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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly : A K-1 Weekend Through the Eyes of an MMA Fan

this is taken freshly from Headkicklegend. And i must say it s a great article to read AND mainly contains many things we could discuss, and on I d love to hear your opinion.Also maybe it mirrors the overall fan opinion on K-1 from the US.

I have been a hardcore MMA fan for around 5 years now, ever since I stumbled across the second season of The Ultimate Fighter one night while channel surfing. And while I enjoy all combat sports, from boxing to Senegalese folk wrestling, it's not with the same fervor that I have for MMA. The same is true for kickboxing. My first exposure to the sport was around the same time as I discovered MMA - it was some old K-1 footage being shown on ESPN. I remember watching Ernesto Hoost break Jerome Le Banner's arm, and Michael McDonald knocking out Mirko Cro Cop. Years later, I would watch a little more K-1 online, checking out the two fights between Alistair Overeem and Badr Hari, and the war between Artur Kyshenko and Andy Souwer. So I guess one could say I'm a "casual" fan of the sport of kickboxing.

So when I found out that K-1 was holding two events back to back this weekend, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get a little more exposed to the sport. I'd never watched a live K-1 card, other than their MMA events. I didn't know the majority of the fighters on either card, so I was essentially going into the card with open eyes and not really knowing what to expect.

Here are my thoughts on both shows.



The Good

Alistair Overeem : Obviously I'm extremely familiar with Overeem from his MMA tenure, but my God is this man violence incarnate when he gets into the K-1 ring. The counter right hands he landed on Ben Edwards were reminiscent of something a young Mike Tyson might throw. Blinding speed combined with brutal, crushing power. I have watched pretty much all of Alistair's MMA fights from around 2003 to present, and to be perfectly honest he is much more entertaining as a kickboxer than he is as an MMA fighter. He is much more aggressive in this setting.

Gokhan Saki : I had seen Saki fight once before, when he beat up Melvin Manhoef earlier this year. But the beating he put on Freddy Kemayo was a sight to behold. That was 2 minutes of unbridled violence. What he lacks in physical size he seems to make up for in offensive output. A very entertaining guy and one I'd like to see fight again.

Pajonsuk Super Pro Samui : I really enjoyed seeing a traditional Thai fighter compete in K-1. You could really tell the difference between Pajonsuk and the rest of the fighters on the card, as he focused more on leg kicks and throwing single power shots with his hands rather than throwing combos like the majority of the guys did. His kicks were positively brutal though, and it was beautiful to watch him work. He's definitely a guy I want to see develop and grow as a fighter.

Mike Zambidis : This guy is a little pit bull. He's not the most technical guy I saw fight this weekend, but he definitely put on the best show.

Pace : I like the pace of the K-1 shows. Most Japanese MMA shows move along at a snail's pace, which is dreadful when you are watching live in the wee hours of the morning. K-1 keeps things moving right along. As soon as one fight ends, the promo package for the next fight begins, then the fighters walk out. They pretty much averaged three fights an hour, which is good by even American MMA standards.

Ray Sefo : I thought it was great that Ray took his fight against Tyrone Spong on less than a week's notice, went out and gave the guy a heck of a good fight, then came out and did commentary the rest of the night and then the next night. And I really enjoy Ray in the commentary booth. He shoots from the hip and tells it like it is. If he thinks something is BS, he'll tell you.

The Bad

The Two Handed Clinch Rule : I can't count the number of times the action was stopped to warn someone for momentarily holding a Thai clinch with both hands. This is the most inane rule I've ever seen. If the rule is to stop extended periods of clinching, then fine - let the guy's clinch, and break them when they've clinched too long without throwing anything. But stopping the fight and warning someone the instant both hands come up around the back of the head? That's garbage. I thought the whole point of K-1 was to have a mixed style of striking, and not allowing someone to clinch the head with both hands and throw a knee is just stupid. Whatever they were trying to stop by creating this rule has just been made worse by the continual breaks in action to warn the fighters about it. I literally face palmed several times during the events when they'd stop fights for two handed clinching.

3 Minute Rounds : I don't understand why elite level strikers are restricted to 3 minute rounds. They're big boys, they can fight 5 minute rounds. For crying out loud, they gave Andrews Nakahara and Jun Hee Moon a ten minute opening round in their MMA match on the Max card. You're telling me that Jun Hee Moon is allowed to fight 10 minutes in his opening round alone, but Giorgio Petrosyan is only given 9 minutes to fight in total? There's something wrong here. Let these guys fight three 5 minute rounds. It will let more of a story develop out there.

