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Hesdy Gerges Arrested For Drug Trafficking

Hesdy Gerges Arrested on Drug ChargesThe kickboxing world suffered another huge blow today, as It's Showtime and K-1 fighter Hesdy Gerges was arrested for drug trafficking earlier today. The arrest of Gerges was in relation to a raid by Belgium officials in May, where Hesdy's half brother, Ashraf and his friend were caught with 128 kilos of cocaine in Antwerp, Belgium. Gerges, as well as four more suspects were arrested today at the behest of Belgium officials, who will demand extradition.

Hesdy was asked about this last year and vehemently denied having anything to do with his brother's drug smuggling operation. It is unclear what Hesdy's involvement is at this point, but according to at5.nl, during the raid computers, phones as well as weapons and ammunition were confiscated, but it was not clear what, if anything was taken from Gerges. This comes hot on the heel of Ashwin Balrak's arrest for drug possession in November, found with 82 kg of cocaine on him, as well as Badr Hari's sprawling legal problems involving assault on a bouncer last year.

To compound matters, Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam has been very vocal about kickboxing and martial arts events, and was looking to crack down on organized crime in Amsterdam. He believes that kickboxing events bring organized crime to the city and parade criminals around as VIPs. He is unhappy with the image the city has and is looking to clean it up. There was talk of outright banning events, but Van der Laan has recently went on record stating that is not his intention.

With It's Showtime's next event on March 6th, it appears that Hesdy Gerges will not be able to fight in the main event against Daniel Ghita, as a case like this will take a while to be sorted out, especially because it involves an extradition process. [source]

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Watch Hesdy Gerges Prepare for It's Showtime on March 6th

Hesdy GergesFighting Stars Presents It's Showtime on March 6th, and as you already know, the card is lining up to be the first big kickboxing card of the year, being headlined by Hesdy Gerges facing Daniel Ghita. Both men had strong showings in 2010, with Ghita moving on to the K-1 World Grand Prix semi-finals where he had a fight of the year contender against Gokhan Saki. Saki was the one that moved on to the next round, but the damage done by Ghita was so immense that Saki was unable to finish out a round against Alistair Overeem, the DREAM and Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion who went on the win the K-1 World Grand Prix.

Hesdy Gerges had a breakout year as he took on Badr Hari in May at It's Showtime's ArenA show and held his own against the Golden Boy until Badr had yet another meltdown and punted Gerges in the face while he was down. Gerges took the W in that fight and went on to finish the year at an impressive 5-2 record for a fighter who moved up in competition full-time. He now finds himself in a showdown with Heavyweight kickboxing's other top prospect, so how is he preparing? Watch for yourself as he trains with renowned strength and conditioning coach Rayen Bindraban.

What a lot of people forget is while all of the fighters prepare for war on March 6th, they aren't the only ones preparing. In the U.S. we simply have ring card girls, they sit at ringside wearing a robe, take it off in between rounds and walk the perimeter of the ring holding up a card with the round number on it. It's Showtime does things a bit differently, they have dancing girls, and they need to prepare as well. Video after the jump.

 

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Simon Rutz Thinks K-1 Will Declare Bankruptcy and Trouble is Brewing in Amsterdam

Simon RutzIf you remember back to our interview with It's Showtime head Simon Rutz, you'll remember that he said a lot of things about why the Amsterdam ArenA show was canceled, and had pointed a critical finger at K-1 for pulling their support as well as their financial woes. Rutz went on to list fighters under his management that have yet to be paid by K-1 and that they should come to him for financial advice. Well, this interview made headlines in Japan, and became big enough to where FEG's Tanikawa felt the need to respond to it on Twitter, where he declared that Simon Rutz helped to "kill" K-1.

So needless to say, there is some tension between the parties at this point.

In a recent interview with Dutch Metro News, they asked Simon Rutz about the cancellation of the ArenA show and what led to it. Rutz explained the issues with K-1, who were supposed to be handling the matchmaking and instead stopped returning his phone calls. Rutz also discussed the political atmosphere in Amsterdam and how disappointing it is that Amsterdam is It's Showtime's home and he isn't certain he can promote shows there anymore. The rest of the world welcomes him with open arms, but his home town is not.

The interview discusses that under current leadership, he isn't even sure if the ArenA show could happen if K-1 came through. All of the legal fees and hurdles Rutz would have to go through to prove to city officials that It's Showtime is "clean" and unaffiliated with organized crime would cost him and the promotion too much money at this point. He of course wants to promote in Amsterdam again, eying a possible October return, but until city officials are more willing to work with It's Showtime it might not be a reality. [source]

As for the K-1 declaring bankruptcy part, that should not be a shock to anyone. Zach Arnold touches upon it briefly, and I agree with him; bankruptcy isn't the end. In Japan this happens all the time, and this has been a prediction of mine for a while; FEG declares bankruptcy and then moves their assets over to a new shell company, things still march on.

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Get Excited for William Diender vs. Rachid Belaini

March 6th marks the next big It's Showtime event, the first truly large-scale event of the year, so we count down the weeks until the event. One of the bouts on the undercard that holds a lot of interest to fans around the world is William Diender vs. Rachid Belaini. Diender is coming off of a tough 2010 with some steam coming in the way of a victory in January. Diender and Belaini met in 2008, in a bout that Diender was able to take the W in after a 5-round war.

Watch this awesome promo video for the upcoming fight, where Diender calls Rachid a "retard" and shows you with karate chops how he hacked at Rachid's legs. It is pretty awesome. We'll be talking more about this card and of course, when it rolls around make sure to watch it live on Fight.nl for 10 Euros (about 13 bucks USD). [source]

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