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2010 Fight of the Year: Part 10

First off, my apologies for not having this up last night.  Site maintenance caused a delay in posting.

For the final entry in our Fight of the Year series, we look at something a bit different...

Pornsaneh v. Pakon (Lumpinee Stadium, May 3)

My original plan was to include just kickboxing rules fights here, but reader cacti45 reminded me of this Muay Thai contest which would be criminal to exclude.  Google this fight and you'll see phrases like "the best Muay Thai fight I've seen in years" and "some of the wildest action ever".  How can you leave that out?  This is the consensus Muay Thai fight of the year for 2010, and rightly so.  Here you have Pornsaneh in red v. Pakon in blue.  Pornsaneh at the time was at 13 Coins Gym, but has since made the switch to Sitmonchai, while Pakon is at Sakyotin.  This is a very atypical Muay Thai contest, as Pornsaneh in particular is an aggressive fighter.  He oushes the pace here right from the start, and Pakon responds, creating an excellent fight.  It all culminates in round 4 (which starts at 1:30 in the 2nd clip) - if you don't watch the whole fight, you at least owe it to yourself to watch that round, which is like the Frye/Takayama of Muay Thai.

 

Great stuff there.  Pakon picks up the win in what also is a nice example of Muay Thai scooring techniques.  If you were looking at this from a pure kickboxing standpoint, you might give the win to Pornsaneh, who lands more.  But Pakon uses more kicks and knees, which score higher in Muay Thai, so he earns the decision.  Hope you enjoyed this one.

Previously featured:

Tyrone Spong v. Jerome Le Banner

Bovy Sor. Udomson v. Takaaki Umeno

Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer

Tetsuya Yamato v. Yuta Kubo

Peter Aerts v. Ewerton Teixeira

Mike Zambidis v. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

Gokhan Saki v. Daniel Ghita

Peter Aerts v.  Semmy Schilt

Mosab Amrani v. Mohamed Khamal

Final voting will be open soon.

Read more...

2010 Fight of the Year: Part 9

Fight #9 is a late entry, but a strong contender...

Mosab Amrani v. Mohamed Khamal (It's Showtime at the Sand, December 18)

It's Showtime had an excellent year in 2010, but it wasn't until the final fight on the final show that they put on a true fight for the ages.  Mosab Amrani v. Mohamed Khamal is a testament to the power of quality matchmaking.  These are two young fighters, both eager to move up the ranks, and both coming in determined to win.  They're also extremely evenly matched, which results in a tremendous back and forth bout.  This one reminds me of Chahid v. Zambidis in a lot of ways, as both men throw at a very fast pace, but also use considerably more skill and technique then you see in many of these all action fights.  Khamal is in blue, Amrani in red.

 

If you ask me, Khamal should have picked up the decision win after regulation, but I have no complaints the way things went down.  Fun, fun fight here, and it's not terrible hyperbole when the announced says it may be the best fight It's Showtime has ever produced.  Great way for the company to close out the year and springboard into what could be a blockbuster 2011.

Previously featured:

Tyrone Spong v. Jerome Le Banner

Bovy Sor. Udomson v. Takaaki Umeno

Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer

Tetsuya Yamato v. Yuta Kubo

Peter Aerts v. Ewerton Teixeira

Mike Zambidis v. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

Gokhan Saki v. Daniel Ghita

Peter Aerts v.  Semmy Schilt

There will be 10 fights total posted, with the final fight posted later today.  Fights are featured in chronological order moving through the year.  Voting will be open tomorrow to determine the winner.

Read more...

2010 Fight of the Year: Part 8

The last K-1 fight on the list, and we may have saved the best for last...

