Originally posted by IronBuddha
Thanks for the links! I thought the videos were very rare to come by.
As to how much better these people are though. I would have to disagree. The more brutal a competitive fight is, the shorter a fighter's career is. This limits the amount of experience and fine-tuning that we see in veterans of more "humane" sports. A lot of the K-1 champs are veterans, way beyond their prime fighting years yet beat the young guys down (Hoost, MacDonald, etc). In the more brutal sports, by 39, you're lucky to be able to train at all (or even be alive according to the information you presented). How good can someone get if he's blinded from eye-gouging after his first fight? Or crippled? His career is over just as it started.
As an athlete gets older, he doesn't get stronger, he learns to kick/punch/knee better. We see these more brutal sports in poor countries since this is one of the few ways to make good money and life is cheap. They don't get the scientific training regimens and modern medicine a K-1 athlete would get. I would argue that K-1 is the best of the best of striking. If anyone was better, they would come and collect the "easy" $400K USD award - biggest purse in the world. That would go a long way in a village. As for the weight class argument, K-1 MAX pays pretty nicely too for middleweights. The K-1 is the best and what they do.