Earlier this year, shortly before he was about to step into the ring to fight for the ISKA World Title under K-1 rules in Grantham, Suggy’s Gym pro kickboxer Bailey Sugden said he was hoping that victory on the card of the FIGHTMAX SFL show would be his ticket to go to Japan.
Almost six months to the day since he won that World Title, The British Bulldog will be doing just that on Sunday 11 September when he will be at the Yokohama Arena to compete in the K-1 World GP Super Featherweight Championship Tournament.
K-1 World Grand Prix, also known as the K-1 World GP, is an elimination kickboxing tournament that has been held annually by the K-1 organisation since 1993. Each year, K-1 holds various Grand Prix style tournaments throughout the world to determine which fighters will compete in the K-1 World GP.
Up against Tomoya Yokoyama in the first round of the September show’s 8-man tournament, Bailey said about the news: “Fighting in Japan is something that’s been on my hit list for some time and to say I’m excited about doing so in just over seven weeks’ time is putting it mildly to say the least.
“I’ve already fought in some of the most amazing locations across the world, including New York’s Madison Square Garden, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
“But fighting in Japan, the home of K-1 and host of some of the best kickboxing talent in the world, has been my dream for years and now that dream is about to come true.
“Tomoya is a good fighter but I’ll be going all out to show that I’m better. And no matter who else I’m up against in the tournament I’ll go through them too, bulldozing my opponents and looking to win whether by KO or on points.
“First and foremost, I’m going out there to add three more big wins to my record and show everyone watching that I am an entertainer and a gladiator as I do it – Japan, I hope you’re ready for a new sheriff in town!”
Bailey’s manager, head coach and father Dean Sugden, who himself won a WKA World Title in Newark in 2005, added: “In addition to training with me, Bailey does so alongside his brother Chad who is a former ISKA Pro K-1 rules World Champion too, so it’s very much a family affair.
“But he’s also trained with Robin Van Rosmalen, Albert Kraus, Michael Duut, Alex Pereira and the current GLORY Lightweight Champion Tjyani Beztati. And during his last fight camp, he sparred with the UK’s best ever Thai boxer, Liam Harrison.
“The next two months will see him going all out in his training camp for the big night in Japan, getting ready to bring his second major trophy of the year home to Newark. Make sure you watch this space for updates as the tournament approaches and for details of how to see his performance in September on PPV.”