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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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Watch It's Showtime Warsaw Tomorrow

its showtime

If you didn't already know, It's Showtime is holding an event in Warsaw, Poland tomorrow. It seems that this card isn't getting much attention and it definitely deserves some. Like the recent It's Showtime event on May 21st, the card is not star studded by any means. We all saw how that card turned out though, right? It was much more entertaining and competitive than the star studded Lyon card. A lot of these fighters may not be known to casual fans of the sport, but I suggest everyone start following them.

The card tomorrow has the 2 top Polish fighters at -70kg fighting with Rafal Dudek taking on Michal Glogowski. You may remember Glogowski from his stint in K-1, where he lost to Yoshihiro Sato at the Final 8. You might also remember Rafal Dudek from his decision loss to Chahid Oulad El Hadj, in which he gave Chahid some problems with his height. This fight will be a good, technical clash between two of Poland's best.

Also on the card we have a sure barnburner in Errol Koning vs. Murthel Groenhart. If you've followed It's Showtime, you know Murthel Groenhart is one of the most exciting fighters in the world. Groenhart always fights at a high pace and is never in a dull fight. His opponent, Errol Koning is not well known but after this fight you should definitely take notice of him. Koning is a very lanky fighter and has a vicious step up knee to look out for. this fight has fireworks written all over it.

Hafid el Boustati returns after his domination of Mohammed Medhar and takes on Piotr Woznicki, who will be at home in Poland. el Boustati is never in a boring fight and this one should bring some excitement.

Yep, Daniel Ghita is fighting too. Ghita takes on Erhan Deniz in what is pretty much a stay-busy fight. Who doesn't want to see Daniel Ghita though? If you like crushing leg kicks then you have to tune in tomorrow because there's sure to be plenty of them.

Last but not least, we have a It's Showtime 95MAX World Title Fight. The champion Danyo Ilunga defends his belt against Serbian Nenad Pagonis. Ilunga is masterful in the ring, as evidenced by the clinic he put on Wendell Roche in March. Ilunga is really deserving of some hype right now. He's not well known to most but he's excellent to watch. Ilunga can move around the ring masterfully using footwork and angles to set up combos and leave opponents confused as to how to get to him. Not to mention, he has 32 KOs in 36 wins. Pagonis is no pushover however, already holding 2 wins in It's Showtime. Last year, Pagonis joined Mike's Gym so you know he'll be prepared for this one.

So, what are you waiting for? Be sure not to miss this event tomorrow. You won't be disappointed. You can order the event on www.showtimefights.com or if you're in Canada, watch it live on The Fight Network. The event begins at 3PM EST/12 PM PST.

For the full card, click here.

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June 18 in Rotterdam Update: Zimmerman vs. Slowinski, Tournament Participants

We reported last week about the fight card going down in Rotterdam on June 18. Since then, the card has taken another turn. The main event will now feature Errol Zimmerman vs. Paul Slowinski, in place of Sergei Lascenko. Originally, Gokhan Saki was supposed to fight Lascenko but Saki pulled out due to injury and Zimmerman stepped in. Now Lascenko is out and Paul Slowinski is in.

Another addition to the card is Hafid el Boustati taking on Kenneth van Eesvelde. el Boustati is coming off a win over Mohammed Medhar on the May 21st It's Showtime event in Amsterdam.

The heavyweight tournament has also had a bit of a shake up. Mourad Bouzidi, Filip Verlinden and Abderahman Coulibaly are in. To win the tournament, a fighter will have to win 3 times to claim the crown. The full 8 man tournament line up is as follows:

Abderahman Coulibaly
Wendell Roche
Nicolai Falin
Mourad Bouzidi
Filip Verlinden
Utley Mariana
Tommy van Wijngaarden
Dennis Stolzenbach

Overall, a good tournament line up. It features some already well established names such as Mourad Bouzidi and Wendell Roche while there's some good fighters you may not know about in Filip Verlinden and Abderahman Coulibaly.

Thanks to FightStarTV for the updates.

