K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 Vorschau
geschrieben von Monty DiPietro

Held annually in the sold-out Tokyo Dome, with millions more in Japan and overseas watching on television, the K-1 Grand Prix Final is one of the world's most prestigious sports events.

K-1 tournament format fights are fought under K-1 rules. Each fight has three rounds, each round lasts three minutes. The eight fighters meet in four first-tier fights, with the winners advancing to a pair of Semifinal contests. The men who emerge from the Semis go to the Final to determine the Champion.

In K-1, getting by one fighter is not enough, a tournament winner must prevail in three bouts in one day. Given this brutal format, it is essential that the fighter who would be Champion focus not only on beating his opponent, but also on avoiding the damaging blows that might slow him down in his next fight.

This year, more than 100 of the planet's top kickboxing, karate, and kung fu fighters competed in elimination tournaments in Cape Town, in Sapporo, in Las Vegas, and in dozens of other cities around the world, for the honor of appearing in the Grand Prix 2000.

And so it has all come down to eight men, and on December 10th, one of these fighters will earn the martial arts world's biggest prize: K-1's million dollar purse.

Who will be the King of Kings?

He might be the defending K-1 Grand Prix Champion, Ernesto Hoost. The tall Dutch kickboxer is known in Japan as "Mr. Perfect," a tribute to his exceptional poise and technical prowess.

Of course nobody can predict what will happen at a K-1 tournament. The torch could well pass to Hoost's compatriot, kickboxer Peter Aerts, K-1's only three-time Champion. Aerts brings experience to the ring, but if he hopes to take yet another Championship, he will have dish out a little payback on first fight opponent Cyril Abidi, the freewheeling French wunderkind who stopped Aerts in their last two bouts.

Another fighter to watch out for is Stefan Leko, who missed out on qualifying for the Grand Prix when a frachured right hand forced him to pull out of the Fukuoka tournament final. When Jerome LeBanner came down with infectious mononucleosis, Leko was parachuted into the tournament, where he will meet Francisco Filho, a Brazilian who fights from the Kyokushin Karate school.

With the withdrawal of Mike Bernardo due to a pulled calf muscle, New Zealand's Ray Sefo will take fight in the final. Sefo is a long-time favorite in Japan, and many of the 62,000 fans are expected to root for the New Zealander. But not everyone will be in the Sefo's corner, as his first fight opponent is local entry Musashi. Fighting from Seidokaikan Karate, a bulked up Musashi has honed his skills in tough competition over the last year. Musashi hopes to become the first-ever Japanese K-1 Grand Prix Champion.

Last but not least among the K-1 Grand Prix 2000 Finalists is Mirko CroCop, a fit and scrappy Croatian who battled his way through the Grand Prix last year only to lose to Hoost in the Final. This year, CroCop will meet Hoost in a first fight rematch to kick off the Tokyo Dome event.

With December 10th rapidly approaching, sports fans worldwide are gearing up for the K-1 Grand Prix 2000. Visit this website for official news and results from K-1, the planet's premiere fighting sport.

Freundlicherweise zur Verfügung gestellt durch Monty DiPietro.

Weitere Links zu diesem Thema