There hasn’t been one before him and it may be a while before there’s another like him, but Alistair Overeem became the first MMA champion to also be crowned the K-1 World Grand Prix champion, after he defeated fellow Dutchman Peter Aerts to win the title in Japan.
Overeem said several times this year that he wanted to take K-1 seriously, which for MMA fans drew him away from that sport, but it looks like his plan paid off with three consecutive victories, the final being the TKO win over Peter Aerts.
The final saw Overeem simply overwhelm Aerts, who had taken some serious shots earlier in the night in his battle with 2009 Grand Prix champion Semmy Schilt. Overeem obviously saw that fight and took full advantage, coming out of the gate like a raging bull and just steam rolled Aerts. Crushing body shots followed up by powerful head shots, and Overeem had Aerts backing up and then falling to the canvas.
Following the win, Overeem with a giant smile on his face spoke to the crowd in Japan.
“I hope you enjoyed tonight, I hope you loved the fights, I gave 100%, and I love you Japanese fans,” Overeem said in celebration.
Overeem will likely sit back and enjoy his new title after a hard night of fights. With the K-1 Grand Prix championship now on his resume along with the Strikeforce heavyweight title, Overeem has to be considered one of the top combat athletes in the world. Now MMA fans can start to question when “The Reem” will come back to the Strikeforce cage in 2011.
Full Results for K-1 2010 World Grand Prix:
K-1 Super Fight:
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Singh Jaideep
Former Pride heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov came up very short in his fight against Indian fighter Singh Jaideep, getting buckled first by a knee strike before a punch that left him on wobbled legs. Kharitonov recovered enough to get one more shot, but it was literally one more shot and the fight was over. Jaideep connected with a solid punch and the Russian was left on rubbery legs and the referee saw enough. Jaideep gets the win, while Kharitonov, whose 2011 plans included a full slate of K-1 fights takes a major hit.
Kharitonov was also signed to a deal with Strikeforce to compete in MMA, but his name hasn’t been mentioned in months and it’s unclear when or if he’ll make his promotional debut.
Alistair Overeem vs. Gokhan Saki
Alistair Overeem moved on to the K-1 Grand Prix finals after a damaging performance against Gokhan Saki. Saki tried to use his speed and technique to catch Overeem, but patience paid off for the big Dutchman. Two thunderous left kicks to the body left Saki in a heap, and along with a broken arm, he was unable to continue. Overeem now moves into the final against Peter Aerts.
Semmy Schilt vs. Peter Aerts
With a total of 7 K-1 Grand Prix titles between them, Peter Aerts and Semmy Schilt went to war in the semifinals of the 2010 tournament with the “Dutch Lumberjack” mustering all of his old man strength to get the decision win. Schilt was landing more accurately early, but as the fight wore on Aerts gained strength and his aggressiveness was too much. Time and time again, Aerts jumped in with vicious attacks tagging Schilt, who looked tired with just a minute left to go in the fight.
The judges gave the fight to Aerts and he moves on to the K-1 finals.
Alistair Overeem vs. Tyrone Spong
Alistair Overeem survived an early scare from Tyrone Spong in the first round of their bout, after the disciple of Ernesto Hoost had the Strikeforce heavyweight champion wobbled and on rubber legs. Overeem kept his composure and fought back, with the third round being his strongest getting a standing 8-count at one point as Spong was rocked and leaning against the ropes for support. The judges saw the fight for Overeem and he moved on to face Gokhan Saki in the next round.
Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita
Gokhan Saki gutted out a very tough win over Daniel Ghita that resulted in an extra round to determine the victor. Saki was the faster fighter throughout, but he had to be careful of Ghita’s power. As the fight wore on, Saki’s body shots and lightning quick kicks wore down his bigger opponent. Saki moves on to the next round, but at what cost after four rounds of brutal action in the opening fight.
Semmy Schilt vs. Kyotaro
Four-time world K-1 Grand Prix Semmy Schilt put on a clinic against the much shorter Kyotaro in their opening round fight. Schilt pelted Kyotaro with perfectly timed jabs, and just never let the Japanese fighter get any of his timing down during the three round fight. Schilt moved on to face old rival Peter Aerts in the next round.
Mighty Mo vs. Peter Aerts
Peter Aerts made quick work of Mighty Mo with two knockdowns in the first round of their Grand Prix match-up. A head kick dropped Mo early, and Aerts followed up a few moments later with another flurry that sent the Samoan crashing to the canvas bringing a stoppage.
K-1 Reserve Bout:
Ewerton Teixeira vs. Errol Zimmerman
Teixeira dominated Zimmerman in the reserve bout for the evening, landing much faster combinations and out working a somewhat out of shape opponent.