In my last post, I commented about how the K1 Heavyweight Grand Prix Final 16 delivered after the disappointments that were DREAM16 and UFC 119. The card had fantastic knockouts and along with WEC 51, helped me forget about the atrocious previous weekend of MMA. As my cable company doesn’t have HDnet, I often have to resort to other means to view these cards. Last night, we were fortunate enough for FEG to stream the event in South Korea for free on their UStream page.
For these events I usually have a fridge stocked with Lonestar, Shiner Bock, and Four Loko (Watermellon) and a belly full of either BBQ or Al Pastor tacos. Due to the events running so late, snacks such as hotpockets or microwave burritos also allow me to keep drinking until 6am.
The night started out great with an absolute brawl between two local Korean fighters named Kim. The fight wasn’t part of the official card, it was meant to get whatever crowd present excited for the night. The most excited people in the arena though were Michael Schiavello and Mike Kogan. They were having fun with the fight, wanting to warm up before the card officially began. Kim ended up winning a hard fought fight.
The big story of the night was the Korean fighters beating up and defeating their Japanese opponents. The first fight whch saw young Korean fighter Tae Hwan Kim take on verteran Japanese fighter Fire Harada where the proverbial torch was passed when Kim finished the fight with leg kicks. It terrified me hearing shin on thigh over and over again. The 36 year old Harada had no answer for the sped and aggression of the Korean fighter, but showed great heart in his loss.
Fan favorite Kizaemon Saiga was next taking on another Korean fighter named Sung Hyung Lee. This fight was an absolute war but it became very obvious early on that the karate fighter from Japan was no match for the Korean upstart. There wasn’t a highlight reel KO but it was an absolute beating. Chi Bin Lim clinched team Korea’s third straight win of the night over Japanese Hideaki Kikkawa in a fairly one sided decision. Unfortunately, Team Korea was handed their first loss of the night when Pajonsuk Super Pro Samui completely dominated Woo Yong Choi. The one MMA bout of the night was fought under DREAM rule and saw Japanese Brazilian Andrews Nakahara take on Jun Hee Mun from Korea. Jun was much smaller than his opponent but was somehow able to survive the full 15 minutes to lose via decision. It was the most boring match on the card and definitely messed up the flow of the night.
We hit intermission and I cracked open my ninth beer of the night. The most difficult part of the night is when FEG breaks for 30 minutes. They do this for all cards and it’s definitely the point in the night where I tend to fade as there is nothing keeping my attention.
The K-1 MAX Grand Prix Final 16 fights started with perhaps the best fight of all time. Seriously, hyperbole aside, this was a great fight between Mike Zambidis who is built like a Abrams tank and Chahid Oulad El Hadj (say that 10x fast). The fight started and kept an impossible pace. Multiple times it felt like the Knock Out was imminent and a fighter would come back and fire off a combo. It ended up going an extended period and Mike Zambidis was announced as the winner. In one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, Mohammed Khamal put a three round hurting on Atrur Kyshenko who was unable to utilize his length on the much smaller fighter. Michal Glogowski was able to defeat a Thai fighter named Sagadpet who was one of the dirtiest fighters I’ve seen. “The Voice” commented ad nauseum about his tactics being in the gray area of legal and illegal. It went to a forth extended round and neither fighter really pushed the fight, with Glogowski stealing the round in the final 45 seconds.
The most disappointing fight was Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Vitaly Hurkou. Petrosyan is perhaps the greatest K1 fighter ever and it usually is a treat to watch him fight, but Hurkou wanted no part of the Italian fighter. The majority of the fight he spent clinched up and was eventually yellow carded for such action. Gago Drago was able to send Su Hwan Lee to dream land by KO. The Korean fighter landed awkwardly on his head on the way down. He was taken out on a stretcher.
The WEC show and HW show more than made up for the prior week’s disappointing MMA events. The MAX event was just the cherry on top. If you missed it I suggest tuning into HDnet next week as they will be replaying it. You won’t be disappointed. As always I am a degenerate who ended up getting way too drunk and way too high to function on Sunday.