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Matches Set For K-1 World GP Final

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DCRage

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The matchups for the 8 participants in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final were determined last night in Seoul, South Korea. The matchups, set for December 8 in Yokohama, Japan, were determined by a combination of choice and chance.

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Some rather intriguing matchups came out of this, namely French K-1 veteran Jerome LeBanner facing 7-foot plus Korean Choi Hong-Man in the quarterfinals. LeBanner referred to the night afterwards as being "A New Pearl Harbor".

Post #1   10/1/07 6:43:24AM   

Mastodon2

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Difficult match up for Le Banner. Anyone who draws Schilt or Choi has a tough match and unfortunately it's not because either of them are particularly skilled kickboxers, they rely on sheer size to pull them through. If they wern't freakish giants, their skills would not allow them to compete at K-1 standard, but atm it seems like K-1 is more interested in promoting oddities rather than the real skilled fighters like Le Banner, Aerts, Bonjasky etc.

The level of competition in this years GP final is very high though, Schilt and Choi make it difficult as always, Choi is hard to get by, Schilt is even harder. Schilt, while not wildly talented is still leagues ahead of Choi in terms of skill, toughness, speed etc. Aerts looked great in the opening, cutting down an admittedly sick Sefo, who was very ill before the fight. It's rumoured that K-1 had to add some serious additional pay and then beg him to compete, since fans would much rather see Sefo fighting than some random alternate. However, he was clearly ill, after taking those leg kicks and returning to his corner, he looked about ready to vomit, and was even in tears. Man I feel sorry for that guy, he could have dispatched Aerts if he had been in good health. Aert's punch defense, while it has improved since his old days, is still not top drawer, and loose punch defense is what Sefo works on. He even knocked Le Banner in the middle of next week, and Le Banner has ace boxing skills, his punch defense is great. Unfortunate for Sefo, but he is a warrior, and I have a lot of respect for him.

The Bonjasky / Leko fight was a bit controversial. Leko, while looking absolutely dreadful in Pride, is actually a lot better than many people give him credit for. He had a great fight against Mighty Mo Siliglia in August, circled the big man for 3 rounds and cut him down with leg kicks, getting an easy decision win. He didn't have the same kind of success against Bonjasky though, who worked him hard. Some people think the fight was a premature stoppage, as Leko was standing and apparently ready to fight, but is said to have failed the 8 count as he didn't raise his gloves and say he was ok to continue and the ref didn't like his body language, and thought he was hurt. Granted, Bonjasky was well on the way to winning, but some people will always winge that Leko could have taken it had he not been stopped by the ref. The ref was looking out for Leko's safety, and doing his job, so Leko has nothing to be angry about. He can be annoyed about what he and some fans might have thought was an early stoppage but it only stopped the inevitability of Bonjasky KO'ing him or winning a decision.


So, it's looking good, but it's gonna be hard for my boy Le Banner, he will most likely have to fight two giants in one night to win this GP. However, he has beaten Choi before, and he was more injury laden then, so he should be able to do it again, hopefully in quicker fashion. An injured Le Banner won the fight after a four round decision, he will need to do it quicker in December to be as fresh as possible for the finals, as the man I see Le Banner meeting in the finals will be either Bonjasky or Schilt. Bonjasky will be fresh, as his fitness is incredible, so he will probably still be feeling sharp, and Schilt will most likely win his first two fights of the night via KO or TKO, due to his abiity to sloppily, but effectively knee people in the face with ease. If Le Banner fights Schilt in the semis then I see (hopefully) a Le Banner / Aerts rematch (they are 1/1, and I think Le Banner will take the rubber match) or a Bonjasky / Le Banner final, which, if his fitness holds out, he can win. If he ges upclose to Bonjasky and starts working him with punches its all his. Bonjasky has great kicks and pretty good flying knees, but his punching (offense and defence) leaves a lot to be desired. He doesn't have the power to KO le Banner or fend him off, if Le Banner closes the distance he will maul him.


I don't see Feitosa or Hari making to the finals, thats for sure. Its a stacked GP and they just aren't sharp enough. Hari is good, but not big enough to compete with the Schilt / Le Banner / Aerts / Bonjasky crew.

Man I love K-1!

Post #2   10/1/07 7:10:24AM   

hotrodttt

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This is gonna be a great GP , I think Remy gets to the semi finals , Aerts , Schilt and Choi all do , from there I think Remy gets Choi and Schilt gets Aerts , so I think it will be Remy vs Schilt in the Finals and I think Remt takes it and dethrowns the Champ

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Post #3   10/1/07 10:21:08AM   

xxdeadpoolxx

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This will be a great event. I hope Le Banner or Aerts takes it.

Post #4   10/1/07 11:03:03AM   

gspgnp

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Can't wait for this event! I'm pulling hard for LeBanner. I wouldn't mind it if Hari won though. That would be pretty cool. LeBanner all the way though.

Post #5   10/1/07 2:50:48PM   

GermanWolf

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I just want to see LeBanner take it one time before he retires. He's been so close so many times, and bad luck always seems to shit on him.

His fight with Mark Hunt that forced Hunt's corner to throw in the towel is my all time favorite K-1 fight. War LeBanner!

Post #6   10/1/07 5:14:51PM