Photo Courtesy of K-1
After being sidelined from his scheduled April 30th start, three-time K-1 tournament champion, Michael McDonald (49-12 (23 KO’s), will finally return to martial arts fighting action during the K-1 “Mayhem At The Mirage” eight man, single-elimination extravaganza at Las Vegas, Nevada’s Mirage Hotel and Casino on Saturday, August 13th.
The 5 foot 11 inch, 210 pound McDonald, who hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is one of two North American competitors to be appointed to the Las Vegas contest.
California’s Scott Lighty (22-7-2 (5 KO’s) along with three European and two Japanese contenders will challenge McDonald in his effort to remain the top K-1 super heavyweight fighter in North America.
In August 2002, McDonald was the victor of K-1’s annual, summer elimination event that sends its winner to an advanced leg of single fight competition in Japan in the fall. The victor of each bout during the fall event receives a bid into the prestigious “World Grand Prix Finals” tournament held in the 70,000 crowd capacity Tokyo
Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
McDonald’s appearance will mark his first since May 21st when he earned a judges decision victory over Switzerland’s Azem Maksutaj, one of the other scheduled “Mayhem At The Mirage” tournament participants. A hand injury that McDonald had sustained during training camp one month earlier prevented him from suiting up for K-1’s “Battle at Bellagio IV” tournament, which he had been the odds
favorite to win.
At 40 years of age, McDonald remarkably boasts the same chiseled physique that, along with his famed gladiator style wardrobe and bleached blonde hair, has helped carve out his identity in the world of martial arts fighting over the course of a splendid 17 year professional career.
While training in Japan during the early 90’s, McDonald, a Muay Thai stylist, was instrumental in helping late K-1 legend, Andy Hug, pioneer a fight squad consisting of up and coming martial arts fighters from around the world.
In addition to the tournament playoff, “Mayhem At The Mirage” will play host to two “Superfight” contests – one between K-1 “Battle at Bellagio III” tournament champion, “Mighty Mo” Siligia (26-3 (20 KO’s), and former world heavyweight boxing champion, Francois Botha (46-11-2 (30 KO’s); and the other between K-1 Max competitor and
world Muay Thai champion, Duane “Bang” Ludwig (47-10 (22 KO’s), and three-time French Muay Thai champion, Remy Bonnel (46-7 (33 KO’s).
Tickets for K-1 “Mayhem At The Mirage” are on sale on K-1 North America’s official website, www.k-1usa.net, and are priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, respectively.
K-1 is a martial arts fighting sport that derives its name from its inclusion of a wide array of combat disciplines, including Karate, Kung-Fu, and Kickboxing (“K”), and its intent to determine one champion in one ring (“1″). After being staged for the first time in Japan in 1993 under the direction of founder Master Kazuyoshi Ishii, it later evolved into the country’s most popular sport and achieved
popular culture status there as its athletes turned into