|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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It's always exciting when a world class striker decides to make the transition to MMA and the only question is whether they will be sufficiently well rounded to survive in a different discipline of fighting. Adam Kayoom has been thriving at multiple martial arts for over a decade, he is a Taekwondo national champion, a two time Muay Thai world champion and a Muay Khmer champion.
With such a diverse range of titles in stand up fighting you might expect Kayoom to be much more comfortable fighting on his feet but he has a BJJ pedigree which is equally impressive with a black belt as well as gold medals from major national tournaments in both Australia and Brazil. There's no point trying to take the Malaysian outside of his comfort zone because he is comfortable everywhere as Seok Mo Kim discovered to his cost at DARE Championship in Bangkok this weekend.
The Korean gave a good account of himself against Gregor Gracie at One Fighting Championship 1, losing a decision but frustrating the Brazilian who was unable to submit him despite repeated attempts. He was looking to get back on the winning track against Kayoom who despite having too many titles, medals and trophies to list was only 1-1 in MMA going into this fight.
Kayoom is a BJJ teacher at the Q23 Academy and the founder of American Top Team (Thailand) and the sold out crowd in his adopted home of Bangkok included many of his students. He put on a performance which will not only have sent them all home happy but will have welterweights all over the region looking nervously over their shoulders.
Gracie couldn't submit Seok in 15 minutes but it took Kayoom less than five to sink in a fight finishing rear naked choke. It was a perfect demonstration of what a fighter who brings both ground fighting ability and stand up skills into the cage can do as the Kuala Lumpur born south paw dropped his opponent with a straight left hand which landed with laser like accuracy before finishing him with the submission.
He is extremely well known in Thailand and was ranked in the top ten at Ratchadamnern Stadium, something which very few foreigners in the world of Muay Thaihave ever achieved. He also has a large following in his native Malaysia and is a familiar face in martial arts circles in Australia having spent much of his adult life there.
However Kayoom, who started learning martial arts because he had attention deficit disorder as a child, has yet to really make his mark on the MMA world. That is an issue he is looking to urgently address and he hopes the win over Soek will be the first of many in the coming months,
"I'm going to be fighting more MMA now, I really want to represent Malaysia in One Fighting Championship, that's my dream. It means a lot that Victor Cui was here to watch me fight, I know he has a very busy schedule so respect to him for coming to support the fighters at this event. The kid's tough, I saw him fight Gregor Gracie and he couldnt finish him but today was my day because I got to bang and I got to submit him," he said.
Kayoom had to survive an early scare ater appearing to get caught with a knee and he thinks old Muay Thai habits were to blame for him allowing Seok to steal a bit of his momentum at the beginning of the fight,
"I got him with an elbow early in the fight and I thought 'I am gonna punish this guy' but instead my old Muay Thai habit kicked in and I relaxed. I'm never going to do that again. I have an old training injury, you can't come out of a hard training camp spotless and ready to fight, injuries happen in training all the time and he ended up finding that injury so congratulations on him for that. I had to recuperate and recover but I got back up and bit through the pain and hit him with the straight left," he said
At the age of 33 Kayoom has left it late to mark on the MMA world but having studied and mastered so many different martial arts he has effectively been preparing for this moment for the last two decades. One Fighting Championship are keeping their cards close to their chest and have not announced any additions to their roster since the successful opening show but with a Kuala Lumpur card rumoured to be in the works this Malaysian fighter must be a strong candidate for a contract.
There has never been an MMA promotion with a truly pan Asian appeal but One Fighting Championship has given an incentive to fighters all over the continent to try and compete at the highest level of the sport. Kayoom's latest win was in front of a few hundred fans for DARE Championship, a promotion which is fast making a name for itself in Thailand, and his next could be in front of almost ten thousand if One FC CEO / Owner Victor Cui does decide to sign him.
He will need to work out which weight class he is most comfortable in as he looked considerably smaller that Seok in this 75 kg catchweight fight. A drop down to lightweight might be in order but Kayoom has more than enough ability to make up for anything he might give away in size so there is no reason why he shouldn't stay in the welterweight division.
