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It's Showtime Introduces 73kg Division; Grigorian vs. Lidon for Title May 14

Many have over the years complained about K-1's complete lack of weight classes. They knew what buttered their bread and by all means, that was Heavyweight and Superheavyweight competitors clashing in the ring against each other. When TBS saw dollar signs in Masato, all of a sudden the Middleweights had slick presentation and their own shows with their own unique look and feel that set them apart from the Heavyweights. For It's Showtime, expanding the sport has been important to them, from putting on fights on different continents to making sure there are adequate weight classes so that fighters can fight at their best.

Recently, we've seen a rash of 77kg fighters stepping up to fight some of the more elite fighters at 70kg, which means dropping a whopping 7kg, which translates to 15lbs. This creates a problem on both ends of the spectrum, for the 70kg fighters, it means fighting much larger opponents, for the 77kg fighters, it means a hellacious weight cut. On the last It's Showtime event, we saw L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni drop from a comfortable 77kg to 70kg to fight Andy Souwer without success, and this past weekend we saw Cosmo Alexandre drop in weight from 77kg to face 70kg king pin Giorgio Petrosyan, again, without success.

So, It's Showtime today introduced the 73kg division, or roughly 160lbs. Think EliteXC's Nick Diaz division. It provides a five pound gap between the 70kg class, and a 9lb gap between the 73kg division and 77kg division. This helps balance out the weight classes for smaller fighters looking to face top competition.

Never to disappoint, It's Showtime has introduced this 73kg division sooner rather than later. Starting May 14, It's Showtime will showcase this new division in a title fight, none-the-less. France's Yohan Lidon will take on Marat Grigorian from Armenia with both men vying for the 73kg Title. [source]

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Krush Tournament Finals Postponed

Krush Mar 19A quick piece of news that should come as no surprise - the Krush show scheduled for this weekend has been postponed due to the tragedy in Japan.

This weekend's Krush show was going to feature the semi-finals and finals of the 55, 60, and 63kg tournaments.  Those fights will now be moved back to April 30.  No word yet on what this means for the 70kg tournament, which was originally slated to begin on that April 30 date - I imagine they will just bump that entire tournament back one show as well.  One other note regarding this - 55kg tournament participant Ryuya Kusakabe is currently scheduled to compete at the Shootboxing event on April 23, so we'll have to see how those two dates play together.  Kusakabe is the Shootboxing champion.

In similar news, last weekend's Shootboxing Young Cesar's Cup was cancelled.  It will be rescheduled, but no date has yet been mentioned.

While this Krush event is one I am really looking forward to, I'm very glad to see it delayed.  These fighters don't need to be worrying about entertaining us in the face of such a horrible tragedy at home, and even thinking about them fighting this weekend seems so small and petty.  It's been said before, but it can never be said enough - all our thoughts and best wishes to everyone in Japan during this extremely difficult time.

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The 10 Greatest Muay Thai Fighters According To Me: 8-7

Yesterday I started a series about the 10 best fighters in Muay Thai history according to me. 

Here is part two, with #8, and #7

8 Boonlai Sor Thanikul: While Boonlai was a great technician but he often found himself forgetting he's the superior fighter, and frequently got into hard fought battles with his opponents. This is one of the main reasons he lost important fights, and came close to winning fighter of the year many times, but never did. Nonetheless his skill is unquestionable. As age caught up to him and he began losing more fights, he got involved in working a fight. After the work, he was basically finished with fighting in big shows, and was forced to fight in small shows making small money. Soon after he completely quit the sport and began training fighters more frequently at his gym. Many Thai's say he was the most skilled fighter they've ever seen in the gym. But knowing he worked a fight its impossible for me to put him any higher than #8. Here you can see just how good he was. Even a bit past his prime he still thoroughly dissected Jongsanan Fairtex, who is a great fighter in his own right. There are plenty of Boonlai fights out there so check 'em out. 

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

7 Poot Lorlek: Before CroCop was destroying people with his great left high kick there was Poot Lorlek. The 1974 fighter of the year, and maybe the greatest head kicker in Muay Thai history. He knocked out at least 20 people with head kicks in just 80 or so fights. He started boxing at the age of 16 and soon became a familiar face on television. After becoming the man at Lumpinee Stadium he moved over to Raja and became champion, and highest paid fighter in all of Thailand. While offensively very gifted it was his movement and brains that made him the elite fighter he came to be. Its almost as if he knew the move his opponent was going to do well in advance. Over the course of 80+ fights he was never knocked down. Like a lot of fighters he came back several times after retirement with mixed success. He was a trainer for sometime after retirement, but now lives on a farm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNBqTihwh7w

6-5 Tomorrow

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The Reem Part II, Episode 1: Coming to America

If you enjoyed 'The Reem' -- an online documentary about Alistair Overeem's trials and tribulations, following his career from his Strikeforce title win to Alistair Overeem's big win at the K-1 Heavyweight World Grand Prix. So now, we follow Alistair Overeem from Dynamite!! 2010 and onward. This episode of The Reem starts off on Superbowl Weekend to the Strikeforce Fan Expo and Media Day for the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP. As per usual, incredible music choices line the innards of "The Reem." I'm always happy to hear mixes of Guns N' Roses and Ennio Morricone when I'm watching stuff about one of my favorite fighters. [source]

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