K-1 Max Grand Prix Pairings for March 20 Announced

Mar 08, 2024
Photo: K-1 Japan Group
The wheat will be separated from the chaff in two sweeks.

The pairings for the initial round of the upcoming K-1 70 KG Grand Prix, the first round of which will be held on March 20, have been officially revealed. Although it won't feature the cream of the crop at the weight, the first K-1 MAX since 2014 should nonetheless prove to be an exciting show of skill for the 14 participants involved.

Former K-1 champion Hiromi Wajima will face former Enfusion champion Darryl Verdonk, current K-1 titleholder Ouyang Feng will take on 73-fight veteran Pascal Schroth, Umar Semata will cross gloves with boxer-turned-kickboxer Rei Nakajima and former GLORY kingpin Davit Kiria will test his mettle against Muay Thai standout Thananchai. One of the weight's most promising prospects Zhora Akopyan is set to face ISKA and WAKO titlist Taras Hnatchuk, one-time GLORY title challenger Stoyan Koprivlenski will face the once-defeated Kacper Muszynski, while Dengue Silva and Riku will close out the brackets.

As there's only seven fights announced, the final spot for the one-night Grand Prix will go to a fighter yet to be announced.

Two fighters who were initially announced for the tournament have unfortunately been forced out with injuries. Jordann Pikeur has ruptured his achilles tendon and Vasily Semenov has suffered a metacarpal bone fracture in his right index finger.

The event will furthermore feature a pair of K-1 titles fights, as well as a series of five K-1 versus RISE themed fights.

Despite the promotion talking about an international broadcast deal in the build up to the event, nothing has materialized as of yet.