|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
The charismatic "Son of Dracula" Sebastian Ciobanu is trying something new. The K-1 fighter will make his professional boxing debut on February 25. Ciobanu will take part in an 8 man tournament titled Bigger's Better 4. His opponent is not yet determined.
Ciobanu is coming off his career best year as a kickboxer. The young Romanian has been a professional since 2005, competing mainly for Local Kombat shows in Romania and picking up some good wins over the likes of Doug Viney, Petr Vondracek, and Roman Kleibl. He made his K-1 debut in late 2009, losing to Sergei Lascenko in the quarter final round of the Tokyo GP (the event won by Daniel Ghita). But it was last year's East Europe GP where he finally turned some heads. There, Ciobanu blasted his way to the finals, defeating Daniil Sapljoshin and Mighty Mo both via first round KO in a combined time of just over 3 minutes. In the finals, he squared off with Freddy Kemayo in an excellent fight. Despite losing to Kemayo, Ciobanu increased his standing in that tournament, looking very impressive in all 3 fights. He has since bounced back from that loss with a win over Petar Valkov at the Local Kombat 10th Anniversary show.
Trying boxing may be a good move for Ciobanu, who has always relied more on his hands than his kicks. That area of Europe is also seeing increased interest in boxing thanks to the big shows put on by the Klitschkos. If Ciobanu can get on those Klitschko shows, there's a good opportunity for some higher profile fights.
As for his future, Ciobanu remains open to options, saying that he'll see how this fight goes before deciding how much he wants to pursue boxing. Local Kombat promoter Eduard Irimia assured fans that Ciobanu is not done with kickboxing permanently, and will continue to compete for the company.
For all the details on Ciobanu's boxing career, check out our friends at Kombat.ro.Add a comment
If you follow kickboxing you should know the name Andy Hug by now. If you aren't overly familiar with him or his body of work, you'll at least know the name from being tossed around by fans. There is a reason why the name Andy Hug lives on over ten years after his death; he was an incredible fighter who made a deep impression on every fan who has ever seen him fight.
HDnet's Michael Schiavello takes a look at Andy Hug's life and death in another great article on the HDnet website.
His third kickboxing fight was against Croatian legend Branko Cikatic at a time when Cikatic was at the height of his powers as K-1 world champion. In the end there was blood all over the canvas: Hug’s nose was broken and Cikatic’s face a bloodied mess. Hug’s hand was raised in victory and a new era in the sport was born.
Hug’s lack of boxing skills (full contact Karate competition does not permit punches to the head, so Karate exponents traditionally lack competent boxing skills) and ring savvy saw him dropped three times in the opening twenty seconds of his K-1 elimination fight against USA’s Patrick Smith in early 1994. Though Hug was never in serious trouble and jumped to his feet after each down, the referee stopped the fight on the three knockdown rule.
Hug swore revenge.
He enlisted the services of boxing trainer Uwe Ulman and on September 18 1994 claimed his revenge with a savage knee knockout to Smith’s head that stopped the American midway through the opening round.
Do yourself a favor if you don't know Andy Hug, read the rest of Schiavello's article, and go to YouTube and type in "Andy Hug." [source]Add a comment
If you were ever curious as to what a retired Dutch kickboxer does after he retires other than train the next crop of champions, look no further than what goes on in Japan. In Japan, being famous means a lot more than it does in other places, as long as you have the attention of the people, you are worth piles of money. Ask Bob Sapp about that.
Ernesto Hoost is known as "Mr. Perfect" and holds four K-1 World Grand Prix Championships, which is something the Japanese fans are not going to forget any time soon. Even though Hoost hasn't participated in K-1 for a few years now, he is still popular with the Japanese people, so enter this latest ad featuring Mr. Perfect. It is for Reebok's ZIGCAMP campaign and, well, the video speaks for itself.
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The -63kgs division in Japan is smoking hot right now, and since K-1 introduced the division last year and ran the K-1 -63kgs tournament, the eyes of the world have slowly turned towards Japan's -63kgs division. Of course, it has always been there, but sometimes it just takes people a while to come around to good things that are a bit hidden.
One of Japan's standouts, Koya Urabe, has been on a bit of a roll in the past year and a half, so enter KRUSH from January 9th, as Koya Urabe squares off with Son Hyun-Lee in the first round of KRUSH's -63kgs tournament. Basically, watch as Urabe and Lee beat the snot out of each other for nearly 15 minutes and be in awe. Check out redrum7171's YouTube channel for a bunch of awesome videos from K-1 and other kickboxing promotions in Japan.
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Nothing makes me laugh more than the term "train UFC." It has permeated into our popular culture and become a term of endearment for most fans. Most of us have known a guy who has gone to a gym and then boasts to his friends that he "trains UFC." Of course, that isn't the case with one of the top Featherweights in the world. Michihiro Omigawa. Omigawa is a case study in how a fighter dropping weight can go from mediocre to a world beater.
Omigawa's record since dropping to Featherweight is 8-2-1, with his first loss being the first time he cut against a now legendary fighter in the US, "The Korean Zombie" Jung Chan-Sung. The second loss was a close decision loss to Masanori Kanehara in the Sengoku Featherweight Grand Prix Finals. Omigawa's run in the Featherweight Grand Prix is now that of legend; a fighter who was down and out, who saw himself as a failure and goes into a tournament with a losing record as fodder for bigger stars emerges as the biggest star in the promotion. To this day, there has not been a fighter in Japan during this era who has went from nobody to big star like Omigawa.
I know certain Japanese MMA pundits will disagree with me, but in today's landscape in Japan everything is leftovers. Omigawa was becoming the first home-grown star since the days of PRIDE. Omigawa just went on a five-fight tear through SRC, ASTRA and DREAM where he demanded his title shot over and over again, when it didn't happen and UFC was set to begin promoting Featherweight bouts, it made perfect sense for Omigawa to accept an offer from UFC and head to the West yet again. Japan's loss is America's gain, as we get one of the most exciting, talented and emotionally charged Featherweights in the world fighting in the UFC yet again. Fighters like Omigawa would make me watch a UFC event.
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