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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals 2009

Badr, DefeatedImagine having a chance to fulfill what many have called your destiny, and to do so in dominant fashion. The only thing in your path is an obstacle that you were able to easily overcome mere months before, imagine you are Badr Hari in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009. In 2008 the insanity, the rage that came over Badr Hari cost him a chance to actually fight and possibly win the K-1 World Grand Prix when Remy Bonjasky just wouldn't go down or stop throwing those flying kicks. In 2009 Badr Hari did everything right; he kept his cool, he destroyed everything that lay in his path, he put down old rivalries, avenged past losses and showed the world that he can be a mature, composed fighter.

Then imagine stepping into the ring to face Semmy Schilt for a second time in the same year, a Semmy Schilt who within the confines of fighting in one night tournaments was just about unstoppable. Badr went inkto the fight with two first round knockouts under his belt for the night, as did Semmy Schilt. One man was going to emerge with a third first round knockout and the most prestigious title in Heavyweight kickboxing, and in the mind of Badr Hari, it had to be him.

It wasn't Badr Hari's night, and the look on his face after the fight said it all; that he had failed. That once again, he got to the top of the mountain, and just when he was about to plant that flag and declare victory it was snatched from him. That photograph was captured by Daniel Herbertson for us at the time, and a picture says a thousand words.

Badr Hari returns from a one year layoff on May 14th for It's Showtime in Lyon, where he will fight Gregory Tony. We will continue to run down Badr Hari's journey that led to his one year hiatus from the world of kickboxing and why fans are excited about his return.

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Big Week Ahead For Kickboxing

thaifightextreme

As a fan and follower of all three of the major combat sports, Boxing, Kickboxing and MMA, I often find myself anticipating a weekend filled with events from all three. Normally it'll be a few boxing matches or a UFC card/Strikeforce card on a Saturday night that I can look forward to. This weekend for events we're able to watch, we have three on Saturday. Bellator, Andre Ward vs. Arthur Abraham on Showtime in Boxing and the one that'll be happening during the afternoon in North America, It's Showtime Lyon. It's Showtime Lyon is by far the card I'm most anticipated for. Bellator is cool but I don't wait all week anticipating it and I will catch the Andre Ward fight but I can't say I'm a fan of his, especially when Gus Johnson is praising his style the whole fight. I'll likely watch Bellator and PVR Ward vs. Abraham because of Patricky Freire and Hector Lombard. But none of these events even come close to It's Showtime Lyon in terms of how pumped I am for it.

Ever since the show was announced I've been counting down the days. The return of Badr Hari, Giorgio Petrosyan fighting Chahid, two title fights, Daniel Ghita, Tyrone Spong. This is easily the most stacked card of the year so far. It's Showtime Lyon will be available on The Fight Network in Canada. Americans will have to pay for a stream on It's Showtimes' website. Anyway, I'll stop rambling on now so let's get to it.

There are three big kickboxing events this weekend. Yes, three. Our main focus is It's Showtime Lyon but we will definately be providing coverage for the other two.

By now you have to be aware of It's Showtime Lyon so let's get to the other two events. First, we have Thai Fight Extreme on May 14 from Cannes, France. This card has been in the shadows of the monster It's Showtime event. Featuring names like Saiyok Pumpanmuang, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee, Yodsaenklai Fairtex, Buakaw Por Pramuk and Fabio Pinca, this is another card stacked from top to bottom. All the Thais are facing European opponents in what are sure to be some fierce showdowns. It's not too often we get to see a bunch of top of the line thai fighters on a European card. Unfortunately, we don't know any way to watch this event. We'll just have to wait for videos and results after.

Later that night, Primm, Nevada, USA plays host to Battle in the Desert 2 an event featuring Cosmo Alexandre and some of the best current crop of American fighters. Well known Brazillian Cosmo Alexandre takes on American Cyrus Washington in the main event at 160lbs. Make sure to follow Cyrus on Twitter and support one of the best American Thai fighters. Two Americans face off in the co-main event as Kevin Ross takes on Marc Deluca. Kevin Ross is a name to look out for coming out of the US. Coming off a win overhighly regarded Vuyisile Colossa last month, Ky Hollenbeck takes on Frenchman Gregory Choplin. A win will be sure to give Hollenbeck some worldwide recognition, as that would be two highly regarded names in a row. What's even better is all the fights are full Thai rules. Again, unfortunately there won't be a way to watch live unless you attend.

A great weekend for stand up fighting and the start of what will surely be a great month of May with Mike Zambidis vs. John Wayne Parr coming up at the end of the month, Super Kombat on May 21st and another It's Showtime event on May 21st.

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Photo of the Day: Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima Wrestling

Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima has been busy while K-1 has had some off time, and not just busy as a kickboxer, but doing lots of assorted and downright odd things. Like we showed you the other day, he was featured on a National Geographic special about cosplaying and on top of that he has been preparing to wrestle for Zero-One MAX. The match happened yesterday in Japan, where he took on former SHOOTO fighter and current Zero-One MAX wrestler Kohei Sato. Nagashima was victorious using a crucifix pin on Sato in a bout that saw Sato his a german suplex and piledriver on Nagashima, with Nagashima fighting back with a Moonsault and Shining Wizard. You can view the gallery from SportsNavi for the fight here.

Nagashima

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Anderson Silva Injured, It's Showtime Searching for Opponent for Daniel Ghita

GhitaFor fans looking forward to May 14th's big It's Showtime event in Lyon, France, one of the fights has seemingly fallen apart at the last minute. Anderson "Braddock" Silva was staged to take on a beast of a man in Daniel Ghita. Anderson was coming off of a highlight reel head kick KO of Freddy Kemayo in December and Ghita is coming off of a loss to Hesdy Gerges in March.

Sadly, Simon Rutz announced on his Facebook page last night that Anderson "Braddock" Silva has gotten injured and that the promotion is searching for a replacement to fight Ghita on nine days notice. Nine days is an incredibly short amount of time to take a fight with a well-prepared Daniel Ghita, no matter who you are in the world of Heavyweight Kickboxing. We've heard a few names that have been floating around as possible replacement opponents, including a possible return of Rick Roufus, but at this point all bets are off.

Daniel Ghita is an incredible fighter in the prime of his career with some of the sickest leg kicks anyone has seen. On top of that, Ghita has been working on his hands to make himself more of a complete package, so we wish It's Showtime the best of luck in finding someone to step up to challenge Daniel Ghita on nine days notice, we can also hope for the sake of the fans that they are able to find someone to fight Ghita, as Ghita is incredible to watch. I for one would love to see Patrice Quarteron, a French fighter, step up or possibly Jerome Le Banner.

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