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Fikri Ameziane Steps in to Face Daniel Ghita on May 14th

fikri

Many of us were looking forward to seeing Daniel Ghita and Anderson "Braddock" Silva clash but unfortunately it's been announced that Silva is out of the match. Never fear though, as It's Showtime just announced on their Twitter that Fikri Ameziane from the Siam Gym has stepped in to fill the void. The 21 year old steps in on 8 days notice and faces a tall order in one of the top fighters in the world at heavyweight, Daniel Ghita. It's a win-win situation for Ameziane. If he wins, it's a huge upset and he'll be catapulting himself right into the mix of the top heavyweights in the world of kickboxing. If he loses, his stock doesn't go down at all. If anything, he gains more respect for taking this fight on such short notice.

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Big Card in France on June 4th

By Rian Scalia

French promotions La Nuit Des Challenges and Explosion Fight Night will come together on June 4th in Lyon, France to put on a stacked card featuring many big names in the kickboxing world. The theme of the card is Team Nasser K against the world. For those who aren't familiar with Team Nasser K, it's one of best kickboxing teams in all of Europe. Housing names suchs as It's Showtime 61MAX World Champion Karim Bennoui and his brother Houcine, Fabio Pinca, Yohan Lidon, Abdallah Mabel and many more. Top that off with 8 Full Muay Thai Rules Super Fight bouts and you've got a stacked card.

Fabio Pinca, winner of last year's Isuzu Thai Fight Tournament takes on WMC World Muaythai -135lb Champion, Saenchai Sor Sinbi (formerly known as Saenchai Sor Kingstar) in a rematch of their fight from 2007. Saenchai was able to take a unanimous decision win over Pinca the first time they fought. Now Pinca will try to even up the scores to 1-1 a piece. French fighter Yohan Lidon takes on Kongjak Sor Tuantong in a rematch of their fight from last August, where Lidon had to stop fighting after a middle kick to the arm forced him unable to continue. Lidon will be making a quick turn-around after his It's Showtime 73MAX World Title fight against Marat Grigorian on May 14 in Lyon.

Other notables on the Super Fight portion of the card include 3 time opponent of Giorgio Petrosyan, Abdallah Mabel, Abderahmane Penda, Yuksel Aydin, Chanachai Kaewsamrit and Houcine Bennoui.

In the Explosion Fight Night portion of the card, a mini one night -71kg qualification tournament is being held. Mickael Piscitello takes on Mickael Lallemand while Ludovic Millett battles Hichem Chaibi on the other side of the bracket. The winner will qualify for a place at the Explosion Fight Night Final Tournament alongside Ahmed Zragua of Belgium and Kem Sitsongpeenong of Thailand. These bouts will be K-1 3x3 Rules.

The full fight card is as follows:

Super Fights (Full Muay Thai Rules 5x3)
Fabio Pinca VS Saenchai Sor Sinbi
Yohan Lidon VS Sor Kongjak Tuantong 
Abdallah Mabel VS Chanachai Kaewsamrit 
Abderahmane Penda VS Johane Beauserjour 
Yuksel Ayaydin VS Abderrahmane Coulibaly 
Issam Reghis VS Cheick Sidibe 
Houcine Bennoui VS Lakthai 
Nabil Elouissi VS Samir Amrouche

Explosion Fight Night Qualification Tournament Step 3 (K-1 Rules 3x3 -71kg):
Mickael Piscitello VS Mickael Lallemand
Ludovic Millett VS Hichem Chaibi

Note: Saenchai is not 100% confirmed for the card. Also many of these fighters are fighting on It's Showtime's May 14th card. Don't be surprised to see some withdraw from this event with injuries.

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Hesdy Gerges Officially Removed from May 21st It's Showtime Card

GergesThe hits keep on rolling, as we quickly approach It's Showtime's May 14th card and their May 21st card there have been a few notable changes, as we just reported, Anderson Silva had to pull out of his bout with Daniel Ghita for the 14th. We have more bad news for It's Showtime fans, as many will remember, Hesdy Gerges has found himself in some legal trouble of late, and has now been extradited to Belgium to be interrogated about his possible involvement with cocaine trafficking.

