We’re only a few weeks away from FEG’s Dynamite!! 2008 card, yet in typical Japan fashion, we only know a few of the match-ups. Ever since DREAM.6 concluded, it was widely speculated and almost expected that Cro Cop and Alistair Overeem would meet again to finally settle their score. Much like the first go-around, words were exchanged in the media, but for whatever reason the rematch was not booked. Instead, it’s been said that they would both fight on the card, however, against different opponents. Well, now it looks like they have more than just their pride to fight for, they also have their NYE opponent to fight over. Apparently, FEG is interested in booking Cro Cop against K-1 bad boy Badr Hari, but the funny part is Overeem is the one who wants a crack at Hari.
“Immediately after K1 Word GP Final FEG had offered Hari a fight with Cro Cop. The Moroccan feels embarrassed about his performance during the final and says he lost his mind during the fight. Negotiations have began for a return at NYE and his chance for redemption.”
According to the article FEG had counted on Le Banner facing Cro Cop however his elbow injury in the quarter final makes him an unlikely participant at Dynamite.
There is still no official word from FEG as to what Hari’s punishment will be. It’s a difficult predicament for the organization who on the one hand have the integrity of the sport to protect while on the other could cash in on the situation in the upcoming months.
Not surprisingly Bas Boon and Golden Glory have made it clear that they would love for Overeem to face Badr Hari. In a recent blog post on the official Golden Glory website Boon made his feelings clear:
“Its funny that on several MMA forums we could read how Badr Hari challenged Alistair Overeem (few months ago) after Alistiar’s fight with Mirko Crop Cop in Dreams, Hari took the microphone and told all MMA fans that he thought MMA was gay and a bunch of huggers and that K-1 was the real sport, well I guess things have changed in the last few months for Badr Hari, if FEG does not suspend Hari, it would be nice to see Alistair vs Badr Hari (who apparently seems to have changed his opinion over MMA fighting) at the Dynamite show this year.”
For better or worse Badr Hari has become a huge commodity for K1. He has that Mike Tyson aura around him now that will attract crowds and TV audiences for years to come. Yes he does deserve to be punished for his actions however I’m sure that combat sports fans around to world would love to see him participate at Fields Dynamite.
The article mentions that Hari was offered the fight against Cro Cop, but it doesn’t say whether it would be under K-1 rules or MMA rules. It sounds like Hari isn’t too thrilled about mixed martial arts, but I’m not sure Cro Cop would even consider fighting under K-1 rules again at this point in his career. Of course, nothing is official yet, and it is Japan, so who knows what’s going to happen. For now, we’ll have to just have to file this one away as a rumor.
Since we’re on the topic of Japan and Badr Hari, I thought I would mention who challenged his other rumored opponent, Kimbo Slice, following the K-1 World GP Finals last weekend. According to Nightmare of Battle, Melvin Manhoef ran into Kimbo backstage and told him, “Fight with me!.” Like Hari, putting Kimbo against Manhoef is probably not the best idea, at least not if you care at all about Kimbo’s well-being. But, considering they put their own legend, Kazushi Sakuraba, against Manhoef earlier this year, I’m fairly certain they could care less what happens to Kimbo. This was just a backstage challenge though. There’s no evidence to suggest anything will come of it, and with ProElite apparently poised to make a comeback, who knows if Kimbo will even end up fighting in Japan. As far as I know, he’s still under contract with EliteXC.