Stand up fighters are frequently frustrated in MMA by opponents who do everything they can to avoid getting dragged into a striking exchange. With a black belt in BJJ that shouldn't be a concern for Kayoom and Malaysia's top pound for pound fighter has the mixed martial arts world very much at his feet.
Photo by Marcel Braendli. Copyright DARE Championship, www.darefightsport.com
The time has finally come and It's Showtime's biggest event of 2011 is set to go down today. The much anticipated card features a eight man, one night tournament at 70kg. Among the names featured in the tournament are Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko, Chris Ngimbi and Robin van Roosmalen. In addition to that, a title fight at 77kg takes place as champion Artem Levin fights Murthel Groenhart. We're not done yet, there's two super fights featuring Marat Grigorian and Rustemi Kreshnik also. Ten fights in total are on the main card.
You can watch the card by ordering it at www.showtimefights.com or if you're in Canada, it's live on The Fight Network. The event gets kicked off at 3PM EST/12PM PST. Enjoy the show. If you want play by play, follow @LiverKickdotcom and @rianscalia on Twitter.
70kg Quarter Final: Artur Kyshenko vs. Gago Drago
Artur Kyshenko wins by TKO (Referee Stoppage) in Round 3. Kyshenko dominated the fight and looked monstrous. Drago just seemed flat, like his past outings. Kyshenko dropped Drago once in the third and then swarmed him until the referee stopped the fight.
70kg Quarter Final: Andy Souwer vs. Harut Grigorian
Andy Souwer wins by decision in an extra round. Grigorian came out guns blazing, surprising everyone and putting it on Souwer. Souwer rallied back in Rounds 2 and 3, getting an extension round where he took over the fight. This was a great back and forth fight.
70kg Quarter Final: Chris Ngimbi vs. Murat Direkci
Chris Ngimbi wins by Unanimous Decision. Ngimbi got a knockdown in round 2 that sealed the fight for him. It could be argued that this should've went to an extra round with Direkci winning round 1 and 3.
70kg Quarter Final: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Chahid Oulad el Hadj
Robin van Roosmalen wins by TKO (Corner Stoppage) in Round 2. The first round was really close, back and forth non stop action. van Roosmalen took over in the second and gave a standing count to Chahid where Chahid's corner threw in the towel. Looked like Chahid might have a broken jaw.
73kg Super Fight: Yassin Baitar vs. Marat Grigorian
Marat Grigorian wins by Majority Decision (4-1). It was not a bad fight, just the other fights were so good that it made this look somewhat bad. Grigorian didn't look as great as his previous outings, but he turned it up in the third round.
70kg Semi Final: Andy Souwer vs. Artur Kyshenko
Artur Kyshenko wins by Unanimous Decision. The first two rounds were very close but in the third, Kyshenko hurt Souwer, dropping him twice. Souwer was on wobbly legs for a large portion of the third.
70kg Semi Final: Chris Ngimbi vs. Robin van Roosmalen
Robin van Roosmalen wins by Unanimous Decision. van Roosmalen controlled the with his his combos. Ngimbi had trouble getting of.
77kg Title Match: Murthel Groenhart vs. Artem Levin
Artem Levin wins by KO (Knee) in Round 5. Ugly fight, but Levin got the job done with a knee to the body.
95+kg Super Fight: Rustemi Kreshnik vs. Moises Baute
Rustemi Kreshnik wins by KO (Right Hook) in Round 2.
70kg Final: Artur Kyshenko vs. Robin van Roosmalen
Robin van Roosmalen wins by KO (Left Hook) in Round 1. What a shocker, van Roosmalen caught Kyshenko perfectly and Kyshenko couldn't beat the count. van Roosmalen wins the tournament.
