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Breaking Down a potential K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16

A few months ago the thought of K-1 running a show past the -63kg MAX Japan tournament seemed unlikely, never mind the thought of running a full K-1 World Grand Prix. The K-1 World Grand Prix is the top combat sports tournament that has run yearly since 1993, the cream of the crop. The K-1 World Grand Prix Finals is usually the one combat sports event of the year that is can't miss with nothing but action and high drama to keep you on the edge of your seat. A lot of us had resigned ourselves to the thought of having to exist in a world where the K-1 World Grand Prix was just an afterthought, but the rumors continue to grow and today Daniel Ghita posted on his Facebook wall a formal explanation as for why he won't be fighting Badr Hari for It's Showtime in September; he's been invited to the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in China.

That, coming alongside a few other rumors makes a strong case for there being a World Grand Prix this year, so it is never too early to speculate on who will round out the Final 16 this year. If they play by the rules of past years, the Final 8 from 2010 will make a return appearance, which means we can look forward to; Mighty Mo, Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt, Kyotaro, Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Tyrone Spong, and the recently-released from the Zuffa strongholdAlistair Overeem. Out of the 8 listed above, there are question marks for a few of them, namely Mighty Mo, who has suffered a few devastating losses since the K-1 World Grand Prix and should be considering retirement, and Peter Aerts who went on record stating that 2010 would be his last World Grand Prix. Of course, this is combat sports, so chances are Mr. K-1 isn't done yet.

So now the real question is, who will help round out the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16?

Badr Hari

This is really a no brainer. Badr Hari was a Finalist in both 2008 and 2009, and his absence in 2010 was simply due to legal issues. Hari was set to face off with Daniel Ghita in September and could easily translate into a fight that happens in the world Grand Prix. Badr is easily primed to take the tournament by storm and is an easy pick to enter the tournament.

Hesdy Gerges

Hesdy Gerges has to be one of the most unlucky guys in his K-1 career, drawing Semmy Schilt not once but twice as an opponent. In the Final 16 he was unfortunate enough to meet the four-time champion and put up a great fight against him, ultimately losing a decision. The battle with Daniel Ghita in March has been the most substantial Heavyweight contest to date in 2011 and Gerges walked away the better man, expect him to be in the Final 16.

Jerome Le Banner

JLB is another living, competing legend who has been keeping himself active in Japan by participating in IGF Pro Wrestling shows with the likes of Ray Sefo, Josh Barnett and Bobby Lashley. JLB is still a household name in Japan and can still go, while he has made disparaging remarks about K-1 and never fighting for them again, being paid what he is owed can help mend some fences. JLB is always a great addition to the K-1 field.

Errol Zimmerman__

The Bonecrusher. After some spotty performances in 2010, Zimmerman has stepped it up again in 2011 with two big wins in impressive fashion. Seeing as though he has been a part of the World Grand Prix for the past few years, Zimmerman is also a safe bet.

Freddy Kemayo

Freddy Kemayo is a guy that just won't stop. He has had a few setbacks over the past few years, but he continues to march forward and has picked up 3 impressive wins this year, with two brutal KOs to his credit. His only possible hangup could be scheduling of Fight Code's Rhinos tournament, which he is involved in.

Ray Sefo

Ray Sefo is making a name for himself all over again, as he is being introduced to the UFC crowd, first with his Strikeforce fights and now for helping fighters like Vitor Belfort train. Sefo is a huge name in K-1 and as long as they backpay his $700,000 he is owed, I'm sure he'd be happy to get another crack at the crown.

Ewerton Teixeira

He remains active in Kyokushin tournaments, coming in fifth place in the All American Open Karate Championships this year, but does not kickbox outside of K-1. Seeing as though he had two years of poor performances, he could be invited back, but I would not be surprised if we saw him replaced by a younger, European fighter.

Ben Edwards

Edwards showed a lot of heart against Alistair Overeem last year, and since then has learned a lot. In the realm of kickboxing in 2011 he put a hurting on Carter Williams and absolutely brutalized Mighty Mo with a knee strike. Ben Edwards deserves another shot at the top.

Mark Miller

This is a darkhorse pick, but if K-1 is serious about America as the rumors are saying, they need an American Hero, and Mark Miller's insane comeback story was ripped out of a film. Miller is training with Golden Glory now, who have backed him very strongly, looking to push him as Golden Glory's American fighter. It would be a pleasant surprise to see Mark get a run at the top.

Sergei Kharitonov Sergei has had mixed results in K-1, but is extremely popular due to his MMA career. He has been training kickboxing with the best in the world and could make another fine addition to the K-1 World Grand Prix


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Shizzle Dizzle, FansOfK1.com Developer (446 posts)
Posted: 2011-08-09 at: 10:51
Sounds good and if it can be made it should be made. But pleae don't bring Ray Sefo and JLB and I also have a bad feeling if Peter Aerts steps up again. But Peter has more to bring on the table then JLB or Sefo. Oh, I forgot to mention, Mighty Mo should also not fight here. Not interessting, too sloppy and too out of shape.

Not sure about Zimmermann, he didn't looked to good at all and the last wins wheren't against top competition.

Kharitonov would be a fine addition and of course Ben Edwards.
... (736 posts)
Posted: 2011-08-09 at: 12:13
ben edwards?

give me a break! wanna see kaoklai in k-1 again.
like to see mousasi also
Shizzle Dizzle, FansOfK1.com Developer (446 posts)
Posted: 2011-08-09 at: 04:39
@ronaldo Ben is great. Heavy hitter, knocked out Mighty Mo recently.

You kidding me, Kaoklai again in K-1!? Na, please not, he is no heavyweight. Mousasi I agree on, he's a good kicker and striker, should make a comeback to K-1.
... (736 posts)
Posted: 2011-08-10 at: 06:20
@Shizzle Dizzle yehhh i know kaoklai is not a real haveyweight, but he also beated Mighty Mo with the best ko kick ever!!!!! and ignashov in his prime! something edwards (i think) could never do! or do you thinhk that edwards could win from a ignashov in his prime??? and i think its also nice to see different fighting styles! something that made k-1 populair! ps i dont think ben edwards is a bad fighter, but final 16? i dont know! maybe

i rather see: Schilt, Karaev,Manhoef,Aerts(last time)
Shizzle Dizzle, FansOfK1.com Developer (446 posts)
Posted: 2011-08-10 at: 08:55
@ronaldo Ignashov would have beaten Edwards in his prime, but surley depending on his motivation. but iggy and kaoklai are out of theire prime for sure.

I wouldn't bring Karaev to fight in K1 again. He is exciting to watch whrn he wins or gets knocked out. ;) Edwards would knock his head off.

manhoef vs edwards would be nice.

oh and. i forgot to mention that i don't want to see kaoklai running around/away for three rounds. same with kyotara, although he can knock people out.
... (736 posts)
Posted: 2011-08-10 at: 11:37
dont wanna see him run around again also! would love to see him fly his shin against a haveyweight head once again though!~but its not interesting for the bigger crowed i know.!
manhoef vs edwards would be a 1st round ko win or loose for manhoef! just like always ! he needs to focus more in a fight but in that case he is to small to fight a real match at haveyweight, he needs to be slugging with the risk to get hitt
iuli (39 posts)
Posted: 2011-08-11 at: 10:52
@Shizzle Dizzle: ,, but iggy and kaoklai are out of theire prime for sure."

Shizzle Dizzle, you're wrong, kaoklai has only 27 years, in September make 28 years . kaoklai is not out of his prime.
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Shizzle Dizzle

"There ain't a bug I can't dizzle"

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