|Heavyweight (Per 1/20)|
|6.||Mirko Cro Cop
|Light HW (per 1/20)|
|Middleweight (per 1/20)|
|Welterweight (per 1/20)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 1/20)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Look, I know that only Americans call it Soccer and that everywhere else in the world it is Football. I get it. The...Read more
Badr Hari's legal troubles have been the talk of the last few years, turning what was the most promising Kickboxing...Read more
There are some notable stories getting attention in the wake of last night's UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch, but for K-1 fans, there's only one that matters: the return of KO artist Mark Hunt. Hunt faced Chris Tuchscherer in a prelim fight designed to appeal to the live hometown crowd, and for the first time in a long time, Hunt truly delivered. The K-1 veteran opened up a horrendous cut in round 1 before stopping Tuchscherer with a vicious uppercut KO in the 2nd - and then simply walking away from his opponent's sprawled out body looking like a total badass. The stoppage earned him the award for Knockout of the Night.
The fight was a great redemption for Hunt. The past few years have been very rocky for the New Zealand native. Between MMA and K-1 Hunt came into the fight on a combined 7 fight losing streak that dated all the way back to mid-2006, nearly 5 years ago. Tuchscherer brought in a 1-2 record in the UFC, but both loses came against tough opponents in Gabriel Gonzaga and Brendan Schaub, and many favored him to defeat the fading Hunt here. Hunt managed to keep the fight standing for most of the first round, showing off the heavy hands and solid striking skills that once made him K-1 Grand Prix champion. After a nasty left hook opened up a huge cut over Tuchscherer's eye, the doctors took a look and surprisingly allowed the fight to continue. Tuchscherer came back from the break reenergized, managing to take Hunt down and attempt to secure a kimura. The ground game has been Hunt's kryptonite for some time, with 5 of his last 6 MMA loses coming via some form of arm lock, but this time it was not to be, as Hunt rode out the round. In round two they were back to striking before Hunt landed a tight uppercut perfectly on Tuchscherer's jaw. As his opponent flopped to the mat, Hunt knew the fight was done, walking away casually with his fist raised in victory before the referee even stepped in.
It's hard to say where Hunt goes from here. It was a good win for sure, but I don't think he really fits in the greater UFC HW picture. Perhaps one more fight with his old K-1/PRIDE opponent Mirko CroCop? The two men are 1-1 and a rubber match would be appropriate given each man's current career. I could also see him paired with UFC's other ex-K-1 Heavyweight, Pat Barry.
For now though, those of us who have watched Mark Hunt win the 2001 K-1 Grand Prix, duke it out with Ray Sefo, and go to war with Jerome Le Banner, can add another exciting moment to our memories. Cheers to you champ.
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On March 6th, Daniel Ghita will take on Hersdy Gerges in the main event of It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid. This is the first in a two-part series where I will lay out the keys to victory for each fighter. Today, we'll look at Daniel Ghita.
Kicks - Daniel has won many of his fights with his devastating leg kicks. He basically ran through the whole 2009 K-1 Tokyo Qualifying Grand Prix in record time using them. Watching his fights, you'll often see the effects of his low kicks start to show on his opponents after just a few of them landing. Against Gokhan Saki in the 2010 K-1 WGP Final, we also saw how brutal those kicks can be when Daniel attacks the body. Even though Gokhan earned the tough victory, his body was so abused that he had nothing to give against Alistair Overeem in the semifinal's and had to concede defeat early in the first round.
Hands - On the flip side of that, there have been times where Ghita would rely solely on his kicks and not use his hands enough. That has changed recently as we saw Daniel knock out Errol Zimmerman at the 2010 K-1 WGP Final 16 with a nasty straight right that proved to everyone Ghita's hands had arrived.
Chin - With only one knockout loss on his record, Ghita has a tough chin and can take as much punishment as he gives out. This durability combined with his knockout power, makes Daniel a threat from bell to bell.
Size - At 6'5" and 240, Ghita has the height and mass to contend with any fighter he takes on.
