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Weekly Poll Results: Glory World Series

This week our question revolved around this weekend's Glory World Series event. We asked you what bout you were looking forward to the most, and the results fell right in line with what we predicted. So let's go to the results.

Which Glory World Series Fight Are You Looking Forward to?

32.4% - Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon

24.5% - Nieky Holzken vs. Artur Kyshenko

20.6% - Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mighty Mo

11.8% - Mark Miller vs. Nikolaj Falin

5.9% - Errol Zimmerman vs. Mourad Bouzidi

4.9% - Other

This week's poll is; Favorite Knockout From the Glory World Series?

Mark Miller

Sergei Kharitonov

Jason Jones

Siyar Bahadurzada

Dion Staring

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Photo of the Day: Mark "Fightshark" Miller and Nikolaj Falin

If for some reason you missed the Glory World Series Finals you missed one hell of a show. One of the most exciting moments of the night was Mark "Fightshark" Miller making his return from open heart surgery against Nikolaj Falin. The lead-up to the fight was huge here in the United States, with Mark making all of the media rounds and many fans who don't follow kickboxing were all of a sudden all-eyes on the world of kickboxing for this fight. Mark showed that hard work pays off with a one punch KO on Nikolaj Falin. Our photo of the day is to one of the most inspirational men I've ever known, in a photo with his opponent Nikolaj Falin and his trainer post-fight. Class acts.

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Final Promo for Glory World Series Finals!

Saturday marks an important milestone in the world of kickboxing for 2011, actually a few big milestones all in one show. Fight Game will take things to the next level in conjunction with Ultimate Glory as they make their U.S. internet PPV debut for $7.95. At 11am Eastern time the show will kick off LIVE on YouTube. At this point no one has done a YouTube PPV yet, so having a combat sports card as big as this one as the first is an honorable feat. We get to see the Finals of the first big Heavyweight tournament of the year (and possibly the only one) between Gokhan Saki and Brice Guidon. Of course, we also get to see Mark "Fightshark" Miller make his return to action against Nikolaj Falin in a much-anticipated bout.

So tune in Saturday at 11am Eastern/8am Pacific at YouTube.com/FightGameTV.

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Weekly Poll Results: Is Badr Hari the Best Heavyweight Kickboxer?

I'm pretty terrible at things that involve a high level of organization or repetition, like weekly polls and daily videos, apparently. Badr Hari's return has came and went, and the fight that was against Gregory Tony was nothing short of a mockery. Gregory Tony most likely did not belong in the ring with Badr Hari, and by all means Kader Marouf's influence of getting him that spot was felt.

Our weekly poll asked you if you felt that Badr Hari was the best. The results are in, and a good portion of you indeed believe that he is.

60% believe that he is. 24% think that he might not be there yet. 11.8% believe that he isn't and the rest feel that he is all hype. Fair enough.

Our new weekly poll is as follows:

Which Glory World Series Bout Are You Looking Forward to the Most? This just covers the kickboxing fights, sorry Siyar! So get to voting, the show happens on Saturday!

Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon

Mark "Fightshark" Miller vs. Nikolaj Falin

Nieky Holzken vs. Arthur Kyshenko

Errol Zimmerman vs. Mourad Bouzidi

Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mighty Mo

Other

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Mark Miller Headed to Moscow; Final Blog

Last week "Fightshark" Mark Miller was featured on Ariel Helwani's radio show on AOL/MMAFighting.com, which garnered a whole lot of attention. That is something to be said for this whole ordeal, about six months ago the average fan did not know about Mark's story, nor did the average promoter. There were a lot of talks with a lot of promoters and some remembered him while others had no clue. It was frustrating, to say the least, to see such a talent with such a huge story and people did not know what to make of it. Finally, it took Martijn de Jong's Glory World Series to say, "that guy, we want that guy."

Now I can only imagine how those promoters who passed up the opportunity feel as Mark has received a ton of more mainstream media attention in the United States than any kickboxing show has received in many, many years. So you reap what you sow. Of course, with more attention from the media comes... more attention. If you've been on the internet for a while, you know what that means; more people trolling, insulting and generally speaking being snotty. Being featured on the AOL Sports homepage led to some doubting the shape he is in, or how smart it is for him to fight. In his last installment of his MMAWeekly blog, Mark replies.

