Our fight of the year march through the Grand Prix continues today with a pair of bouts from the Heavyweight GP. Up first...
Gokhan Saki v. Daniel Ghita (K-1 Grand Prix Finals, December 11)
Heading into the GP finals, this was the fight many were most looking forward to. Post event, it kind of got lost in the hype of a certain other fight that we'll discuss later today, which is a shame as this is a great fight. What you have here are two of K-1's new guard competing in one of the year's finest technical battles. In particular, the kicks thrown by both are simply phenomenal - this whole thing could be an instructional video on how to throw kicks effectively in kickboxing. Ghita and Saki mix it up, attacking the legs, the body, the head, and they do it all with accuracy, set-ups, and beautiful timing. There's so much skill on display here that you can watch this fight again and again and pick up more.
Rewatching it now, I am reminded of Ernesto Hoost v. Peter Aerts from the 1993 Grand Prix - two young fighters with the future standing ahead of them ready to take the next big leap forward. I suspect this fight will age well with time, and will go down as a classic early encounter between two men who will be major players for some years to come. Be happy to be here when they first met.
There will be 10 fights total posted. Fights 7 & 8 on Tuesday, and 9 & 10 conclude on Wednesday. Fights are featured in chronological order moving through the year. Voting will be open Wednesday night to determine the winner.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His first novel, the Godslayer, is available now.