October 11th K-1 “final Elimination” Osaka, Japan Lineup And Matchups Confirmed
October 11th K-1 "Final Elimination" Osaka, Japan Lineup and Matchups Confirmed
Written by Michael Afromowitz
With the Saturday, October 11th K-1 "Final Elimination" card just around the corner, the seven matchups for the Osaka, Japan card have been hammered out. Here is the lay of the land for the first K-1 Japan event in history that will air live on United States Pay-Per-View television:
Peter Aerts (Holland) vs. Jerrel Venetiaan (Holland)
Ray Sefo (New Zealand) vs. Carter Williams (United States)
Francisco Filho (Brazil) vs. Stefan Leko (Germany)
Alexey Ignashov (Belarus) vs. Mike Bernardo (Republic of South Africa)
Ernesto Hoost (Holland) vs. Cyril Abidi (France)
Bob Sapp (United States) vs. Remy Bonjasky (Holland)
Jerome LeBanner (France) vs. Francois Botha (Republic of South Africa)
At 32 years of age, Peter Aerts is seeking his 4th career K-1 World Grand Prix title. While injuries plagued him during the second half of 2001 and the first quarter of 2002, "The Dutch Lumberjack" imposed his will this year and racked up enough victories to earn a spot in the October 11th event that will award each of its single fight winners a place in December 7th’s World Grand Prix Finals tournament. Another one of Holland’s promising talents, Jerrel Venetiaan earned his place in the "Final Elimination" loop by defeating three straight opponents during May 30th’s K-1 World Grand Prix single-elimination tournament in Basel, Switzerland.
Making his debut in Japan, 23-year-old American Carter Williams will be overmatched by K-1 veteran Ray Sefo in terms of fighting experience in K-1′s birthplace, but not in terms of raw talent. Beginning with his May K-1 USA tournament win when he outpointed defending champion Michael McDonald and stopped Japan’s Yusuke Fujimoto and six-time world kickboxing champion Rick Roufus, Williams proved he belongs in the big show. Since that career breakthrough night, Williams has reeled off four more consecutive victories, three of which came by way of knockout. Sefo, a former International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) world kickboxing champion and the 2000 K-1 World Grand Prix Finals runner-up, enjoys the status of one of K-1′s most popular athletes. 2002 was arguably the New Zealander’s best year to date on the fighting circuit as he earned five wins in six appearances.
On July 13th, Brazilian Kyokushin Karate star, Francisco Filho, made his long-awaited return to K-1 action after back-to-back knee and shoulder injuries sidelined him for over 12 months. Filho’s appearance on October 11th will be his second of the year since he fought fellow K-1 standout Mike Bernardo to a draw during his comeback fight in Fukuoka, Japan. Germany’s Stefan "Blitz" Leko has become an increasingly dangerous force in "The New Fighting Sport" since he took the August 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix Semifinals crown by brutally knocking out Aerts in the championship round of the eight-man single elimination tournament at Las Vegas, Nevada’s Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Team Glory mentor and mastermind kickboxing trainer, Cor Hemmers of Holland, who assumed command over Leko’s training last year, is credited as the primary force behind his 29-year-old prot
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