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Photo of the Day: Melvin Manhoef's Arcade

If you told me that Melvin Manhoef had a collection of arcade cabinets at his house, I'm not sure that I'd believe you without photographic evidence. Well, that is exactly what we have, taken from his Facebook page. Apparently Melvin fancies himself a gamer.

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UFC's Kenny Florian Works with Cosmo Alexandre for UFC 131, a Paradigm Shift

CosmoThis weekend former UFC Lightweight contender Kenny Florian will officially make the move to Featherweight. Florian’s move to Featherweight is the first of its kind since WEC’s Featherweight division was folded into the UFC, Jose Aldo being crowned as the first UFC Featherweight Champion. For fans, Florian almost immediately becomes a top contender for the Featherweight title, with Diego Nunes his first opponent.

If you are a kickboxing fan, the possibility of a Florian and Aldo clash is a bit different, as both fighters are known for their striking prowess. Aldo is known for his explosive power in his striking, while Florian is known for adding a solid in-tight Muay Thai game to his outstanding jiu-jitsu. What is truly interesting is that both men have incorporated some of the finest kickboxers in the world to their training camps.

Jose Aldo while preparing for his UFC debut went to the Netherlands to train with one of the finest competitors that 70kg has ever seen in Andy Souwer. Andy Souwer can bring an interesting perspective to Aldo’s striking, as Souwer not only has experience in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but he is also one of the best to ever compete in Japan’s strange hybrid sport of Shoot Boxing. Shoot Boxing incorporates the standard Kickboxing rules along with Judo elements of throws and standing submissions. To excel at Shoot Boxing, you not only need a solid stand up game, but you need to have a strong clinch game and grappling defense as well. Aldo went to war with Mark Hominick at UFC 129 to defend his title, with a possible title fight against Chad Mendes on the horizon once his injuries are healed. Aldo has expressed that he will work with Andy Souwer again, and Andy Souwer has also expressed that he’d love to train MMA with Aldo.

In the same vein, Kenny Florian has brought Cosmo Alexandre into his training camp for his Featherweight debut. Cosmo has made it clear that he is very much wanting to get into the world of MMA sometime soon, and aligning himself with Kenny Florian is a great place to start. Cosmo Alexandre is the former It’s Showtime 77MAX Champion, who only lost his title via politics when It’s Showtime was unhappy with him taking another fight close to his next title defense without their consent and he was unhappy with their contract situation. Cosmo has held multiple world Muay Thai titles and fought all over the world, generally considered one of the best Muay Thai fighters who Kickboxes in his weight class, he can provide Florian with a different approach to his Muay Thai. Florian, known for being a Mark DellaGrote Muay Thai student has learned a lot from Mark, but truth be told, training with fighters who not only currently compete, but are seen as some of the best in the world is vastly different.

What these two UFC fighters looking to some of the elite kickboxers of the world shows is that international kickboxing is gaining more respect in the United States, and elite fighters are realizing that not all stand up training is the same, to train and work with some of the most elite strikers in the world is a vastly different and rewarding experience from the same, cookie-cutter “Stand Up” training that you’ll see at your local MMA gyms across the country. I look forward to the days where more UFC fighters are talking about how incredible these fighters are that we already know are incredible.

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Pajonsuk Replaced by Chahid Oulad el Hadj for It's Showtime's Fast and Furious Tournament

Big news from the It's Showtime camp today, as it looks like Pajonsuk Samui Pro has had to pull out of the Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament in September, and that he will be replaced by Chahid Oulad el Hadj, best known for his knock down, drag out brawl with Mike Zambidis last year. [source]

his means that the 8 contestants for the € 50.000 jackpot will be:

Giorgio Petrosyan

Andy Souwer

Gago Drago

Murat Direkçi

Chris Ngimbi

Artur Kyshenko

Harut Grigorian

Chahid Oulad el Hadj


On September 24th, 2011 in the Forest National in Brussels, Belgium, the battle for € 50.000 and the title of ‘Fast & Furious 70 MAX’ will take place in a spectacular 8 man tournament!

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