Reigning K-1 World Grand Prix champion, Semmy Schilt (36-15-2 (17 KO’s), will make his highly-anticipated fighting debut in The United States during a K-1 “Mayhem at Mirage II” Superfight with heralded Japanese champion Musashi (43-21-5 (1 No Contest) (12 KO’s) at Las Vegas, Nevada’s Mirage Hotel and Casino on Saturday, April 29th.
The featured bout will serve as a rematch to their April 21, 2002 meeting when Schilt, in his K-1 debut, earned a judges’ decision over Musashi. “I have grown a lot as a fighter since then,” said the 32-year-old Schilt, who stands at an enormous 6 feet 11 inches. “Semmy Schilt is training like a mad man, like always. I fight because I like to fight and, as always, will be in top shape.”
On November 19th, Schilt, before 58,000 plus fans at Japan’s Tokyo Dome, dethroned K-1’s previous reigning champion, Remy Bonjasky, during the semifinal round of the “World Grand Prix Finals” tournament.
After scoring a stunning upset knockout on Bonjasky in the first round of their meeting, the Dutchman dealt another tournament champion in Glaube Feitosa a worse fate when he put Feitosa down for the 10 count with a hard left knee strike only 48 seconds into the tournament’s championship round bout.
A member of Team Golden Glory for the last six years, Schilt brings to his team training sessions a set of skills unique to the Holland-based fight squad: the principals and techniques of Seido Kaikan Karate. “Any fans who like my traditional way of training and the karate and budo spirit, will see me improve each fight,” said the big man, a student of various forms of Karate since the tender age of eight.
Musashi is a four-time victor of the annual, eight-man K-1 Grand Prix tournament in Japan and a two-time “World Grand Prix Finals” runner-up. Last April, Las Vegas fight fans saw the 33-year-old Seido Kaikan Karate stylist defeat six-time world kickboxing champion, Rick “The Jet” Roufus, by way of unanimous judges’ decision during a featured Superfight on K-1’s “Battle at Bellagio IV” card.
Overall, 2005 was one of Musashi’s strongest years as a K-1 competitor as he earned decisions over former world boxing champion, Francois “The White Buffalo” Botha, and Ruslan Karaev, the victor of last August’s “Mayhem At Mirage” tournament, on September 23rd and November 19th, respectively.
The K-1 “Mayhem At Mirage II” card will also be highlighted by a Superfight showdown between 2005’s two Las Vegas K-1 tournament winners, Feitosa (63-15-1 (59 KO’s) and Karaev (159-8 (125 KOs) as well as the return of Stefan Leko (24-12 (14 KO’s), who will face American Dewey “The Black Kobra” Cooper (42-8-2 (26 KO’s) in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. The quarterfinal round of the tournament will also feature a grudge rematch between 2003 K-1 USA tournament champion, Carter Williams (37-12 (24 KO’s), and Japan’s Yusuke Fujimoto (18-10 (9 KO’s).
Tickets for “Mayhem At Mirage II” are officially on sale and can be purchased both online on K-1 USA’s official website, www.k-1usa.net or at the Mirage Hotel and Casino box office (800-963-9634). Tickets are priced at $50, $100, $200, and $300, respectively.
The Mirage Grand Ballroom doors will open for the event at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time on April 29th. The first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 PM and the tournament will commence at approximately 7 PM.
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 larger-than-life celebrities.