Monday, 8 September 2008

Fight Club: K-1 Europe GP on Eurosport - TV Review

It’s back! Having hardly been on British television screens for a year or so, Fight Club, and their coverage of K-1, returned to Eurosport this past Friday night, giving us coverage of last April’s Europe Grand Prix from Amsterdam. As always, the show was hosted by the man of a thousand catchphrases, Will Vanders.
The show centred around the eight man GP tournament, so no super fights or reserve fights were show. It began with a battle of muay thai fighters, Zabit Samedov and Doug Viney. Going the three round distance, the fight saw Samedov constantly on the front foot, always going forward, with Viney seemingly happy just to take things as they come. Given Samedov’s tactics, it was no surprise that he won the unanimous decision for his good performance.

Quarter-final two saw kempo fighter Attila Karacs take on kick boxer and local favourite Errol Zimmerman. This one didn’t last long. Both fighters looked aggressive from the outset, but Karacs suffered an unfortunate cut to his shin which required the doctor’s attention. His decision to pull Karacs was the right decision to make, even though it clearly frustrated the fighter.

Quarter-final three saw a battle of the big men, with kick boxer Jan “The Giant” Norje facing karate exponent Bjorn Bregy. This was a slugfest from the outset, with the big Swiss ended with a good combination that KO’ed Norje. This was an impressive outing from Bregy, who’s taken a fair bit of stick in the past, most notably from a certain Mister Vanders.

With the fourth quarter-final cut from the broadcast, it was on to the semi-finals, beginning with Zabit Samedov taking on kick boxer Bryan Douwes, the reserve fighter who had replaced injured triumphant quarter-finalist Freddy Kemayo. This was certainly an interesting encounter. It was very difficult to tell who had the upper hand in the fight. Both fighters had their moments, although Samedov upped his work rate in the final round. This wasn’t enough though, and with the judges unable to separate them, a fourth round was called for. Both fighters gave it their all, but Douwes seemed to wind down as the round went on, which was enough to give Samedov the decision.

Semi-final two saw Errol Zimmerman and Bjorn Bregy against each other. A genuine back and forth contest in which both men had their moments. They both tasted canvas, but Zimmerman’s onslaught towards the end of the fight saw him pull ahead, which was enough to earn him the decision.

So the final saw Zimmerman against Samedov. This was a very technical battle from the start, with both fighters giving a good account of themselves, even though they both looked exhausted by the night’s events. Both fighters stepped up a notch in the final round, although towards the end it got to be a little uneventful. The judge’s decision went in favour of Zimmerman, which surprised a few people.

In conclusion - an enjoyable fight card, although I was disappointed that the non-tournament fights and one of the quarter-finals didn’t make the final cut. It was good to see K-1 back on our screens, and with another show scheduled for next Friday, let’s hope that we’ll continue to see this great sport on British television.

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