Last year Badr Hari was disqualified from the K-1 World Grand Prix Final when he stomped on the head of Remy Bonjasky, in a shocking display that gave the year's biggest kickboxing event an extremely unsatisfying conclusion. This year, as Hari prepares for the 2009 Final on Saturday, he insists that he has grown as a person.
"Maybe I'm a little bit older and a little bit wiser," Hari told Michael Schiavello. "Many things have happened, not only in my fighting career but my personal life, and you grow up. ... I have a balance now in my life and my career and I think I'm in a good way now. I feel very calm inside."
Hari is showing off his chiseled physique and talking about not just winning the Grand Prix but winning three straight fights by first-round knockout. And he says he's looking to avenge both his disqualification loss to Bonjasky and his knockout loss to Alistair Overeem.
Bonjasky is my pick, but with Hari appearing to be on his game both physically and mentally, he's tough to bet against.