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Mohamed Khamal Shifts Focus To Muay Thai

It seems as if Mohamed Khamal has been around for a long time, but he's only 21 years old. He's already fought the likes of Artur Kyshenko, Robin van Roosmalen twice, Gago Drago and Harut Grigorian in Kickboxing. He's no stranger to Muay Thai either, holding wins over Liam Harrison, Michael Dicks and Anuwat Kaewsamrit.

Many think of Mohamed Khamal as one of the rising stars of kickboxing, but recently he's turned his attention to Muay Thai. He picked up two wins in the Muay Thai Premier League at the end of last year and is set to delve even deeper into the sport.

Khamal will fight Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong on March 31 in Thailand for the WBC Muay Thai World Title, presumably at 147lbs, as that's where Sitthichai is ranked #1 by the WMC as of April 2011. It's definitely a very tough fight for Khamal. His deficiencies in the clinch have been apparent in his two MPL fights and that's a major aspect that he needs to work on.

Khamal also wants to be ranked at Lumpinee Stadium so it appears he will be focusing heavily on Muay Thai. It's actually nice to see some Dutch fighters try their hands at Muay Thai. Holland's scene has mostly been centred around Kickboxing for a while now.

He last fought on November 6 in The Hague, Netherlands where he took a decision over Michael Dicks. Before that, he took a decision over Liam Harrison on October 6, both fights being under the MPL banner. He wasn't as active as he has been in previous years, only fighting three times last year, but he's only 21 years old and has a very bright future with tons of time ahead of him.

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Saenchai vs. F16 This Friday

This Friday Petpiya promotions will be putting together the biggest event of the year thus far at Lumpini stadium. The main event will be Saenchai Sor. Saenchai (yeah, different name same guy) against F16 Rajanont. The two were scheduled to fight last year at the Lumpini birthday show but F16 had to back out as his camp was unable to produce the money for a side bet that was going to take place. Now the fight is set and both sides are putting up 500,000 baht. At an even weight this is an easy call, but F16 is getting 4 pounds on Saenchai, and more time to prepare. Saenchai fought on the 21st in Italy against Fabio Pinca at 145 pounds, now he has to get down to 130 not even two weeks later. Still, even with these advantages its a good fight for Saenchai to get back on the winning side. Stylistically the only type of fighters who regularly give Saenchai fits are the really tall knee fighters who relentlessly look to clinch and knee, F16 is not one of these. 

The bout prior to the main event pits Nong-O Kaiyanghadaogym against Singdam Kiatmuu9. These two have fought at least 5 or 6 times prior with both winning a few times. Recently though it has been Nong-O who has won most of the fights between the two. However, Singdam has had a bit of a career resurgence recently by beating Petchboonchu F.A Group and stopping F16 Rajanont from an accumulation of kicks. Nong-O still has to be the favorite, but when these two meet you always getting an exciting fight. 

In other action Thong Puideenaidee will fight Petpanomrung Kiatmuu9. Thong has been around the fight scene in Thailand for a very long time, while Petpanomrung is nearly half his age at just 16. A lot of people think Petpanomrung will the be one of the next super elites in Thailand, and a win over Thong will help him get to that level. 

Palangtip Nor. Sripunag vs. Tingtong Chor. Koyuha-Isuzu is scheduled to happen here. A win for Palangtip could move him into position to fight Sam-A for the super bantamweight title, sometime in the near future. Palangtip's coming off another elbow KO of Ponsaneh Sitmonchai, while Tingtong is looking to rebound after losing to Petpanomrung just a few weeks ago on the 12th of January. 

On that same card on the 12th Ekmongkol Kaiyanghadaogym squeaked out a split decision over Dejsakda Wor. Sangprapai and in doing so defended his world muaythai council bantamweight championship. They will fight once again on this card, and it will be the 5th time they've fought in just the last year or so. 

At 112 pounds rising 16 year old star Songkom Sakhomsin will meet Mondam Sor. Wirapon. The two fought a couple years ago and Mondam used his length and strong clinch to win a decision. 2011 was a big year for Songkom and he's won 10 of his last 11 fights, 8 of those by KO and is currently working with a streak of 6 knockouts in a row. 

The two other fights include a championship match at 105 pounds between Wanchana Or. Boonchuay and Petsakol F.A Group. The opening bout will be veteran Wanchai Sor. Kittisak taking on Superlek Kiatmuu9 who was voted Lumpini's 2011 best young fighter. 

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Irshaad Sayed the Latest Muay Thai World Champion To Try His Hand at MMA

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MMA fans might not be too interested in Muay Thai, kickboxing or K-1 but they all seem to love a striker. Everyone knows that the best stand up fighters start off in pure striking disciplines and one of them will be inside the cage fighting for ONE Fighting Championship next month.

