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UK Fight Scene Taking Off in 2013

With a big year ahead in kickboxing and Muay Thai, the UK's fight scene continues to grow, as the events get bigger and the fighters increase in quantity and quality. Recently I talked with Steven Wright and England's own Vinny Shoreman about the current fight scene in England in particular. You can listen to our discussion here, where we highlight many of the UK's talented fighters and the increasing number of quality events.

The UK has always been very solid when it comes to quality events and fighters. However, from a worldwide perspective, it never seemed to get the recognition that it deserved. Things are changing now, with many UK fighters set to make a splash internationally, and many already having done so.

Attention is being shifted their way. GLORY are holding a huge show in London. Enfusion is doing four shows in London. SuperKombat is holding tryouts there. That's not even mentioning the other domestic promotions that are coming up like Fight Sport Grand Prix Series, Super Fight Series on the kickboxing side of things, and the always consistent Muay Thai scene.

The fighters themselves are getting their big opportunities to showcase themselves as well. Jordan Watson and Tim Thomas have already been in GLORY and will be again, while Liam Harrison, Reece McCallister and Steve Wakeling are set to join them. Enfusion is looking to make a step up in 2013 and their cards are loaded with UK talent to watch out for. Muay Thai in America featured a number of fighters with big futures. Fighters from the UK are getting more and more opportunities around the globe and I predict in the coming year that they're going to keep making the best of those opportunities, and establish themselves and the UK as a country as a force to be reckoned with.

Some fighters to watch out for:

Andrew Tate
Tate is set for a big year, with one fight in February and two in March already. He's already established himself as one of the top 85kg fighters with his huge power and unorthodox full contact style. He really opened the door and showed that more full contact fighters can succeed in K-1 style rules, especially at 85kg where the division is still yet to be sorted out.

Salah Khalifa
Still very young and with fighting prowess beyond his years that seems like it'll get even better, Salah is also starting off 2013 with some big fights. First off he's in Super Fight Series' 70kg tournament in K-1 rules on February 16 and then is on Enfusion on March 30. Here's a fighter that I think we'll be seeing for a long time, whether it be in K-1 rules or Muay Thai.

Chad Sugden
Just 18 years old, Sugden has already made the transition from full contact to K-1 rules and had success. He will also fight in the same 70kg Super Fight Series tournament as Salah and after that will be on the undercard of the huge GLORY 5 London show in March. Things are looking on the up and up for him.

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GLORY 7 Milan Confirmed For April 20

GLORY's event schedule is coming together for this year, so far with GLORY 5 London and GLORY 6 Istanbul having dates. Now another GLORY event has been confirmed for April 20, just two weeks after Istanbul.

GLORY 7 Milan will take place on April 20 in Milan, Italy, as per GLORY's website. This event comes just two weeks after GLORY 6 in Istanbul on April 6. No fight card details have been announced yet, but we assume that they will be soon.

What's also interesting is that there is a big Oktagon card tabbed for the same date in Milan that features Giorgio Petrosyan, and GLORY has worked with the promoter of Oktagon, Carlo di Blasi, who happens to be Giorgio Petrosyan's manager. Basically what I'm saying is to put two and two together, meaning that this show is probably in conjunction with the Oktagon show at the Mediolanum Forum. Obviously nothing is confirmed yet and for now that's just speculation.

Stay tuned for more news on this event.

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SuperKombat to Hold Qualification Fights in Croatia, Feb. 23

SuperKombat recently unveiled their plans for their worldwide selection, and that led to numerous tryouts that have been scheduled around Europe to recruit heavyweight fighters. Now a set of qualification fights has been scheduled for February 23 in Opatija, Croatia, under the banner of Opatija Fight Night 5, with SuperKombat's Croatian partner, Opatija Fight Night.

The event will take place in Opatija, Croatia and according to fightsite.hr will feature four or five Croatian fighters from the region in four super fights, with the rest being from around Europe. These fighters from the likes of Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia will be joined by the selected fighters from SuperKombat tryouts in England, Germany and Greece.

For more information on SuperKombat's tryouts, a schedule is up on their website here.

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70kg Eight Man Tournament on Mar. 24 with Henri van Opstal, Armen Petrosyan

The month of March this year is insanely stacked for kickboxing and Muay Thai. Another event to look forward to in March takes place on the 24th at Haarlem Fight Night in Haarlem, Holland.

The event will feature an eight man tournament at 70kg. Armen Petrosyan and Henri van Opstal are the biggest names in the tournament, which also features veterans like Anthony Kane and William Diender, as well as up and comers like Robbie Hageman. The full tournament lineup is as follows:

Henri van Opstal

Armen Petrosyan

Anthony Kane

William Diender

Robbie Hageman

Kevin Hessling

Mourad Tounoutti

Maiki Karathanasis

Also, the reserve fight will see Nick Beljaards fight Moreno Janssen. This will be the biggest Haarlem Fight Night event yet and more information will be coming out soon.

 

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