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Badr Hari Disqualified, Remy Bonjasky Wins K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final

In an absolutely stunning result, the Dutch-Moroccan kickboxer Badr Hari was disqualified at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 Final today at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, giving the championship to Remy Bonjasky.

It was the third World Grand Prix title for Bonjasky, who had knocked Hari down in the first round and was winning the fight even before Hari's disqualification.

The disqualification came in the second round, after Hari illegally took Bonjasky to the ground. That alone was a foul, but when the referee tried to step in, Hari inexplicably punched Bonjasky and stomped on his head. It was a dirty, despicable move that resulted in a disqualification.

Hari, who is just 23 years old, advanced to the final by beating Peter Aerts in the first round and Errol Zimmerman in the second round. He looked like one of the most promising athletes in the sport, but this will be a permanent stain on his reputation.

Bonjasky, who was born in Suriname but, like Hari, now fights out of Amsterdam, got to the final by defeating Jerome Le Banner in the first round and Gökhan Saki in the semifinals. He's one of the all-time greats in the sport, and it's too bad that he has to win his third title in this fashion.

K-1 is a popular sport in Japan and is well known in much of the rest of the world. It isn't well known in the United States, but that may be changing. The World Grand Prix 2008 Final was carried live on HDNet, and Kimbo Slice (who appeared on the English-language TV broadcast) is expected to fight with K-1 in 2009. We can only hope that American fans who watch K-1 will see high-quality fights, and not farces like we saw today.

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