Final Preparations! K-1 World MAX 2009 FINAL8
#8: Final Press Conference
Check out videos from the press conference at the new K-1 YouTube channel.
5000 fans were on hand for the outdoor pre-event press conference in Shinjuku today. There were no provocative comments made by either Kawajiri or Masato compared to the last press conference. Kawajiri said that it’s too late for words at this stage. He is in his best shape and ended with “I will beat him”.
KID said that he’s honored to face a Korean Muay Thai champion in Cheon, but ended with: “It will not be a 2nd round KO” (see Cheon’s interview below).
The two of the final 8 who were most popular at the press conference were Buakaw Por.Pramuk and Albert Kraus. Kraus said in Japanese: “Hello everyone. My condition is good. I want to become number 1, I will do my best”.
Reserve fighter Kaestner spoke fluent Japanese for a minute when his turn came which got him a big applause from the audience.
HIROYA also spoke in another language than his mother tongue when he faced Kiko Lopez and said: “Hey, tomorrow we can make good fight.”
The bad boy former Japanese Boxing champion Watanabe, who wore like a crocodile skin suit with a hammer in his hand, then, when his turn to comment came, said: “tumorou (tomorrow)….somehow (in Japanese) gufai (good fight)”.
Tanigawa is hoping for an over 15% tv-rating for this event.
#7: Weigh-In Results
Everyone made weight besides HIROYA who came in 1.7 kg over the 62 kg weight limit in his contract. He weighed in again and probably made it (haven’t seen anything on it yet).
#6: Hinata Returns
In 2008, Hinata defeated K-1 MAX veterans Yasuhito Shirasu, Tatsuji, and Hayato, and became the R.I.S.E. organizations first 70 kg champion. People who knew about this were excited for his K-1 MAX debut at the MAX Japan GP earlier in 2009. Many thought his fight against Yasuhiro Kido in the quarterfinal of the GP was the two best of the 8 facing each other too early…
Hinata picked up many new fans after the fight.
#5: Albert Kraus Interview
Albert Kraus interview on Sportsnavi.
You have already grown accustomed to Japan, how is your condition?
My physical condition is perfect, I’m looking forward to the fight.
Your opponent is the type that researches a lot before fights, how about you?
I have also watched and studied Petrosyan’s past fights. Training was also sufficient, I have confidence in victory.
Many in Japan support Petrosyan as the favorite of the tournament.
Before that he has to cross the wall that is me. Therefore, he won’t suddenly win the tournament as a new participant in it.
Petrosyan is saying: “I didn’t show all of my power in my fight last time. This time I will display my respect for the first generation champion and fight with all of my power”.
(Says something before which I don’t understand fully). It’s before the fight so whatever he says doesn’t matter, but as the first generation champion I want to control the whole fight and win. I am the boss of the ring.
Masato vs. Kawajiri is gathering a lot of attention, what do you think about the fight?
This quarterfinal is an important fight for me. Masato isn’t in the tournament so I don’t think anything particular about it. Myself winning is number one.
Do you think anything about Masato not being in the tournament?
I knew from the outset that Masato was not going to participate, my attitude facing the tournament hasn’t particularly changed. But if I win the tournament a fight with Masato will be realized, so there is the belt and a different motivation that has appeared as well. So, the enthusiasm for the tournament is the same as always.
#4: Jae Hee Cheon Wearing FMC Shirt
Translation of a Jae Hee Cheon interview on Sportsnavi. He was wearing a shirt with the logo of the new big Korean MMA organization Fighting Mixed Combative that are supposed to have their first big press conference this Monday.
This is your first time fighting in Japan so first tell us about your martial arts history.
I started Muay Thai on my third year in high school and it has now been 6 years.
What was your motive for starting Muay Thai?
I liked exercising since I was a child so I started learning Taekwondo but the training wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. At that time I also got interested in Muay Thai so because of that I started it.
What is your strongest technique?
I respect Buakaw and I have taken a similar left kick as my strong point.
What do you respect about Buakaw?
His speed, physical strength, everything. Above all else, the strength of his heart in particular.
What did you think when your fight with KID was decided?
I didn’t think about anything special but I like KID’s style and I respect him too. I’m happy that I’m able to fight him, this was like winning the lottery for me. I’m going to make the best use of this chance and I want to broaden my name.
How do you imagine the fight being?
I think that KID acquires technique while training but more than that I think it’ll be an instinct like fight. If it becomes an instinct like fight I think it’ll be a fight with intense exchanges of punches.