The bad news is that It's Showtime no longer believes that Gerges will be able to participate on their May 21 card. They have removed him from the official card line up on their website, and Simon Rutz confirmed on his Facebook account in response to a fan that Gerges is out for the time being. This leaves It's Showtime without their main event for the card, but Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Mohamed Khamal is a great bout that could easily fill in for the absence of Hesdy Gerges on the card.

We'll keep you updated on any further updates for It's Showtime's May 14th and May 21st cards and who will fill in what spot. Hopefully they find an opponent for Chris Knowles.

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Mark "Fightshark" Miller Asks if He is Famous

The Glory World Series on May 28th is rapidly approaching as U.S. fighter Mark "Fightshark" Miller prepares for his return fight against Nikolaj Falin. Miller has overcome many hurdles on the way to his comeback, from open heart surgery where he had a cadaver valve placed in his chest to replace his own faulty heart valve to losing his parents and brother in short order. For most people, this kind of crippling pain would be the end of the line, they'd give up on their dreams, but not for Miller.

Miller has worked hard at getting himself healthy, back into fighting shape and surrounding himself with good people to get his comeback in gear. 2011 is the year where things are coming together for Mark, as he finally has his comeback fight for the Glory World Series, Golden Glory's promotional arm. In his latest blog on MMAWeekly, Miller discusses this past weekend where he went to an invite-only dinner as the guest of television personality Anthony Bourdain and his wife.

On Sunday, I drove to Santa Barbara to see Anthony and genius chef Eric Ripert speak. Following their talk, I was invited by Ottavia to attend a small gathering, where I was to meet Anthony and Eric. I was a little excited. The brash honesty, not blunted, but accompanied by a good heart in Anthony was always a thing I thought would jive well with me. I wasn’t wrong.

After a few minutes of mingling and nibbling on tasty food, Anthony’s eyes caught mine and he gestured vehemently at me while mouthing “get your ass over here!” Anthony Bourdain knew who I was. Color me tickled.

He asked about the comeback, and we chatted honestly about the fight, about Russia, about his fantastic MMA enthusiast wife, all the while Shelby stood, shuffling her feet and looking nervous, as she is a serious fan of Eric Ripert.

After chatting with them for a while, I invited him to the fight (should he find himself in Russia), posed for a photo, which he asked for (again, color me tickled), and shook the big man’s hand.

Read more of Mark's blog including a guilt-by-association moment and him reflecting on what it means to be famous. [source]

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Photo of the Day: UFC's Stefan Struve Training With Daniel Ghita

Here is a photo of UFC's Stefan Struve sparring with K-1 and It's Showtime fighter Daniel Ghita. Our friends AFAV are following Struve, documenting his training for his next UFC fight at UFC 130 against Travis Browne. Ghita is also preparing for a fight against Anderson "Braddock" Silva at It's Showtime Lyon on May 14. [source]

Struve/Ghita

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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at Badr vs. Alistair Overeem, 2009 WGP Semi-Finals

Badr/ReemOver the past week we've taken a look at some of the fights from Badr Hari's 2009, the year after his meltdown in the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals against Remy Bonjasky and his loss to Alistair Overeem at Dynamite!! in K-1 rules. 2009 was Badr Hari's year for redemption, where he looked to avenge past losses and finally capture the K-1 World Grand Prix Title. He was poised to take over the world at this stage.

Entering into the Semi-Finals of the tournament, Badr Hari had already made short work of Ruslan Karaev in the Quarterfinals earlier that night. He was walking into a big rematch for himself, and a bout that a lot was on the line for Badr himself as well as the K-1 world. At the time, Alistair Overeem was billed as a MMA fighter "invading" K-1 for storyline purposes. His interviews were following the same narrative; he was a MMA fighter and he would prove that MMA was stronger than K-1. For Badr Hari, he was embarrassed in 2008 against Overeem after shaming himself by getting disqualified in a fight that he could have still won.

