As excited as I was to see Badr Hari’s K1 return, I admit I was a bit shocked to see his physical appearance when he first faced off against Braddock Silva. He looked different, and not only physically, there was a lack of fire in his eyes when he stared down Silva. He looked tired and uninterested. Physique-wise, his body also looked softer than it had in recent memory.
All these fears seemed to be laid to rest, though, when he knocked down Silva emphatically in the first round. But, much to Silva’s credit, he came to show that he could compete on the highest level of kickboxing and refused to stay down. Now, in the second round, is when things started to get interesting.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when it appeared that Badr Hari actually appeared TIRED in only the second round. For a moment, I almost thought that he might be acting, but then I realized that he wasn’t.
Silva definitely won the second round.
In fact, the third round could have been called a draw. Badr Hari was a little lucky that an extra round wasn’t called to decide a winner. With the lack of cardio he had, Silva could’ve pulled out the victory and what an upset that would’ve been!
Badr Hari’s performance has been universally questioned by those who saw it, by experts and fans a like. I, personally, have come up with some reasons behind Badr’s poor performance.
I want to make clear, however, these are ONLY my opinions, and I’m not backing them up with any concrete sources. These are just my thoughts.
1. He took the Silva fight on relatively short notice, and almost all fighters tend to stop training when in between fights.
2. He took Silva way too lightly. Silva has lost to Mourad Bouzidi, Catalin Morasanu, and is considered on the second tier level of kickboxers. On the other hand, Gokhan Saki is considered a top-level kickboxer, so Hari prepared himself appropiately for Saki.
3. Due to him training mostly boxing recently, he hadn’t trained his kickboxing technique as much as he should’ve. Also, his headspace might not be focused on kickboxing the way it should be.
4. And this will be my most controversial reason. PED testing is becoming more and more strict in the USA, where Badr would be fighting at some point if he was a boxer. I can’t help but think that he lessened up on any PED usage he might’ve previously been using, now that he would be fighting in the US. The recent suspension of Alistair Overeem and a laundry-list of boxers and MMA fighters has brought this issue to the forefront recently.