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Will Kawajiri throw a wrench in Strikeforce's plans?

On December 6th,'s Ariel Helwani broke the story about the Tatsuya Kawajiri/Josh Thomson lightweight match-up that is set to take place just days away at DREAM's DYNAMITE! 2010 show.

Both men have fought and held for numerous championships and have faced some of the best fighters on the planet in their careers. The fight between the two has been talked about since Strikeforce CEO, Scott Coker, announced a working deal with DREAM last summer. Nearly sixteen months later, MMA fans get to see the two top 10 lightweights go head to head. In that time, both men have had nearly polar opposite careers.

At DYNAMITE! last year, Kawajiri won a dominating decision over the tough, Kazunori Yokota. In the first half of 2010 he nursed several injuries and waited for an opportunity to fight Shinya Aoki for the DREAM lightweight title. He was unsuccessful in his July bid when Aoki forced Kawajiri to submit with an Achilles lock barely two minutes into the fight. Thomson also spent the beginning of the year recovering from past ailments. When he returned to the Strikeforce cage in June, Josh Thomson submitted Pat Healy in the third frame in a tougher than expected bout. The former Strikeforce lightweight champion continued his winning ways when he earned a very narrow (and controversial) decision over Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante. With that win, "The Punk" looked like he had positioned himself for a title shot and a rubber match with Gilbert Melendez. So that brings up the question, is the reward of a potential lightweight classic worth risking one of the biggest fights Strikeforce could make in 2011?

I'm sure most fans would say it is. The stylistic match-up between Thomson and Kawajiri almost guarantees fireworks and it's rare to get two top 10 opponents face one another outside the UFC. It's also one of the most compelling and competitive fights on DREAM's New Year's Eve card. However, Melendez vs. Thomson is a proven formula for a fight of the year candidate. Both of their first two fights had MMA fans praising both men's performance and yearning for the next installment. I would personally say that Tatsuya Kawajiri has a very good chance of throwing a wrench in Strikeforce's marquee lightweight championship affair. He has a very similar style to Gilbert Melendez (as evidence by the Melendez/Kawajiri fight in 2006) and Thomson hasn't exactly looked stellar in his past two outings. Kawajiri probably will have some ring rust, but I think he's got a very good chance of going into DYNAMITE! and winning a close decision.

Scott Coker and company don't gain much from a Josh Thomson win. He's already got two solid wins under his belt, and with the nature of his rivalry with Gilbert Melendez, another win really isn't necessary to set up that trilogy fight. If you had to make a list of the biggest fights Strikeforce could make, I'd be comfortable in predicting that Melendez/Thomson III probably cracks the top 5 to 10. There aren't many fights that can be so easily as that one. Melendez/Kawajiri II takes a lot more marketing firepower.


Video: Pat Barry's Kickboxing KO at WKA

Pat Barry

There really isn't much to say about Pat Barry's return to Kickboxing on Saturday night at a WKA event in Richmond, Virginia. Pat Barry was booked in a fight against Ed Burris where there was little doubt as to who the winner would be. Kind of a bummer for Burris, but that is how the Kickboxing game is sometimes; you gotta be the enhancement talent for the big name. Pat Barry is now back in Kickboxing and will make his GLORY debut in May at GLORY 16 Denver.


Watch Modern Day Paco From Bloodsport Talk Lumpini


If you are like me, you grew up on martial arts movies and they are what helped to push you into your martial arts fandom. Of course that means that you are into Bruce Lee movies, but Bloodsport will always have a place in your heart. So what could be cooler than to see the Thai fighter from Bloodsport, Paco, explain Lumpini Stadium in late 2013. This interview was conducted in November of last year with Paulo Tocha and it's just kind of awesome.


Fight Video: Andy Souwer's Boxing Debut


There is something to be said for a fighter always looking to evolve, which Andy Souwer is definitely one of those fighters. Souwer could have stuck to Muay Thai or Kickboxing, but he's always been looking to do different stuff, as we've seen from his experience in Shoot Boxing. Basically, Andy Souwer is an always-evolving athlete who has even though about dabbling in MMA here and there. Souwer's latest excursion has been that he made his Boxing debut this weekend.

Souwer seems excited about the advent of more Boxing fights in the future and that he might try to carve out a bit of a niche for himself in the professional Boxing world.

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