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 K-1 Executive Producer Masato Recaps K-1 MAX Final 8 
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K-1 Executive Producer Masato Recaps K-1 MAX Final 8


K-1 Executive Producer and former two-time champion of the K-1 MAX title Masato recaps and comments on the recently concluded K-1 MAX Final 8 event held on December 15, 2012 in Athens, Greece.


FIGHT IMPRESSIONS :

1st Preliminary Fight: Mike Zambidis VS. Reece McAllister

As expected, in the first round, McAllister made use of his height advantage to keep Zambidis at bay and put up a good fight. In the second round, Zambidis increasingly put pressure on McAllister and controlled the distance. In turn, McAllister tried to stop Zambidis through knee kicks to the face. However, I believe Zambidis was able to win the judges' decision due to his impressive punches.


2nd Preliminary Fight: Murthel Groenhart VS. Yasuhiro Kido

Murthel is the type to go all out, and tried to KO Kido with punches early in the fight. Midway, Kido switched to Southpaw which stopped Groenhart's punches. However, it also lowered Kido's guard which Groenhart took advantage of with a right high kick. I think Kido underestimated the reach of Groenhart's high kick and was hit in the process.


3rd Preliminary Fight: Artur Kyshenko VS. Chris Ngimbi

In the first round, both fighters stood silent, making me believe that they both prepared not just for the preliminary but for the entire tournament. In the second round, Kyshenko gradually pressured Ngimbi with punches, and was able to down him mid-round with a left hook. After that, even though Ngimbi retaliated with a jumping knee, he was unable to neutralize the damage from the previous punches and forced into the corner. With a rush of punches and a final, intense, right long hook, Kyshenko achieved a standing down, and with the referee stop, Kyshenko was declared winner by TKO.


4th Preliminary Fight: Andy Souwer VS. Andy Ristie

Ristie aggressively tried to KO Souwer early in the fight, but Souwer countered him coolly with an inner low kick. Ristie didn't like the inner low kick and switched to Southpaw. In the second round, Ristie became flustered when his punches didn't connect. Souwer saw his opening when Ristie let down his guard, and with a high kick, downed Ristie. In the third round, Souwer's low kick started to have an effect, and as I expected, Souwer attacked Ristie's unguarded spots. Punches also took their toll on Ristie's face, resulting in an undisputed victory for Souwer. I believe the biggest factor for Souwer's victory against Ristie is his superior body strength.


1st Semi-Final Fight: Mike Zambidis VS. Murthel Groenhart

Groenhart's left jab was particularly great in this match. He kept his distance with jabs and didn't let Zambidis into his zone. In the latter part of the fight, he came closer, backed and rushed Zambidis into the corner, and succeeded in downing him. Zambidis cut his lower right eye from a jumping kick. In the second round, Zambidis received a series of punches, knee strikes, and kicks, this time cutting his upper right eye. At the beginning of the third round, Groenhart won by TKO due to the ordered Doctor Stop. I think that for Zambidis, this was an extremely tough fight due to the large gap in physique between the two fighters.


2nd Semi-Final Fight: Andy Souwer VS. Artur Kyshenko

Both fighters stood measuring each other silently, knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses very well. By the second round, Souwer narrowed in his target with inner low kicks. Then Souwer gradually increased pressure, coming out in front, but Kyshenko countered with punches. Right at the end of the match, Kyshenko pulled out a left hook. The third round was a very close fight, and I think Kyshenko won on points due to his series of punches. The margin was narrow, but Kyshenko won by decision.


Final Fight: Murthel Groenhart VS. Artur Kyshenko

Murthel entered the final round having KO'ed his opponents in the first and second rounds, and without sustaining damage. On the other hand, Kyshenko entered the finals having sustained damage in his bout with Souwer. Early in the fight, Groenhart tried to knock down Kyshenko with a rush of punches. At the instant that he lets out a jumping knee, Kyshenko seized the opportunity to attack with a left hook, downing Groenhart.

In the second round, Kyshenko tried to knock down his opponent but was unsuccessful,missing his greatest chance. In the third round, Groenhart recovered from the damage hepreviously sustained, came forward, and downed Kyshenko with a right upper blow. By thistime, Kyshenko had sustained enough damage that it was difficult for him to even stand up.Groenhart moved in with a final right long hook, gaining a KO victory.

Thus, a new star was born in the K-1 World MAX Final event: Murthel Groenhart, first-time K-1 Champion.

Groenhart accomplished an amazing feat, having KO'ed all three of his opponents from the first fight all the way to the final.

In the preliminary fight, he KO'ed Kido with a high kick. In the semi-final, he KO'ed Zambidis with a flying knee. In the final, he knocked out Kyshenko with a punch. It is extremely difficult to achieve three consecutive knockouts using a different technique each time, and this only proves that Groenhart is an all-rounder who can do anything.

In the future, the 70 Kg weight class will proceed with Groenhart in the center.

In addition, there are fight cards I would like to see in the future such as Murthel Groenhart VS. Andy Ristie and Groenhart VS. Andy Souwer. I'm also looking forward to a rematch between Groenhart and the semi-finalist Kyshenko.

In the fight between Andy Ristie VS. Andy Souwer, which I had been anticipating the most, Souwer was able to down Ristie with a magnificent right high kick, winning against his opponent with his skillful tactics.

Next year, I would like put together even more interesting fight cards centered mainly on Groenhart.


EVENT RECAP:

The representative of K-1 Global Holdings Limited, Mr. Mike Kim, took great effort to hold the K-1 World MAX Finals event in Athens, where the Olympics originated. In addition, the Greek

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K-1 fighter Mike Zambidis was extremely popular in the media and the Greeks waited in eager anticipation of their countryman's appearance.

There were some concerns about the event due to the economic situation in Greece, but through the effort of our local partners, we were able to gain the cooperation of the Greek TV station "ANT1" in broadcasting the event.

ANT1 broadcast all four hours of K-1 World MAX Final 8 in Athens on nationwide television in Greece and Cyprus on the day of the event, December 15th, from 9:00 PM. The excitement for the first K-1 event to be held in Greece was palpable. Many media representatives from various countries residing in Greece attended the press conference held the day before the event, bringing a new a new level of excitement to the press conference and reports.

Moreover, our representatives in Athens said: "We are grateful for the opportunity to hold the event to determine the world's number one in Greece, the birthplace of fighting sports."

On the day of the event, there were long lines of people buying tickets before the show started, exceeding expectations. The arena filled with excitement during the opening ceremony and appearance of Mike Zambidis. It was an explosive event that harked back to the early days of K-1.

There were four knockouts in seven tournament matches, which left a strong impression on the Greek fans. Even when Mike Zambidis lost in the semi-final, nobody stood up from his seat and left.

The final match showed the true thrill of the "Knockout Sport, K-1," mesmerizing the arena audience with their first taste of a live K-1 sport.

Upon being declared the champion, Groenhart immediately put on the Greek flag, showing his respect to the Greek people and giving them courage. (Groenhart is a native of Suriname and currently resides in the Netherlands).

We were told by many in the audience and viewers that the K-1 fighters and their indomitable fighting spirit gave them the courage to go forward in spite of the difficulties that lie ahead. For the Greek nation, K-1 MAX was not just a simple fighting event but one that moved them and gave them hope. The Greek people made us realize that now is an important time especially as K-1 will approach its 20th anniversary in 2013.

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Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:03 pm
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