History of K-1 - Golden Age (1994-1999) - 1999


In 1999, K-1 Revenge had some much eager rematches. The first was Japan's fading veteran Satake trying to avenge his brutal KO lost to Mike Bernardo. Satake did last a bit longer, all three rounds, but he still ended up losing the rematch. In the next Revenge match, New Zealander Ray Sefo was trying to avenge his lost to Andy Hug in the 1998 WGP Finals but an early kick to the groin plagued Sefo during the remainder of the match. Yet Sefo was all heart and every time he went down he kept coming back up to the cheers and support of the fans. By the fourth round Sefo was spent and his corner threw in the towel. In the main event Francisco Filiho was trying to avenge one of his few losses in K-1 to Mr. Perfect Ernesto Hoost. In an amazing show of technical skill Filiho took down Hoost in less than 2 minutes from a barrage of hooks, earning his revenge.

K-1 held three preliminary tournaments to determine six competitors to face the final eight fighters from last year's tournament (K-1 chose two other fighters to fill the final spots). In the first tournament (held at the "K-1 Braves" event) both former WFCA kick boxing champion Lloyd van Dams and Xhavit Bajrami were sent to the Final Elimination round. The second tournament ("K-1 Dreams") saw K-1 veteran Stefan Leko and Samir Benazzouz go forward. The final preliminary tournament held at the K-1 Japan event saw Musashi receive a pass along with Nobu Hayashi. In the 1999 Final Elimination event, these six winners along with Mirko CroCop and IFKA Superheavyweight champion, Matt Skelton, were matched up with the previous year's eight finalists minus Brazilian Francisco Filiho (who was injured) and replaced by a returning fan favorite, Jerome Le Banner.

In the WGP Qualifier all of last year's finalist proved to be too tough for the new up and comers except for Mirko Cro Cop who made his triumphant K-1 return by taking down the very tough Mike Bernardo and MUSASHI who defeated Satake in a fight that many point as the passing of the torch from one Japanese star to another.

In the 99 WGP Mirko Cro Cop continued his impressive return to K-1 by pummeling MUSASHI while in the upset of the night the French Cyborg Jerome Le Banner took down defending WGP champion Peter Aerts. In the other quarter final matches Sam Greco out muscled Ray Sefo while in a rematch from the 97 WGP Ernesto Hoost avenged his lost to former WGP champion Andy Hug. In the explosive semifinals Mirko Cro Cop cemented his ticket to the finals with a knockout win over Sam Greco while Ernesto Hoost took down the hard punching Jerome Le Banner. In the finals Hoost took advanatge of what looked to be a rib injury to Mirko by attacking the body until Mirko could not continue, earning Hoost his second WGP title.

Read more about this topic:  History Of K-1, Golden Age (1994-1999)

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