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Amsterdam Mayor NOT Looking to Ban Martial Arts Events

Eberhard van der LaanA while back, it was reported that Amsterdam's new mayor, Eberhard van der Laan had been looking to crack down on organized crime, with a distinct focus on Martial Arts events. He was even quoted talking about mobsters being "VIPs" at Ultimate Glory and It's Showtime events. This, to many, set off alarms as there was talk of outright banning these events to keep criminals out of the public eye like that, being paraded around as important figures.

Thankfully for us, one of the reporters in the Netherlands who posts on Mixfight.nl scheduled an interview with Mr. van der Laan to discuss organized crime and Martial Arts. The picture that he paints is much different than the original article that ran in de Telegraaf (which has been known to be a "sensationalist" newspaper at times). This is very important as Tokyo, Japan goes through a tough time, all eyes are on Amsterdam to be the capitol of the kickboxing world.

"I think that there was a big miscommunication. If we can clearly communicate mutual understanding, and cooperation. " Van der Laan continued this by explaining that he used to participate in a lot of sports. He played a lot, and has learned important things from sports. Things like health, discipline and social development through meeting people, few things. The one issue where he is-strongly opposed, is the connection between upper and lower world that currently takes place in the martial arts events, and robust studies with cooperation of the police has shown that this dynamic of criminals mixing with average citizens indeed takes place at martial arts events. This is the connection that he wants to remove, and to do this would mean that the enthusiastic fighters and government must work together.

I implore you to read the full article, which discusses a meeting that took place between Alistair Overeem, Marloes Coehen and van der Laan about organized crime and martial arts events. The mayor describes Ubereem as a "nice and neat guy." [source]

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United Glory's Jan. 30th Show Postponed Due to Gokhan Saki's Injury

United GloryWith Gokhan Saki and John Alessio injured entering into the January 30th United Glory card, held by the Golden Glory team, they've decided to postpone the show until March. They put up a notice on their website on the 21st and will announce a make-up date on the 25th.

UG has taken this decision in the light of the news that Gokhan Saki has not recovered sufficiently from his broken hand (an injury sustained during the K1 final held in Japan). As a result of the injury, Saki would have been unable to fight in the Glory World Series on 30 January 2011.
In view of his unique kickboxing skills and enormous public popularity, UG believes that the event cannot continue without him. UG aims to prevent the major disappointment among fans that would result if he was not given a fair chance to prove himself in the Glory World Series. The recommendation to postpone the event in order to ensure that the favourite Gokhan Saki can still take part was also made for the sake of the TV companies who broadcast the Glory World Series to countless fans. The move is also of major importance for the sponsors of the Glory World Series.

Read the entire release on the United Glory website. Keep your eyes glued to LiverKick.com for more information when we have it.

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Buakaw Por Pramuk to Represent Thailand in 70 KG Thai Fight 2011

Thai Fight 2011 will feature two weightclasses: 67 kg and 70 kg. Thailand's 67 kg representative will be decided by the ongoing67 kg Isuzu Tournament. Thus far, strong contenders in that tournament are Kem SitsongpeenongSudsakorn 13 Coins Gym, and Prakaisaeng Sit-OrDernchonlek Sor Sor Niyom is something of a dark horse. Thai Fight and the Isuzu Tournament share a sponsor in Isuzu Motors.

Buakaw Por Pramuk has been selected as the Thai representative in the 70 kg Thai Fight. He has a very high profile in international Muay Thai and kickboxing and his participation will draw a lot of media and fan attention.

Buakaw Por Pramuk

The Thai Fight tournaments follow an eight man format, with fighters competing once per event.

The tournaments are set to kick off on September 25, 2011 with the quarterfinals in both weight divisions. The semi-finals follow on October 24th, and the finals on November 27th.

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March 12: Mike Zambidis vs. Ali Gunyar

Zambidis_GunyarNew fight news coming out of Greece: On March 12 in Athens it will be "Iron" Mike Zambidis vs. Ali Gunyar.  The two are headlining a show called Iron Challenge.  No other fights are yet announced.

This is a big fight for both men.  For Zambidis, this is a chance to continue to reestablish himself as a relevant name in the 70kg ranks.  Two years ago, it looked like Zambo's time at the top might have been done.  But he turned that around in 2010, putting together a 4 fight win streak over all strong names (Dzhabar Askerov, Warren Stevelmans, Chahid Oulad El Hadj, Yuichiro Nagashima) and ending the year as the first man in K-1 MAX to actually give champ Giorgio Petrosyan a challenge.  Oh, and along the way he just happened to turn in one of the greatest fights in K-1 MAX history, the 2010 LiverKick.com Fight of the Year against Chahid.  He's pulled himself all the way back up to #11 in our rankings, which is a huge swing from where he was not long ago.  A win over Gunyar says that he's all the way back, but a loss here will cause some to question if 2010 was an anomaly for the popular veteran fighter.

For Ali Gunyar, this is a chance to put his name in there with the real players in this division. The veteran fighter has faced many of the big names at 70kg, including Albert Kraus and Gago Drago among others, although he has often come up short in these fights.  In 2008 and 2009 he put together some solid wins, scoring victories over Chahid Oulad El Hadj, Virgil Kalakoda, and more.  He's the kind of skilled, traveled fighter that could give Zambidis a challenge, and while he's the underdog here, this is not a gimme for Zambidis.

As is always the case when Zambidis fights, he'll give up the height and reach to Gunyar, but will make up for it with an advantage in power.  In the end, I think that power and resilience, combined with the thrill of fighting in front of the Greek fans that treat him as a national hero, will give Zambidis the edge here.

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