Top 10 K-1 Fighters of All-Time
A look at the Top 10 K-1 Fighters of All-Time
1. Semmy Schilt – There can be no argument about Schilt being the greatest to ever step into a K-1 ring. Schilt holds four K-1 World Grand Prix championships 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Schilt also holds the fastest Grand Prix victory ever, completing the entire 2009 Grand Prix in 5 minutes and 53 seconds to capture his fourth crown and become the second Dutch combatant to win four Grand Prix's the other being Ernesto Hoost. Schilt has brought sheer dominance into K-1 possessing an imposing skillset and frame standing 6'11. Schilt also holds a ridiculous kickboxing record of 37-6-1 with 17 of those coming by way of knockout. Of Schilt's 6 losses, half of them belong to K-1 Ironman whose also third on this list Peter Aerts.
2. Ernesto Hoost – Legendary career without a doubt, Hoost was the first man to win four K-1 Grand Prix's and one of the few fighters who live up to their nickname "Mr. Perfect". Hoost amazed fight fans with his brillant footwork, dazzling array of kicks, and a speed that many fighters had difficulty fathoming. Hoost has one of the most decorated fight resumes in the world, holding a professional kickboxing record of 97-21-1 and four Grand Prix titles in 1997,1999,2000, and 2001 it is easily seen as to why he was called "Mr. Perfect". During his prime from 1997-2001 Hoost was an astounding 30-4 in K-1.
3. Peter Aerts – Peter Aerts "The Dutch Lumberjack" still going strong at the ripe fighting age of 40 is the ironman of K-1. Aerts has been fighting for a quarter of a century, his ability to adapt to younger fighters and his experience always make him a threat for a championship even at 40. Aerts is the ironman of K-1 for his activity as a kickboxer for his 25 years of dominance. Aerts has been in 131 kickboxing matches being victorious in 102 of them 77 of which are by knockout. Peter Aerts is also a three time Grand Prix champion and first multiple GP champion K-1 ever had winning it all in 1994,1995, and 1998 with 1998 being done in a then record time of 6 minutes and 43 seconds. The career of Aerts has been something that needed to be witnessed to believe everything he has accomplished, Aerts has even beaten K-1 goliath Semmy Schilt 3 times, with one of those victories coming in 2010 just a few months after Aerts turned the age of 40.
4. Branko Cikatic – Branko Cikatic' was the original K-1 champion of 1993, Cikatic' is only this far down the list because he was 38 when he won the Grand Prix and was already on his last legs as a fighter. If K-1 was around a decade earlier, Cikatic' would probably be the best or second at the worst on K-1's all time list. Cikatic' holds a mind boggling kickboxing record of 87-5-1 with most of his fights coming before K-1 given his age. Ciktic' however, holds a pair of right hook knockout victories over Ernesto Hoost at 38 and 39 years of age while Hoost was only 28 and right on the cust of his prime. Cikatic' is usually forgotten amongst K-1 talk but there is no way he can not be included in the greatest of all time.
5. Andy Hug – Andy Hug longtime friend and student of my father and one of the greatest people the world has lost early at the age of 35, Hug was a true sportsman whenever he was in attendence fighting or not. Hug was a karateka who trained in Kyokushin and was a incredible standup striker holding a record of 38-9 in kickboxing, 22 of Hug's wins came by way of knockout. Hug although adored by the fans without winning a title finally captured the Grand Prix title in 1996, he went on to make the Grand Prix finals in 1997 and 1998 becoming the first fighter in K-1 to make it to the finals for 3 consecutive years (until Schilt came along). Hug was taken from us abruptly in 2000, six days after being diagnosed with acute Leukemia, he fell into a coma and succumbed to multiple organ failure until his last breath. Hug will always be a pioneer for K-1 and Kyokushin as the saying goes "the good always die young", in cannot be more true in the case of Andy Hug(RIP).
8. Jerome Le Banner – Although he has never won a Grand Prix Jerome Le Banner has been a mainstay in K-1's heavyweight division for over 15 years. Holding a record of 76-19-1-1 Le Banner has been on the cusp of the K-1 title before but has never closed the deal. Le Banner is still fighting in hope of one day becoming Grand Prix champion but should never be forgotten as one of K-1's all time greats with his impressive knockout victories in 60 of his professional fights.
9. Giorgio Petrosyan – Giorgio Petrosyan is the king of K-1 MAX(Middleweight Artistic Xtreme). Petrosyan holds a god like record of 66-1-2 earning him the nickname "the Doctor" because he surgically disects anyone in the ring with him. Petrosyan has won the last two K-1 MAX Grand Prix's with relative ease and doesn't seem to be losing to anyone in the near future and he's only 25.
10. Buakaw Por. Pramuk – Buakaw Por. Pramuk has won the K-1 MAX Grand Prix twice, doing so in 2004 and 2006. Pramuk is one of Thailand's most decorated kickboxers holding a career record of 194-21-12 and possesses a iron jaw which has only led to him being finished in a fight once in 227 career bouts. At 28, Pramuk seems to have accomplished everything a kickboxer can and has seemed to lost his dedication. There is no official word on if or when he will ever return to K-1 but if and when he does another showdown with Petrosyan would be a fight of legend.
Published February 2011