Mike Kogan : Let me preface this by saying that I had never seen Mike Kogan before this weekend, and after seeing him in the booth for both K-1 cards I genuinely like him on a personal level. He seems like a really nice and interesting guy, and I'd love to pick his brain one day on all things MMA and K-1. But he shouldn't be doing commentary. One fight he'd just be nailing it, and the next fight he'd be so off that Michael Schiavello would have to try to reel him back in. Other times, he just seemed uncomfortable. During the Dong Soo Kim vs. Sung Wook Kim fight, you could tell Mike didn't quite know what to say, mainly because the fight was a bit of a slop fest without really anything to call, and both fighters have names that are somewhat similar and were difficult for the booth to keep straight. In his frustration, Mike resorted to trying to crack jokes with Schiavello, and it ended up bordering on blatant racism when he started talking about how you wouldn't be able to tell the two fighters apart if their eyes got anymore swollen. Now, I'm sure Mike didn't mean anything by it - it was just an awkward moment and he was trying to think of something to say to be funny - but you just don't say those kinds of things. It's not kosher.

The Ugly

The Standing Eight Count and The Three Knockdown Rule : This probably just shows what an MMA fan I am, but I still can't get used to the standing eight count. Ben Edwards got folded up like a piece of lawn furniture by that first counter right hand from Alistair Overeem, yet he was allowed to get up and get dropped again in brutal fashion by a titanic overhand right...........only to be allowed to get up and get dropped a third time before the fight was mercifully stopped. Why the fight was allowed to continue after he was face down the second time is beyond me, but then I'm an MMA fan. Freddy Kemayo got positively flattened by Gokhan Saki and had no idea where he was, yet he was allowed to go out and get dropped two more times before the fight was called. There is no way this is good for the health and safety of the fighters. I am as bloodthirsty as the next guy and enjoy seeing a good knockout but my God, I don't like seeing a guy who has essentially been knocked out twice go out there and get hammered again. That doesn't make me feel very good.

Michael Schiavello : I first saw Schiavello a year or two back, when he was commentating a Dream card. I thought he was different and sort of funny at the time. My oh my, how the times have changed. In the last week, I have watched three cards that Schiavello called (Dream 16 and both K-1 cards), and after this I don't know if I can sit through one more with the sound on ever again. It's not so much that he says the same exact thing for every single fight - it's that he's starting to take away from the fights themselves. During the opening salvo of the Mike Zambidis vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj fight, Schiavello got so excited that he cursed on air. He then went on to build the narrative that Zambidis was completely dominating the fight, even though it was rather competitive from where I was sitting. Of course, in the middle of the talk of Zambidis dominating the fight, Chahid dropped him, and Schiavello had to change his tune a bit. When Alistair Overeem dropped Ben Edwards the first time, Schiavello started screaming so loud that I had to turn the volume down because it was physically hurting my ears. Now, if Schiavello only did this for one, maybe two fights a card, it might actually be exciting and would mean a little something. But he does this over the top stuff for every single fight. If I fought my neighbor's kid in K-1, and the kid knocked me out with a kick to the shin (a very likely possibility), Schiavello would go just as nuts as he did for Alistair Overeem dropping Ben Edwards. That's the problem. It means nothing. I don't want to have an epic moment like Overeem's distruction of Ben Edwards ruined by Schiavello screaming "the big kibosh!" 30 times.

All told, the good aspects far outweigh the bad, and I plan on tuning into future K-1 events. I would like to see them change some things, most notably going to 5 minute rounds and changing the commentary booth, but otherwise I enjoy the product a lot. If you want to see high level striking that's a lot of fun to watch, K-1 is definitely the place to go for your fix. Every MMA fan that enjoys good striking should try watching K-1. You will be pleasantly surprised. I know I was!


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szanpan (2088 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-04 at: 06:31
i think this article has sooooo much to discuss i cant really find just one to start with.

So i ask instead: what do you think why is the 2 hand clinching forbidden, while we can see many like Overeem still doing stuff like this.

