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June 18 in Rotterdam Update: Zimmerman vs. Slowinski, Tournament Participants

We reported last week about the fight card going down in Rotterdam on June 18. Since then, the card has taken another turn. The main event will now feature Errol Zimmerman vs. Paul Slowinski, in place of Sergei Lascenko. Originally, Gokhan Saki was supposed to fight Lascenko but Saki pulled out due to injury and Zimmerman stepped in. Now Lascenko is out and Paul Slowinski is in.

Another addition to the card is Hafid el Boustati taking on Kenneth van Eesvelde. el Boustati is coming off a win over Mohammed Medhar on the May 21st It's Showtime event in Amsterdam.

The heavyweight tournament has also had a bit of a shake up. Mourad Bouzidi, Filip Verlinden and Abderahman Coulibaly are in. To win the tournament, a fighter will have to win 3 times to claim the crown. The full 8 man tournament line up is as follows:

Abderahman Coulibaly
Wendell Roche
Nicolai Falin
Mourad Bouzidi
Filip Verlinden
Utley Mariana
Tommy van Wijngaarden
Dennis Stolzenbach

Overall, a good tournament line up. It features some already well established names such as Mourad Bouzidi and Wendell Roche while there's some good fighters you may not know about in Filip Verlinden and Abderahman Coulibaly.

Thanks to FightStarTV for the updates.

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Photo of the Day: Melvin Manhoef's Arcade

If you told me that Melvin Manhoef had a collection of arcade cabinets at his house, I'm not sure that I'd believe you without photographic evidence. Well, that is exactly what we have, taken from his Facebook page. Apparently Melvin fancies himself a gamer.

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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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