champion, but it in sportsmanlike terms it's nonsense."

Do you feel ripped?
"Yes, of course. The K1 Final without me is like the soccer World Championship without Brazil or the Tour the France without Lance Armstrong. That's how I feel about it. It's a bitter pill to swallow."

And now what?
"I've always seen K1 as sport, never as work. But that has changed now. It's turns out to be too commercial. The organization thinks money is more important than the sport itself. Maybe they just ought to give me a big bag of money, perhaps then I will keep my mouth shut about the whole thing."

 Will you be there in the Yokohama Arena?
"They haven't even invited me to Japan as the reigning champion. They don't want me there, because they are afraid that too many journalist will start asking me all sorts of questions concerning the situation."

 Who do you think will be your successor?
"I have to admit it's a very close tournament with me not competing this time. The field is open to any of them. The K1 organization has done a great job in that, but again in sportsmanlike terms it's a disillusion that I'm not even there. If I have to name someone, I'd go for Errol Zimmerman. He's young and new and therefore very eager. That's important."

 Will you be going for your fourth title next year?
"I don't know yet. It all hangs on a very thin wire. I have to admit the fun is starting to disappear for me this way. Maybe I'll go in a different direction, MMA for instance. I don't know if I'll even get the chance to get back in K1. At the moment they'd rather get rid of me than have me fighting. "

 Do you still like K1 after all of this?
"Yes, that feeling still remains. The fans are who make it a great for me and of course the sport itself. It's a game which fits me very well. A man-to-man fight involving punching and kicking. You know exactly what is allowed and what not. It's a very straightforward, fair and honest sport. As long as there aren't other interests involved..."

There was an additional article concerning the fighters that will actually be competing in the K1 Final. Karate & kickboxchampion and commentator for Dutch television Fred Royers gives us his opinion on the five Dutch fighters in the tournament. 

Peter Aerts
(38, Holland, winner in '94,'95 & '98)
"I hope so very much that Peter will be able to win one more time, just like everybody else wants him to win it again. He's got the will and the power, but his body is becoming fragile. It's not just one fight, but three. Peter has vulnerable shins. If he doesn't win his first fight on KO, he will have taken a hard beating which could heavily effect his other fights."

 Errol Zimmerman
(22, Holland)
"Newcomer and an interesting dark horse. Errol is like an unguided projectile. He has KO power in his legs, knees and fists. He used to live a wild and uncontrolled life, but you can count on it that his trainers have been keeping him on a short leash the last couple of months."

 Remy Bonjasky
(32, Holland, winner in '03 & '04)
"Remy has had two hard years in his business and private life. But he's back from the depth and is looking sharp again. His last fight was impressive. But the big question remains: is he hungry enough?"

 Gokhan Saki
(25, Holland, representing Turkey)
"As a small heavyweight, he's an outsider. Gohkan is very fast and explosive, but I'm afraid he's too light for this weight class."

 Badr Hari
(23, Holland, representing Morocco)
"The coming man. Very explosive and has major confidence in his own ability, and you see this in his fights. In the beginning he was very arrogant, but he has grown up and seems to have left that attitude behind him."

 The K1 Final will be broadcasted in Holland this Saturday on SBS6 at 23.15.




Comments

Post new comment
Rob, Holland reporter (1964 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 02:56
I think the tournament is indeed way more exciting, since anyone can come home with the crown. But you have to admit, the K1 organization has handled Schilt in a very immature way. Not giving him a reserve spot, not even in the second reserve match. And not inviting him to the tournament is a big sign of lack in principles. Sure I understand that the media will dive at him about the whole thing. But when that first bell rings this Saturday, nobody will be interested in him.
I'm looking very forward to this tournament!!
Kim, Editor (1548 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 03:02
I totally can understand Schilt here, and thanks for translating Rob!
Pretty interesting he names Errol Zimmerman to be his successor of the WGP title...
D-rop, Video editor (2420 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 03:28
Thanks for sharing this with us Rob!

Schilt deserves more respect .... and he should have been in the final, whether we like it or not.
Rob, Holland reporter (1964 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 03:41
Good point D-rop. Like you said, "wether we like it or not". He actually deserved to be there, unlike some other reserve fighters.
Could you imagine Aerts, Hari, Bonjasky or LeBanner (or some other great fighter) losing in the Final Elimination and not being granted a spot in the reserves. What reactions would that evoke? While now everybody is overjoyed because Schilt is out. Sure he's not the most entertaining fighter, but he is the champ for the last three years.
If you're not gonna give the man a reserve spot, at least create some sort of SuperFight out of respect. For an organization that is involved in a sport in which respect plays a major role, they've certainly showed they don't have any themselves.
Daniel, Sweden reporter (2501 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 04:36
thanx alot for the translation Rob great job!! Schilt shoould have been given an superfight spot at the FINAL WGP, That would still eliminate him from the title but he would be shown the respect that he deservs for beeing the 3 time champ.
Cdn Mongoose (1425 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 06:25
I agree a superfight with perhaps Glaube would have been good.

No respect for the 3 time champion....Shocking that K-1 would blow a good marketing opportunity...or maybe not so shocking....
Chrzan_ko, Video editor (749 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 09:47
Big props for translation Rob! And shame on you Mr. Tanikawa...
Daniel, Sweden reporter (2501 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 09:51
lol
Eldarbong (989 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-02 at: 11:05
I agree, not putting him in the reserve spot kind of makes the final look fixed. Aerts chances of getting injured in a tournament are very high so they obviously did this for a reason.
Bård
Rasmussen
(539 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-03 at: 10:15
Well. Chances for injuries are still pretty good. He is fighting Hari after all. But I just gotta say I feel bad for Sem. Not giving him nothing is too hard. At least a super fight, but of course he should actually have been in one of the reservefights. A bad move cutting him straight off like that. I mean, we can have our individual favourites, but Sem is the man to beat you know; the toughest challenge.
Rob, Holland reporter (1964 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-04 at: 12:23
Exactly, besides Aerts showed everybody how it's done. I'm sure there are other fighters able to perform a similar victory over Schilt, like LeBanner. And we haven't seen Hari against Schilt.
They should add a new rule to K1, where they can give fighters a yellow card for fighting very boring ;)
Ali (322 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-04 at: 06:17
I dont care really to tell you the truth. If anything he should have been invited to attend atleast. Im not speaking for anyone but I bet if you asked Aerts he would say "you lost this time stay home"
Rob, Holland reporter (1964 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-05 at: 12:14
I'd think he's the last person to say that ;) Of course Aerts will be happy not to encounter Schilt in the Final 8, but I'm sure he finds it just as unusual as the rest of us, that Schilt isn't invited. Oh well, with all that GrandPrix prizemoney, he should at least be able to watch it on a very big screen tv at home ;)
gesus44 (6 posts)
Posted: 2008-12-06 at: 05:37
I have been following K-1 for around 6 years, the handicap system that the judges incorporate into k-1 is not only clever, but also ensures the most exciting fights.
If you are the clear favorite and you cant at least knock down your opponent then you lose.
A lot of people dont understand this, but if you look at fights like Sefo vs Musashi, Hari vs Remy 07 and this years Semi vs Peter it becomes clear that this is how they judge this competition.
Its not good enough to jab your way out of trouble..... if you want to watch that sort of thing, there is plenty of it happening, its called boxing, and its boring.
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Holland reporter

Rob


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