K-1 vet Peter Aerts Appreciates How Senshi’s Petar Stoykov Likes to 'Kill the Legs’

Age doesn’t seem to be catching up with kickboxing veteran Peter Aerts. 34 years after his professional debut, Aerts looks ready for new challenges, including leaving his home in the Netherlands and moving to Tokyo. In Japan, he might even consider testing himself one more time on the ring if the proper chance arises. His latest victory dates to January 2020, when he scored another KO after chopping down Jairo Kusunoki’s leg at the HEAT 46 event. This weekend, the K-1 legend travels to Varna, Bulgaria, where he will take part as a referee in the upcoming Senshi 10 event. While talking to Sherdog, Aerts praised the general level of Senshi fighters, but he confessed to appreciating Petar Stoykov in particular, whose fighting style recalls his own: kill the legs.

“There are really good fighters in Senshi,” he said. “There are many Bulgarians, some Russian guys, I really like their fighting style. Petar Stoykov, I like [him]. He really [reminds me of] myself kickboxing. Kill the legs, you know? And there are many, many fighters like this. I think it’s really exciting to watch, they’re doing really well. You can see the difference already between the first [event] and now. Every time they fight, every month, every two months, you see the level going up and they get better and better. I think it’s a nice competition.”

Stoykov is scheduled to face Portugal’s Joao Pedro Silva, AKA “Kalashnikov,” in a 155-pound clash. The fight goes on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live for free on FITE and online at Senshi.com, Boec.bg, Boec.com, Kwunion.com and Kyokushinkarate.news. Stoykov is attempting to bounce back following his first defeat under Senshi’s banner. Per Aerts, his Stoykov would be well served to attack the lower part of his opponent’s body.

“Everyone has his own style, but the thing I liked about Stoykov last time was when he killed the legs. My vision is like this. You have to fight, but you have to make the people [suffer]. You [inflict] pain to the legs, people start thinking and making mistakes. That’s the way for me when we’re fighting. Everybody thinks I fight like a crazy man, but everything I do [is] already in my mind. I [play] chess. When I face a fighter, I put them in the corner where I want. It’s all tactical, you know? That’s what I try to teach these guys in Senshi, to do that too. About Stoykov, I like the way he killed the legs. That was my strategy as well.”

Aerts also spared a few words for his fellow referees Semmy Schilt and Ernesto Hoost, talked about his plans to move to Japan, discussed why he never clicked with mixed martial arts, and more.

(00:00) Intro
(01:03) Talking about his plans to move to Japan
(02:52) Working with Senshi
(04:24) His relationship with Semmy Schilt and Ernesto Hoost
(06:21) Commenting Senshi rules
(07:57) Petar Stoykov appreciation moment
(09:55) If he still wants to fight again
(12:10) Never clicking with MMA
(13:27) If he would have liked to fight kickboxing with 4-ounce gloves
(14:11) His plans for Japan
(14:53) Outro

Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and he now covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.

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