Peter Aerts v. Semmy Schilt (K-1 World Grand Prix Finals, December 11)

There's been a lot of ink spent on this fight already, but it's the kind of fight that deserves all that attention and more.  This was, in my opinion, the single greatest combat sports story of 2010, and the kind of story that makes you a sports fan.  On one side - the 40 year old Peter Aerts.  Aerts is the most beloved veteran of the sport, but after an unprecedented 17 year run at the top, he finally faltered last year, missing his first ever Grand Prix.  Earlier in 2010, Aerts had talked about the end coming soon, and after his KO loss to Kyotaro, it felt like the writing was on the wall - this could be the end of the road for the great one.  On the other side - the near 7 foot tall Semmy Schilt, the defending and 4 time K-1 Grand Prix champion.  Schilt is as dominant a fighter as K-1 has ever seen, never once being knocked out of the Grand Prix, or any other tournament for that matter.  All signs pointed to Schilt taking down the aged Aerts.

Now that is a moment.

Before moving on, let's take a look at exactly how Aerts pulled this off.  So many men had failed to take Schilt down - how did Aerts succeed?  One key to his victory is Aerts's ability to mix up his attack and constantly keep Schilt guessing.  He knows when to wade in with punches, when to lock Schilt up because he is too far inside, and when to retreat from the big man's strikes.  He reads Schilt masterfully, allowing him to always keep the pressure up and never let Schilt find his own rhythm.  And with that pressure he is able to connect punch after punch accurately on Schilt's chin.  They're not powerful KO shots, but they keep stunning Schilt.  Most importantly, they prevent Schilt from establishing the methodical rhythm he has used to defeat so many opponents.  It's a masterful plan, but one that takes intense concentration, confidence, and stamina to execute.  And that's where Aerts seals the deal - he never lets up, ultimately winning the fight in the final minutes.  When Schilt finally wilts under the Aerts attack, the 40 year old is still there to put the pressure on, claiming his victory with a definitive closing to the fight.  Beautiful, beautiful work that, when combined with the story going in, makes for a truly exceptional fight.

Previously featured:

Tyrone Spong v. Jerome Le Banner

Bovy Sor. Udomson v. Takaaki Umeno

Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer

Tetsuya Yamato v. Yuta Kubo

Peter Aerts v. Ewerton Teixeira

Mike Zambidis v. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

Gokhan Saki v. Daniel Ghita

There will be 10 fights total posted, with the final two posted on Wednesday.  Fights are featured in chronological order moving through the year.  Voting will be open Thursday to determine the winner.

Read more...

2010 Fight of the Year: Part 7

Our fight of the year march through the Grand Prix continues today with a pair of bouts from the Heavyweight GP.  Up first...

Gokhan Saki v. Daniel Ghita (K-1 Grand Prix Finals, December 11)

Heading into the GP finals, this was the fight many were most looking forward to.  Post event, it kind of got lost in the hype of a certain other fight that we'll discuss later today, which is a shame as this is a great fight.  What you have here are two of K-1's new guard competing in one of the year's finest technical battles.  In particular, the kicks thrown by both are simply phenomenal - this whole thing could be an instructional video on how to throw kicks effectively in kickboxing.  Ghita and Saki mix it up, attacking the legs, the body, the head, and they do it all with accuracy, set-ups, and beautiful timing.  There's so much skill on display here that you can watch this fight again and again and pick up more.

Rewatching it now, I am reminded of Ernesto Hoost v. Peter Aerts from the 1993 Grand Prix - two young fighters with the future standing ahead of them ready to take the next big leap forward.  I suspect this fight will age well with time, and will go down as a classic early encounter between two men who will be major players for some years to come.  Be happy to be here when they first met.

Previously featured:

Tyrone Spong v. Jerome Le Banner

Bovy Sor. Udomson v. Takaaki Umeno

Yuya Yamamoto v. Scott Shaffer

Tetsuya Yamato v. Yuta Kubo

Peter Aerts v. Ewerton Teixeira

Mike Zambidis v. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

There will be 10 fights total posted.  Fights 7 & 8 on Tuesday, and 9 & 10 conclude on Wednesday.  Fights are featured in chronological order moving through the year.  Voting will be open Wednesday night to determine the winner.

Read more...

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