|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)|
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Shootboxing and Shooto have announced four more bouts for the Shootboxing portion of their co-promotion Shoot the Shooto on November 6th, however 3 of the four bouts are Shootboxing vs other kickboxing organizations as opposed to kickboxing vs MMA.
First, Shootboxing convert Bovy Sor Udomson has been announced to take on K-1 and It's Showtime fighter Gago Drago. After starting 2010 2-1 with an exciting win over Takaaki Umeno in Shootboxing, Bovy lost 5 straight fights starting with a loss in the quarterfinals of the 2010 S-Cup to Andy Souwer. However, Bovy recently snapped his losing streak with a much needed win over the surging Toby Imada. Drago has struggled over the past year as well, losing 5 straight fights, most recently to Artur Kyshenko in last month's It's Showtime Fast and Furious tournament. Drago should be considered the favorite here, but with the inconsistencies of both fighters, this could be seen as a toss up and could turn into a wild brawl as both fighters are accustomed to.
The next matchup is former boxer and Shootboxing convert Satoru Suzuki taking on the Swiss-born former AJKF Welterweight champion Christophe Pruvost. Suzuki's initial foray into kickboxing was rather unsuccessful as he lost his first 5 fights all by TKO. However, 4 of his first 5 fights came against Masato, Mike Zambidis, Lim Chi Bin and MMA fighter Kenta Takagi. Suzuki first fought in Shootboxing in April of 2010 and has not fought for another organization since, going 4-3 with a pair of wins over Kenji Kanai and a win over MMA fighter and recently crowned Shooto Welterweight champion Kuniyoshi Hironaka while his losses have come to Takaaki Umeno, Hiroki Shishido and Henry Van Opstal. Pruvost is a Swiss-born fighter who came to Japan in 2006 to learn kickboxing, ultimately joining the Shibuya Scramble gym. He fought most of his career in AJKF, starting 7-0 before taking 3 straight losses, the last of which was to Soichiro Miyakoshi. Pruvost bounced back from those 3 losses to earn a title shot against Welterweight champion Yuya Yamamoto, winning the fight by a 4th round doctor's stoppage and earning the title of last AJKF Welterweight champion. Purvost hasn't fought much since AJKF's decline with only 1 fight in 2010 and none in 2011.
Another bout announced is former MA Kick Super Lightweight and Welterweight champion Hiroshi Mizumachi taking on Shootboxing's Masaya Matsuhana. Mizumachi has fought sparingly lately, with only 4 fights since the beginning of 2009 and all of them have been losses, but this fight marks his Shootboxing debut. Matsuhana had a pair of fights in the K-1 Koshien 70kg circuit, losing in the semifinals of the 2009 tournament to Shintaro Matsukura. He also picked up a couple of wins in Shootboxing this year.
The final fight announced was a women's matchup between two participants of Shootboxing's Japan Women's Preliminary tournament, MINA and MMA fighter Emi Fujino. MINA upset Valkyrie Featherweight champion and 2009 Girls' S-Cup finalist VV Mei in the quarterfinals of the Japan Preliminary tournament before losing to Seo Hee Ham in the semifinals. Fujino lost in the quarterfinals to Seo Hee Ham.
Full announced fight card after the break Add a comment
This week on Steven "The Warman" Wright's Kickboxing Podcast, MPL president and former fighter Clifton Brown sat down for an interview to discuss the MuayThai Premier League. Among the many topics discussed were production, availability and scoring. Clifton gave some great insight on the ongoings of the promotion and answered some great questions posed by Steven. This is a must-listen for fans of kickfighting as there are some great breakdowns and information given by Clifton Brown.Add a comment
With one of Shoot Boxing's most notable shows of 2011 to date coming up on November 5th, featuring bouts between SHOOTO and Shoot Boxing organizations, which in the year 2011 and the state of Japanese MMA means that there are some big names involved and Shoot Boxing is doing the same thing. If you are not properly acquainted with Shoot Boxing, one of our favorite readers, Jill has put together a series of Shoot Boxing highlight reels and her timing is impeccable for the latest. Check it out.