Also is interesting what it says on making the 3 mins to 5 mins which is maybe too much to ask for physically as i know how much even 10 seconds count, but i see how he means it..

also is very interesting what he says on the standing 8 count. So have good read I hope you like it :) I cant wait to read all your opinions
torazulu (580 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-04 at: 06:39
This guy is giving himself too much credit...And he admits that tis is third FEG card that he is watching.Already he is wanting to change the rules eh?Only thing that I agree with him is the clinch ban stupidity.As far as the Schiavello is concerned, I always prefer him over Joe Rogan whose voice reminds me of man sitting in a toilet with a bad constipation.Schiavello may be irittating and over the top sometimes, but he is knowledgeable about the sport, and entertaining 80% of the time.This is not Zuffa corporate bulls--t product , this is K1.Get used to it or scram TapOut fan!
mehdiman (636 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-04 at: 07:54
Joe rogan in wc ! Haha.
He always feels grateful to shout.
szanpan (2088 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-04 at: 08:32
i have no problem with Schiavello , yes, thats a fact that he shouts a lot, and also that somtimes he tends to give ALL credit to one fighter, not even mentioning if the opponent does something well too, but hell that what it s about :)

It s been interesting to me to read this guys opinion on K-1 though and also some nice advertisement for K-1 :) after this great double event I think more will be attracked or back, to watching K-1 overall
stark (1143 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-04 at: 08:49
Who wrote this? Like torazulu already said, this guy watched 3 events before this and he thinks he knows best. I agree on a two handed clinch. They should allow that. But imagine that there is no 8 count. How many times we saw a lost fight being won? For example second fight between Hari and Karaev. Who can tell me that was not great fight to watch?
Ive heard lots of people complain about Schiavello, but to be honest I dont know why. I like those funny comparisons that he makes during the fight. Taking more shots than the alcoholic, has more combinations than the sudoku puzzle...
samout (261 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-04 at: 10:34
are you really mean the stand up fighter can fight 5 min in 3 round if u are fighter you have to know that just 2 mn is i long time 3 mn is good for the spectacle 5 mn is to much for the fighter .
torazulu (580 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-04 at: 11:03
Ideal combination would be Schiavello, Bas Rutten, and Don Frye for a Dynamite!!!
Don Frye:He is beating him, like he owes him money!
Schiavello:Here comes Minowaman!The power!The red Speedos!
Bas Rutten:And then BADA-BUM , BADA-BING, and KAPOW!The fight is over...
szanpan (2088 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-05 at: 04:53
Mitko J. (1210 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-05 at: 06:49
Schiavello - good night Irene, more crosses than Vatican, more positions than KamaSutra, the big kabosh, tagged him - and thats about it, for 5 years the same 5 phrases. And never should a commentator be biased when he covers a match. This is not some local event where the commentator on the local TV station bashes the guest team. And the voice he is so proud about always gets hoarse after only an hour, so its not anything special either. I would really love to come across him some day and kick his ass.
torazulu (580 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-05 at: 11:30
@Mitko J.
True, him and Kogan being on one side is unprofessional sometimes.But aside phrases that he throws during the fights he does a great interviews with fighters, which are in my opinion second to none.Using his jester status, he asks them questions no one else would dare to, and his talk show with Tito Ortiz was AWESOME.
"So you were trolling for porn, and found a wife?"
And besides that, he really knows combat sport.As I said , annoying sometimes, but IMO he is best in the business.(Except original japanese cometary of course)
szanpan (2088 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-05 at: 12:32
BTW i missed him from the draw..
D-rop, Video editor (2420 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-05 at: 10:20
The article is written by Brian Mayes (No, its not the leadguitarist of Queen)

In this case (because it is all about his opinion) I think it is quite important to mention the author of the article.
2wayfreak (121 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-06 at: 11:05
I like "The voice" because this makes K-1 more interesting to watch. Just like Michael Buffer "Let´s get ready to rumble" at boxing... MMA is different to K-1 so it seems you are not very well versed in K-1... but ok its your impression!
D-rop, Video editor (2420 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-06 at: 11:39
Well, basicly, I like Schiavello. He knows about K-1 and the fighters, he is very enthusiastic, and often funny.
But sometimes he irritates me a lot. He sometimes can be very biased (like in the match Hari vs. Overeem) and he uses some phrases waaaay too much.

You just have have the right ´dose´ of him. Too much is OD.
Cdn Mongoose (1425 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-06 at: 05:59
Sometimes I think "the Voice" dumbs down his stuff. He makes it feel like he thinks the audience knows nothing.
Polakian (252 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-09 at: 05:35
IMO Schiavello is not professional and I would rather have Japanese commentary or nuthing at all. Im not sure who i would like to replace him..someone more subdued, but knowledgeable for sure..I did like Mike Bernardo on color when i heqrd him from way back..but for play-by-play i dont know..maybe stephen quadros
Simoyin (344 posts)
Posted: 2010-10-10 at: 05:05
Although admittedly i like Schiavallo and find him pretty entertaining now and then, aswell as sometimes enjoy some fight-analyses made by Kogan, I´ll have to agree about the commentators. Often they try to make things more exciting but a lot of times it gets plain irritating, and sometimes (Kogan in particular) has pretty smug and opportunistic attitude.
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