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Saenchai Training BJJ at Yokkao Gym in Bangkok, Possibly Preparing For MMA

  • Published in Muay Thai

When you've conquered the world of muay thai as thoroughly as Saenchai has, what would be stopping you from branching out more? That's exactly what Saenchai seems to be doing as he approaches his 36th birthday. We recently saw him competing for GLORY under kickboxing rules and now Saenchai is rolling and training BJJ at the Yokkao gym in Bangkok, perhaps preparing for trying his hand at MMA.

Saenchai's name is synonymous with muay thai and his virtuoso-equse skills transcend the sport.

 

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Andre Dida to Return to Fighting This Summer

  • Published in Kickboxing

Dida

Andre Dida is one of those guys that most of us know from our time staying up super late to watch Japanese events from here in the United States and rightfully so. Dida cut his teeth in Brazil before being called up by K-1 for their HERO*s organization, where he took place in their first Lightweight GP. Dida, who was a relative unknown to Japanese fans at the time, made it all the way to the Finals. From there he went on to appear in DREAM as well as K-1 MAX.

His K-1 MAX stint was weird, to say the least, as K-1 threw him to the wolves early on, so to speak. His first fight was a crazy KO, so then he was moved up in competition. When I say moved up, I mean that his second K-1 fight was against Buakaw Banchamek (then Por. Pramuk). What was crazy was that he nailed Buakaw with some great shots, Buakaw was a king at the time. Buakaw went on to win via decision in an extra round, but Dida earned some serious respect there. He had two more fights in K-1 after that, both of which were still steep climbs up the talent ranks, against Yuichiro Nagashima and Hinata Watanabe.

Dida announced his return today, claiming that he not only wanted to come back to MMA, but to Kickboxing. I'm not sure that he'd be able to just jump right into the deep waters at 70kg right away, but if GLORY or K-1 were to pick him up they'd be able to build him up until he's comfortable and see where he stands, at least. Dida is planning this comeback with Champions Sports Management based out of Stoney Creek, Ontario, a brand of House of Champions gym, headed by Alin Halmagean and Nenad Kuruc.

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Tenshin Nasukawa Makes RIZIN MMA Debut And Cements Superstar Status

  • Published in Kickboxing

Eighteen-year-old Japanese kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa made his MMA debut tonight at RIZIN MMA in Japan, proving himself not only to be a force to be reckoned with in muay thai and kickboxing, but in MMA as well. HEading into the fight there were the usual fears that the kickboxing community has when a star kickboxer decides to try their hand at MMA. You'd need to look no further than the bout that preceded Tenshin's, where Andy Souwer was submitted via armbar in the first round to Kazuyuki Miyata. To say that Japanese matchmakers are ruthless in looking for entertainment is an understatement; they thrive on pairing grapplers against strikers in hopes of a highlight reel knockout or submission.

And Tenshin was almost submitted by Nakita Sapun.

All of that happened because Tenshin was unafraid to go to the ground with an actual MMA fighter. Sapun is not much of a grappler, but does have more experience in the MMA ring than Tenshin does, obviously.

Yet, still, Tenshin felt comfortable taking the fight to the ground while everyone expected it to be a stand-up battle. After surviving that sick armbar, most kickboxers would back off, wait for their opponent to get up and fight their own fight. Tenshin didn't do that. Oh no. Instead, he waited and pounced when he saw his opening, winning via TKO.

Then, in something that is very much uniquely Japanese (and why is it?), he grabbed the microphone and appealed for another fight in two nights at RIZIN's next event, claiming that he'd want to fill in for the injured Krazy Horse against Minoru Kimura. Imagine that, a KNOCK OUT and K-1 showdown in MMA rules. My god. The kid who almost had his arm busted wanted more. There wasn't some sap in a suit jamming a mic in his face asking him what he wanted, or to walk him through the finish, he just expressed himself and was aloud to make himself a bigger star. Nobuhiko Takada claimed if the doctors would clear him he could fight.

His debut knockout victory already made him a viral star, but now at one of the biggest Japanese fighting events of the year he proved himself gutsy, talented and fearless with an incredibly bright future ahead of him. We've been searching high-and-low for the next big Japanese kickboxing star to help spark a resurgence of the sport in Japan and it feels like Tenshin could be that fighter. 