Complacency - In the past, there were times when Ghita appeared to put it on cruise when his offense wasn't paying dividends. Almost seeming to ride out a decision. Thankfully, I haven't seen this from Daniel in quite awhile and I don't anticipate it happening against Hesdy, either. I think we'll see a very hungry Daniel Ghita.
Conditioning - The great equalizer, especially among heavyweights. We saw Ghita run out of steam towards the end of the Saki fight which may have cost him the decision. To Daniel's defense, it was widely speculated that he was sick going into that fight which would surely hinder his conditioning.
Keys to Victory:
For Daniel Ghita to take home a win against the It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion, he'll need to use his crushing leg kicks to slow the athletic and aggressive Gerges. Once Hesdy starts to feel his legs start to slow down, Daniel will be able to move in and put his hands to work alongside those mighty kicks. Although Gerges is the taller fighter, he is not built as big as Daniel. Ghita can attack the body of Gerges with kicks and punches to tear him down; much like Ghita did against Gokhan Saki.
If Daniel is able to stick to this gameplan, I believe he will be victorious on March 6th.Add a comment
Here is a fight from last weekend that slipped under the radar: It's Showtime 77kg champion Artem Levin vs. WBC Muay Thai World Light Heavyweight champion Kaoklai Kaennorsing. The fight was 5 rounds, full Muay Thai rules for Kaoklai's WBC title and took place at an event in Russia.
Levin came in off a career best year in 2010 that saw him quickly rise up the ranks. In the last year, Levin claimed both the It's Showtime title and the Gold medal at the SportAccord Combat Games. Along the way he defeated two men who could each make a solid claim for being #1 at 77kg: Yodsaenklai Fairtex and L'houcine Ouzgni. He's on a 12 fight win streak, and has to be considered the top man at 77kg at this point.
Kaoklai is a Muay Thai legend who K-1 fans may best know for his surprising 2004/2005 K-1 Grand Prix runs. He's in the twilight of his superb career, although he did put together a 5-0 record in 2010 and is not yet completely finished.
Analysis after the jump.
Now that we know Badr Hari is returning to action against Tony Gregory for It's Showtime on May 14th, I thought this would be a good time to show one of my all-time favorite fights. When you read that either Badr or Ruslan will be involved in a fight, it's sure to be exciting. Put them both in the same ring and you get fireworks.
In their first meeting, Ruslan knocked out Badr with a right hand in the early stages of the first round. Although they would rematch just five months later, it must have seemed like an eternity for the mighty Moroccan as he surely had revenge on his mind. Badr came into this contest riding a two-fight win streak while Ruslan was coming off of a KO loss to Glaube Feitosa. The timing was just right for Hari to avenge that demoralizing defeat and prove that it was just a fluke.
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For over a year now we've been hearing news of the possible retirement of Remy Bonjasky. The 3 time K-1 Grand Prix champion started talking retirement in early 2010, citing a recurring eye injury that has required multiple surgeries and threatens his long-term vision. He's been on the sidelines for well over a year now, having not fought since the 2009 GP, instead taking jobs as a host for It's Showtime events, a celebrity ice skater, and running his gym.
This past weekend, Kombat.ro caught up with Bonjasky at an event and asked him about his future plans. For fans of The Flying Dutchman, the news was not good:
"It's a small chance I will return to the ring... maybe, you never know. If the money's right, I'll be there."
Earlier this year, It's Showtime's Simon Rutz told us that he tried to set up a retirement fight for Bonjasky last year, but the money Remy asked for was too high. Since It's Showtime isn't willing to pay, and given K-1's financial troubles, I think we've likely seen the end of the line for Bonjasky. It's a shame that he may go out without one final fight, as his last was an unimpressive, largely forgotten showing against Semmy Schilt. Bonjasky has a lot of detractors, but he's one of K-1's all time greats, and deserves a bigger farewell.
Also of note - Bonjasky ends the interview with one more dig at his rival Badr Hari. The interviewer asks Remy about Bogdan Stoica, who defeated Bonjasky's student at the event, saying Ray Sefo and Mighty Mo called Stoica the next Badr Hari. Remy's response: "I hope not... he doesn't respect the rules, and I hope this guy will respect the rules."
Watch the full interview here.Add a comment