Alistair Overeem impresses, Semmy Schilt controls at K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16

In one of the best combat sports events of 2010, K-1 narrowed down the World Grand Prix field to the eight fighters that will take part in the one-night tournament finals on December 11th in Toyoko, Japan.

The best performance was saved until the main event, with Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem demolishing poor Ben Edwards in a devastating display. Overeem would pierce through the Australian’s guard in just 45seconds, with a big overhand right sending Edwards to the canvass early. Edwards would get back to his feet only to again be knocked down by another right hand.  Showing tremendous heart, the winner of the Ocenia GP climbed back to his feet only to be knocked down a third and final time for the finish at 2:08. Overeem looked nothing short of amazing here, able to walk through his opponent’s offense and brutalize him with the right hand. And this despite the organizer’s tweaking of the rules to limit his ability to throw his Muay Thai knees. It was a performance that would have made him the runaway tournament favorite if it wasn’t for one thing…the continued existence of Semmy Schilt.

The giant defending champion is looking for a record-breaking fifth World Grand Prix title, and was his usual overwhelming self against an outmatched Hesdy Gerges. As is usually the case, Schilt controlled the fight without ever really impressing. For a man as huge as he is (all of 6’11 and 294Ibs) his stamina and overall conditioning is incredible, with Schilt able to outpoint Gerges on sheer volume of shots landed alone. Gerges had some success with leg kicks in the final round but it just wasn’t enough to save the fight after being on the backfoot in the first two rounds.Schilt and Overeem both impressed in last year’s tournament finals, and one has to say that  a year later they are still clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field, especially with bad boy Badri Hari out due to personal issues.

In other fights, “Mr K-1” booked his return to the Finals after a year abscence with Peter Aerts overcoming Ewerton Teixeira after the fight went into a fourth round. December 11th will be his seventeeth appearance in a tournament that has been around for only eighteen years.Even though he was a last-minute replacement for Andre Arlovski (who withdraw claiming the most sensible and welcome broken nose in history) Mighty Mo looked surprisingly good en route to defeating Raul Catinas,  indeed he almost ended the fight in the first round when Catinas made the mistake of standing in front of him and slugging it out. Catinas would recover and force the fight to the judges scorecards but he was clearly inferior to Mo in all three rounds.Keijiro Maeda defeated Jerome LeBanner in strange, controvesial fashion when LeBrone refused to come out for the Extra Round after the fight was ruled a Majority Draw after the scheduled rounds. The tournament fights were rounded off with Daniel Ghita and Gokhan Saki finishing Errol Zimmerman and Freddy Kemayo in devastating fashion.

Despite the in-ring excellence, the promotion’s troubled FEG owners will be disappointed in the 12,719 attendance, which is substantially below the 15,000-16,000 attendance that these events usually draw in Seoul, South Korea.

Full tournament match results:

  • Alistair Overeem defeated Ben Edwards via TKO at 2:08 in R1
  • Semmy Schilt defeated Hesdy Gerges via Majority Decision
  • Mighty Mo defeated Raul Catinas via Unanimous Decision
  • Peter Aerts defeated Ewerton Teixeira via Unanimous Decision after one Extra Round
  • Keijiro Maeda defeated Jerome LeBanner via Disqualification (Abandonment)
  • Daniel Ghita defeated Errol Zimmerman via KO (Punches) 0:18 R2
  • Gokhan Saki defeated Freddy Kemayo via TKO (Punches)1:30 R1
  • Tyrone Spong defeated Ray Sefo via Unanimous Decision

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