The Badr Hari that entered the ring against Overeem was a determined fighter, with his eyes not on revenge but on winning the K-1 World Grand Prix. The often-emotional "Bad Boy" was composed during this fight, taking on Overeem's great timing and clinch work with aggression and technical combinations. The fight opens up with Overeem's trademark at the time; clinching and sweeping Badr onto his back. A move like that would score him points in Muay Thai competition or be a takedown in MMA, but in K-1 rules it is just an annoyance. He used this technique throughout 2009 to frustrate his opponents and prevent them from getting their rhythm.

Overeem's movement frustrates Hari during the round, as Hari goes head hunting only for Overeem to time them and move out of the way and clinch before Badr finds an opening and lands a few body shots. Overeem continued to clinch while Badr was finishing his combinations with body shots that connected until Overeem made his first big mistake; throwing Badr Hari into the corner. Literally just throwing him into the corner, giving Badr a few moments to regain his composure and pick himself up. Much like we've seen in the past with Badr, if you plant him to the mat, he gets up and looks to take your head off. Overeem threw a left hook that Badr was able to time perfectly and slip a right hook of his own in that landed square on the temple. Overeem stayed on his feet until another quick, short right planted him face first.

Badr smelled blood at this point, and emotions were running high for both men. Overeem knew he was in trouble and Badr Hari wanted to keep good on his promise of knocking him out in under 3 minutes. Badr Hari swarmed at Overeem with rights and lefts, with the odd body shot to throw off Overeem's rhythm and leave an opening. Badr went for a head kick but overshot it, leaving his leg in Overeem's possession for Overeem to plant him on the mat. Hari followed up using the same combination of throwing a series of lefts and rights and finishing with a right body shot and what finally put Overeem out of the tournament was that combination with a left head kick at the end sending Overeem crashing into the corner.

For Badr Hari he had overcome yet another demon of his past, and left him heading into the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix Finals against Semmy Schilt, the fighter that he had made short work of earlier in the year. Things were finally looking to fall into place for Badr Hari. Catch the video of the fight after the break.

Badr Hari returns on May 14th at It's Showtime Lyon against Gregory Tony after a year layoff. This series we are doing, "The Return of Badr Hari" looks back at the moments that led to Badr Hari's meltdown and time spent in jail, leading to his one year layoff from the world of kickboxing. The next one will cover the Semmy Schilt rematch from the Finals of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009.

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The Voice Versus Hulk Hogan Teaser Trailer

Our good friend Michael Schiavello has a wonderful interview series on HDnet that features him in a sit-down interview with various names from the world of combat sports. It appears we still might have a ways to go before we can see the Voice Versus Badr Hari, but we can hold out hope, can't we? The latest in the series is the Voice Versus Hulk Hogan. This time it is a bit of an interesting departure from the norm, opting to interview a legendary professional wrestler. Knowing Schiavello, I fully expect a few questions about Antonio Inoki and the Axe Bomber from his time in Japan.

The show debuts May 20th at 10 PM Eastern.

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Howson headlines card with ISKA World champion double header in Leeds

By Daniel Fletcher

Another world championship Muay Thai card will be hosted in Leeds (capital of the north) this weekend at the Leeds Town Hall, when Richard Smith's Bad Company Gym put two of their leading lights in hotly anticipated rematches, in both cases to retain their respective honours. Andy Howson and Jordan Watson share three things in common; they are Leeds lads, fight out of Bad Company gym, and hold ISKA World title belts, one of which will be on the line come Saturday as Howson takes on former foe and friend Dean James. Watson is fresh from a title defence in April, but the fight is not without significance as this rematch from The Contender will determine the #1 ranked super-welterweight, or 70kg MAX fighter in Britain.

In their first meeting, the likeable Howson dropped a decision to the current #1 ranked Bantamweight James on the stacked show at the London Excel, headlined of course by Watson vs. former 2x K-1 MAX champion and Lumpini tournament winner Buakaw Por.Pramuk. Howson feels that he did not perform to his best abilities on that night, and after recovering and going on to win the ISKA world title at bantamweight, he looks to avenge the previous defeat and claim the undisputed #1 rank in Britain.

