Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) has confirmed that Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem will return to K-1 on March 28 to face World GP 2008 Champion Remy Bonjasky under K-1 rules at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 from the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan.
“Demolition Man” is coming off a first round destruction of former K-1 heavyweight champion Badr Hari at the Fields Dynamite!! super show on December 31.
Overeem has looked solid of late, winning five straight consecutive bouts and — before smashing his balls — was putting it to Mirko Cro Cop at DREAM 6 in September. Overeem has been in against some of the best in the business throughout his career and is still in his prime.
Still, one has to wonder if he’s in over his head taking on a K-1 champion under K-1 rules. True, he dismantled former champion Hari with relative ease, but the Moroccan was competing just three weeks after his appearance in the 2008 Grand Prix Tournament where he fought three times in one night.
One of those opponents was eventual tournament winner Remy Bonjasky, who took the title via controversial disqualification in the GP Finals. Hari pulled Bonjasky to the ground in the second round and seemed to lose control of himself, pummeling the downed opponent and even trying to stomp on Bonjasky’s face.
Bonjasky was allowed five minutes to recover but was still seeing double after the time elapsed and the referee called the match. Hari was stripped of his heavyweight title and received no pay for his participation in the event.
It’s going to be interesting to see just how far Overeem has come in his performance on March 28.
Also on the card, Melvin Manhoef will join the heavyweight tournament in a bid to lay claim to the heavyweight title that was stripped from Badr Hari following last year’s improprieties. While Hari will also be on the card, he is not included in the tournament and will instead rematch Errol Zimmerman from their match at the 2008 GP.
Here is the current line-up for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009:
Alistair Overeem vs. Remy Bonjasky
Badr Hari vs. Errol Zimmerman
Jerome LeBanner vs. Ewerton Teixeira
Junichi Sawayashiki vs. Glaube Feitosa
Semifinal 1: Melvin Manhoef vs. Chalid “Die Faust”
Semifinal 2: Ruslan Karaev vs. Gokhan Saki
Reserve Fight: Tyrone Spong vs. Keijiro Maeda
Winner Semifinal 1 vs. Winner Semifinal 2
Stay tuned as this fight card continues to develop.