Gokhan Saki vs. Freddy Kemayo

After yesterday’s post on Daniel Ghita Vs. Errol Zimmerman here’s another fight of the K1 GP in Seoul:  Gokhan Saki vs. Freddy Kemayo. I also posted about Saki in the past, specifically on his leg kick. Since then, he’s matured a lot as a fighter and I was anxious to see how he would do against Kemayo, who is no push over. I was pretty sure there was going to be a knockout and wasn’t disappointed…

Here’s the video:

The fight is short but very spectacular: Saki dominates his opponent from start to finish and is never in danger. What stands out for me is:

  • Saki’s timing has improved a lot. He picks his shots very well and places them with great accuracy.
  • He stays in control. Despite landing some great shots early on (the 4-count combo at 55sec is just one example) he doesn’t become overconfident, nor does he rush things.
  • His leg kick is still a weapon to be feared but no longer the only one. His punching has improved a lot, especially his accuracy: just look at how he places his hooks and uppercuts spot on at 2min27.
  • Even so, his leg kick is still insanely hard. He literally rips Kemayo’s leg out from underneath him when he lands on the inside.
  • He’s a bit leaner than a few years ago but is still quite flabby for a fighter. He desperately needs to put on a good 10Lbs of rock hard muscle. Not much more though as that would change his fighting style. But with just a bit of extra muscle, his strength and speed would be over the top still. It would also help him deal with the really big guys in the K1, like JLB or Sem Schilt.

A great fight and another spectacular KO. I look forward to seeing more of Saki in future K1 events.

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Gokhan Saki vs Melvin Manhoef

Gokhan Saki is a fighter I wrote about a while ago because he impressed me a lot. At the time, his leg kick is what stood out the most but I’m happy to see his evolution as a fighter is coming along nicely.  He just fought Melvin Manhoef, who is one tough customer. I was really please to see how Saki handled it: he stayed calm and confident before, during and after the fight.

Here’s the startedown before the fight:

Saki takes the mental pressure from Manhoef and gives as good as he gets. Many young fighters crumble under such pressure so it’s a sign of his maturity that he handles it well.

This is the fight: [Read more…]

Gokhan Saki’s leg kick

I’m a big muay Thai and kick boxing fan so I follow the K1 tournaments whenever I get a chance. One of the up and coming fighters is Gokhan Saki, a Dutch fighter with Turkish roots. What impressed me the most were his leg techniques. Mind you, his punching is pretty good as well; especially his left hook has a tendency to land with laser-like accuracy. But he excels at kicking techniques. Here’s a short clip of one of his fights.

He takes on Rick Cheek, a relatively unknown fighter. Gokhan uses the typical Dutch style of fighting: short combinations and lots of leg kicks. He reminds me the most of Rob Kaman in that regard; He has a similar style of fighting even though Rob was a bit “stiffer” in his movements. But what is most striking with Saki is how he so often leads with the rear leg kick. No set up with the hands, no feinting, no countering. Just flat out using the leg kick like you would a jab.

This is generally something you don’t do that much in the ring. The rear leg low kick is easily blocked, the opponent just has to raise his knee a little (I’m oversimplifying, I know) and it feels like you just kicked a wall. That’s why you usually prepare the rear leg kick with punches or feints. Or you do it as a counter when the opponent is not in an ideal position to block. Either way, Saki seems to violate those principles with impunity.

[Read more…]