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Mann Talk – K-1 World Grand Prix Contest

“March Madness” mostly baffles me. Every year tons of people fill out brackets and compete against friends and coworkers. Invariably, someone without any basketball knowledge takes home the money. For example, my friend Dan, who once scored on his own hoop in a basketball game, was our pool champion last year. I always have my Maryland Terrapins in the final four, so I never come close to winning. (*Side note: Shout out to Danny O’Brien for leading the Terps’ football team to an 8-4 record and winning “ACC Rookie of the Year.”)

In combat sports there are very few tournaments, and most of the tournaments do not have brackets. The biggest exception is the K-1 World Grand Prix Final. Since 1993, K-1 has been assembling some quality kickboxers, setting up a bracket and crowning a champion.

So, here is my attempt to start “December Madness.” Naturally, I waited until the vultures started circling FEG. If you get into the spirit, please submit your picks in the comments section. If you beat me, I will hook you up with a ProMMANow prize pack. I am talking about DVDs and maybe even some t-shirts with skulls and chains.

Quarterfinals
Mighty Mo vs. Peter Aerts

A lot of people have been saying that this is one of the weakest K-1 Grand Prix fields in history. The participation of Mighty Mo is undoubtedly responsible for at least some of that assessment. To be fair, he did earn his shot by defeating Raul Catinas in the Final 16. However, that fight was a slop fest that only Dana “I cut Gerald Harris, but keep Stephan Bonnar on the payroll” White could appreciate.

Mighty Mo does come forward with a lot of bar-fight overhand rights. Kyotaro did recently send Peter Aerts to an early shower. However, after the first few minutes Mo will be entirely gassed. Aerts will chop his opponent down and once against assert himself as the ultimate flannel wearer in combat sports. Paulo Filho will have to go back to the drawing board and try again next year.
Pick = Peter Aerts

Kyotaro vs. Semmy Schilt
It appears as if the efforts of Hesdy Gerges’ camp to have Semmy Schilt disqualified came up short. This is good news. Now, Schilt has a chance to break the record for K-1 World Grand Prix championships. If he missed the opportunity due to some tape, I might have lost my mind.

Kyotaro does not have the technical game to deal with Schilt. Perhaps if he pressures the taller fighter, he can do some damage, but that would be out of character for him. Look for Schilt to take a decision and move on to the next round. He might even throw a “Question Mark Kick” and make Tomas Rios’ head implode.
Pick = Semmy Schilt

Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita
After going 2-3 and having a terrible year in 2009, Gokhan Saki has rebounded big time in 2010. He is currently 6-0 on the year with wins over Melvin Manhoef and Singh Jaideep. In the Final 16, he put on a impressive performance and finished Freddy Kemayo in the first round. However, he was facing Kemayo, who also lost to the ghost of Alexey Ignashov this year.

This really is Ghita’s fight to lose. He is a physical specimen and has devastating leg kicks. Last year, I predicted that he would kick Sergei Kharitonov’s leg clear off his body. Ghita didn’t quite detach the leg, but he came about as close a person can.
Pick = Daniel Ghita

Alistair Overeem vs. Tyrone Spong
Tyrone Spong is a good fighter. He has beaten some top fighters and held some titles. The problem is that he is not a heavyweight. In the Final 16, he was able to use his speed to avoid big shots from Ray Sefo. Here, he is taking on Overeem, who is extremely physical. K-1 has changed the rules to take away most of the clinch game. However, Overeem should still be able to use his size advantage to bully the smaller fighter.
Pick = Alistair Overeem

Semifinals
Daniel Ghita vs. Alistair Overeem

MMA fans are convinced that Alistair Overeem is going to dominate the field. For example, our very own Jack Bratcher sent me an email after watching Overeem’s first-round knockout over Ben Edwards. Here is an excerpt from said email. “OMG Alistair Overeem is an absolute beast! I heard on “Coast to Coast AM” that after the Ancient Aliens built the pyramids and made crop circles, they spent a few thousand years making Alistair Overeem. He could knockout Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, while keylocking Mark Hunt!” (*Side note: He did not really email me this.)

Since I just made fun of Jack, I have to get technical. I really need this job. In K-1, Overeem’s defense is basically throwing up the ear muffs and waiting to take a shot. It reminds me of Tito Ortiz’s striking defense, and that is never a good thing. This style will leave him open for Ghita’s devastating leg kicks, which I emoted about earlier in this column.

