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New Fight Announcements

  • Published in Kickboxing

Explosion Fight Night 3There has been an onslaught of fight announcements in the past few days.  To keep you up to speed, we're putting them together here in one story, so let's get to it.

Feb. 19 - Shootboxing act.1: We previously announced that UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka would be on this card against an opponent TBA.  His opponent is now set, and it's Satoru Suzuki.  The Japanese ex-boxer had a good year in Shootboxing in 2010, but ended the year breaking his arm and being forced out of the S-Cup.  This is his first fight back from the injury.

Feb. 26 - Golden Glory Eindhoven: Top 10 fighter Nieky Holzken is in action, facing Thilo Schneider in a Golden Glory sponsored event.  Holzken is moving back and forth between the 70 and 77kg limits these days - hopefully he can settle down and find where he fights best this year.

Feb. 27 - RISE 74: A few good fights set for the latest edition of Japan's RISE promotion.  The show will feature two title fights: 60kg champion Kan Itabashi faces Kousuke Komiyama, while 63kg champion Koji Yoshimoto meets Yusuke Sugawara.  The show will also include the retirement of former K-1 MAX fighter Tatsuji.  Full card at HeadKickLegend.

March 6 - It's Showtime Amsterdam: IS added a pair of interesting fights to their first show of 2011.  First, Wendell Roche fights Danyo Ilunga for the vacant IS 95kg title.  We'll have more on this fight in the coming weeks.  Plus, Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen in what should be an exciting match up.

March 12 - Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow: Top 5 MW Albert Kraus headlines this show against Batu Khasikov.  Kraus is a busy fighter who takes a fair number of these smaller fights, typically knocking his opponents out.  But as Souwer showed us this weekend - anything can happen.

April 2 - Explosion Fight Night 3: This French Muay Thai event is notable for a 4 man K-1 rules tournament that will feature Sudsakorn.  The Thai fighter is popping up everywhere these days, already having turned in two high profile fights in 2011 against Khem Sitsongpeenong and Giorgio Petrosyan.  He's also entering a lot of tournaments, which is a smart move for the experience.  The other participants are Michael Piskitello, Michale Lallemand, and Mohammed Rahoui.

April 24 - REBELS 7: Former K-1 MAX Korea GP champion Chi Bin Lim meets Daiki Watabe.  Good to see Chi Bin Lim here, as he looked very good at the K-1 MAX Final 16 last year, but has seemingly been passed in the MAX pecking order by his countryman Su Hwan Lee.

May - Local Kombat: This one is not 100% confirmed yet, but Local Kombat revealed that their May event will likely be headlined by Daniel Ghita vs. Alexey Ignashov.  Ignashov is notoriously hard to stop or even knockdown, but he's not looked good lately, and I have to think Ghita may be the man to finally stop him here.

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It's Showtime Announces New May Show

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeMore news from the ever-busy It's Showtime - this time it's a new show added to their 2011 schedule.  On May 21, the company returns to The Sand in Amsterdam for It's Showtime 48, and there is already a solid partial line-up announced.

In a Heavyweight fight, It's Showtime HW champion and top 10 ranked Hesdy Gerges will face Chris Knowles.  Knowles is a well regarded English Muay Thai stylist.  He was originally set to face Rico Verhoeven for IS late last year, but was forced off the card due to travel difficulties.  He's a good pick up for It's Showtime, and will make a strong addition to their Heavyweight ranks, although he definitely has a tough task ahead of him here.  Gerges will be coming in off his career high win over Daniel Ghita, and will look to continue his rise through the ranks.

The fight that most has my attention is a 70kg bout between Mohamed Khamal and Robin van Roosmalen.  Khamal made the jump up to 70kg last year, and promptly made an impact, winning the K-1 West Europe GP, knocking Artur Kyshenko out of the MAX GP, and putting on one of the best fights of 2010 in his defeat of Mosab Amrani.  He has quickly established himself as both a dynamic fighter, and a real force in the Middleweight division.  van Roosmalen is in almost the exact same position as Khamal was not long ago.  The young fighter is currently on a five fight win streak, including defeats of William Diender and an impressive win over Chahid Oulad el Hadj.  Like Khamal, he is a rising fighter, and is poised to be one of the break out fighters of 2011.  This will be a rematch, as the two men met in the semi-finals of last year's 2010 K-1 MAX West Europe GP - Khamal took that fight via 2nd round KO en route to claiming the tournament crown.  With two exciting, young, hungry fighters, this has all the ingredients to not only steal the show, but be a highlight fight of 2011.

