On September 8th at the LA Sports Arena K-1 will present the 2012 K-1 Rising U.S. Grand Prix Championship. Participating in this tournament are some of Kickboxings biggest names and tomorrows brightest stars. Featured amongst the heavyweight contestants are “Mighty Mo” Siliga, Rick Roufus, Seth Petruzelli, Xavier Vigney, Randy Blake and Dewey “Black Cobra” Cooper.
The four winners will move on to face the winners from the European division in the World Grand Prix Final 16 on October 16 in Tokyo, Japan. K-1 is banking on this tournament to help revive the organization and popularize the sport in the United States. The winner of the whole tournament which will culminate on December 26 in New York, NY at Madison Square Garden will receive a million dollar purse.
Cooper is especially excited at the opportunity he has in front of him. Winning that check is obviously a huge bonus, but he is also looking forward to showing the American fans just how exciting the sport can be. He truly believes that K-1 has a solid plan in place and sees a bright future for the sport and his own career as well.
Cooper’s story is not unlike many other combat sports stars. He grew up in a rough neighborhood and took to competing at an early age. His K-1 debut took place during the 2004 K-1 World Grand Prix. In the semi-finals he shocked everyone by defeating Might Mo via unanimous decision. Cooper is hell bent on winning this tournament and was not shy about expressing who he is and what he can do.
“I was like any other kid who grew up in an urban city, I played football, basketball and ran track,” Copper told BJPenn.com. “I started training in Muay Thai Kickboxing as a kid and just stayed with it. I realized after I had my first amateur fight that I enjoyed fighting and the camaraderie of training with my teammates. I had a long career as an amateur and made the natural progression to the professional ranks and I’m still doing it.”
The Grand Prix is just a few weeks away and Cooper is chomping at the bit to step inside the ring and compete. K-1 has long been known as the premier Kickboxing promotion and even though the organization has had a rough time of it as late Cooper feels this tournament is just what the sport and K-1 needs to restore it to the glory days gone by.
“I fight in five weeks and I can assure you I am ready to compete and just as ready to win,” said a confident Black Cobra. “I’m really excited about this event as it’s the first time K-1 will be in the United States since 2006. These shows are always stacked with the best fighters the sport has to offer. Anytime you have a mix of the top veterans and young guns full of potential you can count on seeing a great show. There are a plethora of champions and I’m happy to be a part of it all.”
Cooper’s opponent in the first round will be Randy “Boom Boom” Blake who is undefeated in 21 bouts with 16 ending by way of knockout. Blake is one of the young guns that Cooper was talking about and this is a match-up that he is most certainly looking forward to.
“Every opponent I have ever had has always been tough, there are no easy match-ups in K-1,” explained Cooper. “I don’t shy away from any competition and I believe if you’re a champion your goal should be to fight the best fighters out there. Blake has a lot of talent, he has beaten everyone he has faced and I am sure he is going in to this fight wanting to make me his next victim. All I can worry about is me, I can’t worry about what he has going on. I am going to continue to train hard and go in to every fight to win. If I’m at my best I feel there is no one in the world that can beat me.”
To help him become in his words the “Superior” Dewey Cooper and the best Black Cobra he can be, the 37-year old two-time world champion doesn’t have to travel very far.
“I am training at the infamous One Kick Gym here in Las Vegas under head instructor Master Nick Blomgren,” Cooper said. “I also train at the Mayweather boxing gym which is also located here in Las Vegas and my head coach is Jeff Mayweather. My strength coach is my nephew “Big” David Hayes. Another guy who helps me with my kicks is my best friend, Master Terry Joe Blackburn. On occasion I work with UFC fighters Steve Cantwell and Stephan Bonnar, the list goes on and on. I train with the best in order to be the best”
While Cooper isn’t looking past Blake by any means he is looking forward to the opportunities that K-1 has presented him. His voice exploded with excitement and he promised that the fans will feel the electricity when the finals are held in New York City.
“After this event we will head to Tokyo on October 14 to compete in the World Grand Prix Final 16,” an ecstatic Cooper stated. “The winners of those fights will then move onto the finals which will take place on December 26 from Madison Square Garden to compete for a chance to win $1 million. You’ll have eight guys, all champions facing one another with the winner having had to beat three of the top fighters in the sport on the same night. I plan on being the guy who takes home the $1 million.”
Cooper is extremely loyal to K-1 and believes in the promotion as they have believed in him. He’s competed for the top promotions in the world and values his experience, but K-1 is where it’s at as far as Cooper is concerned.
“I’ve fought all over Europe and the world and right now I am all about K-1,” Cooper admitted. “K-1 was the first and K-1 is where all the top level competitors are at. I’m all about being with the originals and I plan on being part of K-1 as long as they’ll have me. I have loved K-1 since I was in high school and when I was an amateur my goal was always to compete for K-1. I still have the same goals and dreams and I’m living right now. I’m happy, I’m training hard and I will be ready come September 8th. I plan on being the first American to win the finals in a Grand Prix.”Tags: Dewey Cooper, featured, K-1, kickboxing, Might Mo Siligia, Randy Blake, Rick Roufus, Seth Petruzelli