Rome, Italy (Nov. 1, 2012) -- Albert Kraus has been forced to withdraw from this weekend's GLORY 3 Rome ‘Final 8' event due to ill health. The veteran lightweight has been bedridden for much of this week and has been diagnosed by doctors as suffering from full-blown influenza.
But his bad luck is Yoshihiro Sato's fortune. The Japanese standout was on Saturday's card as a tournament alternate and was to fight in a reserve bout early in the evening. He has now been moved into Kraus' vacant slot and will face the young Swedish prodigy Sanny Dahlbeck (24-4, 14 KO's) in the first round of the one-night elimination tournament.
"We've been monitoring Albert's situation for the last two days to see if he would make a recovery but he hasn't, and it's really impossible for him to fight in this condition. He has been getting sick frequently and has been forced to stay in bed" says GLORY Managing Director Marcus Luer.
"Like the real fighter that he is, he wanted to try and fight on Saturday but being so unwell and having lost so much fluid, he isn't fit to fight and his team have taken the decision to remove him after taking advice from medical staff."
GLORY has a formalised ranking system in place and it is this that mandated Sato being moved into the vacant slot.
"Fighters are ranked by a system which allocates points based on wins and losses. Sato is ranked number nine and was the highest-ranked lightweight not to be in this weekend's Final 8 event, so he was automatically next in line to take Kraus' place," explains Cor Hemmers, legendary trainer turned GLORY brand ambassador and the man who devised the system.
"It's hard luck for Kraus but of course it's good luck for Sato. He is now in the tournament with a chance to take the $300,000 grand prize back home to Japan. He has many fans in Japan and around the world who will be happy to see him come into the FINAL 8 and who will tune in to support him. The other fighters now have to think how they will handle him if they meet him on the way to the final."
Sato was matched with Dzhabar Askerov for the first reserve match of Saturday night's event. Askerov will now instead face the experienced South African lightweight Warren Stevelmans who, like Askerov, was eliminated during the FINAL 16 stage of the tournament earlier this year. This new match is likely to be very intense and could well be in the running for Fight of the Night.
With a 49-8-0 record that includes 20 knockouts, Sato is highly experienced against top-level opposition and has faced some of the FINAL 8 before. He is 1-1 in a pair of fights with quarter-finalist Shemsi Beqiri (72-7, 31 KO's) and in 2010 lost a decision to tournament favourite Giorgio ‘The Doctor' Petrosyan (71-1-2 (1 NC), 33 KO's) of Italy.
GLORY 3 Rome ‘Final 8' takes place this Saturday at the Pala Lottomatica in Rome, Italy. It features the top eight lightweight kickboxers in the world fighting in a one-night tournament for a grand prize of $300,000.
The live stream of the GLORY 3 Rome ‘Final 8' event will begin on GloryWorldSeries.com at 20:30 CET/3:30 p.m. EST/12:30 a.m. PST with the event's first preliminary bout. The HD stream is priced at $15.00 US / €11.60 - head to GloryWorldSeries.com for more details.