During the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 post-fight press conference held on Sunday, Dec. 6, K-1 event producer, Sadaharu Tanigawa, hinted at the continuation of the "K-1 vs. MMA" clash that began in earnest with the Dynamite!! 2008.
In the annual K-1/MMA hybrid fight card on New Year's Eve last year, MMA fighters accomplished a clean sweep of the K-1 squad in a series of matches contested under MMA and K-1 rules.
In the MMA matches, Mirko Cro Cop chopped down the "Techno Goliath," Hong Man Choi, with leg kicks and Minowaman submitted the K-1 fighter and MMA debutant, Errol Zimmerman, in 61 seconds. Then, the MMA trio of Alistair Overeem, Gegard Mousasi, and Tatsuya Kawajiri stepped up to the K-1 turf to hand dispiriting losses to the proud K-1 vets, Badr Hari, Musashi and Kozo Takeda.
Fast forward to 2009: K-1 fighters have staged a reprisal to retrieve their honor.
Remy Bonjasky edged Alistair Overeem in a K-1 Super Fight in March; the soon-to-retire Masato knocked out Tatsuya Kawajiri during the K-1 MAX event in July; finally, Hari avenged the aforementioned loss against Overeem in the semifinal of the K-1 WGP this past weekend.
The ongoing tug-of-war between K-1 and MMA flared up in the days preceding the weekend's K-1 WGP Final, as Overeem commented that "K-1 is easier than MMA" and challenged the fellow GP finalists to MMA matches. In fact, Overeem figured into the Final Eight of the tournament as the MMA outsider threatening to capture the K-1 crown. While Badr Hari sabotaged Overeem's K-1 invasion, it looks like the war is not quite over.
Now, Tanigawa is voicing his wish to have Semmy Schilt and/or Alistair Overeem fight Fedor Emelianenko.
While he did not mention whether the Fedor fights will be contested under K-1 or DREAM MMA rule, he commented that, "looking across the fighters across the world, Schilt and Overeem have the best chance of winning against Fedor, and we are lucky that they fight in K-1." He further stated that fighters with excellent striking have the best chance of beating Fedor and that "Schilt probably has not been training MMA much lately, but if given sufficient time to train, he would be able to face Fedor."
Since he did not disclose the time table for the bouts, it is safe to assume that the Schilt/Overeem vs. Fedor is a mere suggestion at this point.
Schilt captured the fourth K-1 World Grand Prix title on Saturday -- a feat matched only by the retired K-1 legend, Ernesto Hoost. Overeem, on the other hand, knocked Ewerton Texeira out cold with knee strikes in the quarterfinal before falling to Badr Hari in the semi-final.