If you win, what image of the fight do you have?
I want to win by punches. I want to decide the fight in the second round. I’m a stand-up fighter so I think it goes better as time passes. So the second round.
If you defeat KID, do you want K-1 MAX to be your main battleground?
Other fighters often say “I want to win”, but I’m not like that. I say: “I will win”. When I win this fight, I will, with pleasure, participate when MAX invites me from then on.
You said that your strong point is your left kick, but what is your strongest punch?
My right is strong. I think I lose to KID in power but I am above in skill.
Where does your self-confidence in victory come from?
When I heard that my fight against KID was decided, I was in Thailand. KID is physically strong, I on the other hand wasn’t confident about that so I firmly trained my physical strength and my Boxing in Thailand.
#3: Buakaw Por.Pramuk Interview
Parts of an Buakaw Por.Pramuk interview on Sportsnavi.
After the last fight, there was talk of you returning home to your parents. How did you spend time until now?
There was that plan but I want to have the best fight this time so I couldn’t return home to my parents.
So (going to that extent) your physical condition is perfect?
Yes. It’s 100 percent.
Are you OK from the damage received by Dida in the last fight?
I had a doctor check, there are no problems now.
What are your impressions of your opponent?
I think he has leveled up quite a bit even on a technical level. He is also taller than me, he is not an opponent which you can be careless against.
Nieky said that you are weaker than 5 years ago.
The way you fight in a match differs due to your mental state and opponent. Nieky might think so about me, but I don’t.
Did Nieky’s words get to you?
(Laugh) There’s no use even if I get irritated here (there’s no use getting irritated here). I want to take out this anger in the ring.
The Masato vs. Kawajiri fight is gathering attention.
Since there’s few fights left until Masato’s retirement, it’s natural that the fight gathers attention.
What do you think about this years level when last years champion, Masato, isn’t participating?
The level of the present MAX rises year after year, I think that the 8 remaining fighters this year have the same level. I don’t think the level of the tournament has dropped just because Masato isn’t participating.
Buakaw also mentioned watching the video of his fight against Dida (because of the knockdown) time and time again and that he has strengthened his defense since then.
#2: Artur Kyshenko Interview
Parts of an Artur Kyshenko interview on Sportsnavi.
The quarterfinals are finally drawing near, what is going through your head right now?
Before that, the weigh-ins are tomorrow, so first of all I want to make weight. After that, I want to think about the fight when I eat sushi (laugh).
Thinking about the weigh-ins, meaning that the weight cut was difficult?
No, there is no problem but I still have to wait one whole day for it.
What do you think your fight with Souwer will be like?
I don’t know. But I think it will be an interesting fight.
The Masato vs. Kawajiri fight is gathering attention. What are your thoughts on the fight?
Masato will undoubtedly win. Because my fight is before that in the schedule, I can watch Masato’s fight at ease.
Kyshenko also talked about how he gets stronger and how his courage steadily comes forth during fights.
#1: Fight Order Announced
Main event is Masato vs. Kawajiri as expected. However, the reserve fights are higher on the card than the actual GP fights. According to the K-1 site the Masato/Kawajiri and HIROYA/Lopez fights won’t have any extension round in case of a draw (but other Japanese sites have 1 extension round for the fights).
FieLDS K-1 WORLD MAX 2009 World Championship Tournament -FINAL8-
Date: July 13th, 2009
Place: Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan
11. Masato vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
K-1 World MAX 2009 Tournament FINAL8 Reserve Fights (3×3, 1×3 Ext.):
10. Yoshihiro Sato vs. Joeri Mes
9. Yasuhiro Kido vs. Leroy Kaestner
Superfights (3×3, 1×3 Ext.):
8. 60kg: Atsushi Yamamoto vs. Kazuhisa Watanabe
7. 62kg: Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto vs. Jae Hee Cheon
K-1 World MAX 2009 Tournament FINAL8 Fights (3×3, 1×3 Ext.):
6. Buakaw Por.Pramuk vs. Nieky “The Natural” Holtzken
5. Artur Kyshenko vs. Andy Souwer
4. Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Albert Kraus
3. DRAGO vs. Yuya Yamamoto
2. 62kg: HIROYA vs. Kiko Lopez
Superfight (3×3, 1×3 Ext.):
1. HINATA vs. Dzhabar ”Chengiskhan” Askerov
Opening Fight (3×3):
0. Go Yokoyama vs. Jae Gil Noh