TOKYO -- Giorgio Petrosyan
once again proved that he is the best kickboxer in the world as he won an unprecedented second consecutive K-1 WORLD MAX GP at the Ryogoku Kokugikan. The prohibitive favorite, Petrosyan defeated Albert Kraus
, Mike Zambidis
and finally Yoshihiro Sato
all by unanimous decision to capture his second K-1 crown.
Both Kraus and Sato were picked apart through three rounds, barely managing to hit the Italian and finding themselves punished with cracking kicks and punches after every mistake. Mike Zambidis put on the best show against the champion as he recovered from a disastrous first round where he was unable to touch Petrosyan, to draw him into an entertaining fire-fight in the second and third rounds but Petrosyan's knees and counter punching once again saw him reign supreme and he barely took a step backwards against the heavy-hitting Greek.
In the sole MMA rules match on the card, Beijing Judo Gold Medalist Satoshi Ishii
defeated Katsuyori Shibata
by kimura in the first round, breaking the pro-wrestler's arm at the elbow with the lock. Shibata had little to offer the judoka and as dominated positionally on the ground before getting his arm broken.
Giorgio Petrosyan and Yoshihiro Sato went into the K-1 WORLD MAX 2010 -70kg (154lb) World Championship Tournament Final in roughly equal condition as they had both been through two decisions, although Sato had admittedly sustained more punches to the head in his quarter-final bout. From the onset though it was clear that Petroysan had no equal in K-1 as he went about systematically dismantling Sato.
Where Sato's previous opponents Drago and Michal Glogowski saw nothing but defense, Petrosyan saw gaping holes and the defending champion easily picked the hometown favorite apart for three rounds with every weapon in his arsenal, the Italian's corner even having the confidence to laugh after the first round.
Going into the last round Sato looked to pressure Petrosyan into a mistake and drew him into a slugfest but the champion was only too happy oblige. Sato collapsed to his knees as the final bell sounded – the slugfest he started turned out to be one sided as he was barely able to do anything other than graze Petrosyan and was countered solidly for the full round.
With his victory, Giorgio Petrosyan becomes the first fighter ever to defend a K-1 MAX belt and his arguably the most dominant fighter in kickboxing today. His domination was so complete at the Ryogoku Kokugikan that any time he was merely touched by another man's fist it drew an applause from the crowd.
Mike Zambidis was the only fighter able to push Petrosyan out of first gear but still he was not able to win a round. The first round of their semi-final match was one sided as Petrosyan was literally not hit by a Zambidis punch for the entire round. Petrosyan drove step up knees into his shorter opponent and punches never came close to hitting him. Zambidis not willing to go down in this fashion picked it up for the second and third rounds though and chased Petrosyan around the ring with leaping hooks and haymakers. Petrosyan was never actually in trouble though and managed to land plenty of his own offense but it was enough aggression from Zambidis to draw the final two rounds. Due to the lopsided first round, Zambidis still lost the decision.
Petrosyan's quarter-final match with the in-form Albert Kraus was a carbon copy of the Yoshihiro Sato bout as Kraus was unable to mount any real offence against his opponent and found himself hitting air and being countered for the majority of the bout. Like Sato and Zambidis, Kraus drew Petrosyan into a slugfest but also had little success.
Yoshihiro Sato's path to the finals was somewhat less impressive as he moved past newcomer Michal Glogowski and Drago with solid but largely unimpressive decisions. Sato sustained minimal damage to the body during the bouts but took entirely too many shots to the head and heading into his final bout with Petrosyan it was clear that he was going to be outmatched with punches.
Drago's quarter-final bout with newcomer Mohamed Khamal was an example of the importance of experience. In the initial stages of the bout it seemed as though Khamal had a technical edge and may be en route to the upset. Drago sensed that something needed to be done though and so he successfully drew the Moroccon into his more wild, power style of fighting resulting in Drago scoring two downs and the unanimous decision.
In the first tournament fight of the night Mike Zambidis exploited Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima's suspect chin to get the third round KO – the only finish out of the tournament fights. It was a wild fight between two knockout artists and started with a hard head clash that opened a cut over Nagashima's eye. Following the cut and some bone rattling punches to the body and head from Zambidis, Nagashima seemed tentative and that cost him the fight as he was knocked down with a hook in the third. Once he made it back to his feet Nagashima froze up and did little to defend himself and so the bout was called.
In a 70kg superfight Yuya Yamamoto destroyed former Deep Champion Seichi Ikemoto as expected. Ikemoto had nothing to offer aside from his trademark double punch and an illegal fly scissor takedown. Yamamoto had little trouble systematically slicing Ikemoto's legs apart with kicks for a down, then taking out Ikemotos head for a second down and finally scoring the referee stoppage with more punches to the head.
The Yuta Kubo vs. Hiroya 63kg match lived up to expectations as the pair fought three hotly contested rounds. Despite taking 10 months off for school, Hiroya showed little ring rust and got his kicks going early against Kubo and looked as though he may give the 63kg Japan tournament runner-up some issues. That was until Kubo started utilizing his straight left though – at that point Kubo threw Hiroya off entirely and Masato's officially approved successor was unable to find his range again against the southpaw. Kubo's hands gave him the final rounds and the fight.
In the tournament reserve fight Hinata dismantled Andre Dida almost exclusively with one leg. Hinata's kicks to the head and body with his left foot put the Brazilian to the mat twice and gave him the easy win although he was never needed.K-1 WORLD MAX 2010 -70kg World Championship Tournament Final
Giorgio Petrosyan def. Yoshihiro Sato by Unanimous Decision-70kg Superfight
Yuya Yamamoto def. Seichi Ikemoto by KO (Referee Stoppage) – Round 2, 2:22K-1 WORLD MAX 2010 -70kg World Championship Tournament Quarter-Finals
Yoshihiro Sato def. Drago by Unanimous Decision
Giorgio Petrosyan def. Mike Zambidis by Unanimous Decision-63kg Superfight
Yuta Kubo def. Hiroya by Unanimous DecisionK-1 WORLD MAX 2010 -70kg World Championship Tournament Quarter-Finals
Yoshihiro Sato def. Michal Glogowski by Unanimous Decision
Drago def. Mohamed Khamal by Unaimous Decision
Giorgio Petrosyan def. Albert Kraus by Unaimous Decision
Mike Zambidis def. Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima by KO (Referee Stoppage) – Round 3, 0:53DREAM Rules Superfight
Satoshi Ishii def. Katsuyori Shibata by Submission (Kimura) – Round 1, 3:30K-1 WORLD MAX 2010 -70kg World Championship Tournament Reserve Fight
Hinata def. Andre Dida by Unanimous DecisionOpening Fights:
Makoto Nishiyama def. Shunsuke Oishi by KO (Punch) – Round 2, 0:54
Fabiano Da Silva def. Jan Zaszuba by Unamious Decision