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Photo of the Day: Tyrone Spong and Loren Javier Jorge Staredown

spongloren

Tyrone Spong and his opponent Loren Javier Jorge both made weight for their showdown tomorrow in Madrid for It's Showtime. Both fighters vowed to finish their opponent inside the distance. Both fighters are coming into the fight with bad intentions. You don't wanna miss this one.

The event airs live at 3PM EST/12PM PST on www.showtimefights.com for 10 Euros or if you're in Canada, The Fight Network will be airing the event live. The event will most likely be airing at a later date on HDNet.

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Josh Barnett Redefines the Concept of the Open Workout

I'm in awe. Open workouts are a rather humdrum event for everyone involved; the media who have to film it, the fighters who have to pretend to work out and the promoters who have to schedule these events and rent out space for them. Josh Barnett has not fought in the United States in well over two years. In light of that, Barnett has fought in Japan and Australia, while participating in Antonio Inoki-sponsored professional wrestling events in Japan. Barnett has a long history of professional wrestling, from when he was fighting in Pancrase in Japan he signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling as well as participated in Kiyoshi Tamura's U-Style AXIS event that featured "Shoot-Style" Pro Wrestling.

Well, to say that Barnett has a lot of pent up frustration and has a point to prove in his first fight back in the United States is an understatement. Barnett has been the butt of the joke with the media for years now, his name dragged through the mud, so when he has to go through what is a rather pointless exercise, he chose to do something for himself as well as cut an incredible promo. Watch. [source]

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Murthel Groenhart in for William Diender against Rafi Zouheir This Saturday at It's Showtime

murthelgroenhartOn the heels of Saturday's It's Showtime event, a match up change has been made.

Murthel Groenhart is now in for William Diender. Groenhart will be taking on hometown Spanish fighter Rafi Zouheir. What's also interesting is that this fight is at -70kg. Just last week, Groenhart fought picked up a win over Errol Koning at It's Showtime Warsaw. That fight was at -77kg. We don't know exactly when Groenhart stepped in for Diender, but he has a relatively short time to lose 7kg (15 lbs). Groenhart has been fighting at -77kg for a while and this raises the question if he can even get down to 70kg and make it work.

Groenhart's opponent, Rafi Zouheir now faces a tougher challenge than his previous opponent William Diender. Diender had lost 7 of his last 9 fights. Groenhart hasn't exactly been tearing it up recently either but he's been fighting at -77kg.  If Groenhart can adjust to the weight well, it should provide a tough test for Zouheir, who's coming off a tournament win in January.

We don't know why Diender was taken out of the fight, but we'll be sure to update the story if we find out.

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Alistair Overeem Pre-Fight Interview; Strikeforce Heavyweight GP This Weekend

Alistair Overeem is, regardless of K-1's current status, the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, that means he won what is one of the biggest tournaments in combat sports with a long, rich history. It is still unclear if Overeem will be able to fight for K-1 again, or if K-1 will hold another World Grand Prix, but what is clear is that Overeem is involved in another huge tournament this year and that is the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. Overeem faces off against Fabricio Werdum in the Final 8 round this weekend, in a rematch from a few years ago in PRIDE when Overeem was still cutting weight to make Light Heavyweight (PRIDE's Middleweight). Overeem has grown as a fighter since then, with his trainer Martijn de Jong actually saying that Overeem is the most improved fighter that he has ever had the pleasure of working with.

Overeem is already the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion and looks to take the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP crown as well beginning this weekend. Watch him as he talks to MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani about this weekend's big fight, and while it isn't kickboxing, he has the support of us and the kickboxing community. Also note that Overeem says that he has not signed a new contract with Zuffa yet, so he is still free to fight anywhere until that contract is up. [source]

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It's Showtime To Found New Company

It seems like It's Showtime keeps growing and expanding, with 2011 being their breakout year. They've already put on a slew of great shows, with another coming up this weekend, but that wasn't their big news that Simon Rutz alluded to yesterday. Yesterday Rutz told people that this morning he'd make a big announcement, and it turns out the big announcement is that It's Showtime is in the process of working with a Swiss Investment bank to acquire funding to create another, possibly bigger company. This company will apparently not be in the Netherlands, but Rutz says will be great for kickboxing.

