|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Tomorrow in Istanbul, Turkey, GLORY will present GLORY 15 Istanbul. GLORY 15 is slated to feature the GLORY Light H...Read more
Earlier this week Strikeforce finally announced some details in regards to their April 9th event. No, we won't get the Heavyweight GP but we do get a couple great title fights including Lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez (18-2) defending his belt against Tatsuya Kawajiri (27-6-2).
In anticpation of what's sure to be a great fight, here's a finely produced Japanese VTR I stumbled across. Enjoy!
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This Saturday marks the start of the 2011 It’s Showtime season, and in many ways, the start of the major international 2011 season. There have been a few notable fights already this year (Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Sudsakorn and Andy Souwer’s upset loss both come to mind), but this will be the first major top-to-bottom event. So, why should you care about this show? Well…
1. It’s Showtime might very well be the future of kickboxing. This coming year is going to be a big one in determining the future of our sport. With K-1 in serious trouble and the European hotbed of Amsterdam causing headaches for promoters, we could see a drastic reduction in the international scope of professional kickboxing. It’s Showtime is doing everything they can to fight against that tide. By running more and more shows in an increasingly diverse market, they are continuing the steady expansion plan that has brought them success so far. Of course, with expansion there is always a fear that you will overextend yourself, creating a company too large for the resources in hand. So far, It’s Showtime has been very strategic in their expansion, and I think that will continue this year – but there’s no doubt 2011 represents a key moment in the history of kickboxing.
2. The main event is a beautifully matched top 10 showdown. It’s rare in any combat sport that we get two fighters so closely matched, but Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges is a perfect match-up. Both men are young fighters who look to be the future of the sport. Both are in the top 10, with Ghita just one spot ahead of Gerges. Both had break-out years in 2009 and 2010, but neither man has yet scored that one major win that propels them to the next level. Most are favoring Ghita here (including a massive 70% of LK readers), which is understandable, but this is a very close fight that Gerges has every opportunity to win. One tough hurdle for the It’s Showtime champ could be his recent arrest for suspected drug trafficking. That case seems to be dropped, but the interruption to his training and the mental stress of being incarcerated can’t be good for a fighter heading into such a serious challenge.
3. Both men in the semi-main event need to win. Andy Souwer vs. L’houcine Ouzgni could easily headline a show. Two technical marvels, this is a fight that will be pure candy for fans of the precise art of stand-up. That’s reason enough to be excited for this one, but there’s an extra element to this fight given where each man stands in his career. Souwer’s last year was not exactly a career highlight for the decorated veteran. After suffering an eye injury and finding himself inexplicably on the outs with K-1 MAX, Souwer has since lost 2 of his last 3 fights – both against unranked opponents. He really needs to win here, but he has a tough task ahead of him. Ouzgni meanwhile had a tremendous 2010... almost. He made huge waves in his It’s Showtime debut, and looked poised to win the company’s 77kg title and start a dominant run as champion. Instead, in the year’s last show, Ouzgni was stopped by Artem Levin. In that fight, Ouzgni seemed to give up both size and strength to his opponent. Now, he’s dropping down to 70kg. He’ll have a massive size advantage here, but will it come at the expense of a too severe weight cut? Hopefully not, as Ouzgni could end up a man lost between two divisions.
4. Gago Drago vs. Artur Kyshenko. Not too much to say here, except that this match will be fun. Drago always brings the excitement, and I expect Kyshenko will match him. This one has kind of been lost in the shuffle, but it’s another excellent, very evenly matched fight that could steal the show. Along those same lines, look for exciting fights from William Diender vs, Rachid Belaini and Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen.
5. The return of the 95kg title. Former champ Tyrone Spong has kept this division on ice for the last few years as he has made the move up to Heavyweight. Now, with Spong out of the picture, It’s Showtime looks to crown a new champ between Wendell Roche and Danyo Ilunga. Their inclusion of different weight classes is one of the things that makes IS unique, and it will be exciting to see how this division grows in 2011. Last year, Cosmo Alexandre’s title run brought the 77kg division to the spotlight – can either Roche or Ilunga do the same for 95?
Don’t forget, the show is tomorrow and is available for purchase at showtimefights.com for 10 euro. Start time is 2:00 p.m. Eastern.Add a comment
K-1 MAX fighter Yuya Yamamoto held a public practice session on Friday as he prepares for his March 19th Superfight against Mixed-Martial-Artist and former All-Japan Kickboxing champion Akihiro Gono.
Yamamoto has found success in the smaller Krush promotion winning his past two fights including a knock out win over Masakazu Watanabe this past January whereas he's struggled on the bigger K-1 stage losing his last three fights.
Krush recently announced a -70kg Tournament (K-1 MAX weight) kicking off April 30th and baring any injuries, I would expect to see particiaption from Yamamoto in the tournament regardless of the outcome in his match against Gono.
Krush ~ Triple Final Round, March 19th, 2011
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Already announced for the Pancrase May 3rd Impressive Tour card will be King of Pancrase Bantamweight champion Seiya Kawahara defending the title against Manabu Inoue. Also expected to appear on the card is Light-Heavyweight Ryo Kawamura and Welterweight Masahiro Toryu.
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K-1's short run of USA shows have produced more MMA talent than one might think at a first glance. That isn't to say that there is a wealth of talent that came out of it, but Pat Barry is currently a UFC Heavyweight who has had mixed results and there was one man that beat him that went on to MMA, Scott Lighty. Scott Lighty trains with The Pit, you know, John Hackleman's camp, best known for former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell. Lighty made the transition to MMA after mixed success in the K-1 USA ring. In the 2004 USA GP he knocked out Frank Cota before being stopped himself by Mighty Mo. Then in 2005 he defeated Pat Barry in a Reserve bout and got called into action, where he was knocked out by a then game Gary Goodridge.
People hate on Goodridge for his most recent performances, but in 2005 squaring off with Goodridge was a scary affair. K-1 ran another Vegas GP in August and Lighty's guts and determination earned him a spot again. This time he pushed forward, knocking out Tatsufumi Tomihira, taking Chalid "Die Faust" to a decision only to lose a close fight to Ruslan Karaev in the Finals. He came back, again, in 2006 to take Dewy Cooper to a Decision before running head first into Gary Goodridge again, and that, as they say, was that, for Lighty's K-1 career. Lighty didn't stop because he didn't have the talent, drive and determination, it stopped because K-1 stopped running their Las Vegas GP and he started training for MMA. This was the height of the Chuck Liddell era, so for a kickboxer like Lighty to see Liddell running roughshod over an entire division, he had to think, "I can do that."
Coming into his next fight, he will be 6-1, with his only loss to hot prospect Antwain Britt, whose wrestling was a bit out of Lighty's league. But regardless, yeah, Lighty can do that. Lighty was picked up by EliteXC in his first year as a professional MMA fighter, which turned out to be EliteXC's last year. He moved on to Strikeforce where he is 1-1 and looks at his next step to moving up the ladder; 2008 Judo Olympic Gold Medalist, Satoshi Ishii.
Ishii talked and talked about making a Strikeforce debut in April, and it turns out, for once, that wasn't grandstanding, he will make his Strikeforce debut on April 1 on a Strikeforce Contenders/ShoMMA card against Lighty. This is a good fight for both fighters, as a win can justify moving up in the rankings and taking on stiffer competition, with each men providing a foil for each other. Lighty has superior stand up, if anything, K-1 level beyond UFC's Pat Barry, and Ishii has Olympic Judo skills.Add a comment