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Programming Note: Peter Graham Fights Cheick Kongo Tomorrow Night in Bellator

  • Published in Kickboxing

Graham

If you would have told me in 2006 that Peter Graham would be fighting in MMA regularly and that he'd not only do okay, but do pretty well, I'd probably not believe you. Not because Peter Graham isn't an awesome fighter, but because I just couldn't imagine the man behind the Rolling Thunder navigating the waters of wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Peter has always been known as an exciting, no-nonsense fighter who isn't afraid to pull out all of the stops.

Well, here we are in 2013 and the 38 year old Graham is making a serious go at Heavyweight MMA as he'll fight his second fight under the Bellator banner this Friday night against none other than Cheick Kongo. Kongo is himself known for being an exciting striker with a Kickboxing past, but then again, he doesn't have a KO win over Badr Hari with a Rolling Thunder, now does he? Graham's hard work and dedication to MMA have shown in his recent MMA outings, with him picking up a decision victory over Eric Prindle in his Bellator debut. He also isn't at all deterred from Kongo's size or reputation.

"I know who Cheick Kongo is but I haven't followed his career. He's been a great athlete for a long time. He's got a bit of kickboxing and wrestling skill. It'll be a good fight and I'm ready to go. I hope he doesn't underestimate me. I know he's been famous and had a big name for a while and, when it comes to MMA, I'm somewhat of a newcomer. I've come from the worst record to one of the best heavyweight win streaks there's been. I went from going 1-6 to 9 wins a row with 8 of them being KO's over some really good fighters. I want to get to the top and I'm not there yet, but I'm relentless. He needs to bring his A-game, which I'm sure he will. He's got that inner strength to keep going but I have it more than ever and I've worked harder than ever to make every performance better than the last."

Now if only we could see a Rolling Thunder in the Bellator cage, I'd be a happy, happy man.

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Go Ahead and Watch Tyrone Spong's MMA Debut

  • Published in Video

So Tyrone Spong finally made his MMA debut this weekend at the World Series of Fighting's inaugural event. WSoF is headed up by Ray Sefo, whom you should all know, so there is no surprise that this is where Kickboxing and Muay Thai fighter Tyrone Spong decided to make his debut. Spong fought, well, some dude named Travis Bartlett that we give all of the credit in the world to for stepping into the ring with Tyrone, but yeah. This was what it was. Watch it and marvel at why Tyrone hasn't been super active in Kickboxing.

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HeadBlade Offering Discount to Benefit Mark 'Fightshark' Miller

  • Published in Kickboxing

Fightshark

I’m sure that you’ve heard by now, but if not, Mark “Fightshark” Miller is going through a tough time over the past few months. Mark’s story is well known by fans far and wide; Mark was fighting throughout most of his career with a heart defect as well as diabetes -- without knowing -- then discovered the heart condition and was forced to undergo open-heart surgery. Mark was then the first fighter to come back from open-heart surgery in May of 2011. His heroic comeback story is the stuff of legends now for American Kickboxing, with his giant knockout of Nikolaj Falin at Ultimate Glory (the precursor to GLORY). Since then it has been a rollercoaster ride for Miller, including huge ups and rock bottom downs.

Most recently there have been a series of downs, when he was forced into the hospital for complications with his CHD as well as suffering from renal failure. Those complications led to boatloads of medical bills on the un-insurable Mark Miller due to “pre-existing conditions.” Crazy, right? Now he’s facing down a kidney transplant as well as $250,000 in medical bills with his mind still set on another comeback fight. If one thing is for certain, you cannot keep Mark Miller down.

HeadBlade, one of Mark’s sponsors has recognized how tough this HeadBlade user has been over the years and now they are looking to give back to Miller with your help. HeadBlade will be running a special, two-week long campaign to help raise money for Mark where using the coupon code “FightShark” at checkout will get you a 10% discount off of their entire stock, with a portion of the proceeds going to help Mark with his medical bills. So if you are sporting a freshly-shaved head, want to, or know someone that does head over to http://www.HeadBlade.com and enter the code “FightShark” at checkout to receive an instant 10% discount and to help out the storied Kickboxer.

