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Saturday, Feb 22, 2003

K-1 Brazil Ready To Make History In Sao Paulo!

Sergio Batarelli speaks at the K-1 Brazil Press Conference
K-1 Brazil Ready to Make History in Sao Paulo!

By Eduardo Alonso
      Everything is ready and set for the first ever official K-1 event in Brazil, and now it’s only a matter of opening up the gates and have the fighters on the middle of the ring for the action to begin, and Brazilians have the chance to have their first ever taste of the biggest stand up fighting competition in the world. Today, February 23rd at 5:00 pm Brazilian time, at the absolutely astonishing Maksud Plaza Hotel in Sao Paulo 8 fighters from different disciplines and all with a respectable resume will be battling to be crowned K-1 Brazil champions, and earn the chance to compete at K-1 USA in Las Vegas at May 2nd.
      Promoter Sergio Batarelli worked hard over the course of the years to establish a good relationship with the K-1 organization and have their permission to hold an official K-1 event in Brazil, as he explained to FCF "My goal was always to become a K-1 promoter, ever since I learned about K-1. In fact this Sunday I’ll be achieving a huge dream"

Carlos Barreto
Carlos Barreto

In the process of achieving his dream, Batarelli had to fulfill several requests from K-1 considering the organization of the event, since the Japanese want guarantee the quality of the event that carries such a prestigious name "With K-1 I have some guidelines to follow from Japan. Everything must be according to the K-1 pattern, from the press conference, to my outfit, the backstage facilities, everything. I have a list to follow, so I need the right structure, like we have here" With all the details worked and a perfect venue to hold the event, nothing else was in the way of K-1 Brazil to become a reality and this Saturday, February 22nd, the press conference, weigh-ins and rules meeting took place in Sao Paulo, at the Maksud Plaza Hotel as well, kicking off the Brazilian K-1 experience. Everything went well, and since it is a heavyweight tournament there were no problems regarding the weigh-ins. There was a friendly atmosphere among the fighters, and during the rules meeting all the questions about the judging criteria and specific rules were cleared.
      The event will consist of an eight men tournament, one alternate fight and one special match under 73 kg to decide the WKN Brazilian Muay Thai champion, between Marfio Junior and Alexander Da Silva. This fight is a rematch, with Marfio being the winner of their first encounter, and will take place right before the tournament finals as a chance to give the heavies some rest. The alternate fight will have the presence of "Pantera Negra" who is a seasoned fighter who already fought at K-1 USA.

Barreto's first opponent: Luis dos Santos
Luis dos Santos

The winner of the alternate fight will replace a fighter in case someone can’t continue on the tournament after a win, however only if it’s an win by KO or TKO, because according to the K-1 rules if the fighter who can’t continue won his fight by points, the loser of the fight will replace him if needed instead of the alternate fighter. The rules for all the fights are the exact same rules of K-1, since it’s an official K-1 event, and the WKN title fight will have five rounds of three minutes each. The tournament fights will be three rounds of three minutes each, with a fourth and fifth rounds of overtime in case it’s needed.
      The main attraction is without a doubt the tournament and promoter Sergio Batarelli had a tough time selecting the 8 fighters who will be competing today "I received a lot of applications and tapes for this events, so I see that the Brazilian NHB fighter’s base nowadays is Muay Thai. Most NHB fighters in Brazil fight Muay Thai, and a lot of them went to NHB competition cause they didn’t have a profitable event to fight Muay Thai. So this is the first step of a long walk, a tough road, but I expect to still this year be able to do a K-1 event in Brazil with some international stars. Everything will depend on the public’s acceptance, and the technical level displayed this Sunday" With two fighters out of the field of eight securing a chance to fight in Las Vegas at May 2nd, one being the champion and the second a wild card fighter picked by the promoters, is needless to say that all fighters are anxious and excited about the event, and it wouldn’t be different with the biggest attraction of the show, NHB veteran and Jiu Jitsu stylist Carlos Barreto, who will be opening the tournament facing a boxer from Sao Paulo named Luis dos Santos. Used to all sorts of NHB events, Barreto is no stranger to the pressure before an event "It’s the same feeling. It’s the result of a work; you train a lot in the same way so the anxiety is the same. I’m a debutant here, but I’m not more or less anxious because of it. Anxiety is part of the game, but when I get inside the ring I’ll transform it into aggressiveness" With a background of professional boxing, Luis dos Santos can experience some problems defending all sorts of leg kicks from Barreto and others, however he seemed relaxed about it "Everything is stand up fighting, despite being boxing or K-1. I have a basic notion of kicks. I trained some Full Contact Kickboxing and Kung Fu in the past, so I think it’s essential to have some notion on how to user your legs. I became champion in one of the first ever NHB tournaments held in Brazil, several years ago, so I have a notion of everything" to what Carlos promptly replied during the press conference "You can relax cause I’m not going to take you down to fight on the ground" Now it’s a matter of waiting to check what Muay Thai skills Barreto will bring to the table, and those questions will be quickly answered in the first fight of the tournament.

Vitor Miranda vs. Carlinos
Miranda (left) vs. Carlinos

      Another NHB veteran who is participating in the K-1 Brazil tournament is MECA veteran and two times winner Carlinhos.

Jefferson Tank
Jefferson Tank

Carlinhos comes from the Brazilian Impacto team, from Curitiba, and he will start his tourney participation against a Muay Thai fighter who already won a fight at STORM called Vitor Miranda. In his last NHB showing Carlinhos defeated Alex Gaze at MECA 7, but in an 80 kg division! This time he will be fighting heavyweights and he didn’t feel scared by the task "I reached 98 kg during my preparation, but as the preparation continued I started losing weight, due to the hard training and the improvement on my cardio condition. As I was improving my cardio I started to lose more weight, and now I’m weighing 91kg. I don’t think any weigh differences will matter, cause when someone really likes to fight he needs to face anyone. I fight NHB however my strongest point is stand up fighting, so I’m very excited with this chance". Also in the tournament brackets will be Eduardo Maiorino, who is a student of IVC veteran Artur Mariano, facing Laerte Junior who is also a boxer and a former Champion of the state of Sao Paulo. Completing the field of eight men will be Jefferson Tank, a Pan American Kickboxing champion fighting Lucio Aurelio who is a Tae Kwon Do champion. Coming from Tae Kwon Do Lucio may not be used to the boxing part of the game, however he feels he is ready for the show "This event will be the most important of my career, and I have been training a lot for it at our state of Espirito Santo. Even considering that we don’t have a lot of athletes there, we have been training hard and this gives me confidence to fight in any event"

K-1 Brazil Fighters

      Here are the brackets that will determine the K-1 Brazil champion, who will fight in Las Vegas at May 2nd, alongside with one wild card fighter:

  • Carlos Barreto (Brazilian Top Team – 34 years old – 1.94m / 112 kg)
    Luis dos Santos (Boxing – 35 years old – 1.92m / 126 kg)

  • Laerte Rezende Jr. (Boxing – 35 years old – 1.92m / 105 kg)
    Eduardo Maiorino (Muay Thai/Artur Mariano – 23 years old – 1.88m / 98 kg)

  • Lucio Aur
    posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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