Irshaad Sayed is a WPMF World Champion and a WMC I-I Asian Champion who is one of the best Muay Thai practitioners South Africa has ever produced. Just like Vuyisile Colossa he now calls Hong Kong home and after making a name for himself as one of the best farang fighters at his weight he is starting to switch his attention to MMA.

The lure of ONE Fighting Championship, Asia's most prestigious mixed martial arts promotion, has proven too much for a number of top Muay Thai fighters and Yodsanan Sityodtong, who has fought at Lumpini and Ratchadamnern numerous times as well as being a boxing world champion, made a very succesful debut at the inaugural event.

Colossa also gave a good account of himself that night, finishing a Chinese Sanda fighter with strikes in front of 7,000 fans at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. On February 11th at the BritAma Arena in Jakarta it will be the turn of his friend and training partner when Sayed takes on the always aggressive Jessie Rafols.

The Filipino is much more experienced as an MMA fighter with a 6-2 record and has a wrestling based style which could cause Sayed problems. However the South African, whose only defeat was a decision loss to the number one bantamweight in China, will feel he has an advantage in the striking department over just about any 135 lbs fighter in the world.

In an ironic twist of fate he was only called up to take the fight after Ngoo Ditty, the man he beat on his MMA debut, pulled out and a subsequent replacement was also unable to compete on the card due to contractual issues. Sayed says he will be ready and believes that his superior stand up will make the difference,

"My opponent is good, very compotent on the floor but i dont think he can match me on the stand up. He's an agressive fighter to, so it will be an exciting fight. I'm really excited to be fighting in ONE FC, its a great opportuntiy for me and I'll make the most of it."

He showed just how good his stand up as when he made his debut against Ditty in a fight you can see in full here. The Thai fighter had only ever previously been beaten by Kevin Belingon, one of the best bantamweights in Asia, but Sayed absolutely took him apart with vicious combinations of punches before knocking him out cold with a perfectly timed knee.

It was an impressive performance but Sayed, who says his ground game has improved a lot since then, is not reading too much into it,

"I am confident going into this but the fight with Ngoo was a long time ago and I'm not taking anything for granted. I'm working on my ground game with Rodrigo Caporal and working stand up and wrestling with Vusi. Me and Vusi work together often, we both from South Africa and he is one of the reasons I got the offer to come to Hong Kong."

Sayed initially came to Thailand soon after finishing High School to train and fight Muay Thai but now lives and works in Hong Kong. At the age of 22 he has immense potential as a mixed martial artist and after falling into the sport almost by accident he is working on becoming more than just a stand up specialist,

"I got an offer to fight MMA for the first time against Ngoo in Macau so I tried it and I was successful and im just taking it from there. I would still see myself fighting Muay Thai a few times during 2012 but I'm focusing more on MMA now. I'm much more comfortable on the floor now, I have some submissions off my back and if I'm on top I look to finish with ground and pound. I hope I'll be a regular fighter for ONE FC, it's an honour to fight for such a big promotion so early in my MMA career and I will try and put on a great fight so that people want to see more of me."

With so much Muay Thai experience at such an early age Sayed has had the perfect preparation for an MMA career in the limelight. He is no stranger to taking on the best in the world and beating them and has at least another decade to improve as a mixed martial artist. That makes him a very scary proposition indeed for anyone in the 135 lbs division and if he can get his ground game up to speed his potential is enormous.

Alistair Overeem is set to challenge for the UFC heavyweigth title and if he is successful it would make him one of very few fighters from a pure striking background to hold a major MMA title. Sayed is some way of emulating that sort of an achievement but he has plenty of time to improve and could well develop into a truly world calss mixed martial artist.

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Nathan Corbett and Frank Giorgi Defend WKN Titles in Australia, April 7

Two WKN Muay Thai titles will be on the line in Gold Coast, Australia on April 7. Nathan "Carnage" Corbett defends his title at -96.6kg  and Frank Giorgi will fight for the vacant title at -69.9kg.

Nathan Corbett will face the French fighter Stephane Susperregui. Susperregui has faced some good competition in Steve McKinnon, Nicolas Wamba and Massinissa Hamaili. There's no doubt though that Corbett his toughest test to date.

Nathan Corbett is of course one of the best fighters that sits right below Heavyweight at around 95kg. Corbett picked up three wins last year, all in very dominant fashion. "Carnage" prefers to fight under Muay Thai rules and that might be one of the reasons why he has trouble finding opponents as many prefer to fight in Kickboxing. With the future of the MPL up in the air, it's good that Corbett has a fight booked instead of waiting around.

