Nobuaki Kakuda vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa 3R
Tsuyoshi Nakasako vs. Toru Oishi 5R
Great Kusatsu vs. Nobu Hayashi 5R
Hiroki Kurosawa vs. Ryuji Murakami 3R
Mike Bernardo vs. Hiromi Amada R4 1:32
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Tatsufumi Tomihira R2 2:55
Great Kusatsu vs. Cyril Abidi. Abidi had the size and reach advantage, plus he was the aggressor. The first round was close though because there were a few occassions where Kusatsu was able to turn the table and get a good flurry in. Kusatsu lets himself get backed into the ropes or corner way too easily though, and it's hard to win a match when you are busy covering up. The match was close enough that it was interesting, but it was monotonous and Kusatsu is frustrating to watch.
Glaube Feitosa vs. Tsuyoshi Nakasako. The scary thing about this fight is that the KO didn't even catch the guy flush.
Stefan Leko vs. Jorgen Krut. Leko got off to a good start, using his quicknes to either strike Krut first or make Krut miss and then hit him. Krut put Leko down in the 2nd though and then put the heat on him.
Ray Sefo vs. Michael McDonald. Brief, but action packed.
Nicholas Pettas vs. Peter Varga. In a competitive match like this, the guy who lands the big blows is most likely the one that will come out on top.
Peter Aerts vs. Mirko Cro Cop. This wasn't the Aerts I'm used to seeing; that guy would have shredded Cro Cop. Cro Cop was good, but it was more that Aerts was at his worst. Aerts was only successful fighting with his knees when they were locked up. Even thhyen, he didn't really damage Cro Cop. Cro Cop was consistently getting off quicker and he was the one landing the blows for the highlight reel. He landed this great high kick in round 2, but somehow Aerts stayed up and didn't even get flurried upon.
Jerome Le Banner vs. Mike Bernardo. Le Banner was willing to box with Bernardo, who has been boxing professionally of late. Le Banner really rocked Bernardo when he had him in the corner. Le Banner was basically kicking Bernardo's ass for 2:50, but suddenly Bernardo came to life. He ducked under to get off the ropes then threw a flurry of hooks. The huge controversy was that Le Banner went down after roughly a dozen, but it was about a second after the bell (which seemed a second late as it was). Le Banner was able to get up, but he was down for 10 seconds. After a conference, it was decided that the blow was indeed late and the fight would continue, but the damage had already been done. As the illegal (late) blow was the one that did the most damage, Le Banner's corner threw in the towel as a protest. It's a shame the fight had to end like this because this had to be at least one of the very best rounds of boxing ever in K-1.
Prestige Fight: Hiraku Hori vs. Ryuma R3 1:17
JAPAN Tournament Challenge Match:
Yusuke Fujimoto vs. Yasuhiro Anbe 3R
Issei Nakai vs. Tsuyoshi R1 2:47
K-1 J-MAX Special Match: Masato vs. Patrik Eriksson 5R
Japan vs. The World 5 vs. 5 Match:
Tatsufumi Tomihira vs. Muhammed Azzoui R2 1:50
Toro Oishi vs. Lloyd van Dams 5R
Shingo Koyasu vs. Gurkan Ozkan 5R
Nobu Hayashi vs. Peter Aerts 5R 0:36
Musashi vs. Ernesto Hoost 5R
World Grand Prix Tournament 1st Round
Jerome Le Banner vs. Pavel Majer. Majer did a good job of keeping Le Banner from hitting him early on. Once Le Banner got one good punch in it was all downhill for Majer. Le Banner soon had him against the ropes where he was able to take his time to get the accurate hard shots in.
Great Kusatsu vs. Ebenezer Fontes Braga. Kusatsu dedicated the match to the late Andy Hug. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a performance with Braga putting him down with a knee and then knocking him down again within a minute.
Ray Sefo vs. Adam Watt. Short, one-sided match, but Sefo was injured during the win so Watt wound up advancing.
