K-1 2008 GP ends in controversy!

A shock finish to the Fields K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 with the final being decided by disqualification!

What was Badr Hari thinking….

Following in an extract from post event arcile written by Monty DiPietro which sums up the situation well.

A healthy Hari and a healthy Bonjasky seemed an ideal final — but sadly it soon turned surreal. The contest started well enough, the two sizing each other up, Hari testing with the jab that had served him well earlier; Bonjasky closing with low kicks and punches. Midway through the first, Bonjasky got a solid left hook on target. Hari went back onto the ropes then rebounded forward to find a Bonjasky kick coming at his head. The leg sailed high as Hari went to the mat. Hari beat the count and rallied somewhat at the end of the round, closing with body blows then adding a little extra at the bell.

In the second, Hari, aware he was down on all three cards, came out like a loaded gun. Bonjasky answered a body blow with a low kick, and Hari replied with another body blow. The give-and-take repeated several times, both fighters putting their all behind the strikes. After delivering a big right, Hari had Bonjasky on the run. But then things went wrong.

After Bonjasky had countered with a middle kick, Hari grabbed the his opponent’s leg and threw him to the mat. That’s the sort of marginal foul a fighter can get away with most of the time, but Hari wasn’t done. His fighting spirit hijacked by rage, Hari then approached his downed opponent to pound down a couple of punches. He’d crossed the line, but incredibly he wasn’t finished. Even as veteran referee Nobuaki Kakuda tried to wrest him away, Hari persisted, stomping a heel onto Bonjasky’s head.

The crowd was stunned into silence.

Bad boy Hari was forcibly coaxed to a neutral corner as Bonjasky lay motionless on the mat. Hari was assessed a yellow card and a one-point penalty, and the ringside doctor came in to have a look at Bonjasky. After the five-minute recovery interval elapsed, the doctor reported Bonjasky was still seeing double and could not continue. A furious Kakuda then showed Hari a red card and declared him disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. Bonjasky had the win.

“I wanted to win, but not this way,” said a teary-eyed Bonjasky from center-ring.

“Remy’s corner was screaming at him to stay down,” said a defiant Hari in his post-fight interview. “I came to fight and he didn’t. He’s a great actor.”

“I don’t have anything to say to Badr,” said Bonjasky afterward. “I still have some double vision. I also have a headache. If this was to happen in another major sport like soccer, it would be a serious problem. I was in tears because I trained very hard for this, and put many things aside to be able to train so much. I didn’t want it to end like it did.”

K-1 Event Producer Sadaharu Tanikawa’s post-event remarks suggested that Hari’s conduct had not only hurt Bonjasky the fighter, but also K-1 the sport: “It was such a careless thing for Badr Hari to do. He was incredible in the first and second fights, so it was such a waste. The event was broadcast to 150 countries. If we forgave Hari for such behavior, it would be insulting to all the other fighters. Giving him a red card means he will be fined his entire purse. On top of that, we will have to think of some further punishment after discussing this with [rules director] Nobuaki Kakuda.”

“As a Grand Prix, it was an extremely interesting event, however the ending wasn’t good.”

Final – Remy Bonjasky VS Badr Hari 1 of 2

Final – Remy Bonjasky VS Badr Hari 2 of 2

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