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Curly Howard
04-27-2004, 09:27 AM
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First Round Matches
Michael McDonald vs. Marvin Eastman

Carter Williams vs. Mighty Mo

Nobu Hayashi vs. Dewey Cooper

Tatsufumi Tomihira vs. Kelly Leo

Superfights:

Shannon Briggs vs. Gary Goodridge

Bob Sapp vs. Tommy Glanville

[April 25, 2004] Two-time K-1 tournament champion, Michael McDonald (44-15 (17 KO’s), and reigning King Of The Cage Lightheavyweight champion, Marvin Eastman (17-4 (10 KO’s), will square off in what will likely be the most anticipated opening round matchup during the eight-man, single-elimination K-1 “Battle At The Bellagio II” tournament at Las Vegas, Nevada’s Bellagio Hotel and Casino on Friday, April 30th. 2003 K-1 USA champion, Carter Williams (15-3-1 (11 KO’s), will defend his tournament crown against K-1 newcomer, “Mighty Mo,” (22-18-2 (18 KO’s) during the event that will air live on Pay-Per-View television.

McDonald, the victor of both the K-1 USA tournament and the K-1 World Grand Prix Semifinals tournament in 2002, will return to North American K-1 tournament competition for the fourth year in a row. Since he set foot on the biggest stage in martial arts fighting, the chiseled Canadian, who sports a look reminiscent of a Roman gladiator, has emerged as a dominant force in the world of K-1.

While McDonald has been making noise in K-1, Eastman has been busy delivering superb performances on other prominent fight cards throughout the United States. Recently, he snatched the King Of The Cage Lightheavyweight championship away from Vernon White. In 2002, he made his K-1 debut during a Superfight with four-time world Muay Thai champion, Jeff “Duke” Roufus. Eastman, who boasts a 10-1 record in professional kickboxing, was expected to fall victim to his opponent, a two-time K-1 tournament competitor. In the third round of their matchup, however, the underdog unleashed a flying knee that put Roufus down for the referee 10-count.

Williams’s title defense comes after he captured last May’s K-1 USA tournament championship as an 18-1 underdog. En route to the win, the 24-year-old defeated three straight opponents, including McDonald and six-time world kickboxing champion, Rick “The Jet” Roufus. Only a month later, Williams’s momentum continued when he captured an International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) sanctioned eight-man, single-elimination tournament championship in Villa Park, Illinois. In October, he made his K-1 fighting debut in Japan and nearly pulled off an upset of monstrous proportions when he faced 2000 K-1 World Grand Prix tournament runner-up and longtime K-1 superstar, Ray Sefo. Williams finished the year strong by chopping down 6’8” giant Bjorn “The Rock” Bregy with a storm of punches inside of two rounds during a December matchup in Tokyo, Japan.

A former professional boxer, Mighty Mo will see action in North American K-1 competition for the first time after making a successful debut in “The New Fighting Sport” in Japan earlier this year. During a February 15th K-1 mega-card in Okinawa, Japan, the American took on 21-year-old Japanese prospect, Hiraku Hori. With only six months of formal martial arts training under his belt, Mo scored two knockdowns on Hori with kicks before putting him down for good with a strong hook at the 1:22 mark of the fourth round. Mo is trained by Eddy Millis of The Shark Tank.

In other “Battle At The Bellagio II” opening tournament round action, two-time world kickboxing champion and undefeated professional boxer, Dewey “The Black Kobra” Cooper (37-6-2 (1 No Contest) (24 KO’s), will meet Japan’s Nobu Hayashi (12-11-1 (1 No Contest) (6 KO’s). Gainesville, Georgia’s Kelly Leo (29-6-1 (16 KO’s) will battle another Japanese native in Tatsufumi Tomihira (10-8 (5 KO’s).

Tickets for Friday’s K-1 “Battle At The Bellagio II” event can be purchased by calling The Bellagio Hotel and Casino box office toll free at 1-800-963-9634.