Jan "The Giant" Nortje vs. Peter Graham. This Giant was another Big Slow. Graham did something of a wheel kick at the end of round 1. Very close match even though not the greatest.
Jerome Le Banner vs. Ebenezer Fontes Braga. Le Banner isn't a good match up for Braga because you can't afford to make mistakes against a fighter with such power. Quick KO.
Peter Graham vs. Adam Watt. Watt looked amazingly fresh for a guy who was KO'd maybe an hour earlier.
K-1 Super Fight: Takayuki Kohifuiwaki vs. Samir Berbachi. Decent match with a few great moments including a series of nice Takada-like knee lifts to the head by Takayuki.
Final: Jerome Le Banner vs. Adam Watt. Watt suddenly aged about 10 years and started flopping from a punch or two. Lame final.
Segment on the damage the blows do to the body. This was cool because they showed some killer shots and there were animations and demonstrations of the power the fighters possess and the toll it takes on their opponents.
K-1 BIBLE THE KO. 4 awesome videos of the best KO's of the year (for '93-94, 95, 96, & 97). A weird tape because the show itself wasn't that great, but the features after the show made it one of the more enjoyable K-1 tapes.
Grand Prix 2001 Qualifying Tournament Quarterfinals
Duke Roufus vs. Tomasz Kucharzewski. Duke is the younger brother of Rick Roufus. Kucharz has this huge record (69-7), but you wonder how he got it because his technique and conditioning are nothing special. All action.
Michael McDonald vs. Jean Claude Leuyer. McDonald has the quickness, and he was answering all Leuyer's blows. McDonald was the aggressor, while Leuyer was too complacent.
Maurice Smith vs. Pedro Fernandez. Smith was by far the smartest fighter on the show. He did what he needed to do here, but no more because his concern was with winning 3 matches. Smith controlled the fight, and Fernandez didn't seem to have any idea of what to do to Smith. Smith worked over Fernandez's left thigh, which left him a bit gimpy. Not a particularly fast or action packed fight, but very enjoyable for Smith's strategy.
Guenter Singer vs. Paul Lalonde. Lalonde had a big height/reach advantage, and didn't respect Singer's power. Lalonde won the first round fairly easily, but Singer caught him with one big punch in the 2nd round. Lalonde's big mistake was not going down because by using the ropes and corner to hold himself up, he allowed Singer to tee off on him until the ref finally stopped it because Lalonde wasn't defending himself.
ISKA Light Middleweight World Championship Match: Alex Gong vs. Duane Ludwig. The closest fight of the night aside from the tournament final. Good action, but they also used their head. Both men showed impressive stamina, closing with a flurry of punches to try to steal the last round. I thought the wrong guy won the split decision, but it was a tough call.
McDonald seemed a little intimidated of Roufus early on, but he came on after the 1st round. Not one of the better fights, but still decent.
Maurice Smith vs. Guenter Singer. Singer isn't graceful, but he hits hard if and when he connects. Smith probably lost the 1st round. He was more aggressive in the 2nd, and showed that he can still put someone out in a hurry when they give him the opportunity.
Dewey Cooper vs. Arne Soldwedel. Soldwedel was more aggressive early on, quickly cutting Cooper over the right eye. Soldwedel actually tried a kneel kick. Cooper got better as the fight went on, probably because the age factor works in his favor. An accidental low blow in the 3rd round helped Cooper's cause because he wasn't penalized. In a fight that was likely even going into round 3, a little slip up like that can make the difference, especially when it happens to the guy that already has less stamina. Pretty good match.
Muay Thai Rules: Tommy Glanville vs. Mark Miller. Glanville acted all big and bad, but didn't back it up in the ring. He was cut above his right eye early and Miller knocked him down in the 2nd. The only dull fight of the night.