HeadBlade was first approached about helping Miller through this difficult time by Kristen Brown, a two time cancer survivor and Founder of Livetofight.org, a charitable cause dedicated to “Fighting relentlessly for those in the martial arts, mixed martial arts, and combat sports community who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses."

You can donate directly for Mark's medical bills through his GoFundMe.

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Alistair Overeem: 2010 Nikkan Sports Fighting MVP

  • Published in K-1

Last year, Masato was chosen by one of Japan's largest newspapers, NikkanSports as their Combat Sports MVP. It was an honor for the retiring fighter, and a great way to cap off his stellar fighting career. This year, they chose Alistair Overeem, the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Champion. It is safe to say that the man known as "The Reem," "The Dutch Cyclone" as well as "Ubereem" had a banner year, with five victories in K-1 competition (Poturak, Edwards, Spong, Saki and Aerts), with four KO victories. To top it off, he defended his Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship against Brett Rogers in May and looks to be competing at Dynamite!! against Todd Duffee for the DREAM Heavyweight Championship. For any fighter, this would be a good year, for Ubereem, it was another year in the life.

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Rizin Night 1 Results: HIROYA and Hinata Win Big, Sakuraba Says Goodbye

  • Published in Asia

Last night marked the triumphant return of Japanese kakutougi in the Saitama Super Arena after what felt like a long hibernation. Yes, there have been other MMA and kickboxing shows to happen in Japan over the past few years, even a few UFC events that did pretty well, but none could compare to the absolute insanity that was Rizin FF's first night. Rizin FF's first night was nothing short of a throwback to the Dynamite!! events of old, with freakshows, a legitimate tournament and some kickboxing to add some seasoning to the whole thing. 

On the kickboxing front the former K-1 Koshien star and current K-1 and KRUSH star HIROYA bounced back after two tough losses in K-1 over the last year or so with a big win on one of the biggest stages that kickboxing has seen in Japan in a long time. That win was against MMA and kickboxing veteran "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura and it happened via KO in the third round. Wicky was a mainstay in Japan for DREAM in their twilight years and this win was a rather high profile win for both HIROYA and K-1 Japan.

The other big bout was Hinata Watanabe fighting Kazuyuki Miyata, the former K-1 HERO*s and DREAM star in a mixed-rules bout. Think Aoki vs. Jienotsu from a few years ago, only they never made it out of the first kickboxing round because Hinata put a hurting on the 39 year old Miyata and won via TKO by knockdowns. 

On the MMA side the tournament didn't provide many big surprises, unless you thought that Satoshi Ishii could possibly win, because he didn't. Hideo Tokoro beat up our beautiful friend in Kaizemon Saiga, who was best known from his work in K-1's 65kg division before swapping over to MMA, showing Saiga that he still has a lot of work to do on his ground game before he can hang with the likes of Tokoro. The main event was a brutal beatdown from Shinya Aoki against MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba, who should be sticking to wrestling in New Japan from now on since this was his retirement, but you know how that works out. Sakuraba has done a lot for fighting in Japan and he's always been willing to lay it all on the line for fans and the sport. In a way it was fitting for Sakuraba to lose to a Japanese submission specialist on a night that many are seeing as the rebirth of Japanese fighting, isn't it?

Rizin FF GP: Vadim Nemkov (R1 - TKO) Goran Reljic
Rizin FF GP: Jiri Prochazka (R1 - KO) Satoshi Ishii
Rizin FF GP: Teodoras Aukstuolis (R1 - KO) Bruno Cappelozza
Rizin FF GP: King Mo (R1 - KO) Brett McDermott
Rizin FF GP Reserve: Valentin Moldovsky (R1 - Sub) Yuta Uchida

Hiroyuki Takaya (R3 - Dec.) Dalki Hata
Hideo Tokoro (R1 - Sub) Kizaemon Saiga
Anatoly Tokov (R1 - KO) AJ Matthews
Felipe Efrain (R1 - KO) Yuki Motoya (ruled NC due to Efrain missing weight)
Kirill Sidelnikov (R2 - TKO) Carlos Toyota
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (R2 - TKO) James Thompson

K-1: HIROYA (R3 - KO) Akiyo Nishiura
Mixed Rules: Hinata (R1 - TKO) Kazuyuki Miyata

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Pat Barry Added to Legacy Kickboxing Card in January

  • Published in Kickboxing

Former UFC fighter and current GLORY fighter Pat Barry was announced as an addition to January's Legacy Kickboxing event promoted by Legacy Fighting. The fight goes down on January 16th in Houston, Texas and Pat Barry will be fighting Demoreo Dennis. Barry is still under contract with GLORY but GLORY has given both Pat and Legacy the go-ahead for the fight. 

