So, guys, did you see the event?
Looks like there aren't many K-1 fans here, but still, this is one of the biggest events of the year.
It was delayed over and over again, and some fights were not aired, but even after that, it was fucking awesome.
The fights were great, every one of them, or at least these that I saw.
For the second time, after the K-1 MAX Final 16 event, Giorgio Petrosyan's fight was cut. And this time he was fighting former K-1 MAX Champion, dammit. They showed a lame promo with Giorgio, 30 seconds long, and after that something like recap of his fight with Kraus, again 30 seconds long, which really sucked.
Giorgio got the decision. I don't like his style, but he's very talented, and it seems he really is the next big thing.
The fight that determined the semi-finalist that will stand against Giorgio was the fight between Gago Drago and Yuya Yamamoto.
This has to be the most exciting K-1 fight this year - non-stop action, and I mean they were throwing leather the whole time, it was like heavy bag work. In the end the judges scored the fight for Yamamoto. He has pretty good chin, because Drago connected with some hard shots, but I can see why the decision went to Yamamoto. I don't think he'll get to the scorecards against Petrosyan, but let's wait and see.
The second fight between Andy Souwer and Artur Kyshenko was the one I wanted to see the most. I'm a big fan of Kyshenko and I was rooting for him to beat Souwer again. Kyshenko got cut and was bleeding in the first, and by the time the third round started, he looked tired. Kyshenko got through with some good combinations and it went to Extra Round, but in the Extra, Kyshenko was even more affected from the exhaustion and accumulated strikes. Andy did his usual routine of methodical leg-kicking and countering and deservedly won the decision. Before the fight, Souwer said that he can't see Artur winning the tournament, because he's too young and lacks some physical/mental toughness. I can see how this can be true and I hope that after Artur gets some more experience, he'll be in K-1 MAX Final again.
If I had to choose one fight from the Final 8 that I couldn't watch it would have been Buakaw - Holzken. Even with Buakaw's somewhat shaky performances in his last fights, he's way tougher than the Dutch and I just couldn't see this as a very exciting match. Well, it seems that's what the producers were thinking the same, because this fight was not aired also. It's pretty lame to set up event called K-1 MAX Final 8, and then put on TV only 6 of the fighters, with 2 of them making less screen time than the commentator girl (which, by the way, was really gorgeous). Anyway, Buakaw won, and he'll fight Souwer in the semi-final.
The other fights were pretty good also. Kazuhisa Watanabe made short work of Atsushi Yamamoto, using some pretty crazy guard and fooling around all the time. He knocked Yamamoto down three times, before the fight was stopped.
Jae-Hee Cheon and the other, more famous Yamamoto, went straight to business - in the first minute it looked like Kid hurt the Korean, and tried to pounce on him, but in the exchange Cheon landed beautiful right uppercut-left hook combo and knocked him out. Kid tried, but couldn't make the 10-count. Seems like he's on a downward slope.
In what was proclaimed as the main event, Masato fought Tatsuya Kawajiri in K-1 rules. Putting MMA fighter, who's more of a wrestler than striker, against arguably the greatest K-1 MAX fighter with some sort of kickboxing rules seems like a bad idea, I thought.
Masato is not past-his-prime Kozo Takeda, and that was made pretty clear one minute into the fight. Kawajiri was clearly overmatched and after one knockdown in the first round, his corner threw the towel a little into the second. A match with Yodsaenklai would have been so much better...
Overall some really great matches, I can't wait for the final. If all goes as I want it, Petrosyan and Buakaw will be in the final, and the winner (no matter who he is) should give Masato pretty good fight for the last match in his career.