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A huge Thailand vs Japan fight has been announced for the fifth It's Showtime Japan event, a co-promotion with M-1's RAORAK Muay Thai Final event and it is perrenial contender around 60kg Saenchai Sinbimuaythai taking on former J-Network champion and K-1 veteran Shunsuke Oishi.
This fight adds to two other relatively high profile fights where rising star Genji Umeno battles Dekkamon Himaraigym for the WPMF World Featherweight title and Kanongsuk Weerasakreck defends his WPMF World Light Welterweight title against Arita Tsukahara. It is a bit of an odd choice though as Oishi is riding a 2-fight losing streak. After losing to RISE champions Koji Yoshimoto and Yuki, Oishi was placed in the first K-1 -63kg qualifier in 2010, earning a spot against Koya Urabe after a win over Takuya Shirahama in Krush. Oishi lost a decision to Urabe in the Final 22 and went on to win the J-Network Super Lightweight title against Yusuke Sugawara before losing it back to him in June. Saenchai only has three losses since November of 2004 and his two fights since then against Japanese fighters, including Tetsuya Yamato, were one sided beatdowns that resulted in first round TKOs. Saenchai should win this handily, but if Yuji Nashiro's upset over Albert Kraus, Yasuhiro Shirasu's upset over Yodsanklai and Toby Imada's upset over Andy Souwer have shown us anything in the past year, it's that anything is possible. However, this would be a much bigger upset than any of the aforementioned fights as Saenchai is often seen as near untouchable and Oishi is far from the elite at this weight in Japan.Add a comment
I finally got around to watching the MuayThai Premiere League's second event on TV that I had PVR'd from last night. The fights were great and filled with action. I'm going to focus on the actual production and promotional aspects of the promotion. This was my first time watching the MPL on TV and I came away thinking that there is some room for improvement in their production values and promotion.
The show itself is pretty standard: Introductions, fights, post fight interview, repeat. There's not really any connection made to the fighters, no actual promotion of the fighters themselves on the broadcast. I myself don't mind as I have no problem with just standard fights but I can't help but feel that other people who watched the event feel a real pull towards a fighter. Sure, fighting speaks for itself and the fights were great but many are drawn in by personalities. There was really no showcase of individual personalities aside from a short, somewhat awkward post-fight interview. Most notably, they definitely missed the boat on promoting Ky Hollenbeck who is one of the top American fighters in Muay Thai. Fans can relate to someone from their home country competing on the world stage.
The event was definitely a missed opportunity for promotion. How is anyone supposed to know or care if there are no means of watching? The only place the event was broadcast was in Canada on The Score where I watched. Eurosport just got around to airing the first event. There's virtually no internet buzz.
In terms of the actual setting, it should be altered for a better viewing experience. The dark ring canvas along with the whole crowd seemingly blacked out (probably to hide the poor attendance) isn't very viewer-friendly. The setting needs to be brightened up a bit. It's a bit like Bellator's problem where the cage colours create a dull appearance but in this case, the setting is very contrasted.
As for commentary, Mauro Ranallo is cool and all for MMA but the reality is he just isn't that knowledgable about Muay Thai. He's out of his element. It also seems to me that the commentary is more kickboxing oriented than Muay Thai. This can be attributed to there being a lot of kickboxing stylists in the MPL but not enough attention is given to important aspects of Muay Thai like clinch striking, throws and overall dominance. These were really only highlighted a few times over the whole broadcast. Most of the time it seemed that punches were getting the most attention scoring-wise for the commentary team when they aren't valued as much as the other weapons in the arsenal of a nak muay.The judging seems to lean more towards kickboxing too, but that's a whole other story.
Do I like the MPL? Yes, I do but they have their flaws and this is just what I think they can improve on. Their format is great and the right idea is there. Hopefully they can make improvements to bring their product to the next level.
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