Tuesday, March 13, 2007

K-1 GP Hawaii

K-1 along with Rumble World Entertainment will be presenting an Elimination Tournament at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 28th as part of K-1's 2007 World Grand Prix Tournament.

Each year, K-1's governing body the Fight Entertainment Group (FEG) organizes a variety of fightsport events in Japan and around the world. There are K-1 Regional Elimination Tournaments which qualify fighters for the World Grand Prix, along with licensed K-1 Fighting Network events designed to develop new K-1 talent internationally. There is also Hero's -- a mixed martial arts fighting format which permits takedowns and grappling.

The World Max Series, meanwhile, operates under regular, stand-up K-1 Rules but with a 70kg weight limit. In 2007, K-1 will also premier a new Super Heavyweight class, for fighters over 100kg/220lbs. A corresponding Heavyweight division will encompass fighters between the Max and Super Heavyweight classes. Title matches will be held in each of the weight classes.

Since its inception in 1993, K-1's center stage production has always been the World Grand Prix Series. With an open weight class, the K-1 World Grand Prix comprises both eight-man and one-match tournaments that showcase the world's finest fighters from all manner of disciplines. This year, hundreds of hopefuls will compete in K-1 WGP events -- in Japan, Holland and the United States, and from Brazil to Croatia to Australia and elsewhere. Wherever the event, the goal is the same -- to advance toward the prestigious K-1 World Grand Prix Final, where the world's eight best go head to head for the richest fightsport purse of its kind.

The classic K-1 tournament follows an eight-man elimination format. Four first-tier 3min x 3 round matchups advance their winners to a pair of semifinal fights, and the two victors there meet in the final. Thus the man who prevails in an eight-man tournament must win three fights in one day -- quite a challenge. The Defending Champion, crowned the King of Kings at the Tokyo Dome on December 2, 2006, is Semmy Schilt of the Netherlands.

In 2007, FEG will produce a number of major K-1 World Grand Prix tournaments:

* The K-1 USA GP will showcase the best fighters in the Americas. The event is set for Honolulu, Hawaii on April 28th, with the winner securing a spot in this year's Final Elimination Tournament.

* The K-1 Europe GP will bring the top European and African fighters to Holland, the event scheduled for the Amsterdam on June 23. Again, the man who wins here will earn a place in the Final Elimination.

* The K-1 Asia GP will this year feature fighters from the Asia and Oceania regions, and is scheduled for July 29. The location has yet to be fixed, but is expected to be either Hong Kong or Macao.

* A Repechage tournament will take place on August 11. The location for this last-chance opportunity for runners-up and fighters who placed well in other Elimination, Regional and Fighting Network events, will be held either Germany or Las Vegas, USA.

The four winners from the above tournaments will join the eight participants from the World GP '06 Tokyo Dome Final, the winners of this year's K-1 Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight Titles, and two fighters to be selected in fan balloting, at the K-1 World GP Final Elimination in September in Seoul. The 16 participants will be paired off for eight do-or-die one-matches, the eight victors advancing to the K-1 World Grand Prix Final in December.

With this ambitious international schedule, FEG aims to solidify K-1's position as "The World's Fightsport." A network of overseas broadcasters will bring this year's World GP action to television viewers in 135 countries.

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