Before I launch too far into this I want to clear something up. I recently was a featured article on AOL Sports, and I understand a lot of comments were made regarding my health, questioning if my coming back is truly a good idea.

I can say this: my surgery was performed at the Cleveland Clinic, and was done by the greatest specialists and surgeons in the world regarding my particular kind of condition. I was cleared to fight, told I was at no more risk than any other fighter, by these same specialists. That said, there should be no concern of any kind regarding my safety any more than there is concern for any other fighter.

I am not risking my life any more than I would be had I not had the surgery, and I am at no risk. In fact, my heart is stronger now than it ever was when I fought before.

Read the rest of the article to see how he handles preparing for the fight, his mental state and the thoughts that race through his head.

The Glory World Series is Saturday morning in the United States, airing live on YouTube at 11am Eastern time for $7.95. You can order the event now or just wait until Saturday morning when the event is live. Mark is the first fighter to return from open heart surgery, a surgery where his aortic valve was replaced with a cadaver valve, one that is considered "as good as new" for him to ensure he would not only be able to keep fighting, but be in better shape than ever. He fights Nikolaj Falin at Heavyweight.

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Glory World Series YouTube PPV Hype Video

The Glory World Series is happening this weekend, and honestly, this is one of the biggest kickboxing cards of the year. The Glory World Series Finals features Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon, a big fight by any standards. On top of that, Sergei Kharitonov faces off with Mighty Mo, Nieky Holzken takes on Artur Kyshenko, Mourad Bouzidi challenges the powerhouse Errol Zimmerman and Mark "Fightshark" Miller will make his grand return against Nikolaj Failn.

The event will air on YouTube.com/FightGameTV this Saturday.

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It's Showtime Establishes It's Showtime Japan

As I alluded to earlier, It's Showtime and REBELS are set to work together on July 18th in an event promoted by Stand Up Japan! The main event is set to be Giorgio Petrosyan vs. HINATA, which is one of the biggest non-K-1 MAX or Shootboxing fights Japan has seen in quite a while. There was talk of It's Showtime and the European Fighting Network establishing "It's Showtime Japan" in Japan, along with REBELS and a few other big names in Japan, but I didn't want to talk about it until I was sure (my Japanese only goes so far).

Nightmare of Battle did the honors of translating it, and it looks like It's Showtime Japan is a venture between It's Showtime's partners (It's Showtime and European Fighting Network), Japanese Martial Arts Directors (JMD) and REBELS. Together they have incorporated It's Showtime Japan, which will run it's first show next Spring. It will be a public company with Japanese kickboxer Toshio Fujiwara as the representative director.

It's Showtime Japan will establish eight weight classes, which will all have their set of rankings and help broaden the talent pool for It's Showtime's World Championships. Those weight classes are 61kg, 65kg, 70kg, 73kg, 77kg, 85kg, 95kg and Heavyweight.

The July show, main-evented by Petrosyan and HINATA will be "It's Showtime Japan Countdown-1" -- promoted by Stand Up Japan! and It's Showtime Japan, it will not be an It's Showtime event proper, instead part of a charity event and the first in a series of "countdown" shows leading into the debut of It's Showtime in Japan. Needless to say, It's Showtime has declared war on K-1 by moving into their home turf and working with one of the only kickboxing organizations that they aren't actively involved with, we'll see how this plays out.

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It's Showtime May 21st Preview: Hesdy Gerges vs. Chris Knowles

gergesknowles
In the main event of the evening, top 5 heavyweight Hesdy Gerges takes on Englishman Chris Knowles.

Hesdy Gerges has once again had training for a fight interrupted with his legal issues. He was extradited to Belgium for questioning for suspicion of being part of a cocaine trafficking ring. Gerges was also arrested a week before his fight with Daniel Ghita, one of the top heavyweights in the world and still managed to come back out of prison and get the win. This time Gerges comes out of prison for another challenge, although not quite of the same stature as Daniel Ghita.