Look for Ghita to score constantly with leg kicks and score the first major upset of the tournament.
Pick = Daniel Ghita

Peter Aerts vs. Semmy Schilt
Anyone who has spent a great deal of time watching K-1 fights on youtube knows that Peter Aerts is one of the worst style tests for Semmy Schilt. Aerts can take Schilt’s shots and continue to walk him down.

With that being said, time has really started to catch up with Aerts. He has started to slow down quite a bit. Plus, his chin is not what it used to be. Look for Schilt to have some trouble, but ultimately he will move on to the final.
Pick = Semmy Schilt

Finals
Semmy Schilt vs.Daniel Ghita

Much like Emily Dickinson, Semmy Schilt’s greatness will not be fully appreciated until after he is gone. The guy has already won four K-1 World Grand Prix championships. That is more than anyone other than Ernesto Hoost. On top of that, I would argue that he is one of the three-best K-1 fighter to fight MMA.

With all this success do you really think he will lose in the final match? Schilt can score a knockout. He also knows how to win ugly. If he gets into trouble, he can fight in a way that lets him win rounds and get out with a victory. Look for him to do just that.
Pick = Semmy Schilt

So there it is. Leave your picks in the comment section for a chance to win the prize pack. Also, join us here at ProMMANow.com on Dec. 11 for a live blog during the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 2010.

  • TomTom

    Aerts over Mighty Mo
    Schilt over Kyotaro
    Saki over Ghita
    UBEREEM over Sponge

    Schilt over Aerts
    UBEREEM over Saki

    UBEREEM over Schilt

    You will pay for picking against THE REEM

  • Etan The Voice WannaBe

    Quarter
    Aerts
    Schilts
    Ghita
    Overeem

    Semi
    Aerts
    Overeem

    Final
    Overeem

  • edub

    I hate the Ghita-Saki semifinal match up. I know Saki already lost to Aerts, and Ghita lost to the coke dealer last year but I think they are #3 and #4 in the field respctively. I would have rather seen Ghita start off against Aerts and Saki go against Kyotaro.

    Is it fair to say Schilt has the best Kickboxing in the world after he wins this tournament again? I mean his style is ugly as hell, but it’ll be like his 78th tourny win.

  • http://www.prommanow.com Richard Mann

    As you can see, I am enamored with Ghita. I already think Schilt is the best ever, and this one would be his fifth. Where are you picks E. W.?

  • edub

    Ahh……

    -Aerts by TKO against Mighty Mo.
    -Schilt by death body kick against Kyotaro
    -Saki by extra round decision against Ghita (One I won’t agree with)
    -Overeem by Hulk smash against Spong

    Semis:

    -Schilt by wide Decision against Aerts
    -Overeem by TKO against Saki

    Finals:

    -Schilt by decision or body kick TKO against Ubereem

    I woulda been over 90% this weekend too (albeit with a gift decision for Garcia). The only one I missed was Story-Hendricks.

    I was perfect in SF, but that was pretty damn simple…. except for Jack :).

  • http://www.prommanow.com Richard Mann

    The only one I got wrong on the weekend was Story/Hendricks. I would have gotten the Garcia/Phan one wrong if I had picked it.

  • http://www.prommanow.com promma

    i know i was kicking myself for that lindland pick.

  • Gabe Sapian

    Aerts def. Mo
    Schilt def. Kypotaro
    Ghita def. Saki
    Overeeeeeeeeeem deef. Spong

    Aerts def. Schilt
    Overeem def. Ghita

    Aerts def. Schilt

  • Tim P

    This is like shooting fish in a barrel. Can’t stop, won’t stop

    Aerts
    Schilt
    Saki
    Overeem

    Schilt
    Overeem

    Schilt

  • Manny

    Making fun of Tomas Rios to try to get media credentials?

  • DaReal

    Aerts over Mighty Mo
    Schilt over Kyotaro
    Saki over Ghita
    Overeem over Sponge

    Schilt over Aerts
    Overeem over Saki

    Overeem over Schilt

  • http://www.prommanow.com Richard Mann

    I think I might run out of prizes.

  • edub

    Wow I just realized your a terp fan.

    How’s this one for ya:

    “YOU’RE NOT OUR RIVAL”!!! Hahaha

    Dukes repeating baby!

  • http://www.prommanow.com Richard Mann

    Karen F. Owen gives Duke an unfair advantage.

  • http://www.prommanow.com Richard Mann

    Karen F. Owen gives Duke an unfair advantage.

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