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Isuzu Tournament Update -- Sudsakorn, Thepsutin out in February

Some of you may have noticed changes to the scheduled lineup of the Isuzu Tournament at the end of the groups phase. In February, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee from Group A and Thepsutin Pumpanmuang from Group B were barred from the tournament for breaking contract stipulations by fighting outside of Thailand during the duration of the tournament, similar to what happened to Cosmo Alexandre with It's Showtime.

We ended up seeing Nopparat Keatkhamtorn vs Antoine Siangboxing and Dernchonlek Sor Sor Niyom vs Diesellek Top King Boxing. Both the original tournament competitors ended up winning their fights, Nopparat by a very close decision and Dernchonlek by third round tko.

Prakaisaeng Sit-Or took a decision over Thanongdet Petpayatai, while Kem Sitsongpeenong knocked out Kongjak Sor Tuantong to close groups action.

The semi-finals concluded on the April 16. Matchmaking for the semi-finals was done by fan vote, which is an interesting innovation by the organizers, as these things are usually decided by the organizers or by the fighters themselves. Dernchonlek vs Nopparat took place on April 2nd. Nopparat took the decision despite Dernchonlek was a favorite to face Kem in the finals.

Kem Sitsongpeenong vs Prakaisaeng Sit-Or was originally scheduled for April 9, but was postponed due to Kem being sick. The match ended up happening on April 16 with Kem winning by round 4 tko.

This places Nopparat and Kem in the finals. Kem has to be the heavy favorite in this match-up since he's scored multiple KO victories over Nopparat, including one in the groups phase of this same Isuzu Tournament. If he wins this tournament, he will proceed to Thai Fight 2011 where he also likely will be a heavy favorite in a field of foreign fighters.


Sor Klinmee April 5-8

4/14 (Thai Time)

I've been keeping a journal while training at Sor Klinmee. I get infrequent internet access, so I'm going to post multiple days at once. I'm trying to give a general idea of what it's like at the gym. Also, look for a review of Eminent Air, the gym I trained at last time I was in Thailand.



So, it's April 5th (4th your time), and I'm in Sor Klinmee in Pattaya. It took 400 baht to get here from the bus stop in South Pattaya, though I could have haggled that down a fair bit. It did take two drivers and two security guards and a receptionist at an airport office 30 minutes to figure out where exactly the camp was, though. The business card I'd printed out had two numbers, the first which no one picked up, the second belonging to a Thai man as confused as his callers.

Most people have a bit of trouble with it, but I love Thai weather. Maybe it's because I'm always, according to friends and family, giving off a lot of heat, but I'm sensitive to cold, and Thailand is the perfect place for those sensitive to cold. Shanghai was 19 degrees centigrade, Thailand was 30. That's 90 degrees. Hot heaven.

I haven't trained yet. The owner, Tappaya, or Neyn, suggested I take the first day off. After 4 airplane rides and 3 bus rides in 12 days, I was inclined to agree. Thankfully, I brought books. To anyone who hasn't heard of him or seen his show, I highly recommend Mike Birbiglia. I saw his solo standup routine “Sleepwalk with Me,” and liked it enough to buy a copy of the book when it came out.

For now, I'm getting settled. The camp seems extremely chill. There are little kids running around, Tappaya and his wife, Pak, are teaching me Thai nouns and verbs every so often.

A word of advice: call your bank to place your cards on travel alert so you don't have to call your bank from another country when your debit card works. This isn't from experience or anything. I just thought it might happen. Right.

Now to figure out the most reliable source of internet around here. (There's no wireless at the camp.)



Aoki's #4 Ranking Is Deserved, Get Over Your Bias.

EVERY forum I visit I see people saying how 1 dimensional and how overrated Shinya Aoki is. 

"Why is he #4." "LMAO he's a 1 dimensional cry baby." "Once again a Japanese fighter is over ranked."

So I pose a question for those who say these type of things.

Who should be #4?

Edgar, Melendez, Maynard are generally 1-3 in everyone's rankings. But when we hit #4 is where the majority of MMA fans get upset. But I don't seem to understand why.

Lets take a look at some names right behind Aoki who people think should be #4.

Eddie Alvarez: Just weeks ago many thought he was the #2 guy in the world. He can wrestle, bang, and is extremely tough, but what merits a ranking ahead of Aoki? First and foremost he was defeated by Aoki a few years ago in under 2 minutes. Great start! His 2 best wins are Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Joachim Hansen. Last I checked Aoki has beaten them too, and in quicker, and in more dominating fashion. Aoki has wins over quality guys like "Shaolin" Ribeiro, JZ Cavalcante, Caol Uno, Mizuto Hirota, Marcus Aurelio, and Lyle Beerbohm. Alvarez has quality wins against Pat Curran, Katsunori Kikuno, Roger Huerta, and Toby Imada. Facts: Aoki has beaten Alvarez's top 2 names. Aoki has better quality wins. And lastly, and most importantly, Aoki defeated Alvarez head-to-head. How can you justify putting Alvarez ahead of Aoki? YOU CAN'T! It's impossible! Stop trying to say he deserves to be ahead of him. 

