For this K-1 classic, we take a look back at one of the most heated rematches in K-1 history. Badr Hari is one of the greatest kickboxers to have entered the ring. It’s also pretty well-known that he can lose his cool if things start to go sour (see Hari vs. Bonjasky DQ). That being said, the last thing you want to do is get on Badr Hari’s bad side. We review the lead up and result of one of K-1’s greatest grudge matches between Badr Hari and Ruslan Karaev.
K-1 World Grand Prix 2006
Hari opened round 1 with head kicks and leg kicks with classic cross setups. It’s all going great for Hari until Karaev landed a left hook to answer his kick at 1:24. To follow up, Karaev gave him another left to the body. When Hari fell off-balance into the corner, Karaev offered Hari the courtesy of a downed kick to the face. The referee did nothing other than give Hari an 8-count before calling off the match as a KO. Needless to say, Hari was livid and his corner was up in arms (see 3:39). Karaev left the ring with canned music, the trophy and a giant cross hairs on his back.
K-1 World Grand Prix 2007
At the shout of Round 1! Hari touched Karaev’s glove like W.C. Fields shakes hands with a child. Karaev was able to get some powerful left hooks to connect on Hari, clearly a favorite strike of his. He immediately put Hari into the corner again and started swinging for the fences. Just when it looked like a repeat of the first fight, Hari was ready for that tactic and scrapped his way out of trouble at 00:19. Back to the center, the initial heat wore off and Hari was able to set up kicks characteristic of his style.
Badr Hari missed a jumping right head kick and fell to the canvass at 00:59. Karaev carelessly walked by and gave Hari a tap on the shoulder while he was on all fours, reminding him of the fun they had in their first matchup. Recovering, Hari landed a hard high kick at 2:30 of the clip.
“More kicks than a can can dancer!”-Michael Schiavello
Hari was answered by a far reaching one-two by Karaev. At 2:50, Karaev was able to sneak in another combo on the legend at the round’s end.
Karaev had it out for Hari once again, coming out very aggressively at 4:23 with a left hook. With Hari missing a high right kick at 4:27, Karaev answered with another left. Swinging at Hari as he barreled to the ropes, Karaev nearly won the Royal Rumble with an over-the-top-rope elimination. After the reset, Karaev tried for a second superman punch only to be caught by Hari’s right hand. Karaev really wanted his left hook to swoop around Hari’s rear right hand for the KO. Jumping in at 5:25, Hari stuffed his opponent with a hard jab to the nose. Karaev recovered and gave Hari another set of hard swings at the ropes.
“He’s taken more hits than a Cheech n’ Chong movie!”-Michael Schiavello
At 7:43, Karaev finally got the left hook he’s been dying to land for the knockout. After the 8-count, it looked like Hari was almost done and would not get the payback he wanted. But you have to remember, Hari is a pro. Karaev has been swinging that left hook like W.C. Fields swings a ping pong paddle. Badr Hari saw the hook coming from a mile away and threw a right cross to counter, sealing the deal at 7:58 for this K-1 classic grudge match.
“It’s all over! It’s Goodnight Irene!”- Michael Schiavello