We are very proud to announce that IT’S SHOWTIME is at the point of signing the biggest financial deal ever to be made in the sport of kickboxing.
A Swiss investment company (which will be revealed soon) and IT’S SHOWTIME will collaborate and because of this collaboration, a company will exist which will change the history of worldwide kickboxing.

The new company which is to be founded from this collaboration will have its home ground in another country than The Netherlands. The next months will be used to decide the strategy that this company will follow. Details about this, not only for the kickboxing scene, megadeal will later be revealed during a press conference.

The reason to announce this deal already is the fact that several journalists already knew about these sensational developments, and also we thought that the combat sports fans deserved some positive news.

This deal will have only positive consequences, not only for IT’S SHOWTIME, but also for the fighters and the fans.

For the latest news, download our free IT’S SHOWTIME app on your smartphone or visitwww.fight.nl


Kind regards,

Simon Rutz
IT'S SHOWTIME

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It's Showtime Japan News and Notes

STJIt's Showtime Japan held a press conference today, where they formally announced It's Showtime Japan's "Countdown" show schedules, the shows will be split with REBELS Muay Thai events as well as M-1 shows in Japan. The schedule looks as such

July 18 (Mon) REBELS Differ Ariake

August 28 (Sunday) Festival Shinzyuku Huziwara FACE

September 11 (Sun) M-1 Differ Ariake

Oct 23 (Sun) REBELS Differ Ariake

November 13 (Sun) M-1 Differ Ariake

Dec. 23 (Fri.) Huziwara Korakuen Hall Festival

On top of that, two feature bouts for the first event on July 18th have been announced, which is headlined by Giorgio Petrosyan vs. HINATA at 70kgs.

65kg It's Showtime Championship Challenger Bout: Mosab Amrani vs. Chi-Bin Lim.

61kg It's Showtime Rules: Genki Yamamoto vs. Kan Itabashi

We'll have more on It's Showtime Japan as the Countdown-1 event approaches. [source]

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Jerome Le Banner Decisions Stefan Leko in Geneva

lebannerToday in Geneva, Switzerland two legends of kickboxing fought it out for the ISKA Kickboxing World Super Heavyweight Title. The two had fought before in 2001 with JLB taking a unanimous decision over 5 rounds.

Today was no different, as Le Banner won a decision over 5 rounds to become the new ISKA Kickboxing World Super Heavyweight Champion. One notable difference in this fight was that the rounds were only 2 minutes. It's still a good win for Le Banner, who could seemingly retire at any moment. Leko is past his prime but 2 wins over him is very good for his already wide resume.

Also on the card, Frank Munoz took on Nicolas Wamba and lost a 5 round decision.

Thanks to FightNews for the results.

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Mark "Fightshark" Miller Joins Team Golden Glory

Mark MillerAfter a lot of hard work and years of anticipation, Mark "Fightshark" Miller made his successful return to he ring a few weeks ago. It was a historic comeback if there ever was one, with Miller landing a big hook to Nikolaj Falin in three seconds, the ref finally calling the fight at around 8 seconds, with Miller scoring the fastest KO of his career after sitting out of action for years. It is safe to say that the team at Golden Glory took notice of Mark Miller after that fight, and there were a lot of hopes pinned on the back of Miller.

American Kickboxing has been all-but-ruled dead by many, without any new, big stars being made in years. The United States is talked about in a joking tone when the topic of kickboxers comes up, as there are some Muay Thai fighters who compete on a high level, but the only Kickboxer to see success has been Mighty Mo, who actually comes from American Samoa which is off the coast of Australia. So there were hopes on the shoulders of Miller beyond making his heroic return, but for American Kickboxing as a whole.

When Golden Glory contacted him last week about possibly joining the team, it was like a dream come true. Golden Glory is one of the elite teams in the kickboxing world, who have never had an American kickboxer in their midst. The only American to ever be a part of the team was Heath Herring, who was never able to achieve the level of success that any of them wanted, and Herring proves to be one of only two fighters that in twelve years that has left the team, ever. Mark signed himself to Golden Glory just days ago and we've been waiting for an official announcement, which Martijn de Jong made this morning, officially welcoming Miller to one of the most elite teams in the world.

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