Hello, hello, it’s good to be back it’s good to be back!
Liam Gallagher’s dulcet tones alone are worthy to herald the return of the world’s finest kickboxing promotion and one of the most consistently entertaining, high octane martial arts events in the history of professional combat sports. After financial mismanagement, bankruptcy and changes of owners, K-1 is finally back, and hopefully better than ever.
They return in Spain, as a phoenix from the flames: K-1 RISING.
The former conqueror of Central and South America in almost its entirety is home to many of Europe’s most beautiful women, best beaches, dirtiest Moroccan drug dealers and fizziest lager, and when you add paella, Pacha and the K-1 phoenix rising there it rankles at yours truly that his own time living on Spanish soil has come to an end. Me gusta mucho todos, y siempre lo haré.
The only thing as good as the K-1 World Grand Prix, is K-1′s light-middleweight Grand Prix, the K-1 World MAX. It is this tournament, which concludes in October, whose first round will be contested in the Spanish capital. The winner of the previous two in 2009 and 2010, Giorgio Petrosyan, will not compete however, as he is not signed to K-1 in its new incarnation, nor will be compete for “the Euro K-1″ It’s Showtime any longer, having terminated his contract with them. It is understood the Italian will be competing on Fight Code cards exclusively, providing he doesn’t come to terms with either K-1 or Glory.
That being said, with names like Zambidis, Chahid (what an awesome rematch that will be), former 2x champion Souwer, finalist Kyshenko, Gago Drago and flying knee master Chris Ngimbi, the 2012 World MAX is still filled with top talent, and should prove to be correspondingly brilliant.
One flaw is the sole Thai representative – Longern, from the Superpro Samui camp on Ko Samui. With internationally known Thai names who fight (or can compete) at 70kg such as Saiyok, Buakaw Banchamek, Kem Sitsongpeenong, Sudsakorn, Aikpracha and more, why is a relative unknown being called over to represent Thailand in “the world’s most elite stand-up fighting” tournament?
For us salivating, anticipating, and possibly masturbating fight fans, K-1′s return card is as follows;
World Max 2012 Final 16 Fights:
Mike Zambidis vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj
Andy Souwer vs. Abraham Roqueni
Artur Kyshenko vs. Su Hwan Lee
Xu Yan vs. Yasuhiro Kido
Gago Drago vs. Andy Ristie
Yuji Nashiro vs. Reece McAllister
Harut Grigorian vs. Murthel Groenhart
Longern Superpro Samui vs. Chris Ngimbi
Emad Kadyear vs. Zeben Diaz
Badr Hari vs. Anderson “Braddock” Silva
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Loren Javier Jorge
Daniel Ghita vs. Damian Garcia
Rico Verhoeven vs. Sergei Lascenko
When the time comes, the K-1 Rising card can be viewed LIVE and FREE here - http://www.ustream.tv/channel/k-1globaltv
Here’s a video of the returning bad boy BADR HARI and his stare-off with Anderson “Braddock” Silva.
Cannot wait for this one.
Pick of the fights has to go to either Badr Hari vs. Anderson Silva, with the skilled Brazilian coming up against one of the top two or three kickboxing heavyweights in the world – certainly the most aggressive – and the rematch of the epic Zambidis/Chahid war from the 2010 World MAX.
Who can forget the infamous Schiavello commentary – “SHIT JUST GOT REAL IN THE MAX!”
Hello… hello… it’s good to be back, it’s good to be back.