Jim Miller: A lot of people are high on him right now, and I think he's sheer quality, but what has he done? He beat a guy that Jamie varner beat err took to a draw. Won a close decision over Mark Bocek that is highly debatable. Won a competitive decision over Gleison Tibau, and defeated an unexperienced "prodigy" in Charles Oliveira. How many of these guys have ever sniffed the top 10? ZERO! Oh, he also beat Duane Ludwig, Mac Danzig, and Matt Wiman. Any of these guys top 10 wins, or even top 15 wins? Case closed!

Anthony Pettis: While I think he has great potential, and could be UFC LW champ someday he hasn't accomplished a whole lot. Ben Henderson is a very good win. Shane Roller, and Danny Castillo are also good. After that...... a whole lot of nothing. 

Kenny Florian: He beat the post Pride Gomi, yeah well so did Sergei Golyaev. Clay Guida, the UFC's 155 gate keeper, how nice! Joe "I can't compete at 155 anymore and if I want to have a job I have to go to 45" Stevenson. Wow! Roger Huerta, Joe Lauzon, and Sam Stout, decent names. Can't lie. But how many top 10 wins does Mr Florian have? ZERO!

Melvin Guillard: Evan Dunham is a very good win. However he was also awarded a bogus decision over Gelison Tibau. Anyone who thinks he deserves a top 5 ranking or even top 10 ranking is nuts. 

Sean Sherk: Horse shit decision over Dunahm, and outside of that hasn't won since 2008. 

So these are the main guys who could have a case for #4. None of which have the resume of Aoki, but since so many of you guys absolutely hate the man who deserves the spot over him? The logical and only appropriate answer would be "none of those guys," but since you can't put your bias aside who should it be? 



It's Showtime Heads to Spain in June; Tyrone Spong Headlining

It's Showtime is nothing short of a juggernaut in 2011. The next It's Showtime event is May 14th in Lyon, France, being headlined by Badr Hari vs. Gregory Tony in Badr's big comeback fight. Then, mere days later on May 21 it is back to Amsterdam in the Sand for another big event headlined by Hesdy Gerges against Chris Knowles. That is it for the month of May, then June happens and they head to Poland on the 11th for Danyo Ilunga's first 95kg title defense.

With a show planned for July in Russia with Hesdy Gerges defending his Heavyweight title, you'd think they'd slow down, but they don't. Today it was announced that It's Showtime will head to Madrid, Spain on June 18 for a big show headlined by the King of the Ring himself, Tyrone Spong.

This is good news for kickboxing fans as It's Showtime is not only picking up the slack left by K-1, but putting on way more shows than we got from K-1 last year with the second half of the year yet to be announced yet. Keep an eye on this space for card updates, as there is still a lot yet to be announced.


It's Showtime Lyon: Anderson Silva Replaces Slowinski Against Daniel Ghita

BraddockA few bits of juicy news coming out of the It's Showtime camp on this rather gorgeous (at least where I am) Friday afternoon. The first bit of news comes in the form of Paul Slowinski having to withdraw from the big It's Showtime card in Lyon, France on May 14th. We saw this coming from a mile away as Slowinski had to pull out of a fight a few weeks ago due to injury and there was no way he'd be OK in time to square off against a beast like Daniel Ghita.

Ghita just came off of a hard-fought loss against Hesdy Gerges on March 6th in a bout that is still disputed by fans across the globe. We are all hoping to get an eventual rematch on that bout, but for now we'll see Ghita back in action in May. This is hard luck for Slowinski, a fighter who has always just been out of reach for being one of the top Super Heavyweights in the world. Slowinski always strings together impressive wins before putting on disappointing performances against fighters he should be beating or top of the food chain competition like Badr Hari and Melvin Manhoef. One man's loss is another man's gain, though, as Anderson "Braddock" Silva has been pulled from his bout with Jamal Ben Saddik on May 21, with Saddik now looking for a new opponent and Braddock replacing Slowinski.

