K-1 Fnals picks?

Right so matchups are

Choi - Bonjasky

Schilt - Sefo

Le Banner - Aerts

Musashi - Karaev

Who do you pick to win each match and to win the whole thing?

Bonjasky has an awkward oppoent and undoubtedly the first time he's given away that much size. Choi is dangerous just because he's so damn big but I think Bonjasky can do it.

Schilt's on form right now and he's always an awkward opponent. I say he beats Sefo by decision.

Le Banner seems to have had a return to form recently after destroying Goodridge who was on a roll. Aerts, while I certainly don't wanna say he's washed up, seems to be losing the battle with age and is going a little down hill. Aerts might surprise me, this is his last chance to win the tourney and equal Hoost's score IMO but I'm gonna go with Le Banner, TKO late on

Musashi is far more experienced at this level than Karaev, and it's probably a set up by K-1 to make sure the japanese fighter is in the second round. They could have got it wrong because Karaev is good but I doubt it.

Second Round

Bonjasky - Schilt

Le Banner - Musashi

As always, a lot of this will depend on how the first fights go but I'm predicting decisions for the two tall dutch so I'm not sure it'll make that big a difference. Bonjasky's the younger, quicker, more skilled of the two and will win it.

Easy win for Le Banner unless Aerts fucks him up on the way, which is a real possibility.

Finals

Bonjasky - Le Banner

Here it is, I wanna pick Le Banner, I wanna believe that lady luck will shine on him this time after reaching the finals 4 times and not quite making it, but I'm not convinced. Despite his recent return to form Le Banner's getting on in years. Bonjasky is young and hungry. Plus, Le Banner's first fight is undoubtedly gonna leave him banged up, Bonjasky's might too but I'm gonna say that Bonjasky will be in better condition despite having two tough opponents on his way in.

That said, if Le Banner reaches the finals he's gonna be more determined than ever to finally take home the prize that has eluded him three times before.

With a heavy heart I'll pick Bonjasky to do the hat trick

DROC

I like your first round picks, but I think Schilt will outpoint Bonjasky then lose to LeBanner in the finals.

Nice analysis, droc - most of which I agree with. But I do have a few points of disagreement.

First, Musashi vs. Karaev was not set up by K-1 to advance Musashi.

All of these match-ups were determined at random by lottery where each fighter chooses a number and then picks a spot in the tournament.

The theme of this year's GP lottery was basically "Avoid Le Banner."

Le Banner had the #5 pick and went to the first empty slot of the 3rd fight (the first 2 fights had already been filled up by the 4 fighters with the 1-4 picks).

Then Karaev had the #6 pick, and rather than choosing to face Le Banner, instead went to the first slot of the 4th and final empty fight.

Musashi picked 7th. Musashi could have either chosen to face Le Banner or Karaev - and chose Karaev.

No one seemed to want to face Le Banner. (So Aerts who had ball #8 was left with no other choice but Le Banner.)

I think Schilt is going to take it this year.

I see Bonjasky decisioning Choi with his speed, Schilt decisioning Sefo with his reach, and Karaev decisioning Musashi with speed/combinations.

Aerts vs. Le Banner will be interesting. First, I do agree that Aerts appeared to be in decline - BUT, he looked really good against Mighty Mo in the 1st round of the GP. If Aerts is now back, this could be interesting.

It's really too bad that he and Le Banner (who are also good friends) have to face each other first, but that's the way the ball bounced.

I'll go with Le Banner by decision by outmuscling/superior power.

So then I think it will be Bonjasky vs. Schilt and Le Banner vs. Karaev.

I think Schilt and Le Banner will win the decisions (Schilt by reach and Le Banner by power).

Then I see Schilt decisioning Le Banner, although Le Banner has a great chance, too. I just see Schilt's reach playing a big role in this tournament.

Also, although he does not have a big name, don't discount Karaev. I think his speed and combinations will cause problems and could carry him to some decisions. He could be a real dark horse.