[div class=”notice” class2=”icon”]The following is from an article on LiverKick.com, part of the MiddleEasy Network.[/div]
We were hit with the sudden departure of K-1 legend Mike Bernardo, which is a giant hit to the Kickboxing community. Bernardo, who has been retired since 2004 had a good run in the realm of K-1 before being forced to retire after an eye injury. Bernardo, sadly, had to retire before ever seeing success on the highest level of K-1, which is winning the K-1 World Grand Prix. Even though he never won the big one, he was competing during a period where the competition was intense, to the point where the one tournament victory that he did have under his belt was incredibly impressive.
To help honor Bernardo, we are going to take a look at Bernardo’s World Grand Prix in Fukuoka run and why it was as special as it was. His first bout of the evening was against Jorgen Kruth, a young Swedish fighter who was looking to make a big splash on the K-1 scene. Kruth had earned his way into the Fukuoka tournament by running through the K-1 Grand Prix Europe 2000 which saw three impressive knockouts over Tony Katoni, Drazo Ordui and Xhavit Bajrami. It was a steep step up in competition for Kruth, but he had a good deal of hype surrounding him leading into his first K-1 event in Japan. Sadly for Kruth, Bernardo had other plans for him, as did his right hand.