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Card for SuperStar Fight VII on Jan. 13th featuring Cosmo, Nattawut and More

  • Published in Kickboxing

On January 13th Chinese promotion SuperStar Fight will run their seventh event. The promotion, a subsidiary of Chinese congolomerate Huahua Media, looks to meld together entertainment with sport by featuring not only fighting stars of multiple disciplines per show (kickboxing muay thai, MMA), but also featuring film, television and cosplay stars during their events. 

Here's a look at their upcoming card.

Shiqiang Song(CHN) VS Li Yang(CHN)---62Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Wu Zhang(CHN) VS Xuchao Gao(CHN)---66Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Xianchao Zhao(CHN) VS Zhijie Deng(CHN)---65Kg of MMA 3R/5M

Alexin Donnie(USA) VS Riguleng Baoshe(CHN)---75Kg Tournament,Semi-final 3R/3M

Carlos Hicks(NZL) VS Shiyuan Li(CHN)---75Kg Tournament,Semi-final 3R/3M

Jo Nattawut(TH) VS Yan Zhao(CHN)---70Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Cosmo Alexandre(BRA) VS Xiaofeng Tan(CHN)---77Kg of Muay Thai 3R/3M

KANG JIN HEE(KOR) VS Dandan Hu(CHN)---63Kg of MMA (Fighting Goddess)  3R/5M

Naoya Fukuoka(JPN) VS Dongqiang Lu(CHN)---65Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Beno Adamia(GEO) VS Buren Wuliji(CHN)---63Kg of MMA  3R/5M

Mohammadhos Sein Doroudian(IR) VS Zhenyou Huang(CHN)---75Kg of Kickboxing  3R/3M

Nuralizoda Fozil(TJK) VS Rong Fan(CHN)---85Kg of MMA  3R/5M

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FFC Announces Card for FFC 28 Featuring Robin van Roosmalen

  • Published in Kickboxing

FFC will continue with their mixed MMA and kickboxing cards on March 11th with FFC 28: Athens -- Greece vs. the Rest of the World (surely a mouthful). While usually we tend not to post MMA portions of cards, this one is particularly interesting as Robin van Roosmalen is scheduled for his second MMA bout against a to-be-determined opponent. 

The kickboxing portion sees two title matches, including -77kg and -85kg titles.

FFC 28: Athens: Greece vs. Rest of the World

MMA:

Robin Van Roosmalen (NED) vs. TBA, -66kg

Darko Stošić (SER) vs. Emil Zahariev (BUL), HW – title match

Filip Pejić (CRO) vs. Alexis Savvidis (GRE), -70kg

Andreas Michailidis (GRE) vs. Duško Todorović (SER), -84kg

Alexandros Papadimitriou (GRE) vs. Giannis Michalopoulos (GRE), -70kg

TBA  vs. TBA

KB:

Samo Petje (SLO) vs. Meletis Kakoubavas (GRE), -70kg

Eyevan Danenberg (NED) vs. Ivan Bilić (CRO), -77kg – title match

Denis Marjanović (CRO) vs. Andi Vrtačić (CRO), -85kg – title match

Stavros Grigorakakis (GRE) vs. Tomislav Čikotić (CRO), HW

Fionis Fotis (GRE) vs. Giannis Fezoulai (ALB), -77kg

TBA vs. TBA

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Saulo Cavalari Looking to Make MMA Debut Soon

  • Published in Glory

The lure of mixed martial arts will always be one of the biggest threats to modern kickboxing, but will also serve to ensnare fighters looking to make some more money during the brief window of time that is their professional fighting career. We've seen Robin van Roosmalen, Rico Verhoeven and Tenshin Nasukawa all dip their toes into MMA of late and there will always be more. Gabriel Varga, who just recently jumped to Bellator Kickboxing, has spoken about possibly exploring MMA as well while under the umbrella of Scott Coker's Bellator. 

According to MMAFighting, the latest to be eye-balling a transition into the realm of MMA is none other than former GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Saulo Cavalari. Cavalari, who is just coming off of a loss to GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion Artem Vakhitov at GLORY 38, has been training in jiu-jitsu for years and had been considering MMA as far back as 2013. What kept him in kickboxing? GLORY made him an offer and from there he's gone 7-2, including a run as the GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion. 

He's still currently under contract with GLORY and has his eyes set on regaining the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship, but says he'd like to make his transition this year and would ultimately like to become a UFC champion. 

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