This is the third post in a series on K-1's changes to its clinch rules over time and how they affected fighter performances in the ring.
The first fight in the series was Buakaw Por Pramuk vs Takayuki Kohiruimaki in 2004, when full clinch was allowed, and the second featured Buakaw vs Virgil Kalakoda in 2006, after the one strike per clinch rule was in place. As of this time, the last update to the official K-1 rules site was in 2008, so the webpage displays the rules that were in place at the time of this match. See Article 6.7 for discussion of the clinch.
By the 2005 K-1 MAX Final, referees were more consistent in enforcing the one-strike per clinch rule by breaking clinches and issuing warnings and yellow cards. Fighters found inventive ways to circumvent the rules, however, or ignore them altogether, choosing to hazard a warning. After this World Grand Prix, clinch rules became more restrictive.
This was Alistair Overeem's debut K-1 WGP Final, and he was something of an unknown factor in K-1. He had obvious potential, but really was riding on the fame of his first performance against Badr Hari.
Ewerton Teixeira, too, was rather new in K-1. Like Overeem, most of his combat sports experience lay outside K-1, though he came from Kyokushin Karate circuits, while Overeem competed in MMA. Watch for the ways in which their styles contrast, especially in how they respond to being in clinch range. Overeem wears the red gloves, Teixeira the blue.