Las Vegas, NV; July 30, 2007….Two-time Las Vegas K-1 tournament champion, Stefan “Blitz” Leko (54-15-1 (1 NC) (32 KO’s), will return to Sin City for the fifth time in his career for a Superfight showdown with former K-1 Italy tournament victor, Petr Vondracek (44-19 (23 KO’s), at Bellagio on Saturday, August 11th.
Leko, who has notched four K-1 tournament championships in three different countries since 1999, made his latest Las Vegas conquest last August by stopping four-time Las Vegas K-1 tournament winner, Michael McDonald, in the second round of their championship round showdown. Leko reached the final tournament round by earning a technical knockout victory over Scott Lighty and a second round knockout on Carter Williams, respectively.
The trip to the winner’s circle was Leko’s first since August 2001 when the German kickboxer stunned the martial arts fight world by scoring a thunderous knockout on three-time K-1 world champion and all-time great, Peter Aerts, during the championship round of the “World Grand Prix Semifinals” elimination tournament at Bellagio. Footage of the knockout, which Leko produced with a right hand, was incorporated into ESPN’s annual, December highlight reel featuring the year’s most thrilling moments in sports.
With his chiseled, action figure-like physique, the 6’1”, 207 lb. Vondracek, who models for various media in his native Czech Republic, is a perfect candidate for fitness poster boy.
Vondracek’s finest effort in the K-1 tournament circuit came on April 20, 2002 when the three-time kickboxing champion stopped a trio of opponents, each inside of two rounds, to earn the K-1 “World Grand Prix 2002 Italy Elimination” tournament crown.
Later that year, Las Vegas fight fans had the opportunity to catch Vondracek in action during K-1’s annual North America summer affair. Vondracek made a quick exit from the tournament event, however, suffering a first round knockout at the hands of Tony Gregory.
In other “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas” Superfight action, two-time K-1 tournament champion and fearsome knockout artist, “Mighty Mo” Siligia (32-5 (26 KO’s), will square off with last April’s K-1 North America tournament victor, Chalid “Die Faust” Arrab (16-6 (3 KO’s). K-1 superstar, Ray “Sugarfoot” Sefo, meanwhile, will face 6’8”, 275 lb. Bjorn Bregy in another Superfight.
The “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas” card will be headlined by K-1’s customary, single-elimination tournament. Representing The United States in the eight-man draw will be undefeated four-time kickboxing champion and former Airforce and Armed Services heavyweight boxing champion, “Savage” Rick Cheek (19-0 (17 KO’s) (1 No Contest), as well as Muay Thai specialists Patrick Barry (14-3-1 (8 KO’s) and Esh’Chadar “The Dispossessor” Brown Ton (6-1 (3 KO’s).
Barry is slated to face Sweden’s Rickard Nordstrand (16-6 (3 KO’s) in the tournament’s quarterfinal round while, in the same bracket of the draw, Brown Ton is scheduled to square off with 23-year-old speed demon, Zabit Samedov (50-5 (26 KO’s), of Belarus.
Cheek’s quarterfinal round opponent has yet to be named. The other quarterfinal round matchup in Cheek’s bracket will see Russia’s Alexandre Pitchkounov (6-1-1 (3 KO’s) take on Japanese Karate stylist, Tsuyoshi Nakasako (18-24-1 (5 KO’s).
Tickets for “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas,” priced at $300, $200, $100, and $50, are on sale at Bellagio’s box office (888-488-7111) and on www.k-1usa.net, the official website of K-1 North America.
Bellagio Ballroom doors will open for “K-1 World Grand Prix 2007 in Las Vegas” at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time on Saturday, August 11th and the card’s first preliminary bout will begin at 5:30 PM. The eight-man tournament will commence at 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”), with an 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, K-1 has evolved into the country’s most popular sport and has achieved popular culture status as its athletes are larger-than-life celebrities.