K-1 LEGEND Previews the Final 16

Fraser Coffeen and Dave Walsh take a look at Saturday’s big upcoming K-1 card in Korea, breaking down each fight and making predictions.

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Badr Hari vs. Zabit Samedov

FC: Samedov is an underrated fighter, but this is a gimme for Hari. Zabit likes to sit back and win a points game, but against the bigger, stronger, more aggressive Hari, he won’t get that option. Look for Hari to make a statement here. HARI, KO
DW: This card is really stacked, and then there is this fight. While there is nothing wrong with Samedov, against Badr Hari I don’t see him doing any real damage. HARI, Crazy KO

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Ruslan Karaev vs. KYOTARO

FC: Speaking of underrated, here are two greatly overlooked fighters.  KYOTARO is not the fluke champion that some have claimed, but this is a tough test for him, as he has not yet faced a fighter that puts together size and power the way Karaev does.  While KYOTARO’s counter punching may meet Karaev’s suspect chin to earn the win, I suspect this is where KYOTARO’s small size catches up to him.  KARAEV, KO
DW: Ruslan is a great, underrated fighter, but this is where KYOTARO proves himself. I can see him reverting to the “Old Kyotaro” and counterstriking and keeping the fight technical and outpointing Karaev. KYOTARO, DEC

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Semmy Schilt vs. Daniel Ghita

FC: How quick fans are to write off Schilt.  One year ago he was viewed as unbeatable, and now, after two loses, many are predicting a Ghita win. Ghita does indeed have great tools, and will be a force in K-1, but not this year.  Don’t underestimate the skill that made Schilt a 3 time champion, and in fact, don’t overlook the very real possibility of Schilt making it 4 this year.  SCHILT, DEC
DW: Schilt is a beast, a giant, slow, plodding beast. Ghita is a monster, but is being thrown into the fire, hell, being thrown into the volcano here. Ghita will get frustrated and Schilt will knee his way into a decision. SCHILT, DEC

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Ewerton Teixeira vs. Singh “Heart” Jaideep

FC: Jaideep is easily the biggest unknown in this tournament, with very limited K-1 experience.  He looked strong in his victory, but did not face any top level talent.  Teixeira meanwhile is the kind of quiet, dedicated fighter that people tend to forget, but has all the tools to be a champion.  The smart money is on a Teixeira decision win, but I think he will focus on his striking and come in more aggressive.  TEIXEIRA, KO
DW: I’ve only seen very little Jaideep, but I still feel comfortable saying Teixeira’s improvement doesn’t stop and he KO’s Jaideep. TEIXEIRA, KO

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Peter Aerts vs. Alistair Overeem

FC: Honestly, this may be the hardest one to call for me.  Aerts is, well, he’s Peter Aerts.  He’s a machine, a legend, an all time great, and he proved in the past year that he’s not done.  But Overeem brings the kind of raw power and unpredictability that can give anyone trouble.  Aerts looked great in his last fight, so I’m going with him, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to be wrong here.  AERTS, DEC
DW: This is probably the most interesting fight, and like Fraser said, a tough call. Aerts will put up a great fight, but like Overeem has shown in his fights this year, if he pushes enough, he’ll get what he wants. Aerts is bigger than both Badr and Remy, but lacks the power of either at this point. Overeem is a destroyer. OVEREEM, KO

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Remy Bonjasky vs. Melvin Manhoef

FC: I see no reason that this fight is any different from their previous fights.  Bonjasky has impeccable defense and dangerously accurate strikes, while Manhoef has a weak chin.  Add it all up and it’s an easy Bonjasky victory.  BONJASKY, KO
DW: The only thing different from their last few fights is Melvin has been put to sleep a few more times. Sorry, Melvin. BONJASKY, Flying KO

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Errol Zimmerman vs. Glaube Feitosa

FC: I fear that 2008 may be the highlight of Zimmerman’s career for some time.  Just a gut feeling, but I don’t think he is going to be the juggernaut that he looked like he might be at the end of last year’s Grand Prix.  That said, Feitosa is not the man to stop him.  I like Glaube, but I think his time is done.  ZIMMERMAN, DEC
DW: Zimmerman kinda gets a pass here, but this’ll be his last win in this tournament. ZIMMERMAN, DEC

Final 16 – 3R Ext. 2R Jerome LeBanner vs. Musashi

FC: Because of their popularity, and because of Musashi’s retirement, this will actually be a pretty anticipated match I suspect.  But the reality is, these are two guys with very little in the tank at this point.  But Le Banner probably has a little more.  LE BANNER, DEC
DW: JLB is the guy who is less washed up, but he has a clear target on that arm of his. A lot of this fight hinges on his ability to hold it together and I’m just not sure he has it in him. MUSASHI by miracle DEC

Superfight Taiei Kin vs. Catalin Morosanu

FC: I was recently watching a Kickboxing show from 1992, before the Grand Prix even existed, and lo and behold, there was Kin.  The man has been around forever, and amazingly, he almost made the final 16 this year.  Still, Morosanu is a beast, who is ready to take a spot at the top in K-1.  I think he is just too much for the veteran.  MOROSANU, KO
DW: Let’s make this the feel good show of the year and say Taiei Kin not only holds on but outpoints Morosanu, who is drunk off his ass on his own vodka (that sounds weird, right?). I don’t think Taiei is done yet. KIN, DEC


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