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Oktagon results: Franchi outpoints Moriya

In the 2nd Oktagon fight, Bruno Franchi and Takuro Moriya met in another Dragon Series tournament fight.  While neither man has a huge international reputation, both came to fight, turning in a very spirited, back and forth battle of wills.

Round 1 started even until Franchi started landing some nice knees, including some jump knees, to seemingly take the advantage.  However, as the round drew to a close, Moriya began landing more leg kicks (plus a few illegal heel kicks to the calf) that hurt Franchi.  He'll need to start defending those, or Moriya's going to punish him.

Round 2 is more of the same - from the outside, Bruno is able to work his game, but inside Moriya seems to take the edge in the clinch.  Not as much focus on the legs from Moriya as I would have anticipated given R1.  That was a close one.

The 3rd round comes down to conditioning, and to me it seems Franchi was able to push the pace more, keeping Moriya on the back foot and improving his clinck work inside.

Judges agree with me, as Franchi takes the decision in a very solid fight.

 

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Oktagon results: Sudsakorn outclasses Xu Yan

This weekend's big kickboxing card from Italy has begun, and the show kicked off with a big fight: Sudsakorn vs. Xu Yan.

The #14 ranked Sudsakorn came in the heavy favorite, however Yan is a fighter who can always make it a fight.  As it turned out, Sudsakorn was simply too much, putting on an absolutly beautiful Muay Thai clinic.  In round 1, Suds used a Muay Thai dump early to show his dominance.  The rest of the 1st was close, but Suds did enough to pull ahead.

Round 2 was the best of the fight as Sudsakorn shifted to the body with a wide range of attacks, including knees, teeps, and some nasty hooks.  Yan stayed in it, including connecting a nice combo, but the Thai fighter was barely affected.

By round 3, Xu Yan was still giving his all, but the body attack had taken it's toll, and the Chinese fighter began to fade.  Highlight of thsi round was a gorgeous jump round kick from Sudsakorn off a caught kick by Yan.  After unelasinh a combo, Suds earned a (somewhat spotty) standing 8 count.  Honestly, that wasn't the best count, but it didn't matter as Sudsakorn easily took the decision win.  Impeccable performance from the Thai, and a great way to kick things off.

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Zuffa, Parent Company of UFC Purchases Strikeforce, Monopolizes MMA

We here at LiverKick.com pride ourselves on our kickboxing coverage, but from time to time find it important to discuss the MMA world as well. There is a lot of crossover between the two worlds, and at times, they go hand in hand. Strikeforce has a storied past, as does its promoter, Scott Coker. Coker had worked the kickboxing market in the West coast for years before working for K-1 to bring their USA shows to fans. His baby, Strikeforce, was a kickboxing promotion before it was a MMA promotion. It was local talent like Cung Le and Frank Shamrock working with Coker to put on MMA shows that got the ball rolling and Strikeforce became the best regional promotion in the country. It didn't take much, just using big names on the main event slots with local big names to fill out the rest of the card and young, local up and comers on the undercard.

It worked, and soon Strikeforce was in a position to purchase EliteXC's poison assets. Or so we thought. We all assumed anything affiliated with EliteXC was awful and doomed, but Coker and Co. showed that with a better business plan and some patience, you can make anything work. Today something happened, something big. Ariel Helwani posted a video of Dana White discussing Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce. I had to look twice at the date and make sure it wasn't April 1st, because sometimes time just moves quickly. It isn't, it is March 12, 2011. Remember that date.

People on Twitter immediately freaked out; co-promotion? Will Strikeforce immediately die? Does this mean Fedor, Barnett, Overeem, Diaz, Daley, etc. in the UFC? Watch the video and you get a feel for what is happening. Dana White claims over and over again, "business as usual." This means that as long as Strikeforce has their television deals; CBS and Showtime, it is its own entity. There will be no co-promotion, and fighters stay where they are, of course, unless they decide differently. Scott Coker and his crew are still in control of Strikeforce for the time being. If you are a Strikeforce fighter, you are one until Strikeforce is gone or your contract is up. Same goes for UFC.

If you know how Zuffa works and remember their history with acquisitions, you should understand where the concern comes from. I've heard many herald this move as a great move for the sport and one step closer to the holy grail in fighting; a fighters union. I appreciate and applaud the enthusiasm, but Zuffa is not acting like a sport league as much as it is a corporation, a business.

I worked in the PR world with some of the heavy hitters of modern industry for four years, with some of the biggest companies in the world; AT&T, Apple, Microsoft, Motorola and Boeing to name a few. Before someone calls my BS on this, there were people in each company I was on a first name basis with and spoke to daily for years. I'm simply painting a picture here for people to illustrate a point that I've worked with huge corporations in a public relations and investor relations setting and know how the big dogs do business.

Keep reading.

 

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Danyo Ilunga Talks About His It's Showtime Title Win

If you were one of the lucky people who tuned in to It's Showtime last weekend, you saw relative newcomer to the international scene, Danyo Ilunga make an absolute fool of seasoned pro Wendell Roche in a title fight for the It's Showtime 95kg Championship. Many had seen this fight as a possible lopsided affair with Roche finishing off the much younger Ilunga with his heavy hands. Instead, we saw the young Remy Bonjasky protege move and strike much like his mentor.

Ilunga showed great footwork, head movement and his defense was Bonjasky-esque. This means that he spent a lot of time backing up, but picked and chose his shots and was making a ton of clean connections on a frustrated opponent who was connecting with next to nothing. It was a 5 round dissection and showed a lot of people that Ilunga is absolutely for real.

The interview that follows will absolutely endear you to Danyo Ilunga, as you see that he comes from humble beginnings. Not only does he discuss his top notch strategy that he followed to a tee, but how nervous he got entering into a big time promotion like It's Showtime, how he was overwhelmed by how professional everyone was, the production and being surrounded with such big names in the kickboxing world. Like it or not, he has to accept that he is among them now. If you haven't seen the fight yet, check it out here.

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