Tournament Final: Maurice Smith vs. Michael McDonald. This was one close fight. I mean, it was a draw and then there was a split decision with every judge scoring the last round 10-9.5. There weren't any big blows here, but it was very dramatic because it was so even that one big strike would likely be the difference. McDonald actually connected with one of those in the 2nd, a left hook, but it hit Smith in the side of the head rather than on the jaw so Smith was able to stay up and keep fighting. Smith wanted to fight on the inside and counter punch from the outside since that negates McDonalds's strengths, quickness and counter striking, but McDonald was probably winning after 2 rounds so Smith had to take it to him. Smith landed some nice uppercuts from the inside throughout the fight. I thought Smith was convincing enough in round 3 to win by 1/2 a point, but two of the judges ruled it a draw. Not a great fight in the traditional sense, but if you had a strong rooting interest you were on the edge of your seat throughout.
Tournament 1st Round
Ernesto Hoost vs. Sergei Gur. Hoost didn't seem to be in top shape and wasn't impressive by his standards. Gur was on the small side, so Hoost was able to overpower him. Don't as me why the ref stopped this as Hoost wasn't getting good shots in and simply threw Gur down violently.
Mark Hunt vs. Hiromi Amada. These guys are wide and soft. Amada looks kind of like an out of shape version of Masayoshi Motegi, and was no more impressive. Hunt had the power advantage. I thought Amada would be able to beat him to the punch, but it wasn't happening.
Michael McDonald vs. Mirco Cro Cop. McDonald stunned Cro Cop and kept throwing punches until he went down. Cro Cop answered the count, but McDonald hit him with a few more punches and Cro Cop was out on his feet. Short and one-sided, but McDonald put on a nice punching display.
Matt Skelton vs. Paris Vasilikos. Skelton controlled if not dominated the entire fight, putting Paris down three times and cutting him above his right eye. The best punch of the fight was actually a cheap shot by Skelton with Paris on his knees right after the two knockdown rule should have taken effect.
Muay Thai Rule Super Fight: Danny Manypassa vs. Paul Lee. These guys were so short they barely cleared the top rope, so not surprisingly they didn't have much power or reach. That meant there was a lot of inside fighting, but it was nothing special.
Ernesto Hoost vs. Mark Hunt. Hunt put Hoost down early on in round 2, but it was more of a case of Hoost getting hit while he didn't have good balance because he was in the midst of throwing a kick. Hunt then nearly put Hoost down right after this, but Hoost did a great job of scurrying back to stay on his feet as that would have been the match due to the previous bad call. Hoost composed himself and won round 3, partly because Hunt's conditioning wasn't good and he'd tired himself out.
Matt Skelton vs. Michael McDonald. Skelton used his height advantage for leverage on the inside. McDonald tried to stay away, but that's hard to do when the other guy has the reach. McDonald had the speed, but he wasn't able to show it until round 3.
Super Fight: Dayne Brajkovich vs. Nick Karagionnidie. One-sided
Tournament Final: Ernesto Hoost vs. Matt Skelton. Hoost wasn't showing much again. I've never seen him so unimpressive as today. Skelton got Hoost in the eye, I guess with a thumb, and it was tearing badly and there was blood in the area. Skelton was docked a point here, which at the very least kept the fight from going overtime (on the other hand Hoost would have fought better if not for the eye problem). Skelton was the aggressor and although he missed a lot of punches he was doing more damage. Interesting fight, but not that great. Hoost got the benefit of the doubt because he's the huge star and defending champ.
