On September 8, K-1 heavyweight Dewey Cooper will be competing in “K-1 Rising” Heavyweight US Grand Prix in the at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The “K-1 Rising” Heavyweight US Grand Prix will feature an eight man tournament which includes noted strikers: Dewey Cooper, Rick Roufus, Siala-Mou “Mighty Mo” Siliga, Seth Petruzelli, Randy “Boom Boom” Blake, Xavier Vigney, Jerrell Miller and Jack May. They are all slated to fight in the Los Angeles event and only one man will emerge victorious from the tournament and head to Japan to compete in the “K-1 Rising” – World Grand Prix Final 16 in Tokyo on October 14th.
Veteran K-1 fighter Dewey Cooper spoke with MMA Fight Corner on Saturday and said what an honor it is to fight for the organization in their much anticipated return to the USA. “K-1 is the originals of the tournament. All these different people claim they have tournaments and it’s like over a year’s time. Man, that’s not a tournament, those are fights,” Cooper stressed. “A tournament is where you put the best fighters in the world in competition that same night. And that’s what happens in K-1 and that’s what makes it such an intriguing thing to watch guys have to go through three professional fights in one night against other bad asses.”
He later reiterated, “Bottom line if you call something a tournament, you should have a list of guys in competition that night, til the last man standing. That’s a tournament.”
Though Dewey may have to beat 3 men to get to the World Grand Prix Final, he is looking forward to being the one left standing. To kick things off, Cooper will fight Randy “Boom Boom” Blake in his first bout. Fighting out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, “Boom Boom” is 23-0 in his kickboxing career and Dewey knows it’s not going to be easy to get the better of him. “He’s a young, great talent. It’s gonna be a tough fight for me.”
Since 1994, Dewey’s head trainer has been Master Nick “One Kick” Blomgren at One Kick’s Gym in Las Vegas, NV. He’s also guided by striking coach/boxing coach Jeff Mayweather and others who he credits for his success. “I don’t really study my opponents,” Dewey said explaining that his coaching staff figures out how he’ll approach each fight. “I let them study the guys I’m fighting and tell me the game plan, I simply follow it. I step out of the emotions of a fight and simply follow the game plan.”
As a K-1 heavyweight, Dewey said he is decisively smaller than others who fight in the division. He comes in at 202 pounds and fights guys 260 lbs. and up at heavyweight. Dewey explained that sticking to the game plan really matters in kickboxing. “If this were an MMA fight where I had MMA gloves on, it might be a little different. But, we’re wearing 10 ounce boxing gloves, so that really gives an advantage to the bigger, stronger guy also. So there’s strategy in everything we do in life, I just happen to employ that strategy when I’m fighting.”
Dewey also explained that he has several plans in place for how he will attack Blake in their upcoming fight. With close to 60 fights to his name, Cooper said he plans to do things differently than he has in MMA or boxing fights. “In boxing, I fight a totally different way. I have a come forward style in boxing. You know, I’m fighting cruiserweights at 190, so guys are my size, I can stay in the pocket a little more…In K-1 I gotta block those big shin bones coming in. Their bones are a lot bigger than mine. It hurts when your kicked. So, you kind of have to improvise your strategies according to what type of fight you’re in.”
Amongst his other competitors for the K-1 tournament, Dewey said there’s one man who fights like powerhouse and that man is Mighty Mo. Early in Dewey’s career he was the first man to defeat Mighty Mo in 2004 at the K-1 World Grand Prix in Las Vegas I. To this day, he says he still remembers what power Mighty Mo packs. “He punches harder than life. That’s all I can say about that,” Cooper said. He also discussed what he found to be Mo’s downfall. ”Mo is great against the big guys. Against the smaller guys he has trouble…But Mo is a badass, I got a lot love for Mo.”
The K-1 Tournament in Los Angeles, CA has tickets on sale now. Click here to place an order or visit Ticketmaster or the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
As of now, the 1st round matchups look like:
Siala-Mou “Mighty Mo” Siliga vs Rick Roufus
Seth Petruzelli vs Xavier Vigney
Jerrell Miller vs Jack May
Dewey Cooper vs Randy Blake
For more on K-1 and its return to the US for a the Heavyweight Grand Prix, visit K-1′s Official Site.