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By Aaron Crecy
Countdown to K-1
World-class kickboxers converge upon Las Vegas for World Grand Prix Elimination Tournament

LAS VEGAS — Ernesto Hoost. Stefan Leko. Mike Bernardo. These are just some of K-1’s living legends that will put their extraordinary talents on display tonight at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Hoost, Leko and Bernardo will appear in Super Bouts, which will accompany the K-1 World Grand Prix Elimination Tournament.

Ernesto Hoost
The Elimination Tournament features eight fighters battling for a berth to November’s finals. Oddsmakers list Canadian Michael McDonald and Australian Adam Watt as two-to-one favorites to win the Elimination Tournament. Meanwhile, Hoost, Leko and Bernardo are also heavy favorites in their respective bouts.


  • Gary Goodridge is accompanied by Tom Erikson, who stated that he was signed to fight Hoost but was denied a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to inexperience in kickboxing competitions. Look for him on the September K-1 card in Japan, possibly versus Bob Sapp.
    Ray Sefo

  • Goodridge, Erikson, Sapp and Heath Herring are among the Pride contingent in Las Vegas, along with commentator Stephen "The Fight Professor" Quadros. Former UFC and K-1 star Maurice Smith is also in attendance, as are 2000 World Grand Prix finalist Ray Sefo and UFC heavyweight contender Ricco Rodriguez.
  • Sapp is training with Smith, Matt Hume and Josh Barnett as he prepares to take on Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira at the upcoming Pride Shockwave.
  • King of the Cage and World Fighting Alliance veteran Marvin Eastman will face Duke Roufus in the Elimination Tournament’s reserve match. The winner will replace a winning fighter who recorded a KO or TKO but cannot continue due to injury. According to K-1’s "Survivor Rule," if the injured fighter won by decision, the losing fighter advances.
    Stephan Leko

  • Michael Jordan, "Mini Me" and Mike Tyson are among the celebrities expected to attend the show.
  • With more than 24 hours remaining before the show, K-1 announced that it is just 600 tickets shy of selling out the Bellagio Hotel & Casino’s 5000-seat Grand Ballroom.
  • Welterweight George Tsutsui failed his pre-fight physical and withdrew from his scheduled undercard bout versus Melcor Menor.
  • Elimination Tournament bouts will be three three-minute rounds, while the Super Bouts will be five three-minute rounds. All undercard bouts will be three two-minute rounds.
  • J
    posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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