11-06-2002, 12:41 PM
11-06-2002, 12:48 PM
K-1 Grand Prix Preview
With the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals about a month away, I thought this would be a good time to start profiling the fighters for those of you who may not be too familiar with K-1. Below I have included a chart giving an ordinal listing of how I feel the fighters stack up in five important qualities: Power (ability to KO), Technical (overall ring generalship), Chin/Heart(the ability to comeback/not get KO'd), Endurance, and Intangibles(other factors that aren't represented by the other four). Under the chart there is a brief profile of each of the fighters. I will in the coming weeks profile all of the quarter-final fights in detail and give my predictions.
Fighter Power Technical Chin/Heart Endurance Intangibles
Ray Sefo 5 3 1 6 4
Peter Aerts 4 1 6 7 7
Bob Sapp 1 8 7 8 2
Semmy Schilt 7 7 8 3 1
Stefan Leko 6 2 2 1 6
Mark Hunt 3 6 4 5 5
Jerome Le Banner 2 5 5 4 3
Musashi 8 4 3 2 8
Ray Sefo: Kiwi fighter who fights for the Amerika Presents promotion/gym. Has not actually lost a K-1 Grand Prix fight since the 2000 final against Ernesto Hoost. Was eliminated in both the 2001 qualifying and repachage tournaments due to an injury. Has impressive amounts of courage and heart, and never gives up. A bit of a showboat, he sometimes likes to clown around in the ring, and it sometimes costs him. He is a bit on the small side (relatively speaking) so he may have trouble against the likes of Sapp and/or Schillt, however he could be able to out work both of them.
Peter Aerts: The only fighter left in the tournament that competed in the 1st GP in 1993. His age has started to show, first with the humiliating series with Cyril Abidi (in which he lost twice by 1st round KO/TKO and won the 3rd at the Grand Prix finals, only to have to retire because of an injury), and now with losses this year to fighters like Alexei Ignashov. He is a three-time GP champion however and older fighters sometimes have a way of turning the clock back for a night, so he is by no means a soft touch. Count him out at your own peril!
Bob Sapp: One of the stranger stories in sport fighting the last year has been the emergence of Bob Sapp. A strange hybrid kickboxer/MMA fighter/pro-wrestler has plenty of strength and power, but no endurance. Is a threat to KO anyone in the tournament (including Ray Sefo) and has already eliminated three-time champion Ernesto Hoost by 1st Round KO. It will be interesting to see how he handles three fights in one night (if he gets that far) especially if his first two fights (Semmy Schillt and potentially Ray Sefo) end up going a couple of rounds. It should be noted that many of K-1 established names (Musashi, Le Banner, Leko) all had the opportunity to fight Sapp in the quarter-finals but refused. No US born fighter has ever won the tournament. The man who came closest? His trainer Maurice Smith.
Semmy Schilt: Before you ask, YES he is still the official Open Weight King of Pancrase. A member of the famous Dutch Golden Glory team (along with, among others, fellow tournament competitor Stefan Leko), he is still quite new to the realm of K-1. His biggest advantage is that he towers over all the other competitors, as his is (depending upon who you talk to) between 6-10 and 7 ft tall. Has an extraordinarily long reach with his kicks, and with that was able to hold the aforementioned Ernesto Hoost to a draw at the Dynamite! show this year. His only other K-1 fight was a victory of fellow tournament fighter Musashi. He may have been the worst possible matchup for Sapp, as one cannot KO what he can not reach, no matter how much power they have.
Stefan Leko: Schillt's teammate in Golden Glory, Stefan Leko has made quite a name for himself in the last few years. He may be the best overall technician in the tournament, and does have some pop in his punch as some fans may remember his one punch demolition of Peter Aerts last year in Las Vegas. On that same card, he had an absolute war with Duke Roufus, which was probably one of the more exciting K-1 fights in the last couple of years. He lost twice at the K-1 GP finals last year, losing his quarter-final match against Ernesto Hoost, but because of Hoost's injury, was advanced in his place. There he fought his quarter-final opponent this year, the eventual champion Mark Hunt, and lost in overtime. This year he gets Hunt while he is fresh, and I suspect that the outcome may be different this time.
Mark Hunt: The most unlikely GP winner ever, Mark Hunt at this time last year was considered a good "regional" fighter who was immensely lucky to get to the final tournament (he needed a gigantic upset in his bracket and an injury to Ray Sefo). Then he dispatched the favorite, Jerome Le Banner, with an amazing 1st round KO, got a bit lucky(the aforementioned Hoost injury) and won his next two fights to win the crown. He is a bruising puncher, and is light years ahead of someone like Sapp as a technician. Still, there are better fighters than him in this tournament, and a repeat of last year is highly unlikely.
Jerome Le Banner: Widely considered the best K-1 fighter to never win the GP, Le Banner was the resident bad-ass of K-1 until Sapp came along. K-1 Boss Iishi has said that his match is Le Banner vs Sapp, and he was quite surprised that Le Banner turned down the chance to fight Sapp in the quarters. Many thought last year would be the year he'd finally break through, but he failed to prepare for the hard hitting Hunt, and it cost him. His first opponent this year, Musashi, hasn't scored a KO since 2000, so the chance of a similar thing happening is slim. He has already revenged his loss to Hunt this year in Paris, but a tournament victory would be the best redemption of all. With Sapp's tough bracket and lack of endurance, I can see Le Banner coming through and winning the whole thing. But then I said the same thing last year, too.
Musashi: The 2002 K-1 Japan GP champion, Musashi is a veteran of the K-1 wars. He is a bit undersized as compared to the rest of the elite K-1 fighters, and that tends to cost him. He hasn't scored a KO in two years against anyone, and only reclaimed the K-1 Japan throne due to an injury to the previous champ Nick Pettas (from that famous Japanese section known to the rest of the world as "Denmark"). He is one of the better technical fighters and he has, somewhat surprisingly, never fought Jerome Le Banner before. That could be the recipe for a shocker, but even if that were to happen, I don't see him winning three times.
11-06-2002, 12:49 PM
Damn, I fixed that little chart in my post but it didn't work. Well I tried.
It's important to note that "1" is the best, it's not ranked in ascending order.
Oh yeah and after further reading I'm realizing his ratings are BS. Musashi has greater chin than Mark Hunt?? Ok - this *** has obviously never watched K-1. He has no chin AND no fighting spirit. Nonsense.
11-17-2002, 09:56 PM
read the other things ha has written
I don't agree with his assesments. Hunt has a far better chin than Sefo. Musashi absolutely cannot beat LeBanner no matter if they have fought before or not.
11-18-2002, 12:02 AM
I tried to enter that, but they said I wasn't qualified. Don't they know I won the All-Valley 2 years in a row?
11-18-2002, 07:11 AM
You should go there anyway....you would win DAniel-san
11-18-2002, 11:18 AM
11-18-2002, 04:58 PM
Semmy's power is under-rated. If he didn't have power, Hoost would have walked right through him. He has very strong hands and a one of the most effective liver kicks in the game.
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