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6 Muay Thai Fighters That Would Make Great Kickboxers (And How Likely They Are To Switch Over)

Kickboxing and Muay Thai fans are typically cut from the same sort of cloth. While there are notable exceptions, both kickboxing enthusiasts and muay thai fanatics have a mutual respect for what the other side is doing. This is most evident in the bond that the two sports share in international competition- it's not uncommon for kickboxers to take a fight in muay thai and do well (See Karim Ghajji vs. Aikpracha) or vice versa (Too many examples to name, but Buakaw, Kem, and Artem Levin are MT practioners that have often competed at the highest level of kickboxing). 

It goes without saying that Muay Thai has a larger and more technically gifted talent pool than most of kickboxing, especially at lower weights. However, kickboxing is still one of the most exciting sports in the world and when two skilled athletes are trying to punch each other in the face, just about anything can happen. This is my very subjective list of 6 Thai Fighters that would make a seamless transition into the kickboxing ring. A few disclaimers to keep in mind before I start the countdown...

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1. This list is not in order of talent. It is numbered by who I would personally most like to see in a kickboxing promotion.

2. Thai's are hands down the best combat sports athletes on the planet. That being said, most of them probably won't make the transition over to kickboxing in the immediate future. If there's no reason to believe they'll switch sports, they won't be included on this list. 

3. I'm not including any Thai fighters that have extensively fought kickboxing in the past.

Ok, that's it! Let's go ahead and get right down to our first entry...

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#6- Simon Marcus

Chance of seeing him in kickboxing: Likely

Simon Marcus is what most people would call "on fire" right now. After going 6-0 in 2012 to add to his already unbeaten record, Marcus made an impression on American muay thai fans when he dispatched the always abrasive Joe Schilling twice in one year. If that wasn't enough, most recently Marcus competed in China where he scored two KO victories in the same night. Let's just be honest, the guy looks like a Greek God. He's terrifying. If Simon Marcus ever wanted to mug me all he'd need to do is glance in my general direction and my wallet would leave my pocket, sensing the prescence of an alpha male. 

Marcus was originally scheduled to make his kickboxing debut at GLORY 5 London against fellow Muay Thai practioner Steven Wakeling. However, he opted for a long awaited dream match-up with Artem Levin instead. While we may not see the Bwad Boy move to kickboxing as planned, there is a very high chance he'll make the transition sometime in the future. 

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SuperKombat 2013 Event Schedule Released

Today SuperKombat announced their event schedule for 2013, which features six SuperKombat World Grand Prix events, six SuperKombat New Heroes qualification events as well as the World Tryout series.

Like last year, four of the SuperKombat World Grand Prix events will feature qualifying tournaments, with the winners going to the Final Elimination. Then the winners from the Final Elimination will fight in the final tournament at the SuperKombat World Grand Prix Final.

This year SuperKombat has brought in a new system to get fighters for it's tournaments with SuperKombat New Heroes, a series of six qualification events. The winners of the SuperKombat New Heroes tournaments will all qualify for spots in one of the four SuperKombat World Grand Prix qualifying tournaments. So far, one SuperKombat New Heroes event has already taken place this past weekend on February 23 in Opatija, Croatia, where Muamer Tufekcic, Ante Verunica, Uros Velicevic and Dino Belosevic won qualifying super fights at the event, which was put on in part with Opatija Fight Night. The next SuperKombat New Heroes event is scheduled for March 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"As you know, in january we started the World Tryouts series because I’m sure that may be heroes undiscovered. Until now we had tryouts events in Greece, Germany and Great Britain and the future sounds good. Superkombat will became a complete fighting championship with tryouts events and after that with qualification events for the World Grand Prix series. The global format will be the same as in football. You must promote from a division to another. To be in the World Grand Prix series, you must get your ticket from the World Tryouts series and New Heroes series,” said Eduard Irimia.

Full schedule of the World Grand Prix series:

SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 1 (April 6, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 2 (May 18, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 3 (September 28, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 4 (October 12, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 5 Final Elimination (November 9, 2013)
SUPERKOMBAT® WGP 6 Final (December 21, 2013)

Full information can be found on SuperKombat's website, here.

