At the Final 16 press conference yesterday, Badr Hari publicly stated who he wanted to face in the Grand Prix tournament this year: Remy Bonjasky, Alistair Overeem, and Kyotaro. Obviously, revenge is on Hari’s mind – revenge for his two loses to Bonjasky, his embarrassing loss to Overeem, and for being stripped of his belt.
Interestingly, Hari has been itching to face Kyotaro for some time now – check out his “congratulations” on the night of Kyotaro’s title win:
It goes without saying that Hari has all the physical tools to be #1 in the world and win the Grand Prix, and for the past few years it has seemed more like a question of when will he win it rather than if he will. But the weakness in Hari’s game is his emotion – it’s emotion that cost him last year, and, if he becomes too focused on revenge and personal matters, it could be his undoing this year.
There’s no doubt that in the Grand Prix 2009, Badr Hari is the man to watch. The question is, will this drive for revenge make this the year he puts everything together and wins it all, or will it be his undoing against a highly technical striker like Bonjasky? We take our first step towards these answers this weekend.