This fight is part of a series discussing changes in K-1's clinch rules. I'll be posting fights that demonstrate what fights in different eras of the clinch rule had the potential to look like. The next fight will be post-2005, when "one strike in the clinch" was enforced.
In 2004, the clinch was essentially unchanged from Muay Thai. Fighters could throw as many strikes/ knees as they wanted and it was often used to avoid distance fighting by fighters like Takayuni Kohiruimaki and Yoshihiro Sato. Sato, before joining K-1, had a great career in Muay Thai and full rules Japanese Kickboxing in the AJKF where he utilized knees and elbows to great effect. His build looks similar to that of famous knee fighters of old, like Dieselnoi Chor Thansukarn, who was 188 cm, 6' 2", and fought at 63.5 kg, 140 lb.
In Thailand, Buakaw Por Pramuk had climbed the Lumpini rankings at 135 lb lightweight to no.2 before stopping in deference to a stablemate who held the belt. He competed at 140 lb in Thailand before being invited through Ingram Gym connections to fight in K-1 MAX. Because he moved directly from 63.5 kg to the MAX, he regularly weighs in at 69 kg or 70 kg without cutting weight, while other fighters in the MAX cut the usual 5 to 10 kg. Buakaw was only in the promotion for one year before the rules changed.
Takayuki Kohiruimaki, in 2004, was an up and coming prospect in Japanese K-1, having wins over Kozo Takeda, Hayato, and Mike Zambidis, and Masato (This was very early in both their careers, being both of theirs second bout.). Kohiruimaki changed his name to Taishin in 2008 after coming back from a long, injury-related layoff. He currently has not competed since 2009, the year he won his third J-MAX title. Kohi debuted in 1999 in K-1 and used the clinch and knees as a mainstay of his style.
Keep in mind that most K-1 fights of this era did not look like this. In fact, this is one of very few examples where offensive clinching is decisive. The rules merely allowed matches to potentially look this this. This was the semi-final of the 2004 K-1 MAX Final Tournament. Buakaw wears blue gloves in this bout, Kohi wears red.