Matchups Announced for K-1 World Grand Prix Final 2010

Aaron Young@ayguitarContributor IIIOctober 4, 2010

Three days after K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16, the matchups for the K-1 World Grand Prix Final in December have been announced.

The matchups were determined by a random draw on Monday afternoon.

The first match will pit three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Peter Aerts (17 finals appearances) and Mighty Mo (second finals appearance) against each other. Aerts scored an extension-round decision victory over Kyokushin expert Ewerton Texiera at the Final 16 while Mo, who took the fight on two days' notice, earned a three-round decision over Raul Catinas.

Aerts, who missed the finals last year for the first time in the tournament's existence, last appeared in the Championship match in 2007 when he was defeated by Semmy Schilt. Mo, the only American in the tournament, lost in his only finals appearance to Koaklai Kaennorsing in 2004.

In the second match will be reigning K-1 Heavyweight Champion Kyotaro (finals debut) and four-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Semmy Schilt (fifth finals appearance), who will be defending his title. Kyotaro, who is a tournament rookie, advanced to the final eight after defeating Jerome Le Banner by forfeit. Le Banner refused to return to the ring after the judges called for an extra round, a decision with which he strongly disagreed.

Schilt, who has never lost a final eight match, won a close split decision over Hesdy Gerges at the Final 16. At last year's Grand Prix Final, the eventual champion set a tournament record by eliminating his three opponents in 5:53 and also tied the record for GP Championships with Ernesto Hoost at four.

The third finals bout will most likely be a slug-fest between young knock-out artists Daniel Ghita (finals debut) and Gokhan Saki (second finals appearance). Both fighters scored exciting KO victories last Saturday in Seoul. Saki knocked out Freddy Kemayo late in the first round with a flurry of punches while Ghita dropped Errol Zimmerman with a right hand in the early seconds of round two. The Turkish Saki made it to the semifinals in his only K-1 Finals appearance in 2008 when he was eliminated by eventual champion Remy Bojansky.

The last finals match features Surinamese kickboxer Tyrone Spong (finals debut) and rising K-1 star Alistair Overeem (second finals appearance). Spong claimed a decision victory over 2000 Grand Prix runner-up Ray Sefo at the Final 16 while Alistair Overeem impressively knocked out Australian slugger Ben Edwards in only two minutes. While Spong has no finals experience, Overeem was one of eight at last year's final in which he earned a highlight reel knockout on Teixiera before being eliminated by Badr Hari in the semifinals.

As of now, reserve fighters, in case of injury during the tournament, have not been confirmed. Rumored fighters to be called on as replacements include Jerome Le Banner, Hesdy Gerges, Ewerton Teixiera, and Badr Hari, who did not compete in the Final 16 for an undisclosed reason.

No additional bouts have been announced.

The K-1 World Grand Prix Final 2010 will take place on December 11 in Japan.