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K-1 MAX Madrid Show This Weekend

Here's a show announcement that kind of snuck up out of nowhere - this weekend in Madrid, Spain will be a regional K-1 MAX show.  The show is being put on by K-1 MAX Madrid, and will feature a traditional 8 man tournament.  These kind of regional events are not out of the ordinary for K-1, who brand many smaller, local shows as K-1 shows.  While these shows are affiliated with K-1, they are typically not a part of the official K-1 season - meaning don't expect mention of this event on the K-1 website, or for the tournament winner to automatically enter the GP Final 16.

The biggest name in the tournament is definitely Warren Stevelmans.  A K-1 MAX veteran who won the MAX 2008 Netherlands tournament, Stevelmans has been in there with the division's very best, including Andy Souwer, Giorgio Petrosyan, and Albert Kraus among many others.  He fights often, and almost always against tough competition, so his record only stands at 4-5 in the last 2 years, but those loses all come against tough opposition.  I would consider him the favorite in this field.

Stevelmans's toughest challenger here is likely Rachid Belaini, who comes in off a huge win over the top 25 ranked Khem Sitsonpeenong at It's Showtime in September.  If Belaini can keep that momentum going, he can definitely win this event and use that victory as the start of a big 2011.

Also in the tournament are WBC champion Alex Asumu; Hassan Ait Bassou, a good fighter making the move up to 70kg from his normal 63kg weight; Jonay Risco; Manzy Pauwels, a Muay Thai fighter who won a similar regional tournament in 2009; Rafa Del Toro; and Rafi Zohueir, a Muay Thai fighter who was slated to represent Spain on the ill-fated The Contender Asia Season 2.

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Alistair Overeem Wishes You a Happy New Year

We have just emerged from the holiday season, and were greeted by MiddleEasy.com turning into a Voltron-like entity that is the MiddleEasy Network. We all probably had to deal with some sort of crazed family members or crazed friends and family of our loved ones at some point, so what better way to alleviate that stress than to be wished a happy new year from a fighter whose knee could rip your head off. Check out K-1's photo album. While we are at it, the team at LiverKick.com would like to wish you a Happy New Year as well. I mean, if Overeem, Sakuraba, Aoki and the gang can, why can't we?

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The Young Blood Of K-1

 

Age. It's the unbeatable enemy of every athlete. Time cannot be stopped and one day, every athlete will succomb to it. The body gets to a point where it won't perform like it once did and even though the mind is willing, championships aren't won on mental strength alone.

K-1 fighters are no different and are probably more susceptible because of the physical toll that professional kickboxers must endure to reach the top and stay there for any amount of time. A fact that makes what Peter Aerts accomplished on December, 11th at the WGP Finals, all that more impressive. The Dutch Lumberjack, along with many of the top stars in K-1, are getting older. The aforementioned Aerts is 40. Jerome Le Banner is 38. Remy Bonjasky is 34 and on the brink of retirement due to an eye injury. Semmy Schilt is 37. I could go on but you see what I'm getting at - K-1 is growing old and in need of young stars to step up and fill the holes that will be left by all those giants of the sport when age has finally caught up with them. Who will that be? Let's look at some.

 

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Is Badr Hari Innocent? Sources Say "Yes"

Badr HariCrazier things have happened in the world of combat sports which is so delicately intertwined with organized crime and, well, crime in general (then again, what sports aren't?), but the odyssey of Badr Hari's criminal exploits which ruined his 2010 might be cleared up soon. Of course nothing is a lock yet, but there have been some reports of late that have given further detail into the case against Badr Hari and that his name might be unfairly attached as an attacker for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being a world-renowned K-1 fighter.

There is an article up about comments left on a crime blog about the situation, seemingly from key witnesses at the night club that night. One of the comments below indicates that Badr Hari was simply with the group that attacked the bouncer, but steered clear to not risk injury.

The real story: He came with a group, and everyone was allowed inside except for two guys who previously been difficult. The doorman (a giant, larger than Badr himself) calmly handled the situation. Badr seemed at peace with the situation, only to suddenly throw a punch at the doorman. Badr remained calm and did his best to avoid the situation, as he was in training (and mean fighting) for K1 and did not want to the risk injury. Badr was with the group and the doorman was indeed beaten. Police: Create a chat with the staff and the DJ of that night .... you know enough.

The translation was cleaned up by me a bit, if you see anything glaringly wrong, let me know, I'm not a native Dutch speaker, obviously. As the article goes on to mention, the few comments of bloggers is not positive proof, but there do seem to be a few key witnesses and some stones that were left un-turned. This comes hot off the heels of reports on Dutch forums that Badr Hari has been back in the gym with Mike Passenier and his training partners getting back into shape.

Thanks our good friend Simon Raedts for the tip.

UPDATE: Minor translation tweaks.

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