The Final 8 draw is complete, and the official line-up for the 2009 K-1 Grand Prix Final 8 is set:
Ruslan Karaev v. Badr Hari
Alistair Overeem v. Ewerton Teixeira
Jerome Le Banner v. Semmy Schilt
Errol Zimmerman v. Remy Bonjasky
For those who have never seen the Final 8 draw, each fighter is given a number from 1-8. Fighter 1 chooses his position on the tournament board, followed by fighter 2, fighter 3, and so on until all 8 fighters are seeded. As a result, unlike a blind draw, fighters are able to choose who they fight and where in the bracket their fights fall.
A couple interesting notes from the draw: Hari specifically chose to face Karaev in what should be a great rematch. The two men are 1-1 in a pair of exciting fights from 2006-2007. Also, Errol Zimmerman called out Bonjasky and the champion accepted – a bold move from Zimmerman that may backfire. Finally, the 4 Golden Glory fighters (Karaev, Zimmerman, Schilt, Overeem) all were very conscious to space themselves out to avoid any conflicts in the quarter finals.
My gut reaction is that we’ll see semi-finals of Hari v. Overeem and Schilt v. Bonjasky – two fights that will be extremely difficult to call. With all four men looking strong this weekend, the Grand Prix could very well come down to who has the easier road to the finals.
We’ll have much more on the line-up in the coming weeks.