Chris Knowles is one of the top heavyweight fighters in England. Despite his weight, he's quite agile for someone his size and can throw a plethora of techniques that we're used to seeing from guys fighting at -70kg. Knowles and Gerges were originally supposed to fight at It's Showtime's Christmas event on December 18. Unfortunately, Knowles could not make it to the fight due to heavy snowfall. The fight is back on now and Knowles is hoping he can give Hesdy Gerges the Christmas present of a loss that he was unable to last time.

Gerges has proven himself against top competition. Knowles, not so much. Knowles has fought a lot of guys from the British scene who have no business being in the ring with him. Gerges is a huge step up in competition - and one that I think Knowles is not ready for. While Knowles is a tough guy, Gerges will probably end up being too much for him.

I think a telling fight about Knowles would be his fight with Gokhan Saki from 2008. Saki low kicked him to death and eventually stopped him in the third round. I see a similar finish for Gerges here, probably a bit quicker. Once Gerges gets started on his low kicks, it's very hard to stop him. At times Gerges even gave Semmy Schilt trouble with his low kicks. Knowles would like to come forward and tee off but against the taller fighter in Gerges, he'll have to walk through some low kicks and counter punches that are without a doubt going to slow him down.

I think Gerges will be too much for Knowles here, chopping Knowles down with low kicks en route to a stoppage in the second or third round.

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It's Showtime May 21st Preview: Mohammed Khamal vs. Robin van Roosmalen

khamalvanroosmalen
In the co-main event, Mohammed Khamal and Robin van Roosmalen battle it out in what many are calling a potential fight of the year candidate.

There's history between these two men. They've met before. Back in March 2010, they met in Utrecht in the semi-finals of the K-1 World MAX West Europe Tournament. Khamal knocked van Roosmalen out at the end of the first round and went on to win the tournament, qualifying for the K-1 MAX World Grand Prix Final 16. Now just over a year later, van Roosmalen is looking for revenge.

Since that fight in March of last year, things have changed. Robin van Roosmalen isn't the unknown that he was back then. He's made a name for himself fighting for Ultimate Glory and It's Showtime. After the loss to Khamal, he lost again to Ajay Balgobind but ever since then he's been on a tear. Currently on a 5 fight win streak, van Roosmalen is one of the most hyped up and coming -70kg fighters at the moment. Wins over William Diender and Chahid Oulad El Hadj during his win streak have helped garner interest for the Dutchman.

Mohammed Khamal did go on to win the tournament and advance to the Final 16 but 2 months later he lost to Chahid Oulad El Hadj. Then last October, in what raised many eyebrows, he defeated Artur Kyshenko who is widely considered top 5 at -70kg. Coming off another career high point, he lost to Gago Drago at the Final 8 in November once again derailing his hype. His last fight happened in December, where he needed an extra round to defeat Mosab Amrani in one of the fights of 2010.

A win for either fighter will boost them much higher in the ranks of the -70kg division. This will be van Roosmalen's toughest test since the first fight and he'll definitely be ready to go, having fought and won twice in March.  Khamal hasn't fought since December and it'll be interesting to see how the layoff affects him.

Both men are pretty small guys for -70kg and aren't big hitters. Khamal is the more technical fighter while van Roosmalen tries to force the fight more. van Roosmalen has already been knocked out by Khamal once so he'll have to be extra careful. His style might leave him open to a counter from Khamal and it could be lights out. van Roosmalen works the body effectively and that should be a key to winning this fight. Working Khamal's body will slow him down and open up opportunities to tee off on him. At times Khamal can be either teeing off or getting teed off on. Getting teed off on by van Roosmalen probably isn't in his best interest as the body shots will add up.

This fight could be a lot similar to Khamal's fight with Mosab Amrani just without the non stop aggression that Amrani is known for. The fight went back and forth with Khamal and Amrani taking turns on who was on the offensive. van Roosmalen always tries to go forward, not too aggressively while Khamal is content moving and finding a spot to strike. Combinations will be essential for both fighters and you'll likely see a lot of them as they go back and forth on the offensive.

The fight should be high paced and exciting. Don't miss this one. It's a tough fight to call but I'd say Khamal's technical advantage will win him a decision. I see him outworking van Roosmalen, landing the better shots. Khamal has been against a top 5 fighter in Artur Kyshenko and managed to beat him. I'm not sure van Roosmalen is ready for that level of competition yet.


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