Silva had a rough 2010, racking up 3 of his career 5 wins, with two of them against Mourad Bouzidi. Braddock made an exclamation point for the year of 2010 with an amazingly brutal head kick knockout on Freddy Kemayo that made a few highlight reels so far. This proves as another chance for Braddock to prove himself against top competition against a K-1 Final 8 competitor in Daniel Ghita. [source]


This Saturday's W5 GP to Stream Online

W5 Grand PrixThis weekend's big kickboxing action comes from Moscow, as the city hosts the W5 Grand Prix.  Highlight of the show is the 4 man 70kg tournament featuring Mike Zambidis, Dzhabar Askerov, William Diender, and Enriko Gogokhia.  Now we've got good news for fans - the show will be streamed live online.  Visit where the show can be purchased for just 99 rubles - that translates to roughly $3.50 US (2,50 Euro).  That's a great price to see these fighters in action.  Show starts at 6:00 pm Moscow time on Saturday - 10:00 am EST in the US, 2:00 pm GMT.

Although this is a smaller show, this is definitely a strong four man field for a tournament.  The semi-final round will feature Zambidis vs. Gogokhia and Askerov vs. Diender.  Both are excellent fights in their own right, but the big money fight is definitely the potential Zambidis vs. Askerov final.  Both men are aggressive and have been knocking out opponents lately.  Their clash would be two heavy hitters coming at each other, and could be a very exciting showdown.  It seems likely that this is where the tournament will go, but in this format you never know how it will play out.  If there's a spoiler here, I'd say it's Gogokhia, who has been under the radar, but looked great in two 8 man tournaments last year.  I still think Zambo will take him, but he's a tough challenger to watch out for.

One other fighter to watch on the card is Alexander Stetsurenko.  The talented Russian fighter holds a 2009 win over It's Showtime champion Artem Levin, and is deserving of a high profile international fight.

The complete line-up:










Fight Code's 2011 Calendar

I know that everyone is concerned about the return of K-1, but for the time being I find it fruitless to discuss what is going on with FEG. We all know that FEG plans to undertake a restructuring and return within the year, if this happens or not no one really knows. There are talks of dates, times, venues and also that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami pushed things back. The optimist says that is what happened, the pessimist says that is a rather remarkable excuse and a great way to make things look like they are moving along. We at this point have no opinion on this matter, as we all want K-1 back, but will just have to wait.

In the mean time there are great things happening around the world in kickboxing that aren't related to FEG or K-1. There is It's Showtime putting on a million shows and really stepping up to the plate in a unique way, then there is the Glory World Series put on by Martijn de Jong and Golden Glory, then of course there is Fight Code. Fight Code has come out of the gates swinging in 2011 and impressed everyone who has seen their first few shows this year. Just to illustrate that there is a lot going on in the kickboxing world, here is a calendar of their upcoming events. The "Dragon" events are for their tournament featuring K-1 World MAX Champion Giorgio Petrosyan, his brother Armen Petrosyan, Sudsakorn and Dzhabar Askerov. Check here for the full break down of the tournament.

Then there is the "Rhino" series, which take place either on alternate dates or at least alternate locations, it is a -105kg (Heavyweight) tournament, and while all the names have yet to be finalized, there are dates planned and of course fighters vying to get involved in this tournament.

Fight Code


Mike's Gym Looking for the Next Badr Hari

There was a pretty decent discussion about kickboxing this morning on Twitter between Bloodstain Lane, Michael Schiavello, myself and a few fans about kickboxing. There were those that argued kickboxing was dead in the United States and had no talent and then a lot of talk about who were the big stars of the past 20 years, who is coming up and how the regional muay thai scenes are still going very strong. There are some promotions that do great work on the West coast and East coast as well as some strong upstarts in Las Vegas like Lion Fights.

We already know that Mark Miller is going to be representing America in Russia at the Glory World Series event in May and there are talks of a possible kickboxing tournament in May in the United States featuring some former heavyweight K-1 stars from the United States. Call me foolish, but I'm optimistic. So, apparently, are the guys who work at Mike's Gym in the Netherlands. So much so that Danny Delvers at Mike's Gym trains kids and I must say, some of the stuff they are doing is far beyond what a lot of MMA fighters pull off on UFC cards. That isn't an insult as much as it is praise for what youth programs can develop. [source]


Photo of the Day: Shootboxing Returns April 23rd

April is shaping up to be a rather uneventful month for the world of kickboxing after a jam-packed March return for many of the bigger promotions in Europe. We saw the GLORY World Series continue, It's Showtime put on two big cards and Fight Code gave us the gift of Giorgio Petrosyan and a few other big fights. Understandably, Japan has been rather quiet the past month or so. Japan was actually hit by another earthquake today, a 7.4 and is once again on tsunami watch. Needless to say, inactivity in Japan is not a big deal. A few promotions are stepping up and running shows for Japan, to show the strength of the nation as well as to do their best to help out. Thankfully for us, Shootboxing is one of those promotions. Here is their poster. [source]


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