K-1 announces fighters for 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 (32–16), Rick
Roufus, (63–9-1), Seth Petruzelli (22–16), Dewey Cooper (49–14-2),
Randy Blake (22–0), Xavier Vigney (6–1), and Tony Lopez (31–9) 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 (6’1″/280 lbs.) 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 (2010).
Rick “The Jet” Roufus (5’11″/215 lbs.) 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 (6’0″/224 lbs) made himself known across
American with his stunning 14-second knockout over street-fighting
legend Kimbo Slice. Along with Slice, he headlined the first MMA
event ever to air on broadcast television in the U.S. 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 Shito-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” (6’0″/215
lbs.), 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 (6’0″/205 lbs.), 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 (6’7″/223 lbs.) 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 (6’5″/223 lbs.)
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 (35–2), four-time Muay Thai World Champion Kit Cope (23–1,
9 KOs Muay Thai), WBC International Champion Chaz Mulkey (7–4), Scott Leffler (4–2, 3 KOs), MTAA National Champion Bryce Krause (24–3-1), Ben Yelle (6–3), Joey Pagliuso (13–3 Muay Thai) and Justin Greskiewicz (10–5).
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 Chumpairtour vs. 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.