Note: K-1 JAPAN GP 1st Round matches unless otherwise noted
Super Fight: Musashi vs. Ebenezer Fontes Braga 5R
Great Kusatsu vs. Tatsunori Momose 3R
Tsuyoshi Nakasako vs. Shingo Koyasu 3R
Nobu Hayashi vs. Tsuyoshi 3R
Super Fight: Jerome Le Banner vs. Stefan Leko 5R
Tooru Oishi vs. Masashi Suzuki 3R
Noboru Uchida vs. Yusuke Fujimoto R5 1:15
Tatsufumi Tomihira vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa R5
Super Fight: Remy Bonjasky vs. Ray Sefo 4R
K-1 WORLD GP 2001 World Elimination Tournament Digest. Highlights from 5/20/01 Germany, 6/9/01 Denmark, & 6/8/01 South Africa
K-1 WORLD GP 2001 in NAGOYA 1st Round:
Mike Bernardo vs. Takeru R2 1:40
Bjorn Bregy vs. Lloyd Van Dams 3R
Cyril Abidi vs. Andrew Thomson R1 1:15
Alexey Ignashov vs. Petar Majstorovic 3R
Super Fight: Samir Benazzouz vs. Xhavit Bajrami 4R
K-1 WORLD GP 2001 in NAGOYA Semifinals:
Mike Bernardo vs. Lloyd Van Dams 4R
Alexey Ignashov vs. Andrew Thomson R1 1:46
Super Fight: Jan "The Giant" Nortje vs. Serguei Matkine R2 1:01
K-1 WORLD GP 2001 in NAGOYA Final: Alexey Ignashov vs. Lloyd Van Dams 4R
Noboru Uchida vs. Peter Aerts. Uchida wasn't aggressive, but his defense was good enough that Aerts couldn't get big blows or combinations in. Uchida would get in close when Aerts was on the offensive, so Aerts couldn't get the distance for his kicks or throw a series of punches. Aerts was winning easily with just the punches that Uchida couldn't stop from getting through, but he was wasting too much energy. Aerts should have coasted to a decision, but he went hard to save a minute or two and knees to the body propelled him to a victory by the two knockdown rule.
Maurice Smith vs. Jorgen Kruth. Smith took whatever Kruth gave him or he could take. He was taking Kruth apart from in close. he stayed on diagonals so the verticle mechanical Kruth was uncomfortable and didn't strike much. That said, Kruth did land a high percentage of his blows. Smith coasted in round 3 since he had the round one. Kruth finally got busy at this point out of desperation, but Smith was simply too smart, technical, and efficient for him.
Francisco Filho vs. Sergei Ivanovic. The commentary is pretty funny here because the announcers are busy putting Filho in the semifinals if not the finals while Ivanovic is preventing him from doing anything effective and busy winning the rounds. Ivanovic is a tall lanky fighter that was able to keep Filho at bay with his kicks from a distance. Ultimately he was very predictable and since Filho remained really calm he was eventually able to score when he came in. Ivanovic's strategy of backing away all the time wasn't likely to impress the judges, but given his abilities and attributes it gave him the best chance to stay in the fight. Filho won round 3, putting Ivanovic down at the end and bloodying his nose. Otherwise he didn't impress me at all, but given Ivanovic did no damage in the two rounds I thought he won going to an extra round made sense. What didn't make sense is that Ivanovic won the decision despite doing nothing in round 4. Ivanovic was gutsy, continuing despite a somewhat dangerous gash on his shin. However, you don't base a decision on sentiment. Ivanovic could have won in regulation, but after the first two round he was backing up more and landing less of his one dimensional low kick with the same leg offense.
Stefan Leko vs. Duke Roufus. Roufus use a different style where he just came out throwing. Leko seemed to be caught off guard by this. Leko is one of the best punchers. He blows are crisp, powerful, and on the mark. He hurt Roufus early in round 2, which shifted the aggressor and ultimately turned the tide of the fight. Roufus kept coming despite Leko putting several flurries on him. this was an excellent round with a highly impressive punching display by Leko. Roufus showed a lot of heart as a lesser fighter would have given up much earlier. The short upperct Leko put him out with would have done in just about everyone. Excellent fight with very impressive performances by both men.
K-1 Rules Super Fight: Frank Shamrock vs. Shannon Ritch. This was Frank's first fight where grappling wasn't allowed. Frank came out as the aggressor and was looking for the high kick right away. He missed twice, but then took Rich out when Rich was too slow pulling back from a low kick. This was really freaky because Rich's arm was flailing up high while he was pulling back and it accidentally got in the way of the kick. This was not a block as the arm wasn't sturdy with the muscles tightened, he simply took the full brunt on his unprotected forearm and elbow while turning away. Rich was in a great deal of pain and believed his arm had been broken.