Howson

Watson for his part lost that night too, though in taking the superstar Buakaw the distance and extending him to the point of doubt come the time for scorecards, he earned a new level of respect on the English, UK and international circuits. He too went on to win ISKA honours, which he has just defended. This fight though, a rematch from the Contender and one that he is favourite to win, would cement him as the best 70MAX Muay Thai boxer in the UK, and that may well be just as important to him.

Watson has been a tipped prospect in British Muay Thai since his teenage years, with the East Leeds youngster winning seven junior titles and quickly rising up the adult ranks as a boy. Since fighting international competition, he has beaten multiple top ranked opponents, had an even bout with one of the true superstars of stand-up fighting in Buakaw, and has won a world title. He's 23, and there's more honours on the horizon for him.

ISKA champ Jordan Watson

Full card (confirmed) as follows:

ISKA 55MAX world title

Andy Howson (Bad Company) v Dean James (Pra Chao Suaa)

Non-title fight - for UK #1 ranking at 70MAX (ISKA super-welterweight)

Jordan Watson (ISKA world champion, Bad Company) v Craig Jose (Fight Faktory) 

Kris Addis (Kao Loi) v Chris Shaw (Scotland)
Kyle Fella (Bad Company) v Robin Downer (Scotland)
Sarah McCarthy (Bad Company) v Maria Pantazi (Greece)
John Dennis (Bad Company) v Michael Wiseman (Caledonian)

5x1.5 Kenzie Roberts (Bad Company) 34kg v Harry Brecken Kao Loi 34kg
5x1.5 Bailey Roberts (Bad Company) 46kg v Joe Craven Calder 49kg
5x2 Andy Bakewell (Waterloo Street) 78kg v Danny Derbyshire Burnley 78kg
5x2 Kate Stables (Bad Company) 52kg v Hayleigh Clarkson Semtex 52kg
5x2 Eddie Long (Bad Company) 78kg v John Walker (Jai Muay Thai) 78kg
5x2 Danny Derbyshire (Burnley) 77kg v Andy Bakewell (Waterloo Street) 76kg
5x2 Karl Stoddart (Jai Muay Thai) 64kg v Mani Singh (Griphouse) 64kg

fight card


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Sam-A Thor Ratonakiat Sends Message to Kongsak Sitboonmee

Next week there is a big show at Lumpini Stadium and in the feature bout is One of Thailand's top Nak Muay's Sam-A Thor Ratonakiat taking on the the recent winner of the sportswriters association of Thailand fighter of the year, Kongsak Sitboonmee. The fight will be at 125 pounds. Sam-A is coming up a bit, and Kongsak is coming down a little. It should be a very technical, and interesting fight. 

 

Watch as Sam-A showcases his amazing kicks, and after sends a strong message to Kongsak.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxohGorwwGg&

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Don't Forget; Fight Code Live 2:45pm Eastern Time on Sunday!

Fight CodeJust hours after Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields clashed at UFC 129 expect more combat sports action, this time by the way of Fight Code. Fight Code puts on yet another in their Dragon Series, a 72.5kg tournament featuring the likes of Giorgio Petrosyan and his brother Armen Petrosyan. Fight Code will be co-promoting the event with Wako-Pro, who will be putting on a Croatia vs. Hungary series to open the show, with Fight Code rounding it out.

In the Dragon Tournament the last three Final 16 fights go down;

Vitaly Akhramenko [Belarus] vs Gyorgy Mihalik [Hungary]

Halim Issaoui [Maroc] vs Simon Chu [United Kingdom]

Juri Bessmertny [Belarus] vs Selmedin Didic [Switzerland]

Then there are three big Super Fights;

Luka Tomic [Croatia] vs Norbert Balogh [Hungary]

Mladen Brestovac [Croatia] vs Tihamer Brunner [Hungary]

Corneliu "Coco" Rus [Romania] vs Freddy Kemayo [France]

So tune in at 2:45pm Eastern/11am Pacific to Fight-Code.com to view the event.

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