K-1 and Glory are both bringing top notch 70kg kickboxing tournaments to the world very soon. They've compiled most of the best 70kg fighters from around the world, despite the talent being split down the middle as K-1 and Glory competed for fighters. Familiar faces from the old K-1 MAX days are still here, along with many fighters that are getting their first opportunity in a massive 70kg tournament for a big promotion. As I said before, K-1 and Glory got most of the top 70kg fighters, but I feel that there's a few who were left out, and I'm going to run them down. Click 'Read more' to see eight fighters who I believe are missing from K-1 and Glory's 70kg tournaments.
Buakaw Por. Pramuk
It just feels weird not having Buakaw in either of these tournaments. Of course, his current status in Thailand with his former camp, Por. Pramuk has brought about many legal issues that will prevent him from competing in either of these tournaments. Before the whole Buakaw situation happened back in early March, we were all thinking about Buakaw in one of these tournaments, but the issues that have arose for him have lead us to the realization that it just won't happen, which sucks.
One noticeable thing about both of these tournaments is that out of a total of 32 fighters, there is no representative for Australia, a country with more than one fighter who could compete in a 70kg tournament of K-1 and Glory's calibre. In comes Frank Giorgi, the number one 70kg fighter in Australia, coming off a split decision win over fellow top Aussie Steve Moxon (Who we'll get to later). Giorgi has a good resume, with wins over Vuyisile Colossa, Abraham Roqueni and a competitive loss to Buakaw at the end of last year. Although Giorgi has mostly been doing Muay Thai as of late, he's still open to K-1 rules if the stage and money are right, and with these two promotions they couldn't be any more right.
Zhou Zhi Peng
K-1 has a Chinese representative in Xu Yan. Glory at first had Qi Chenglong as theirs, then switched to Tie Yinghua and now it appears that they won't have a Chinese representative anymore, as Tim Thomas has stepped in place of both. Zhou Zhi Peng was the guy Glory should've gotten all along. He's actually a 70kg fighter unlike the other two. Not only that, but he's a better fighter in general than them. A rugged, tough, gritty fighter with heavy hands, Peng could cause trouble for some of the 70kg field with his toughness and hard punching style, showcased in his win over K-1 veteran Jordan Tai last year.
Mohamed Khamal is the one guy we definitely expected to be in K-1 due to his It's Showtime connections but he had already signed on with Slamm and shifted his focus to Muay Thai with the MPL, and now has a fight with Saiyok Pumpamuang on the same date as K-1's return. Khamal was in the last K-1 MAX World GP and made it to the Final 8, defeating top fighter Artur Kyshenko in the process. He has wins over K-1 Final 16 participant Harut Grigorian and Glory Final 16 participant Robin van Roosmalen, twice.
Johann Fauveau, while not well known, is a quality fighter from France. He actually fights today against Jordan Watson (Who I'll also get to later) for the ISKA 70kg World Title in K-1 rules. Fauveau has a really good style for kickboxing, using a boxing-centric attack. He has experience in pro boxing, holding a 3-0 record. He was going to fight Andy Souwer at this event today, but Souwer actually pulled out of the fight to fight in K-1. I think Fauveau would've given Souwer a tough fight, and would give a lot of the 70kg field one also.
Well K-1 made it a deal to have a representative for England by getting Reece McAllister, and now Glory appears to also have one in Tim Thomas. One fighter who is above both in my opinion is Jordan Watson. Although Watson primarily fights Muay Thai, I'm sure he would fight kickboxing if offered for the right promotion and money. His fight tomorrow against Fauveau is K-1 rules. Watson is known for his hard kicks, recently hanging with Saiyok Pumpanmuang, something not many foreigners have done.
Another Australian representative here is Steve Moxon, who I think would definitely do well among the best 70kg fighters. He has a style very similar to Mike Zambidis, being short for the weight but he makes up for it with his speed, technique and power. I think his technique is even better than Zambidis', especially with his hands. He also fights today, against Expedito Valin in Australia. Moxon has big K-1 aspirations and he definitely deserves to be there, and I believe he will make it one day.
Aikpracha burst onto the scene with a KO win over Prakaysiang Gaiyanghadaogym back in February to win the Lumpinee title at 147lbs. The next month, he went on to defeat Fabio Pinca as a late replacement for Buakaw. Apparently Aikpracha is looking to make a splash on the international scene and why not do it for one of the big kickboxing promotions, where he still has a good, aggressive style to be one of the top fighters. He's definitely better than Longern Superpro Samui, the Thai representative for K-1 this year.