The fight will air on AXS TV and will be using a variation of the K-1/GLORY rule set, which means no elbows and limited clinch work. This is already adding to a card including Michael Corley and Cosmo Alexandre, which is great. It's good to see more kickboxing hitting the airwaves soon and bringing the heat. 

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Watch The Reem Episode 12: The Final

  • Published in K-1

Follow Alistair Overeem in his online documentary "The Reem" as episode twelve shows the culmination of Alistair's hard work; the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals. This is a must-watch for K-1 fans, as it is like having an all-access pass to the K-1 World Grand Prix. To those that believed that there was some controversy over Gokhan Saki fighting Overeem you get to see Cor Hemmers backstage with Overeem and makes no mention of Saki being injured, only that both men had a war and that he will only be at ringside and let both men fight it out without providing support for either individual, only the team.

THE REEM EPISODE 12: THE FINAL from THE REEM on Vimeo.

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Weekly Poll Results

  • Published in News

Last week's question: What was the March Fight of the Month?

43% - Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita

30% - Andy Souwer vs. L'houcine Ouzgni

14% - Other

9% - Khem vs. Kongjak

5% - Sergio Wielzen vs. Karim Bennoui

This week we offer a pretty straight-forward question, but one I am definitely interested in seeing the response to.

How much do you watch current MMA?

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2011 Fighter of the Year Peneak Sitnumnoi Joins the Evolve MMA Fight Team

  • Published in Muay Thai

Peneak Sitnumnoi who has won titles at Omnoi Stadium, Channel 7 Stadium and Lumpinee Stadium and was named the 2011 ‘Fighter of the Year’ is the latest Muay Thai legend to join Evolve MMA.

Originally from Phattalung, Peneak fought out of the Sing Patong camp in Phuket and is best remembered for beating Sam-A Gaiyanghadaogym in a 2012 bout at Lumpinee Stadium which decided who would win the Sports Writer’s ‘Fighter of the Year’ award, regarded as the single most prestigious honour in Muay Thai (see the fight here ).

That win would pave the way for Peneak to compete in marquee matchups with some of the biggest names in the sport including Saketdao Phetpayathai, Pakorn Sakyotin, Saeksan Or Kwanmuang and Kongsak Sitboonmee.

He was one of three Sing Patong fighters to simultaneously own titles at Lumpinee during a period when Peneak and his team mates Damien Alamos and Pentai Singpatong were all belt holders in their respective divisions at Bangkok’s most prestigious stadium.

Peneak has not been fighting as frequently of late but the 26 year old returned to Lumpinee last December and showed he still has what it takes to compete with the very best in the sport when he narrowly lost out to Muangthai PKSaenchaigym in a bout which won ‘Fight of the Night’ honours at the stadium’s big birthday show.

Peneak will be joining a team of trainers at Evolve MMA that also includes stellar names such as Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Orono Wor Petchpun, Pornsaneh Sitmonchai and Saketdao Petpayathai.

Although Peneak is not retiring from competitive fighting it is unlikely he will be competing as regularly in the Bangkok stadiums but there is a possibility that he could follow in the footsteps of fellow former Lumpinee champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke by trying his hand at MMA.

 

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Dynamite!! Live Results

  • Published in Asia

Dynamite 2010Dynamite!! 2010 is currently on air at HDNet.  As it airs, we'll be updating all the results here.  A note - the HDNet broadcast is actually on a bit of a delay from the live action, but we'll be giving results as they air on HDNet.