Scotland has a somewhat underrated Muay Thai scene at present but there are a number of promoters working hard to change this, including Brian Calder with his SuperShowDown events. The first event was held in February this year and was by far the strongest line-up in Scottish Muay Thai history with bouts for Scottish and British titles opening the show. The whole card was the who's who of Scottish Muay Thai, with names such as Robin Downer, Tommy Young, Ally Smith and Keith McLachlan taking on tough English opponents. At the top of the bill, four of the best UK fighters took on Thais. Michael Dicks faced off with Samingprai, Damien Trainor fought Phetnamchai and cousins Andy Howson and Liam Harrison fought Wisanlek and Petchasawin respectively. Needless to say, the show was a huge success and completely sold out well in advance of the event.
The second SuperShowDown event is set for November 5th and it looks like it will be just as big, if not bigger than the first show. Recent Toyota Marathon 8-man tournament winner Andy Thrasher is now 300,000 Baht richer but isn't taking a break for a minute as he will be fighting Samingprai Kiatphontip. On top of this, Bad Company's Davey McIntosh will square up with Gery Bavetta who fought at the King's Cup in December of 2010 but more recently in June on an Italian Kombat League show. These two fights would often be enough to headline any UK or European show however these are only two of the eight fantastic scheduled main card fights. We haven't even started talking about the main attraction: a full Thai rules 59kg 8-man tournament.
This 8 man tournament will include:
As you can see, all fighters in this tournament are well ranked and very experienced, so there are no easy draws for the only Scottish fighter in the tournament, Keith McLachlan. Over the coming weeks Liverkick and Muay Thai Scotland will be providing a preview of each of the fighters in the tournament as well as round up of what to expect from the rest of the fights on the main card but for now, read on for the event poster and the full card.Add a comment
The main attraction on this card is obviously the eight man 70kg tournament that everyone is raving about. Initially, Giorgio Petrosyan was slated for the tournament but a recurring hand injury forced him out. Robin van Roosmalen stepped in to take his place. While not as stacked as the usually yearly K-1 MAX World Grand Prix, it's great to see a tournament consisting of top talent in a down year for kickboxing. We'll start with the quarter final match-ups and work our way up.
Artur Kyshenko vs. Gago Drago
These two met back in March, with Kyshenko not having any trouble as he cruised to a unanimous decision. Drago has lost four in a row and could desperately use a win. As talked about by Dave Walsh and Steven Wright, Drago sometimes just doesn't show up and puts on mediocre performances, which lead to the ugly losses he has on his record. Drago is tough when he shows up though, and if he really brings it, Kyshenko could have some problems. Everyone has Drago figured out by now though, and with Kyshenko having fought him twice, shouldn't have too much trouble. Artur Kyshenko by decision or stoppage if he really turns it up.
Andy Souwer vs. Harut Grigorian
This is the easiest fight in the tournament to pick. Harut Grigorian is solid, but we're talking about Andy Souwer here, a top three kickboxer at 70kg since 2005. I think a good comparison to this fight is back when Souwer fought Leroy Kaestner. Kaestner is a solid fighter and was up and coming at the time, but it was clear Souwer was on another level. I think Souwer will finish this one though, in the second round after showing Grigorian who's boss in the first.
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj
Rematches seem to be a common theme for this tournament, as these two have also fought once before back in March, with van Roosmalen taking a decision in a competitive fight. I expect the same outcome as the first fight. Chahid has stayed the same for the past few years, while van Roosmalen continues to improve. This fight will definitely be back and forth. Expect to see traded combos throughout the fight, with van Roosmalen getting the better shots in. This has all the makings of another great Dutch style battle. Robin van Roosmalen by decision.
Chris Ngimbi vs. Murat Direkci
This is a rematch of their title fight back in December where Ngimbi emerged the new champion. Both looked lackluster, and I personally had Direkci winning. Since then, Direkci hasn't fought and Ngimbi defended his title in spectacular fashion against Willy Borrel in May. Ngimbi has a lot of hype with him, and while he's improved, I think he needs to prove himself more. He didn't look great in winning the title, and Willy Borrel was just outmatched. That being said, I still think Ngimbi takes this. Direkci isn't getting any younger and is coming off a long layoff. Ngimbi is improving and has found a great home at the Siam Gym. Chris Ngimbi by decision.
