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Only in Japan: Jerome Le Banner vs. Josh Barnett Set for August

I'm not joking, Josh Barnett and Jerome Le Banner will square off on August 27th at the Ryogoku Kokugikan -- Japan's Sumo Hall, and this bout between the titans will be for a world championship. Who is promoting this bout? None other than Antonio Inoki, the grandfather of MMA in Japan and a pro wrestling celebrity. It is hard to believe that the MMA world and the Kickboxing world will be colliding like this, until you realize that it is under Inoki's IGF banner, which is professional wrestling.

Yes, Josh Barnett of Strikeforce fame will take on Jerome Le Banner of K-1 fame to declare the first IGF World Champion in August. IGF ran a tournament on the 10th in Japan that involved some pretty big names, including Ray Sefo, Eric Hammer, Josh Barnett, Jerome Le Banner and Bobby Lashley. Eric Hammer tapped Ray Sefo out in the qualifying round with an armbar, Josh Barnett tapped Bobby Lashley out with an armbar as well in the semi-finals. Hammer met Jerome Le Banner in the semi-finals by knocking him down five times, which sets up Barnett vs. Le Banner in the finals.

Something about this just reeks of awesomeness.

Barnett, Inoki, JLB

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If You Missed Fight Code This Weekend...

Fight CodeIf for some reason you missed Fight Code's Istanbul event over the weekend where they ran their Rhinos Heavyweight tournament's first round, never fear. Fight Code always goes out of their way to put fights from each event onto their web site in high quality. From this weekend's event there are five full length bouts up, with of course the highlight of the event being Freddy Kemayo's awesome head kick knockout victory. Click here and go to around the 9:30 mark to see Kemayo's work pay off for him.

So head over to LiveFightCode.tv and check out the "Full Fights" section for videos from this weekend's event. [source]

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AFAV's Latest Interview: Rob Kaman

Rob Kaman is one of the few legends in the world of kickboxing that no one can deny; he has been everywhere and done everything. Our good friends at AFAV do some of the best interviews int he business, clearly the best in the world of kickboxing. We showed the preview before, and here is the full, finished product.

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In My Opinion: Thailand's Top 10

This is a not an official P4P list from any stadiums, or groups in Thailand. Just my personal opinion on who are the 10 best Muay Thai fighters in Thailand. 

 

1. Saenchai SinbiMuayThai: Saenchai has been the P4P king of Muay Thai for years. Every now and then he'll be defeated, and at an age where most Thai's are washed up you have to think his time is coming to an end. However, time after time he bounces back with a classic performance. He showed that in his most recent fight where he beat Kongsak Sitboonme. He'll look to keep the train rolling when he once again fights Petchboonchu FA Group on August 2nd. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL0bH8Xf1NQ

2. Kongsak Sitboonme: Prior to the loss against Saenchai, Kongsak was on an insane winning streak. In just over a year he piled up a 10-0-1 record against some of the best fighters in Thailand. The lone draw he got on the winning streak was a highly controversial one to Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym. He will also be featured on the same August 2nd card against another hot fighter, F16 Rajonont.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMWDjT6Ca-8

3. Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym: The model of consistency. Sam-A has been a top Nak Muay for many years. He's fought every named fighter that is relatively close to him in weight. He too is on the big August 2nd card against the much bigger Lekklar Thanasukarn who is coming off a knockout win over legend Wuttidet Lukprabart. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8-G8CD7sCQ

4. Pakon Sakyothin: Earlier this year he lost to Kongsak in a big fight that was to determine the fighter of the year. Pakon has been a multiple weight champion, and is one of the most talented fighters, and a bit of a throw back to the early 90's. Here is his unforgettable classic with Ponsaneh Sitmonchai. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfsDtJ5pD5Q

5. Nong-O Kaiyanghadaogym: Despite losing 6 fights in a row its tough to not put Nong-O on this list. Among those losses were a bogus decision to Saenchai, two very close fights with Jomthong Chuwattana, a close fight with Kongsak, and a pair of losses to larger fighters in F16 Rajonont, and Sagetdao Petpaiyathai. Prior to the losing streak he was on a very impressive run, and has been the 2nd most consistent fighter in the last 6 or 7 years, only behind Saenchai. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XLBTmOYzyA

6. Singdam Kiatmuu9: Singdam is also a very consistent fighter. Known for his powerful right leg, and a solid clinch game he's been a prominent fighter for over a decade. In 2002 he won the fighter of the year award, and in 2004 he was one win away from winning it again, but was knocked out by Anuwat Kaewsamrit. He's coming off a loss to Petchboonchu FA Group, but will have a fight on the August 2nd card against Sagetdao Petpaiyathai, a fighter he's already beaten this year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qkr6RfZEBc

7. Chokpreecha Kor. Sakooncher: Some aren't as high on this 115 killer as I am. He gets knocked for not having a large skill set, but I think his talents are more prevalent than people think. He does fall behind in fights and relies on his 1 punch KO to comeback. However he does have some points victories over top fighters at his weight. But it is his KO power that gets him most of his victories. Something like 7 of his last 10 wins have been by knockout. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj7156dFbTc

8. Jomthong Chuwattana: Jomthong was a bit of a phenom. In 2006, at just 16 years old he won fighter of the year. Since then he's been on a bit of a roller coaster, with some ups and downs. Most recently though, he's been fighting very well. His next fight will be this Thursday at Rajadamnern against Phetaik Aizbangzai. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgbnaoBpk_Y

9. Nuangthep Eminentair: Nuangthep is a bit of a bully at 115 pounds, but he's a winner. He also has a big win over a Ponsawan Lukprabart, and a few other elite fighters at 118 pounds. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTFVnyJeP9U

10. Penaik Sitnumnoi: Penaik is a very strong clinch fighter, with a good supporting cast of weapons. He's come close to fighter of the year on several occasions in the past, but just couldn't get the big win when he needed it. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ycP-0gbLA


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