|Heavyweight (Per 1/20)|
|6.||Mirko Cro Cop
|Light HW (per 1/20)|
|Middleweight (per 1/20)|
|Welterweight (per 1/20)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 1/20)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Look, I know that only Americans call it Soccer and that everywhere else in the world it is Football. I get it. The...Read more
The good news for K-1 MAX and Jienotsu fans is that the Genkidesuka NYE 2011 event being promoted by Real Entertainment (co-promoters of DREAM) and IGF (Inoki's pro wrestling organization) has finally announced a K-1 bout for fans. The bad news is if you remember last year's Jienotsu vs. Shinya Aoki fight, we are in for more of the same with the same Mixed Rules. This means R1 is K-1 rules for the first round, which is three minutes long and a second round that lasts five minutes and is full MMA rules. If there is no winner after those two rounds the bout is ruled a draw, there are no judges. The biggest catch is that they do not switch gloves in between rounds, instead MMA gloves are used throughout the bout. For a fighter like Jienotsu this proves to be a tactical disadvantage and an offensive advantage.
Jienotsu's opponent for this fight will be Katsunori Kikuno, a fighter who DREAM fans will recognize. What is interesting is that unlike in the fight last year, Kikuno is not a submission ace like Aoki. Kikuno only holds one professional submission victory and is known more for his rather unorthodox striking style. I actually took a look at this fighting style and his crescent kick, to be exact, last year on Bloody Elbow.
I think that it is safe to say that both men have a desire to keep this fight standing up, but Kikuno would feel a lot less like a fish out of water if this fight does go to the ground in the second round. Personally, I am not a fan of these rules as someone like Jienotsu should be fighting in full K-1 rules against other top competition in 70kg. Of course, part of the problem is that Jienotsu has bulked up for pro wrestling this year and hasn't had to make 70kg, in his lone Kickboxing fight this year he weighed in at a whopping 78kg. If you aren't that familiar with KG, he went from 154lbs to 172lbs. That is nearly twenty pounds.Add a comment
Inoki Genome Federation, Antonio Inoki's professional wrestling promotion that is co-promoting the upcoming Real Entertainment New Year's Eve event, Genki Desuka! As par for the course with IGF, there are a lot of MMA and K-1 fighters involved in these cards, including a main event between Jerome Le Banner and Josh Barnett. JLB defended his IGF Championship against Barnett by doing what he does best; rearranging faces.
The event also featured a few other K-1 alumni, including Yuichiro Jienotsu Nagashima against Bob Sapp, with Jienotsu using a school boy on Sapp.
Then of course, everyone's favorite, Peter Aerts was in a tag team bout, partnering with former WWE wrestler and Strikeforce fighter Bobby Lashley, where Aerts was able to make mince meat of their opponents, former PRIDE FC fighters and NJPW wrestlers Kendo KaShin and Kaz Fujita. [Photos (C) SportsNavi]
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A fighter we recently highlighted, Hicham El Gaoui, is fresh off a victory over a top opponent in Alexander Stetsurenko on November 12. He's set to make a quick turn-around, this time facing another well regarded opponent.
El Gaoui will take on the Czech fighter Jiri Zak on December 9th in the Czech Republic. Zak has been a mainstay around the 77-80kg range for a while now, recently competing and losing twice in the MPL. The losses aren't too bad though, as they were under Muay Thai rules and to very good opposition in Marc de Bonte and Artem Vakhitov. This fight will take place under K-1 rules, where Zak is much more comfortable and has much more experience.
A win for Zak would help him rebound from a shaky fall of 2011. A win for El Gaoui would further advance his career and add to his already stellar 2011. El Gaoui has wins over L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni and Alexander Stetsurenko this year. Zak has a win over Fred Sikking this year, back in May.Add a comment
France, whether people know or not, is a hotbed for talented kickboxers and nak muays. Many of the fighters aren't well known, flying under the radar, mostly fighting on the strong French scene. Albert Chey is one of the best fighters in France, yet he is virtually unknown outside of France. The fact that he fights around 57-60kg, a weight that only the hardcore follow, adds to his struggle to gain recognition.
Chey is a very well rounded fighter, able to generate proficient offense with punches, kicks, knees and elbows. His skillset is far above a typical farang fighter. One facet where he is especially head and shoulders above most of his farang counterparts is his clinch game. His clinch game has really only been surpassed by Thais that he's fought but he still managed to pull off the wins. His wins over Thais include a fourth round stoppage of Petchbangprang Kaewsamrit and a clear decision over the #6 Lumpinee Stadium ranked at 122lbs, Tong Puideenaidee (Granted, the fight was two weeks after Tong fought Sam-A and Chey was a bit bigger).
In his fight against Petchbangprang Kaewsamrit, Chey was outskilled but made up for it with his power. In the second round, Chey knocked Petchbangprang down with a right cross off a low kick. He finished off Petchbangprang in the fourth, the referee forced to call off the bout due to unanswered elbows. This fight was the only one I can find where he was outskilled.
One familiar name on his resume is Karim Bennoui. Chey took a cut stoppage in the fifth round over Bennoui in May of 2009. The two will meet again in a week on December 7th in Lyon at the A1 Combat Cup/Fight Code promoted card. Unlike in the past, a win over Bennoui should bring a lot of attention to Chey, as Bennoui has made a name for himself in It's Showtime this year. A win over Bennoui in 2011 may spark interest from bigger promotions. Chey mostly fights in Muay Thai though, so I'm not sure if he would do K-1-like rulesets. If Thai Fight or the Muay Thai Premier League were to have his weight division, he would be a must have.
Chey will likely continue fighting around France and occasionally in Thailand. Whether he gets an opportunity on the big stage is yet to be seen but all fans of kickfighting should keep an eye on Albert Chey. He's one of the best fighters at his weight outside of Thailand. Keep an eye out for videos of his next fight against Karim Bennoui. Here's his great fight against Petchbangprang Kaewsamrit.
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Let's be honest, after a year without K-1's usual Heavyweight tournament there has been a lack of the top Heavyweights in the world going head-to-head, but It's Showtime is looking to change that come January. What is possibly the last Kickboxing bout of both Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki should provide fireworks for fans across the world. It's Showtime went ahead and released a trailer for this upcoming clash of the titans and you can view it here.
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