The K-1 Revenge 2006 World Grand Prix in Sapporo will feature four "Revenge" matches along with a quartet of Superfights.
Pictures courtesy of FEG
SAPPORO, July 29, 2006-- It is a hot summer in Japan. In the country's northernmost metropolis, Sapporo, residents are crowding the beer gardens, chugging back frosty suds to drown the stifling heat. This Sunday afternoon, some 10,000 people will pour into Sapporo's Makomanai Ice Hockey Arena -- host venue for the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics. Then things will heat up even more -- as K-1's hottest fighters step into the ring with fire in their eyes -- angry men, bent on revenge.
The K-1 Revenge 2006 World Grand Prix in Sapporo will feature four "Revenge" matches along with a quartet of Superfights. The event evolves out of the fusion of the Japan and Asia WGP this year to provide a time and a place for fighters who want to get even.
Japan's best K-1 fighter, Musashi, hopes to exact some payback from Brazilian Glaube Feitosa when the pair meet in the card's Main Event. Feitosa beat Musashi in the semis of the WGP Tokyo Dome Final in 2005, ending Musashi's run for glory with a second-round KO. Speaking at a press conference at the Sapporo Grand hotel today, Musashi spelled it out for the media.
"I am a man, and I intend to take back what was taken from me," he said. "I lost last time, and I will take the win tomorrow. I am in good shape and well-prepared. I am ready."
Feitosa, as always, paid tribute to his team. "I enjoy great support from the Kyokushin family, and I want to say I appreciate each and every one of them. I will do my best tomorrow to make them proud."
In a bit of double revenge, American-Japanese former Sumo Grand Champion Akebono will stomp into the ring to meet the Korean Techno-Goliath, Hong-Man Choi, who has beat Akebono in both of the pair's previous bouts.
"I am looking forward to the fight this time," said Akebono, "I intend to have a good time winning."
Choi: "This will be the third time I have fought Akebono, it should be interesting! I will try my best!"
Mighty Mo of the U.S. shocked Dutchman and then-K-1 WGP Champion Remy Bonjasky to notch an upset victory by decision at the K-1 WGP 2005 in Las Vegas.
Bonjasky does not like losing, but today he downplayed his thirst for revenge. "Thanks for coming everyone," he smiled, "see you all tomorrow."
Mo also smiled. "I will be there tomorrow too, and I will give Remy a good fight!"
The last of the revenge matches will see Peter Aerts of Holland step in against Gary Goodridge of Trinidad and Tobago. It was Aerts by KO in Nagoya the last time these two met, back in June 2004.
"When I fought Peter he knocked my tooth out," said Goodridge. "That was important, that was the first time I had ever been injured. I want to get my tooth back tomorrow."
Aerts laughed at the suggestion before countering with one of his own: "Well, I hoped he wasn't angry about that but he sounds angry. So I don't know, maybe I'll take another tooth out tomorrow!"
In Superfights on the card.
Yusuke Fujimoto of Japan, this year's Asia GP Champion, will take on self-slighting Japanese television personality Bobby Ologun of Nigeria.
Speaking his signature faux-fractured Japanese, Ologun promised to fulfill his dreams and his "tummy," while Fujimoto endeavored to keep a straight face. "I don't want to lose this one," was about all he said.
Paul Slowinski of Australia outmuscled the field to earn the K-1 Oceania GP title in Auckland earlier this year. In his first fight in Japan he will meet the scrappy local Tatsufumi Tomihira Japan.
Slowinski: "It's my first year in K-1, I intend to do my best."
Tomihira: "Paul Slowinski is a very good fighter, but I came here to win."
Bjorn Bregy of Switzerland is the defending K-1 Europe GP Champion due his convincing win in Amsterdam this year. Here he will fight Tsuyoshi Nakasako of Japan.
Bregy: "I will give 100% and show everyone the new Bjorn Bregy!"
Nakasako: "I want to stay relaxed, enjoy the fight, that's my plan."
Finally, Freddy Kemayo will go up against Hiromi Amada of Japan. Depending on your perspective, it could be said that Frenchman Kemayo has had either the honor or the bad fortune to have met the strongest K-1 forces in a short time in the sport. But Amada has also shown he can dance with the big boys.
Amada: "I tried to focus on basics training for this one, I will do my best!"
Kemayo: "I worked hard to get ready, I want to show my fighting spirit!"
The K-1 Revenge 2006 in Sapporo event is dedicated to the memory of Andy Hug, the legendary Seidokaikan Karate fighter who embodied the spirit of K-1. Andy passed away in Tokyo some six years ago (http://www.so-net.ne.jp/feg/k-1gp/d001_00.htm). As we enter the seventh year of remembrance, Andy's spirit lives on in the hearts of K-1 fighters and fans everywhere.
The K-1 Revenge 2006 WGP in Sapporo will be broadcast live on the Fuji Television Network and Fuji Satellite TV in Japan, and on MBC and MBC/ESPN in South Korea. The event will be time-delay broadcast on EuroSport across Europe, ProTV in Romania, inDemand in the United States, Viewers' Choice in Canada and GroboSat in Brazil. The K-1 Revenge WGP 2006 in Sapporo will be seen in over 100 countries, please check with local broadcasters for scheduling details.
And as always, visit the K-1 Official Website (www.k-1.co.jp) for complete post-event coverage.