Now onto the semi finals. If everything goes the way I see it going, Andy Souwer matches up with Artur Kyshenko and Chris Ngimbi with Robin van Roosmalen. I see Souwer tiring Kyshenko out. Kyshenko has conditioning problems at 70kg, and he'll probably have to be working the whole time against Drago. He won't have a full gas tank by the time he gets to Souwer, and it'll show. Kyshenko is incredibly tough to finish so I'll take Souwer by decision.
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Chris Ngimbi would be quite an interesting match-up. van Roosmalen is always in the fight and if Ngimbi goes into one of the inactive phases he seems to have from time to time, he'll be jumped on. Ngimbi would need to sneak in counter shots and of course, find a spot for his knee strikes. van Roosmalen would need to pressure and land combos. He can't let Ngimbi have any space to get going. I think I'll go out on a limb here and take van Roosmalen by a tight decision in this hypothetical match-up.
That leaves my hypothetical finals at Andy Souwer vs. Robin van Roosmalen. I think Souwer can outgun van Roosmalen with with more firepower and more experience in big time tournaments. There you have it, winner of my hypothetical It's Showtime 70kg tournament, Andy Souwer.
Enjoy the show tomorrow.Add a comment
The It's Showtime event tomorrow is centered around the 70kg tournament, and in the tournament's shadows is a world title fight at 77kg. Artem "The Lion" Levin will look to defend his belt against Murthel "The Model" Groenhart. It's another case of weird circumstances for a title shot, as Groenhart's last fight was at 70kg and before that against Errol Koning, who is nowhere near the title. Nonetheless, it's still an attractive fight with two well known names in kickboxing.
Artem Levin is probably the best 77kg fighter in the world. He fights anywhere from 77-82kg, taking on all comers. He's very active, taking part in both Muay Thai and kickboxing regularly. When he's not fighting professional, he's bolstering his amateur credentials. The man is truly a workhorse. Levin's last fight came on September 2nd at the MuayThai Premier League's inaugural event, stopping David Keclik with a beautiful flying knee. This fight is a quick turn-around from September 2nd, but Levin is no stranger to that.
Murthel Groenhart last fought in June, brutalizing Rafi Zouheir at It's Showtime's event in Spain. The fight came at 70kg and Murthel took the fight on a week's notice, after fighting at 77kg the previous week. Groenhart has been inconsistent for the past few years, with wins and losses all over the board. He's come up short against top competition and fighting arguably the number one 77kg fighter in the world doesn't help his cause.
Artem Levin has such a unique and confusing style to face. He'll fight with his hands below his waste and encourage fighters to come throw at him. He doesn't mind getting hit at all and will gladly take a few to land a few of his own. Levin can do everything well, punching, kicking, kneeing, all while dictating the fight. Groenhart gets over aggressive at times and get countered, falling right into Levin's trap. I'm thinking Groenhart might go for blood when he sees Levin's hands at his waste, and this could very well be the beginning of the end for him. Simply put, Groenhart is a good fighter, Levin is an elite fighter.
Groenhart definitely won't back down in the fight. I have no doubt that he'll get some shots in, but Levin is just on another level of skill. Groenhart would obviously do better coming forward, no one wants Artem Levin backing them up. The way I see it going is Levin will have his hands down, Groenhart will maybe land a shot and then once he lands a shot, will go all out. This is where Levin clinches and turns it around, then gets his shots in and takes over the fight.
Groenhart has losses at both 70 and 77 kilograms, while Levin has gone as high as 82kg, tasting much harder punches. I don't think Levin will be phased by what Groenhart throws his way at all. He's the bigger man and he'll act like it in the fight.
My prediction? Murthel Groenhart is "The Model" and Artem Levin is "The Lion." Now imagine what would happen in real life if a model fought a lion. Artem Levin by TKO in the third round, retaining his title.Add a comment