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UFC's Kenny Florian Works with Cosmo Alexandre for UFC 131, a Paradigm Shift

CosmoThis weekend former UFC Lightweight contender Kenny Florian will officially make the move to Featherweight. Florian’s move to Featherweight is the first of its kind since WEC’s Featherweight division was folded into the UFC, Jose Aldo being crowned as the first UFC Featherweight Champion. For fans, Florian almost immediately becomes a top contender for the Featherweight title, with Diego Nunes his first opponent.

If you are a kickboxing fan, the possibility of a Florian and Aldo clash is a bit different, as both fighters are known for their striking prowess. Aldo is known for his explosive power in his striking, while Florian is known for adding a solid in-tight Muay Thai game to his outstanding jiu-jitsu. What is truly interesting is that both men have incorporated some of the finest kickboxers in the world to their training camps.

Jose Aldo while preparing for his UFC debut went to the Netherlands to train with one of the finest competitors that 70kg has ever seen in Andy Souwer. Andy Souwer can bring an interesting perspective to Aldo’s striking, as Souwer not only has experience in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but he is also one of the best to ever compete in Japan’s strange hybrid sport of Shoot Boxing. Shoot Boxing incorporates the standard Kickboxing rules along with Judo elements of throws and standing submissions. To excel at Shoot Boxing, you not only need a solid stand up game, but you need to have a strong clinch game and grappling defense as well. Aldo went to war with Mark Hominick at UFC 129 to defend his title, with a possible title fight against Chad Mendes on the horizon once his injuries are healed. Aldo has expressed that he will work with Andy Souwer again, and Andy Souwer has also expressed that he’d love to train MMA with Aldo.

In the same vein, Kenny Florian has brought Cosmo Alexandre into his training camp for his Featherweight debut. Cosmo has made it clear that he is very much wanting to get into the world of MMA sometime soon, and aligning himself with Kenny Florian is a great place to start. Cosmo Alexandre is the former It’s Showtime 77MAX Champion, who only lost his title via politics when It’s Showtime was unhappy with him taking another fight close to his next title defense without their consent and he was unhappy with their contract situation. Cosmo has held multiple world Muay Thai titles and fought all over the world, generally considered one of the best Muay Thai fighters who Kickboxes in his weight class, he can provide Florian with a different approach to his Muay Thai. Florian, known for being a Mark DellaGrote Muay Thai student has learned a lot from Mark, but truth be told, training with fighters who not only currently compete, but are seen as some of the best in the world is vastly different.

What these two UFC fighters looking to some of the elite kickboxers of the world shows is that international kickboxing is gaining more respect in the United States, and elite fighters are realizing that not all stand up training is the same, to train and work with some of the most elite strikers in the world is a vastly different and rewarding experience from the same, cookie-cutter “Stand Up” training that you’ll see at your local MMA gyms across the country. I look forward to the days where more UFC fighters are talking about how incredible these fighters are that we already know are incredible.

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Pajonsuk Replaced by Chahid Oulad el Hadj for It's Showtime's Fast and Furious Tournament

Big news from the It's Showtime camp today, as it looks like Pajonsuk Samui Pro has had to pull out of the Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament in September, and that he will be replaced by Chahid Oulad el Hadj, best known for his knock down, drag out brawl with Mike Zambidis last year. [source]

his means that the 8 contestants for the € 50.000 jackpot will be:

Giorgio Petrosyan

Andy Souwer

Gago Drago

Murat Direkçi

Chris Ngimbi

Artur Kyshenko

Harut Grigorian

Chahid Oulad el Hadj


On September 24th, 2011 in the Forest National in Brussels, Belgium, the battle for € 50.000 and the title of ‘Fast & Furious 70 MAX’ will take place in a spectacular 8 man tournament!

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Why I'm Excited About It's Showtime Warsaw: Danyo Ilunga

I feel like Danyo Ilunga came out of nowhere in March at It's Showtime when he fought Wendell Roche for the It's Showtime 95MAX Championship. Of course, Ilunga didn't come out of nowhere, as he has been fighting for years, known as a protege of Remy Bonjasky. The truth of the matter is, Ilunga is 36 - 4, with a whopping 32 KOs under his belt already. The absolute clinic he put on against veteran fighter Wendell Roche should speak volumes of just how much talent he has. On June 11th he will fight again, this time defending his It's Showtime 95MAX Championship against Nenad Pagonis at It's Showtime: Warsaw. If you have only seen the Roche fight, do yourself a favor and watch this highlight video of Ilunga's 2010.

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Huge Show This Friday At Lumpini Stadium

This Friday Lumpini Stadium will host the biggest Muay Thai show of the year thus far. The card features some of the best Muay Thai fighters in the world, and a handful of titles will be on the line. There are four fights on the card that should get any fight fan excited.

The first being 2002 fighter of the year Singdam Kiatmoo9 vs. Petchboonchu F.A Group who was the 2008 fighter of the year runner up. This fight will be for the World Muay Thai Council Lightweight Championship. Petchboonchu is a very limited fighter, but he is great at what he knows, and that is moving forward on his opponent to tie them up and throw knees to the body. Singdam is a more well rounded fighter, but his beat weapon is his right kick to the body. The type of fighters who give Singdam the most trouble are fighters who move forward, and throw kicks and punches. Petchboonchu does not do that. Singdam should be able to land his kicks, and when it does go to the clinch he'll be good enough to land his share of knee's, and get out without taking too many shots. This bout has decision written all over it, and the more well rounded fighter Singdam Kiatmoo9 will take home the points wins. 

The next fight is for Lumpini's Super Bantamweight championship. Thong Puideenaidee takes on Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym, who is known for taking on the name Sam-A Thor. Ratonakiat in the past. Thong is a very talented fighter, but sometimes leaves you scratching your head, meaning he can be inconsistent. It's not good to be inconsistent against a fighter like Sam-A, who is the epitome of consistency. Either Thong puts it all together and takes the wins via points in a close fight, or Sam-A does his thing and takes home a a late stoppage or a clear cut decision win. Smart bet would be Sam-A on points. 

In the co main event you have Sagetdao Petpaiyathai vs. Saenchai Sinbimuaythai. This is for Sagetdao's Lumpini LW title. These guys have met in the past on several occasions with each taking wins from the other. I'd normally favor Saenchai to take this fight even though he will be the smaller fighter, but there are some questions about his health. He was scheduled to fight last month against Petchboonchu F.A Group but had to pull out due to illness. Also there are reports that one of his knee's is in bad shape. If he's not close to 100% in this fight he will lose a decision. Saenchai will likely be the betting favorite, but I'd put my money on Sagetdao to take the mild upset. 

The main event pits current fighter of the year Kongsak Sitboonmee vs. 2005 fighter of the year, Nong-O Kaiyanghadaogym, who recently switched from his more well known name of Nong-O Sit Or. This is for Nong-O's Lumpini Super Featherweight strap. It is about as close of a fight as you could ask for. Nong-O has lost 4 in a row, but all of those losses were close, or highly controversial. Kongsak on the other hand hasn't lost in well over a year, with his most recent bout being a controversial draw against Sam-A. Both of these fighters are highly skilled, and have very little weakness. If I had to give the edge to one of them it would be Kongsak based on his ability to not let other fighters dictate the fight. If he delivers one of his elbow barrages he can stop Nong-O and his questionable chin. If not, this will go 5 competitive rounds. 55/45 edge to Kongsak, but either way, this should be a master class display of Muay Thai. 

 

 

 

 

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