K-1, the world’s premier kickboxing organization, today revealed the second event in its K-1 Rising World Grand Prix series and announced to fights fans across the United States that K-1 is bringing its world class fighting experience back to the American stage. “K-1 Rising” will head west to the City of Angels and hold its U.S. Grand Prix Championships at the LA Sports Arena on Saturday, September 8, 2012.
America’s best heavyweights including Mighty Mo, Rick Roufus,, Seth Petruzelli, Dewey Cooper, Randy Blake, Xavier Vigney, and Tony Lopez and one more yet to be announced will compete on Saturday, September 8 for a chance to represent the United States in the K-1 Rising World Grand Prix Final 16 in Tokyo, Japan.
The U.S. Grand Prix fighters will be competing for a total of $2 Million prize and the coveted K-1 championship belt.
“We are excited to reveal this lineup of American heavyweight and MAX fighters and are thrilled to bring the U.S. Grand Prix Championships to the LA Sports Arena on September 8,” said Doug Kaplan, CEO, K-1. “K-1 is back, and we can’t wait to bring the explosive, fast-paced, fighting action of K-1 to Los Angeles.”
Tickets for the K-1 Rising U.S. World Grand Prix Championships on Saturday, September 8 live from the LA Sports Arena will go on sale this Friday, July 27 at 10:00 a.m. PT.
Tickets are available for purchase through www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-448-7849. Tickets are also available at the LA Sports Arena Box Office located at 3939 S. Figueroa Street in Los Angeles or by calling (213) 748-6131.
K-1 knockout artist “Mighty Mo” Siliga made his debut in the K-1 organization in 2004. He is a two-time K-1 champion, having won the 2007 K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawaii and the 2004 K-1 World Grand Prix in Las Vegas. Over the past eight years, he has beaten the best of the best including Remy Bonjasky, Gary Goodridge, Carter Williams, Choi Hong-man and Scott Lighty. In the most recent K-1 series, Mighty Mo fought all the way through to the World Grand Prix Final 8 in 2010.
Rick “The Jet” Roufus is one of the most famous kickboxers in history. He is a six-time world champion in the sport, and claimed the prestigious title of K-1 US Grand Prix Champion in 1998. The following year he went on to win the IKF Heavyweight World Championship. In 2002 and 2003, Roufus was a runner up in the K-1 World Grand Prix. Roufus is the former WBC Continental America’s Champion and has a pro boxing record of 14-5-1. The name “The Jet” is synonymous with kickboxing in the United States, and fans of the sport need no introduction to the living legend that has fought and beaten just about every other top name in the sport.
Seth Petruzelli made himself known across American with his stunning 14-second knockout over street-fighting legend Kimbo Slice. Petruzelli introduced himself to national fight fans on that night, and now he looks to make his name around the globe by winning the K-1 Grand Prix Championship. With a third degree black belt in *****-Ryu, a form of Okinawan karate, Petruzelli is ready to hold his own against the most powerful fighters in the sport on September 8.
Dewey Cooper, better known to fans as the “Black Kobra”, is one of the most popular U.S. fighters ever to compete in K-1. After earning two world titles in the WKC and WKF in 2000, he was selected as a K-1 fighter in 2002. In his K-1 debut, he shocked the combat sports world when he beat four-time world champion Jean Claude Leyer. Two years later, he reached the finals of K-1 World Grand Prix in Las Vegas. He also became the first man ever to defeat “Mighty Mo.” Cooper lives in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, where he trains at One Kick’s Gym with his long-time kickboxing coach Nick Blomgrem. He also trains in boxing with Jeff Mayweather at the famed Top Rank gym, and holds a pro boxing record of 19-3-3 with 11 KOs. He owns 49 wins in kickboxing with 28 of those coming by KO.
The 25-year old Randy “Boom Boom” Blake, fighting out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has an undefeated professional kickboxing record of 22-0 with 17 KOs. He is the current XFL Light Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion and one of the top ranked stand-up prospects in America. He heads in to the U.S. Grand Prix Championships on September 8 as one of the young, rising stars competing against the very legends upon whom the sport was built.
Xavier Vigney is the IKF U.S. Super Heavyweight Champion. He is another young, up-and-coming prospect who is ready to make his K-1 debut. With nearly the same height, weight, reach and fighting style of arguably the world’s top kick boxer, Badr Hari, Vigney is fighting for the opportunity to prove he can stand with the very best in the world. Xavier lives in Pleasant Hill, California and trains with the respected Team Black, the original Muay Thai branch of the Cesar Gracie Fight Team.
Huntington Beach native Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez is a three-time champion across multiple weight classes in mixed martial arts. He is the former King of the Cage Light Heavyweight , Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight Champion. He holds a black belt in Kyokushin Kaikan karate, which he has used to score a dozen knockouts over tough opponents including Kyle Kingsbury and Jason Lambert.
“On September 8, each of the American heavyweights will fight to qualify for the World Grand Prix Final 16 event taking place October 14 in Tokyo,” said Kaplan. “The U.S. fighters will compete with the mindset that fighting at the famed Sumo National Stadium in Tokyo is next, and after that, the World Grand Prix Final 8 in New York City where they could be crowned the new K-1 Champion. That is the dream, that is the goal, it is just a question of who it will be, and who wants it the most.”
K-1 announced seven of the MAX tournament competitors including: Muay Thai World Champion Michael Mananquil, four-time Muay Thai World Champion Kit Cope, WBC International Champion Chaz Mulky, Scott Leffler, MTAA National Champion Bryce Krause, Ben Yelle, Joey Pagliuso and Justin Greskiewicz.
Four K-1 Superfights are on the September 8 card, among those include a rematch two years in the making between Romie Adanza vs. Andy Howson, and making his K-1 debut, “Mr. Lightning” Lerdsila Chumpairtourvs takes on Gabriel Varga.
In addition, three undercard fights will kick off the night featuring six K-1 Hopefuls to be selected from the K-1 Open Tryouts held last week.
Doors for the K-1 Rising U.S. Grand Prix Championships on Saturday, Sept. 8 will open at 4:00 p.m. PT; first bout starts at 5:00 p.m. PT. Main card goes live at 6:00 p.m. PT.
More fighters and the official matchups for the K-1 U.S. Grand Prix Championships will be announced early next week.