One other fight to note is Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Jamal Ben Saddik.  Saddik is the fighter who scored a surprise KO win over Rico Verhoeven at It's Showtime 46 last month.  If he can score back to back win over Verhoeven and Silva, he will have immediately established himself as a serious challenger, and a name to watch.  Silva is a tough challenge though, as he holds some big wins over the likes of Hesdy Gerges and Freddy Kemayo, who he KO'd with a spectacular head kick to close out 2010.

The full line-up announced so far:

HESDY GERGES vs. CHRIS KNOWLES

ROBIN VAN ROOSMALEN vs. MOHAMED KHAMAL

ANDERSON SILVA vs. JAMAL BEN SADDIK

MOHAMED MEDHAR vs. HAFID EL BOUSTATI

AMIR ZEYADA vs. SAHAK PARPARYAN

JASON WILNIS vs. LAURENT ATRIFFI

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About That GLORY 18 Poster Being Passed Around

  • Published in Glory

Over the past few days we've seen the leaked GLORY 18 poster being passed around quite a lot and gotten a few questions about it. We were going to ignore it and just let it disappear, but, it wasn't about to do that. That's a good thing, though, because fans are hungry and want to know more about the next GLORY event. So anyway, this poster for GLORY 18 has been floating around with a date of August 9th listed as the date, featuring Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen on it.

We've spoken to a few people at GLORY and can confirm that you can indeed be excited, but that the poster was leaked out with a projected date, not the final date. We don't have a final date for GLORY 18 yet, but we know for sure that it's not August 9th. So hold your horses, for now.

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Analyzing GLORY's Champions: Davit Kiria

  • Published in Glory

Man, if you are like me, you are kind of dying at this dry spell that we are going through with kickboxing right now. There is still stuff going down, but there is a decided lack of big events to get worked up over right now. So it’s time to start taking a long, hard look at the best fighters in the business today and if we think that they can hold onto their top spots. 

First up: Davit Kiria, GLORY Lightweight Champion

GLORY’s Lightweight division is probably one of the most stacked divisions in the world today. The 70kg range has always been talent-rich, thanks in part to K-1 relying upon the K-1 MAX division for years. But right now especially, it feels like as good as any one fighter is in the division, there is a line-up of guys that could probably defeat him. 

Davit Kiria was never a guy that we would have pegged to become GLORY’s Lightweight Champion. That’s not a knock against him as much as it is indicative of how deep the division really is. Kiria is a skilled guy, but his losses to both Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen led to many doubting him. So when he went into GLORY 14 against Andy Ristie, the guy who knocked both of those men out in one night, not many expected him to walk out as the champion.

Then kickboxing magic happened and Kiria shocked the world, knocking out Andy Ristie in the fifth round. It was insanity and we had an unlikely champion of a guy who was considered “fourth best” to RvR, Petrosyan and Ristie. That is how stacked this division is. We have a good feeling that Robin van Roosmalen will get a shot at Kiria’s title soon (it was originally slated for August, actually), so the question is: Can Davit Kiria hold onto the GLORY Lightweight Championship.

The answer is: yes, but not for long. That title is going to be a hot potato for a while unless Petrosyan can stop injuring his hand. I think that Kiria has the skills to defeat Robin van Roosmalen, but it also goes the other way just as easily. In a five round fight we’ve seen that Kiria’s slow-starting style is perhaps best-served under these conditions and he’ll potentially be able to shine against Robin van Roosmalen.

But then when you have to face down a murderer’s row in Lightweight, it seems inevitable that someone will defeat him at some point. Whomever that is will also face the same exact challenges that Kiria faces now, knowing that the title probably won’t be secure for long. That makes GLORY’s Lightweight division so exciting right now; you don’t know who will end up on top. 

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