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K-1 World MAX Final 16 Fighters and Stream Information

K-1 MAX

K-1 has been in motion the past few days, making their big announcement of the list for the K-1 World MAX Final 16 as well as announcing that it will be available via internet PPV via the Epicentre.tv platform for $19.99. Needless to say, there has been a lot of movement from K-1, especially in regards to the World MAX Final 16, and all of it looks to be some good stuff. While there were some bumps in the road when it came to the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals earlier this year and the stream, K-1 has teamed up with Australia's Epicentre.tv to provide a HD quality stream of the event. Epicentre has been around for a while, streaming combat sports events all over the world and has a very good reputation for providing quality streams, so you can put yourself at ease knowing that you'll be able to view the K-1 World MAX Final 16 without any real hiccups.

Then, of course, comes the list of fighters for the Final 16. Considering the competition and the nature of the game right now, especially with exclusive contracts and whatnot, the fact that K-1 put together such a great list of fighters is astonishing. Some of the lesser-known fighters, like Enrico Kehl, are really top notch and will make for worthy additions to the K-1 MAX division.

  • Andy Souwer
  • Buakaw Banchamek
  • Mike Zambidis
  • David Calvo
  • Elam Ngor
  • Máximo Suárez
  • Henry Van Opstal
  • Wallace López
  • Shane Campbell
  • Miodrag Olar
  • François Alexande
  • Yasuhiro Kido
  • Zhi-Peng Zhou
  • Enrico Kehl
  • Joey Pagliuso
  • Lee Sung-Hyun

They've also released their final poster for the event, as well.

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Japan's "Blue Eyed Samurai": A Tribute to Andy Hug

 

Thirteen years ago, today, the kickboxing world lost one of it's greatest and most treasured fighters- Andreas "Andy" Hug. 

There is perhaps no kickboxer, besides maybe Masato, that embodies the "Samurai Spirit" of K-1 more than Hug. Born in Switzerland to a widowed mother, Andy Hug became a star in Japan when the Kyokushin Karate blackbelt (and one of the most well respected non-Japanese karatekas of all-time) defeated the original K-1 Champion, Branko "The Croatian Tiger" Cikatic directly after his celebrated WGP win. 

Hug became an instant international star, well known for wearing his Karate Gi and blackbelt into the ring, brutal Ax kicks, and the ever enduring "Hug Tornado,"- a lethal spinning kick aimed at the opponent's thigh. The technique required such precision and timing that Japanese fans believed no one else on Earth was capable of executing such a move in high level competition. 

Today, some might see Karate as a novelty. In the age of MMA, Boxing, Muay Thai, and other brutal stand-up sports, time honored traditions like forms and board breaking may seem out of place among hard-nosed full combat action. Back in the early days of K-1 however, Karate was represented by a wealth of significant talent like Francisco Filho, Sam Greco, Nicholas Pettas, and Glaube Feitosa. Of them all, Andy reigned supreme. 

Hug was one of the most popuar fighters in the world, not only for his humility and camera charm, but also because he represented the Japanese sport of Karate in the face of dangerous Muay Thai, Savate, and Boxing practioners. While not being Japanese himself, he was embraced by his adoptive country for rigorously dedicating himself to the tradition of Japan's most time-tested stand-up sport. 

While Hug is often passed on the Greatest of All-Time list of kickboxers, few remember that the Swiss fighter holds one of the most impressive records in the sport, with wins over Ernesto Hoost, Mike Bernardo (x2), Peter Aerts (x2), Stefan Leko, Stan Longinidis, Sam Greco, Ray Sefo (x2), Cro Cop, Jerome Le Banner, and Musashi.

Another forgotten piece of trivia about Hug is that he was a natural middleweight. Even with his significant size disadvantage against fighters like Aerts, Le Banner, and Bernardo, Hug's movement, power, and ferocity was so high that he could break even the most talented K-1 star in their primes. 

 Despite all his other fantastic performance, there is  perhaps, no greater moment in Hug's career than his defining K-1 WGP win in 1996. 

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Mike Zambidis Joins K-1 World MAX Tournament

K-1

Mike Zambidis, better known as Zambo, is probably one of the most exciting fighters in K-1 history and it looks like he'll be making his return to the K-1 ring in September in Mallorca, Spain as a part of the Final 16 event.

Zambo was originally announced for the event over the summer but then reports surfaced that Zambidis would not be participating after all. So this comes as a bit of a surprise, but a good surprise at that, especially after Abraham Roqueni pulled out, citing issues with the event promoter, Street Culture. Zambidis makes for a fine addition to the K-1 World MAX tournament, joining K-1 veterans like Buakaw Banchamek, Andy Souwer and Yasuhiro Kido as well as a host of younger fighters as well.

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Abraham Roqueni Parts Ways with Street Culture, Pulls Out From K-1 MAX Final 16

Roqueni

You can't have a week without having some drama, and some drama we do have, as upcoming K-1 World MAX Final 16 participant Abraham Roqueni has publicly made a statement declaring that he's ending his relationship with his manager, Javier Rolo of Street Culture. If Street Culture sounds familiar to you it is because Street Culture worked as the local promoter in Spain for past It's Showtime events and is doing the same duty for the upcoming K-1 World MAX Final 16 in Mallorca. For promoter Javier Rolo this is not his only pressing issue, though, as there have been some issues with recent Enfusion Live events which he helped to promote.

Roqueni has severed his relationship with Rolo and Street Culture, which in turn has forced him to pull out of the K-1 World MAX Final 16. Before the lynch mob comes out, it's hard to see this as a reflection of K-1, really, and instead is an issue with their promotional partner. Some might be surprised at K-1 using a local partner, but it is pretty standard procedure for organizations, as even GLORY uses local promoters (Topuz in Turkey, DiBlasi in Italy, Neglia in New York, etc.). This is a loss for K-1, as Roqueni does have a solid name from his win over Andy Souwer back in 2011, but not a huge loss by any stretch of the imagination.

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