Cross-posted from Head Kick Legend.
The K-1 World Grand Prix in Yokohama is in the books, with things falling into place for the 2010 World Grand Prix with the best of the best showing what they have to offer in 2010. The biggest questions going into this event surrounded Peter Aerts and Alexey Ignashov and where both men stand in the current K-1 world.
Peter Aerts looked like the incredibly shrinking man in Yokohama today, as the once bulkier Aerts entered into the ring against Kyotaro at a small 213lbs, actually smaller than we've ever seen him in K-1. Kyotaro on the other hand looked better than he probably ever has, which paid off for him.
It isn't often where a defending champion will be a giant underdog, but against Peter Aerts, Mr. K-1, Kyotaro was quite simply in over his head most thought. So what does that mean? It means that Kyotaro was going to go in with a fire that we haven't seen since his vicious knockout of Melvin Manhoef and knock out the K-1 legend and make it look easy.
It is easy for some fans to write Aerts off due to aging, and while he may be getting smaller and having issues keeping up his mass, his talent is still nearly unrivaled and Kyotaro really pulled off an amazing feat in knocking Aerts out.
As for Ignashov, while many will be critical for him being on the defensive the whole fight, the truth of the matter is that Badr Hari is a beast of a fighter at this point in his career and to stand for three rounds with Hari and only get knocked down once should be see as a victory in and of itself for Ignashov. Ignashov looked a lot better than he has in a while and was simply overmatched by Hari, which tells me that K-1 won't have a problem bringing him back in the near future.
Semmy Schilt solidified his stance as being incredibly difficult to defeat and was able to disprove a lot of theories about how to solve the Sem Schilt puzzle. Many feel that if you simply pressure Schilt and are aggressive, you'll be able to break his defenses and take him out, but an aggressive Errol Zimmerman was unable to find many chinks in the Hightower's armor and had to settle for losing a decision to Schilt.
Jerome Le Banner shocked a lot of people by coming out in fantastic shape and taking his opponent, Tyrone Spong seriously. The last we saw of Le Banner was against Sem Schilt in the K-1 World Grand Prix last year where he put up no fight at all and actually took a knee a few times to avoid taking punishment. This was not the JLB that anybody wanted to see, but many resigned themselves to the fact that JLB was probably ready to call it quits from the fight game.
So when he came at Spong with the old aggression we came to know and love as well as piecing together combinations and hurting Spong early and often, it was clear he has some fight left in him. Spong of course looked outmatched and dwarfed by the physical specimen that is JLB and really might need to reconsider competing at Heavyweight.
One of the biggest no-brainers of the night involved Alistair Overeem as the Dutch Cyclone from the Golden Glory camp made short work of the Bosnian Dezvad Poturak with a right knee that knocked Poturak to the mat and left him unable to make the standing 10 count.