Maurice Smith vs. Peter Aerts. Aerts was not on his game today. He was kissing Smith in round 2, probably as a way to distract from that. The first round was very even, with Smith winning by half a point IMO. What Aerts did well throughout the fight was make Smith pay anytime he hesitated. Smith did well when he was moving, especially when he was the aggressor. Smith wasn't finding the openings against Aerts like he was earlier, probably because Aerts doesn't leave many and he's so dangerous. Smith won round 2, but he was running out of gas and this got him totally out of his game. Aerts finally got aggressive in round 3 and drained Smith of most of his remaining energy by muscling him. Fatigue was causing Smith to get sloppy and look like he was hanging on, which helped Aerts cause. Aerts win of this round was by far the most convincing. The extra round benefitted Aerts a lot more than Smith since he's 9 years younger. Smith was way too gassed, but even so he should not have clinched with Aerts because he would lose every one of these segments, largely due to Aerts ability to use his knees, and Aerts would tire him more in the process. Very good fight.
Stefan Leko vs. Sergei Ivanovic. Leko did damage with right low kicks, which helped open up his big right hand. Ivanovic was in a lot of pain. The cut on his shin reopened, he injured if not broke his left foot kicking Leko, and he got a bloody nose. Ivanovic's left foot is basically his only weapon, so he had to continue using it even though it was so swollen it looked like a hump. Ivanovic showed a lot of heart, but Leko didn't have to expend a lot of energy to beat him.
Muay Thai Rules Super Fight: Melchor Menor vs. William Sriyapai. Very good match between two quick and talented small fighters. This had some excellent use of elbow strikes, particularly by Sriyapai who cut Menor above the temple. Menor did debilitating sweeps to the left leg, putting Sriyapai down several times. Although Menor was winning every round, there were so many good shots that the scorecards said nothing about the high quality of the fight. Menor was relentless, but Sriyapai kept trying even though his leg was really messed up.
Tournament Final: Stefan Leko vs. Peter Aerts. The previous fights gave Leko a big advantage because he's fought fewer than half the rounds and taken much less punishment. Aerts boxed with Leko too much. He can score with his feet and knees, so it made little sense to play into Leko's hand, especially since he had no answer to Leko's punching prowess. Aerts was sluggish. Leko won round 1, but it was round 2 where he really came on, really rocking Aerts with a series of punches. Aerts finally went down because he was against the ropes and it was the only way to stop the flurry that might have put him out. He was lucky there was no two knockdown rule in the final. Leko doesn't have the power of Le Banner, but he dos a better job of putting his punches together. Aerts was cut under his right eye and took more of a beating as the match progressed, in part because damage and fatigue deteriorated his offense. The final punch was simply incredible. Aerts walked right into a straight right out of nowhere after Leko hit him in the face when he was trying to kick. Aerts fell like a ton of bricks. More exciting than the previous fight because the underdog was winning in impressive fashion, but overall not quite as good.
Andy Memorial Super Fight: Nobuaki Kakuda vs. Mauricio Da Silva 3R
Japan Grand Prix Quarterfinals
Musashi vs. Toru Oishi 3R
Tsuyoshi Nakasako vs. Great Kusatsu 3R
Nicholas Pettas vs. Yusuke Fujimoto R1 2:57
Nobu Hayashi vs. Tatsufumi Tomihira R3 2:55
Andy Memorial Super Fight: Naoyuki Taira vs. Hiroki Kurosawa R2 3:00
Musashi vs. Tsuyoshi Nakasako 3R
Nicholas Pettas vs. Nobu Hayashi R1 1:26
Super Fight: Jerome Le Banner vs. Marc de Wit R2 1:45
Final: Musashi vs. Nicholas Pettas 4R
Repechage Tournament A Block Semifinals:
Sergei Ivanovich vs. Francisco Filho 3R
Matt Skelton vs. Lloyd Van Dams 3R
Repechage Tournament B Block Semifinals:
Mike Bernardo vs. Adam Watt R1 2:27
Ray Sefo vs. Mark Hunt 3R
Super Fight: Cyril Abidi vs. Tatsufumi Tomihira R4 2:30
Repechage Tournament A Block Final: Francisco Filho vs. Lloyd Van Dams 4R
Repechage Tournament B Block Final: Mark Hunt vs. Adam Watt
Reserve Match: Mike Bernardo vs. Adam Watt. Watt did just enough with his feet to win round 1 from Bernardo, who was boxing as usual. Bernardo did better in R2, but was still not impressive. Watt was more active and his combinations had Bernardo on the defensive. Bernardo started doing damage with a low kick in the 3rd round though, which helped open up punches and even the high kick as well as getting him on a role.
