In the final event of this year, the K-1 Grand Prix is putting together a thrilling championship event featuring no fewer than four title matches!
The champions in each of their respective categories – middleweight (70kg), super lightweight (65kg), lightweight (60kg), and bantamweight (55kg) – have won their current titles by being the last men standing after three grueling fights in prior one-day tournaments. All will be fighting to defend their titles for for this final event of 2015.
In the middleweight division, Marat Grigorian, who won his title after spectacularly knocking out all three of his opponents, will face some serious opposition: Sweden’s Sanny Dahlbeck. Although Grigorian has shown he has the firepower to handle any competition, Dahlbeck will use his acclaimed range and kicks to keep him at bay. There is little doubt that this match won’t last three rounds.
Glancing at the super lightweight category, we have Thai’s elite fighter, Kaew Fairtex, who will meet Minoru “Phillipe” Kimura in a much-anticipated revenge match. In their first encounter earlier this year, the normally aggressive and flamboyant Kimura was visibly nervous when facing the intimidating Kaew. However, Kimura managed to land an accurate straight punch which sent Kaew to the mat, and somehow maintained his ground for the rest of the match by circling the ring, ultimately securing a somewhat controversial victory. This time Kaew will take no chances in seeking his revenge. Also in the 65kg division, Japanese top fighter Noiri will face the tricky Souda in a “super fight.”
In the lightweight division, it is a family feud again with a rematch between the Urabe brothers. Last time the brothers met was during the final 60kg championship one-day tournament. Koya Urabe reached the final relatively fresh after two easy wins while his older brother, Hirotaka Urabe, had heroic victories on his two matches but reached the final barely able to stand upright. Koya showed respect to his older brother by refusing to knock him out, instead letting the match last three rounds and winning on points alone – a move that drew criticism from fans. This time around, Hirotaka will show up fresh to the match and unlike his younger brother he will be looking for a win by knockout.
Finally, the ever exciting Takeru will face the undefeated Frenchman Charles Bongiovanni in the bantamweight division.
Tickets are on sale now, but if you’re unable to attend, it’ll be broadcast live on CS channels, and rebroadcast the following day. Sports commentators reporting live at the event will include previous champs, coaches, and well known announcers.
K-1 World Grand Prix: The 2015 Championship
Where: Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Building 2, 2-1-1 Jinnan, Shibuya, 150-0041 (see map below)
When: Saturday, November 21, from 14:00 to 21:00.
More info: K-1 Grand Prix home page (choose your language, top right)
How much: From ¥6,000 (Standard B) to ¥50,000 (Arena SRS)