Frank Giorgi will face Antuan Siangboxing (AKA Antoine Pinto) for the vacant WKN Muay Thai title at -69.9kg. Giorgi comes off a loss to Buakaw Por. Pramuk where he put on a good showing. Antuan is coming off a loss to Yodsanklai Fairtex in October. Giorgi is definitely a fighter to watch, after great and gutsy showings against Vuyisile Colossa, Abraham Roqueni and Buakaw Por. Pramuk. Antuan is only 20 years old yet has a huge amount of fights, fighting very often, including 11 times last year. Antuan has agreed to the fight and the WKN will confirm the fight this week. [source]

 

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Thailand's channel 7 and channel 9 fights of the year

A few weeks ago I posted about the Rajadamnern and Lumpini fights of the year. Now channel 7 and channel 9 have each picked there fight of the year. 

First up is the Channel 9 FOTY and as always from Aswindum stadium. The bout was between Chartchy Kiatyongyuth in red vs. Singsuriya Alloysrinakon in blue. 

This is Channel 7's fight of the year between Petkarat Jitmuangnont in red taking on Anuwat Sithom in blue. I believe the prize for fight of the year at channel 7 is a shared 1 million baht between the two fighters. 

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Rajadamnern Birthday Video's

Some fights have been uploaded from the Rajadamnern birthday show from 2 weeks ago.

Rataket Tedet99 (Blue) vs. Wanchalong Sitzornong (Red)

 

Rungrat Tor. Pithakonlakarn (Blue) vs. Luknimit Singklongsi (Red)

Saeksan Or. Kwanmuang (Blue) vs. Singthongnoi Por. Telakoon (Red)

Jomthong Chuwattana (Blue) vs. Kongsak Sitboonmee (Red)

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Promo: Slamm!! Soema Na Basi II

We are just a few days away from Slamm's next big event in Suriname featuring many of the top names from team Slamm!!. So as many of us begin to settle in for our holiday season, kick back and watch a promo for some fights that are coming up just days after Christmas and respect that these dudes are all ready to go to war right during the holiday season.

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Rajadamnern Birthday Show This Thursday

A few weeks ago Lumpini held its birthday show, and now its time for Rajadamnern to do the same. It will mark the 66th year of the stadium and they'll be celebrating it by putting together a very good night of fights. 

The Main event will pit two of the better fighters in all of Thailand against each other when Kongsak Sitboonmee takes on 130 pound champion, Jomthong Chuwattana. Kongsak has had a fight or 2 down in Southern Thailand recently where beat Pakon Sakyothin for the 2nd time this year. On the other hand, Pakon has handed Jomthong his last two defeats. Since then he's fought a pair of Japanese opponents in Hiromasa Masuda, and Tetsuya Yamato who we're really nothing more than fodder for him. Jomthong usually wins when his opponents aren't primarily strong clinchers. Kongsak is not a fighter who prefers to clinch, but rather stay on the outside and pound away with kicks, which is good news for Jomthong. However, Kongsak has shown he has little weakness and can fight well against any style. On paper this is a true coin flip.

In the fight prior to the main event the aforementioned Pakon Sakyothin will take on Wanchalerm Aoddonmuang. Most people know Pakon from his brawl in the Lumpini fight of the year from 2010 with Ponsaneh Sitmonchai. However that was not a good representation of him as a fighter. He's actually very strong in the clinch, which is also Wanchalerm's specialty. Wanchalerm will be the bigger fighter, but should be outgunned by Pakon who will have more options. 

Next up long time veteran Singthongnoi Por. Telakoon will take on Saeksan Or. Kwamuang. Saeksan was already involved in this years Rajadamnern fight of the year when he came back from multiple knockdowns to stop Kaimukkaw Chuwattana in the 4th round in an epic fight. Singthongnoi is also known as a tough fighter who isn't afraid to mix things up. This could very well be fight of the night. 

Noppakrit Kor. Kumpanart is back down to a much more suitable weight of 132 pounds. He recently took part in an Isuzu tournament at 145 where he looked rather pedestrian. In 2010 he had a handful of performances where he looked like a world beater. Now he takes on Petek Aikbangzai who is naturally too small for Noppakrit. If Noppakrit can handle the weight cut he should win and look like the fighter he was last year.  

Finally Wanchalong Sitzornong will fight Rataket Tedet99. These two have been scheduled to fight for some time now but the fight has always fallen apart. Rataket's key to victory will definitely be to use his size and wear Wanchalong out in close, but it will be tough as Rataket has questionable stamina himself. Wanchalong will probably look to keep this fight on the outside to land kicks and maybe catch Rataket off guard with an unconventional strike. 

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