#1 - BOB SAPP v. SHINICHI SUZUKAWA - No Fight

This fight was cancelled shortly before the event started because Sapp pulled out.  Which I guess is a new personal record for Sapp and how quickly he can get the fight over with.  No slap of Inoki fighting spirit for the Beast tonight.

#2 - ANDY OLOGUN def. KATSUAKI FURUKI - Unanimous Decision

A pretty close fight, with Ologun hurting Furuki at the very end of the 3rd and maybe winning it there.

#3 - KAZUYUKI MIYATA def. CAOL UNO - Unanimous Decision

Miyata does his thing, outwrestling Uno to a win.  He also threw a nice suplex in round 3, so that's something.

#4 - HIDEO TOKORO def. KAZUHISA WATANABE - Armbar, Rd. 3

This was ALL Tokoro, who tried roughly 274 submissions before finally locking one all the way in and tapping Watanabe.  The MAX fighter was spirited as he always is, but didn't have much to offer except energy.

#5 - HIROSHI IZUMI def. MINOWAMAN - Ground & Pound, Rd. 3

Yeesh, not a great showing here from Minowaman.  An all around somewhat lackluster fight, with Minowaman totally controlled and ineffective.  Remember folks - Minowaman vs. Super Hulks?  Good.  Minowaman vs. regular opponents?  Not entertaining.

#6 - SERGEI KHARITONOV def. TATSUYA MIZUNO - KO, Rd. 1

True to Kharitonov's new K-1 aspirations, this was all standing, with Kharitonov stalking Mizuno before crushing him with nasty punches and a kneesto put Mizuno out cold.  Brutal.

#7 - GEGARD MOUSASI def. KYOTARO - Unanimous Decision

Upset win for Mousasi here as he takes out his 2nd K-1 Japanese superstar.  Mousasi dropped him in the 2nd to take the win.  And thanks for the shout out Voice - right back at you!

#8 - YUICHIRO NAGASHIMA def. SHINYA AOKI - KO, Rd. 2

After an awkward first round of Aoki stalling, Nagashima landed a hard knee to open the MMA round, knocking the Dream champion out.  Very impressive showing from Nagashima, and a great redemption for K-1.

#9 - ALISTAIR OVEREEM def. TODD DUFFEE - KO, Rd. 1

It took The Reem just 19 seconds to stop former UFC fighter Todd Duffee with a barrage of blows, ending the American's night quickly, and earning the new Interim Dream Heavyweight title in the process.

#10 - SATOSHI ISHII def. JEROME LE BANNER - Unanimous Decision

Good fight here, but Ishii was able to control much of the action, turning in an impressive 3rd round where he almost finished JLB with a kimura.  Fans booed the decision, but it seemed right to me.

#11 - MARIUS ZAROMSKIS def. KAZUSHI SAKURABA - Doctor Stoppage, Rd. 1

With Sakuraba, you knew this could get ugly, and that's sadly what happened.  Saku's massively caulifowered ear first popped, then partly tore away from his skull, forcing the doctors to stop the fight before it even got started.

#12 - TETSUYA YAMATO v. AKIYO "WICKY" NISHURA - Majority Draw

This K-1 rules fight was an entertaining, if somewhat sloppy affair.  Both men were even going into the 3rd round, and for this fight there were no extension rounds.  Yamato connected late in the round, but it wasn't enough to get the win.  One judge gave the bout to Yamato, with the other two ruling it a draw.

#13 - JASON HIGH def. HAYATO "MACH" SAKURAI - Split Decision

I have to be honest, this was a technically sound fight with a good ending, but 13 fights in, it wasn't all that memorable.  High gets the split decision win using his superior wrestling.

#14 - TATSUYA KAWAJIRI def. JOSH THOMSON - Unanimous Decision

Thomson tried, but this was all Kawajiri.  The Crusher turned in one of his career best performances, dominating Thomson in a way very few have ever done before and taking the definitive decision

#15 - HIROYUKI TAKAYA def. BIBIANO FERNANDES - Unanimous Decision

A good contest in the main event between two very evenly matched fighters, but it was Takaya who consistently pushed ahead just a bit, winning exchanges on the feet and on the ground to get the decision win.  Takaya now claims the Dream FW championship to cap off a great 2010 for the fighter.


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