Kesshosen Tournament Ikkaisen
Ernesto Hoost vs. Stefan Leko. Vintage Hoost. Sized his opponent up in the first round then knocked him out in the beginning of the 2nd. Leko couldn't figure Hoost out and wasn't throwing. Hoost would give him a low kick from a distance or come in with punches. In either case, Leko didn't get a good punch, if any, in on Hoost. Since Hoost has the reach advantage, he had no no problem keeping Leko at bay with his jabs. Hoost looked poised to defend his title as Grand Prix champion, but apparently he broke his instep and couldn't continue.
Mark Hunt vs. Jerome Le Banner. Le Banner was doing good for 5 1/2 minutes then Hunt hit him with a flurry for a KO. The finish looked fishy, particularly Le Banner's head movements as he was falling down. It seemed like Le Banner stopped fighting and was just waiting for a few good punches from Hunt to go down, but he's been known to run out of gas when he fails to get the early KO. The fans loved the knockout.
Alexei Ignashov vs. Nicolas Pettas. Ignashov is a head taller than Pettas. He was not the cleanest fighter, throwing Pettas down and catching him with a knee to the balls. The KO was devestating. The knee just mashed Pettas' nose, leaving it broken and bloody.
Francisco Filho vs. Peter Aerts. Aerts was the aggressor. He looked good for the first 4:15 of R1, but then Filho hit him with easily the two best punches of the round to probably steal it. As it looked on paper, this was the most competitive of the 1st round matches. Unfortunately, Aerts broke his instep and couldn't continue after the 2nd round.
Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Leko. Leko was thrown back into the fire in Hoost's place. Leko, who looked like an awesome boxer in the North American championships, got in almost no good punches against a guy that only punches, isn't the most mobile, and has a reach disadvantage. Leko did get Hunt in a little trouble at 1:25 of R3, but just waited for him. This made absolutely no sense because Leko clearly needed a KO to win the fight. I don't believe for a minute that Leko thought he was going to win the decision if he got this round, yet he wasted the rest of the fight throwing no hard punches and not acting the least bit desperate. Hmm...
Francisco Filho vs. Alexei Ignashov. The first two rounds were lackluster with neither fighter distinguishing himself. The 3rd round was good because they knew they needed it to advance. A bad match if you are looking for big blows, but a good one if you are looking for something very even.
Superfight: Masato vs. Noel Soares. Soares is a sparring partner of Gilbert Yvel. These guys are small, but gave us by far the best action of the night. They were very active and the fight was perhaps very good.
Final: Mark Hunt vs. Francisco Filho. Another defensive struggle from Filho. Each round was at least close to a draw. The 1st was very cautious, but by the third they got much more aggressive even though most of the blows still didn't connect. Filho let Hunt get him against the ropes in overtime, a mistake that negated some of his defense and allowed Hunt to get inside and get his shots in. Hunt has a reputation for being able to take huge shots and shrug them off, but he pretty much didn't take any all night, which is mindboggling since he doesn't have any characteristics that would lead you to believe he's a good defensive fighter. I'll say one thing for him though, while his conditioning looks weak, he didn't look tired even in the overtime while the seemingly much better conditioned Filho was starting to wilt. Filho was doing so little offensively that the ref warned him in the final minute of the match.
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