With Giorgio Petrosyan now out of It's Showtime's Fast & Furious 70MAX Tournament on September 24, we're all wondering who will be the man to replace him. It's pretty tough to replace the number one fighter in the sport and anyone stepping in for Giorgio Petrosyan needs to be a worthy challenger to the other seven contestants. Here are in my opinion the top three candidates to replace Giorgio Petrosyan.
Note: Simon Rutz made it clear that Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Albert Kraus, Mohammed Khamal and Mike Zambidis were all unavailable. Quite unfortunate, as those would be some of the top candidates to replace Giorgio.
The Spanish fighter has been on a tear lately, securing wins over Andy Souwer and Gago Drago, two competitors in the tournament this year. Roqueñi was an unknown to most before this year, and I believe he deserves a chance to prove himself. Hell, he already has. He's showed he can hang with the top of the division, especially with his win over Andy Souwer. It's about time Roqueñi got a shot at the big time. He's paid his dues on the scene over the years and his resume speaks for itself. If I were to pick anyone to replace Giorgio, I'd choose Abraham Roqueñi.
A mainstay of K-1 MAX, Sato has had some ups and downs recently. Sato has only lost to top competition lately though and his recent win over Albert Kraus shows he can still hold his own. Although I think by now that we all know what Sato is. He's a solid fighter who can hang with the top fighters and win a few against them but will never truly make a breakthrough as an elite fighter. Still, Sato is no one to write off, and with nothing currently lined up he could find himself replacing Giorgio Petrosyan and taking on Chahid Oulad el Hadj in the quarter finals. With Chahid in the quarter finals and the winner of that match facing the winner of Chris Ngimbi vs. Murat Direkci, Sato would definitely have a good chance of making it to the final.
Giorgio Petrosyan's out, why not throw in his brother? Really though, Armen Petrosyan is a very good fighter, despite not being anywhere near as known as his brother. Armen has faced and beaten good competition, including decisioning Yoshihiro Sato in March. Armen's career is pretty tough to follow so we don't know what or if he has anything lined up for March. This could be Armen's breakout moment and if he wins the tournament, I'm already imagining all the discussion about Petrosyan vs. Petrosyan and if they'd do it. Maybe Armen can even get a Wikipedia page if he replaces Giorgio and wins.