OSAKA, September 27, 2006 -- Another year of regional and elimination tournaments are behind us, and now the stage is set for the first phase of the 2006 K-1 World Grand Prix Final. This Saturday, September 30, the Osaka Jo Hall will play host to 16 of the world's top warriors -- this year's tournament winners and exceptional fighters along with the finalists from 2005 -- as they go head-to-head for a shot at fightsport's most prestigious prize -- the K-1 World GP Crown.
The annual Final Elimination Tournament will comprise eight one-match bouts (regular K-1 Rules, 3min x 3R), with the eight victors advancing to the December 2 Tokyo Dome Final.
The variety of fighters this year is impressive. The incomparable Ray Sefo of New Zealand will face another veteran, K-1 Repechage tournament winner Stefan "Blitz" Leko of Germany; while in a battle of newcomers, the explosive Ruslan Karaev of Russia will see if he can outpower Dutch enfant terrible Badr Hari.
Technical Kyokushin fighter Glaube Feitosa of Brazil will match his kicks against the hard-hitting Oceania GP Champion Paul Slowinski Australia; and in battle of power versus size it will be Frenchman Jerome Le Banner and the gargantuan Hong-Man Choi of Korea.
Dutch kickboxer Peter Aerts will step in against compatriot Remy Bonjasky in a battle of fighters with five WGP titles between them; while Defending Champion Semmy Schilt, also of Holland, will face this year's Europe GP Champion Bjorn Bregy of Switzerland.
Finally, K-1's only Four-time Champion, the legendary Dutch kickboxer Ernesto "Mr. Perfect" Hoost, will tango with the K-1 Asia GP Champion Yusuke Fujimoto of Japan; and Japanese Seidokaikan fighter Musashi will go against the USA GP winner Chalid "Die Faust" of Germany.
The action kicks off at 4:00 p.m. Japan time on Saturday September 30. The K-1 World GP 06 Final Elimination will be broadcast nationwide in Japan on the Fuji TV Network, and delay-broadcast in some 95 countries -- check with local suppliers for scheduling information.
For stories, pictures and other coverage including fighters' profiles, comments and official results, check the K-1 Official Website (http://www.k-1.co.jp).