|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)|
Kem and Sudsakorn are facing off a second time this January 15th as part of the Isuzu 67 kg Tournament. This post profiles their previous match-up in 2009.
Their January 15th bout is one of the most pivotal in the ongoing tournament, since both are strong contenders to win the finals. Prior to entering the tournament, both fighters were performing at a high level against foreign and Thai competition under K-1 and Muay Thai rules.
Kem was originally slated to participate in the Contender Asia season 2 as Khem Fairtex, but the show fell through and he joined Sitsongpeenong camp. Moving up from 63.5 kg, 140 lb, due to a lack of competition, he notched big wins over BigBen Chor Praram 6, Nopparat Keatkhamtorn, Singhmanee Sor Srisompong, and Diesellek King Boxing Gym, all former or current champions at the time of competition. He's dropped bouts in K-1 rules against Giorgio Petrosian and Rachid Belaini. He now fights from 147 lb to 154 lb.
Sudsakorn saw strong wins in Thailand over top fighters in the 63.5 kg, 140 lb division. He beat Kongfah Audonmuang, the Lumpini 140 lb champion, and Noppadet Chengsimew Gym, after losing to both fighters in earlier matches. He also fights in the range of 147 to 154 lb internationally and has wins over Andrei Kulebin and Chahid Oulad El Hadj. He drew with Moussa Konate and lost a match against Fabio Pinca, winner of the last Thai Fight tournament.
This fight was contested at Lumpini Stadium in Bangkok, with Kem giving up weight to Sudsakorn to make the match more even. Kem wears the red gloves and shorts, Sudsakorn the blue.Add a comment
The Dutch kickboxing organization, IT'S SHOWTIME, has officialy stripped Tyrone Spong of his 95KG MAX title. In a press release, they listed his failure to defend the title in the two years allowed by the promotion as the main reason. Also, Spong's management has made it known that Tyrone will not be fighting at the 95KG weight in the future.
To me, this shows that Tyrone has set his sights firmly on K-1 and the heavyweight division. With Spong going 2-2 in his last four K-1 fights, some may question this choice. I believe that training with Ernesto Hoost and the considerable experience he has for his age, will lead him to success in 2011.Add a comment
I was debating discussing this story at all. I mean, yes it does involve K-1 Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem, but there are so many places where the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament is getting coverage that it seemed maybe unnecessary. Then this morning, Strikeforce added an extra fight to the tournament that really piqued my interest.
In an upcoming fight, Valentijn Overeem will face one of K-1’s favorite sons, Sugar Ray Sefo. The fight is not 100% confirmed yet, and it is unclear if it will be on the Feb. 12 card or a future date, or a prelim or main card fight.
Now, here’s the interesting thing from our end about this tournament. You have 8 names in the main draw, plus 4 more Heavyweights currently set to compete in fights on these shows. Of those 12, 3 are current, active K-1 fighters (Overeem, Sefo, Sergei Kharitonov) and one more (Andrei Arlovski) was very nearly in the 2010 Grand Prix. This tournament is a major event – the most prominent US tournament in MMA since Don Frye won the UFC Ultimate Ultimate way back in 1996. For the tournament to feature a significant K-1 presence is definitely a point worth discussing.
Much has been made of the Strikeforce/Dream partnership that has resulted in fights like Shinya Aoki v. Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri v. Josh Thomson. But one aspect that has been largely overlooked previously is that Dream and K-1 are both part of FEG, so as Strikeforce works with Dream, they open the door to working with K-1. We are seeing that door crack open here in the tournament. Now, obviously the fighters we are seeing her are not K-1 exclusive fighters, and all have experience in MMA; most fans still view Overeem and Kharitonov as primarily MMA fighters trying their hand at K-1, while Sefo has been working on his fledgling MMA career for the past 2 years. But they are all fighters whose recent careers have been more marked by K-1 action than MMA, and who hold interest for K-1 fans.
Last year, there were vague rumblings of Strikeforce considering running some kickboxing fights in the US – remember that Strikeforce started in the kickboxing heavy California scene – but these plans never came to fruition. Since then, we have heard rumors of It’s Showtime making their US debut in 2011, though again, nothing is confirmed. With this tournament including some big players in the kickboxing scene (and right now, no one is bigger than Alistair Overeem), there definitely is potential to generate some stateside interest in kickboxing.
Will this tournament lead to Overeem v. Badr Hari here in America? No, but depending on how they promote Overeem, Kharitonov, and Sefo, it could lead to a significant number of MMA fans hearing an awful lot about K-1 and kickboxing throughout the course of the tournament. Much will be told by how the videos and commentary position these three fighters. If they focus on MMA, there will be little benefit for kickboxing. But if they talk up Overeem as the GP champ, Sefo as a K-1 legend, and Kharitonov as pursuing a kickboxing career, it will give kickboxing valuable exposure to the large US MMA audience. And as K-1 struggles at home, increased international exposure can only be a good thing.
Alistair Overeem faces Fabricio Werdum in the quarter-final round at a date yet to be determined. The winner moves on to the semi-finals to face either Fedor Emelianenko or Antonio Silva, who meet on February 12.
Sergei Kharitonov v. Andrei Arlovski is also set for February 12 with the winner meeting Josh Barnett or Brett Rogers in the other semi-final.
Ray Sefo v. Valentijn Overeem may be on Feb. 12, or may be at a later date. The other announced fight is a reserve fight on the Feb. 12 card between Shane Del Roasrio and Lavar Johnson.
No dates are yet set for the 2nd half of the quarter-finals, semi-finals, or finals.Add a comment
We have just emerged from the holiday season, and were greeted by MiddleEasy.com turning into a Voltron-like entity that is the MiddleEasy Network. We all probably had to deal with some sort of crazed family members or crazed friends and family of our loved ones at some point, so what better way to alleviate that stress than to be wished a happy new year from a fighter whose knee could rip your head off. Check out K-1's photo album. While we are at it, the team at LiverKick.com would like to wish you a Happy New Year as well. I mean, if Overeem, Sakuraba, Aoki and the gang can, why can't we?Add a comment
Age. It's the unbeatable enemy of every athlete. Time cannot be stopped and one day, every athlete will succomb to it. The body gets to a point where it won't perform like it once did and even though the mind is willing, championships aren't won on mental strength alone.
K-1 fighters are no different and are probably more susceptible because of the physical toll that professional kickboxers must endure to reach the top and stay there for any amount of time. A fact that makes what Peter Aerts accomplished on December, 11th at the WGP Finals, all that more impressive. The Dutch Lumberjack, along with many of the top stars in K-1, are getting older. The aforementioned Aerts is 40. Jerome Le Banner is 38. Remy Bonjasky is 34 and on the brink of retirement due to an eye injury. Semmy Schilt is 37. I could go on but you see what I'm getting at - K-1 is growing old and in need of young stars to step up and fill the holes that will be left by all those giants of the sport when age has finally caught up with them. Who will that be? Let's look at some.
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