Keijiro Maeda takes K-1 Heavyweight Belt; Remy Bonjasky defeats Alistair Overeem

The FieLDS K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 brought in 10,328 fans to the Yokohama Arena Saturday evening in Kanagawa, Japan. Tournament reserve fighter Keijiro Maeda was supposed to be a footnote to the K-1 World Grand Prix but the Japanese kickboxer caught a lucky break then scored a couple of major upsets to emerge as the evening’s hero and the new K-1 Heavyweight Champion.

In the main event, three-time and defending World GP Champion Remy Bonjasky fought Alistair Overeem. Overeem, coming from the world of MMA, already defeated K-1 star Badr Hari with a dramatic KO last New Year’s Eve. In a sense, Bonjasky was fighting for the reputation of K-1 fighters. Even the K-1 Event Producer, Sadaharu Tanikawa said a Bonjasky loss could mean “the end of K-1.”

In the end, the finesse of Bonjasky pulled out a unanimous decision over the brawling style of Overeem. Remy Bonjasky had this to say after the bout, “To defend the name of K-1 was a lot of pressure, but it felt good to knock Alistair down. If I didn’t get the down it would have seemed like a draw. I wanted to finish him but my coach told me to not take any risks, and just take the win.”

FieLDS K-1 World Grand Prix 2009

Undercard (dark matches):
Mitsugu Noda def. Yang Rae Yoo by unanimous decision
Yutaka Sakama def. Takashi Tachikawa by first-round KO
Takumi Sato def. Hiraku Hori by third-round TKO.
Main Card:
Semmy Schilt def. Hesdy Gerges by unanimous decision
Ewerton Teixeira def. Jerome LeBanner by split decision
Glaube Feitosa def. Junichi Sawayashiki by second-round TKO
Peter Aerts def. Errol Zimmerman by unanimous decision
Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals:
Keijiro Maeda def. Melvin Manhoef by first-round KO
Gokhan Saki def. Tyrone Spong by fourth-round KO
Heavyweight Tournament Final:
Keijiro Maeda def. Gokhan Saki by majority decision
Main Event:
Remy Bonjasky def. Alistair Overeem by unanimous decision

PROPS – www.k-1.co.jp