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Check Out This Video of Jerome Le Banner's 1998 W.K.N Muay Thai Title Fight, Promoted by the Legendary Don King

In 1998, a young Jerome Le Banner took on Brazilian, Espidito "The Black Panther" Da Silva in a W.K.N. World Heavyweight Muay Thai Championship Fight. The fight took place on the undercard of "Evander Holyfield vs. Vaughn Bean" in Atlanta, Georgia and was promoted by the boxing icon Don King. 

There may not be another time in history where a high-profile kickboxing/muay thai match takes place on the same card as a boxing world heavyweight championship fight. It's a little surreal seeing King and Le Banner together at the end of the video, and it's definitely worth a watch just to witness a pretty momentous occassion in kickboxing history. The knockout is pretty awesome too (But don't take my word for it).

 

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Weekend Results from Russia: Mineev, Allazov, El Gaoui, Ignashov Win

With this current weekend coming to an end shortly, we can see that it was a big weekend in Russia, with three notable events.

First on Friday, February 22 was a show put on by Octopus Fight Clib in Moscow. It featured a battle of two of the biggest prospects in kickboxing between Chingiz Allazov and Alim Nabiev. Allazov is the slightly older fighter at just 19 years old compared to Nabiev's age of 18, but it showed in the ring. Despite being the smaller and shorter fighter, he controlled the range and got in and out with his offense. Nabiev got dropped in the second round with a left high kick and didn't have much for Allazov until the dying seconds of the third round.

Also on the card was Alexey Ignashov, who fought Martynas Knyzlis. In typical Ignashov fashion, it was a stale fight that saw him win a decision over an overmatched opponent.

71kg: Chingiz Allazov def. Alim Nabiev by decision.
HW: Alexey Ignashov def. Martynas Knyzlis by decision.
HW: Igor Bugaenko def. Vladimir Oleinik by decision.
HW: Valentin Slavikovsky def. Dmitry Bezus by decision.
81kg: Pavel Turuk def. Vladimir Idranyi by decision.
HW: Roman Kriklya def. Yuri Dobko by TKO in Round 3.

Yesterday on Saturday featured two events, one in Moscow and one in Kazan. In Moscow, Fight Nights returned with another big show full of over the top theatrics. The only notable kickboxing fight on the card was between rising star in Russia, Vladimir Mineev and Revanho Blokland of the Netherlands. Mineev didn't have a hard time and he finished Blokland in the second round with a left hook. It was an alright performance after being pushed to the limit by Ali Cenik in December, but Mineev is going to have to step it up when he faces that level of competition again.

HW: Vladimir Mineev def. Revanho Blokland by KO in Round 2.
HW: Maxim Grishin def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou by decision.

The last leg of the Tatneft Cup qualifier to the quarter finals of the tournament took place in Kazan. At 70kg, Enriko Gogokhia and Maxim Smirnov both qualified to the quarter finals once again. Gogokhia beat Bruno Gazani by decision and Maxim Smirnov defeated Ajay Balgobind by decision.

Another fighter who qualified to the quarter finals once again was Hicham El Gaoui at 80kg as he defeated Brazil's Anderson Arcanjo by decision. Also at 80kg, Sergei Papusha defeated Peter Romankevich by decision.

At heavyweight, Jan Siersema beat Vugar Kazimov by decision, scoring a knockdown in the second round. The second heavyweight bout saw Brazil's Vitor Miranda beat last year's Tatneft Cup winner Tsotne Rogava by decision.

70kg: Enriko Gogokhia def. Bruno Gazani by decision.
70kg: Maxim Smirnov def. Ajay Balgobind by decision.
80kg: Hicham El Gaoui def. Anderson Arcanjo by decision.
80kg: Sergei Papusha def. Peter Romankevich by decision.
HW: Jan Siersema def. Vugar Kazimov by decision.
HW: Vitor Miranda def. Tsotne Rogava by decision.

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