TOKYO, Japan (Dec. 30, 2012) – All 16 of the superstar heavyweights taking part in the highly-anticipated GLORY 4 Tokyo – Heavyweight Grand Slam, one-night, single-elimination kickboxing tournament hit the scales today, one day before the event at Saitama Super Arena, live on GloryWorldSeries.com (tape delayed broadcast on CBS Sports Network in The U.S.)
The weigh-ins took place at the Sunroute Plaza Hotel in Tokyo. The tournament fighters were joined by the fighters slated for action in the three Superfights that will unfold between each stage of the tournament.
The event represents one-half of a double-header mega-event that will begin with the DREAM 18 Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight card and continue with the GLORY 4 Tokyo – Heavyweight Grand Slam event. Both shows are being presented by Glory Sports International, parent company of GLORY, which is committed to continuing the tradition of huge, end-of-year shows in Japan.
“It’s going to be a memorable night with a tremendous amount of world-class action,” said GLORY Chairman Pierre Andurand as he presented the tournament fighters to a packed press conference. “We want to revive large-scale shows in Japan and this is the first step towards achieving that goal.”
Heaviest of the tournament fighters was the GLORY Heavyweight Champion and No. 1 tournament seed Semmy Schilt (39-6, 18 KOs) of the Netherlands. The tremendous, 2.12 meters/6-foot-11 Karate black belt hit the scales at 287 pounds/130.2 kilograms and will outweigh his opening-round opponent Brice Guidon (21 8-7, 4 KOs) of France considerably. Guidon, who already has one loss to Schilt from a fight in Moscow earlier this year, weighed in at 225 pounds/102 kilograms.
The second heaviest fighter was Jamal Ben Saddik (22-0, 19 KOs), the young Moroccan heavyweight who has already been likened to Schilt, thanks to being almost as tall as him. Ben Saddik, the second-youngest fighter in the tournament at 22 years old, weighed in at 284 pounds/128.8 kilograms.
He faces the hard-hitting No. 6 tournament seed Errol ‘The Bonecrusher’ Zimmerman (76-16-1, 41 KOs) of Suriname, who hit the scales at 253 pounds/114.8 kilograms. Zimmerman will be the lighter and shorter man in the fight, but he has unbelievable power in his right hand and can KO anybody with a single shot.
Gokhan Saki (77-15, 53 KOs), the tournament’s No. 2 seed, hit the scales at 228 pounds/103.4 kilos. Possibly the most explosive fighter in the tournament, he faces Japanese brawler Raomoru, who weighed in at a slightly heavier 230 pounds /104.2 kilograms.
No. 3 seed Daniel “The Savage Samurai” Ghita (44-7, 34 KOs) of Romania tipped the scales at 238 pounds/108 kilograms for his opening round match with Brazilian opponent Jhonata Diniz (7-2). At 21 years old, Diniz is the youngest and least experienced fighter in the tournament but has impressed his coaches at Golden Glory. He hit the scales at 237.5 pounds/107.8 kilograms.
Aerial attack artist and No. 4 seed Remy “The Flying Gentleman” Bonjasky (77-14, 40 KOs) of the Netherlands returned to the ring in Oct. after an absence of nearly three years and took a win over the very tough Anderson ’Braddock’ Silva to prove that he still has all his old magic. Bonjasky weighed in at 243 pounds /110.2 kilograms.
Facing Bonjasky is Filip Verlinden (38-6, 17 KOs), a Belgian Muay Thai technician who has generated a lot of excitement among seasoned observers. Verlinden, who hit the scales at 205 pounds/93.1 kilograms, is extremely fast and has very strong boxing skills, making for an interesting clash of styles with the high-kicking Bonjasky.
All-time great and No. 5 seed Peter Aerts (104-30-1, 78 KOs) of the Netherlands weighed in at 231 pounds/105 kilograms for his First 16 tournament round fight with Mourad Bouzidi (73-19, 33 KOs), who touched down at 215 pounds/97.5 kilograms. An added twist to this fight is that Aerts and Bouzidi are not only good friends, but also long-time training partners who know each other’s styles intimately.
No. 8 and final seed Sergei Kharitonov (22-7, 12 KOs) of Russia wandered onto the scales with his customary expressionless calm and produced a readout of 264.5 pounds/120 kilograms. He faces 23-year-old fast-rising star Rico Verhoeven (37-6-1, 8 KOs) of the Netherlands, who weighed in at 255 pounds/115.8 kilograms.
Anderson ‘Braddock’ Silva (32-8-1, 22 KOs), Brazil’s top heavyweight kickboxer, weighed in at 243 pounds/110.2 kilograms and looks to build on the respect he earned for performances against Badr Hari and Bonjasky earlier this year. He faces Igor Jurkovic, who weighed in at 220 pounds/99.8 kilograms. Jurkovic is a sparring partner of fellow Croatian Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic.
Robin van Roosmalen (37-14-3, 12 KO’s), the runner-up in last month’s GLORY 3 Rome ‘Final 8’ lightweight (154 pounds/70 kilograms) tournament, weighed in at 154 pounds/69.9 kilograms today as did his Superfight opponent, the infamous cos-play aficionado Guacharo ‘Jienotsu’ Nagashima (17-5, 12 KO’s). True to form, Nagashima, was dressed outrageously in one of his manga-inspired costumes, complete with a bright blue wig.
Jason ‘Tyson’ Wilnis (18-1-2) weighed in at 185 pounds/84 kilograms for his Superfight with the very difficult and very experienced Toshio Matsumoto (38-9-6, 30 KO). Known as ‘The Knockout Artist,’ Matsumoto weighed in at 187 pounds/84.9 kilograms.
Finally, two very accomplished young fighters in the shape of Japan’s Mutsuki Ebata (16-1-1) and South Korea’s Sang Jae Kimweighed in at 116.5 pounds/52.9 kilograms and 116 pounds/52.5 kilograms, respectively, then faced off ahead of what promises to be a thrillingly fast and technical Superfight.