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The Le Banner Series, Starts April 28 In Geneva

Jerome Le Banner has been poking at a "world tour" of sorts lately, starting with his win over Andrei Kirsanov at the end of last year in Thailand. The event was called the Le Banner tour. Now there's a Le Banner series, and it's actually determining who will fight Jerome some time next year.

The website is up for it at According to the website, there will be four tournaments and four major fights at each tournament. Each fight is five rounds of two minutes (Which sucks.). 

The winners of the tournaments will fight and the winner of that will face Jerome Le Banner some time in 2013. The goal of the Le Banner Series is to determine Le Banner's successor and find the next new best European kickboxer. 

The first event is on April 28 in Geneva, Switzerland where Le Banner defeated Stefan Leko last year. As for Le Banner fighting on the card, it seems uncertain but he is front and center on the poster. Frank Munoz vs. Stephane Susperregui seems to be happening at the event. Jerome Le Banner is coming off a loss to Errol Zimmerman on March 23 and will fight Rustemi Kreshnik on June 30 under the It's Showtime banner.


“Lion” Takeshi Inoue vs Hiroaki Suzuki Added to Shootboxing 2012 Act.2

Adding to an already promising card, Shootboxing has announced that former Shooto Lightweight (143 lb) champion “Lion” Takeshi Inoue will return to Shootboxing to take on recently crowned Shootboxing Lightweight champion Hiroaki Suzuki. Inoue (21-6-0 MMA; 1-0-0 SB) had his first fight in Shootboxing in November at Shoot the Shooto 2011 where he edged out Shootboxing star Hiroki Shishido. He did win three straight MMA fights by KO in 2011 against prospect Taiki Tsuchiya in Shooto, Koichiro Matsumoto, who was DEEP Featherweight champ at the time and MMA legend Caol Uno, both in DREAM. He got a fight against DREAM Featherweight champ Hiroyuki Takaya at Genki Desu Ka 2011, DREAM’s New Year’s Eve event, where he put on a somewhat uninspiring performance where his offensive production was limited in rounds 4 and 5 despite being down on the scorecards. Inoue has shown signs of freezing when the spotlight is on him, as he seemed reluctant to throw sometimes in his first DREAM fight against Kazayuki Miyata. Suzuki (10-3-0, 4 KO) is 2-0 against MMA fighters in Shootboxing as he took a close decision over Tenkei Oda and knocked out Mitsuhiro Ishida at the 2010 S-Cup. He then took over a year off, but managed to defeat Yu Sugawara for the Shootboxing Lightweight title in February in his first fight back.

I think it’s safe to favor Suzuki in this matchup because he’s been fighting in Shootboxing for four years and is 5-1 in his last 6. However, Inoue seems to fight much better when he’s not in the spotlight and a win over Hiroki Shishido, even in 2011, still holds some weight.

This fight joins Andy Souwer vs Satoru Suzuki, Shootboxing Featherweight champ Naguranchun Masa M16 rematching the last man to beat him, former Shooto Featherweight (132 lb) and Bantamweight (123 lb) champ Mamoru Yamaguchi. Naguranchun is currently on a 7-fight winstreak while Yamaguchi had his first fight in Shootboxing in over 2 years at Shootboxing 2012 Act.1, beating #2 ranked Featherweight Kazayuki Fushimi. Also, #2 ranked Super Featherweight Akifumi Utagawa will take on #4 ranked Takeshi Ishikawa for the third time in a fight that is either for the Super Featherweight title, or a shot at the title. Utagawa is up in the series, as he owns a win over Ishikawa and they drew the first time they fought. Finally, RENA is expected to compete for the first time since defeating Erika Kamimura at RISE 85 last November. It will likely be a tune-up with the S-Cup coming up in August. {jcomments on}


Shota Takiya vs Reece Crooke Added to Krush.18

Krush has announced an opponent for 55kg champ Shota Takiya at Krush.18 on May 3rd and it is the UK’s Reece Crooke. According to the Krush release, Crooke is 23-6-2 (9 KO) and has been active for over 10 years. He most recently won the ISKA UK 55kg title against Miguel Arjona earlier this month and last November defeated Kieran McAskill, a past Krush participant, to claim the WBC Muay Thai UK Bantamweight title. He has a draw against Liam Harrison from 2001 and a loss to the last man Takiya fought, Nobuchika Terado back in 2005. His brother is Peter Crooke who has fought the likes of Yoshihiro Sato, Albert Kraus, Takayuki Kohiruimaki, Malaipet and Akeomi Nitta, among others. Takiya (20-4-0, 12 KO) has been on fire the last two years and is currently riding an 8-fight winstreak that saw him claim the Krush title and avenge 2 of his losses to Ryuya Kusakabe and most recently to Nobuchika Terato in a defense of his Krush title.

This is the third time that Krush has brought in a competitor from the UK and each time has been at 55kg, with Nobuchika Terado dominating Kieran McAskill for the ISKA 55kg World title and Shota Takiya knocking out Damien Trainor. Takiya should be favored here as he has looked near unbeatable lately and doesn’t have to travel a few thousand miles for this fight. Takiya stated that if he wins this fight, he expects to get an ISKA World title fight by the end of the year.

Already on the card is 63kg champ Ryuji Kajiwara against K-1 Koshien champ Hiroya, 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe against a yet to be named opponent and two of the three 3rd round fights in the 63kg WILDRUSH League. {jcomments on}


Fight Code in Minsk April 14, Dragons Tournament Continues

After a very successful first show of the year that took place last Saturday in Milan, Fight Code is coming right back with a show in Minsk, Belarus on April 14 at the Minsk Sports Palace. 

The show will continue with the Dragons tournament at 72.5kg. At the last Fight Code event, Mustapha Haida and Enriko Gogokhia both advanced to the Final 16 of the Fight Code Dragons tournament. For this event, there will be four Final 32 fights in the Dragons tournament, with the winner advancing to the Final 16. Fight Code 2011 Dragons winner Yury Bessmertny will be participating in one of those four bouts, against Edvin Erik Kibus of Estonia. The other three Dragons fights see Vitali Nikiforov take on Evgeni Telitsa, Maxim Smirnov against Dmitry Baranov and Farhat Ahmedjanov against Tadas Jonkus.

There will also be two non tournament fights featuring two big names. Rising talent Chingiz Allazov, who trains with Yury Bessmertny, has been destroying everyone in his path lately and will be facing Russian fighter Dmitry Rudenko at a weight of 69kg. Allazov normally fights 67kg but it seems he's starting to move up in weight a bit, as he fought Bovy last Saturday.

At 81kg, Dmitry Shakuta has been one of the top fighters around this weight class for a long time. He'll take on Igor Ljapin of Ukraine. Full fight card below.

Dragons Final 32 Eastern Selection (72.5kg):

Vitali Nikiforov vs. Evgeni Telitsa

Maxim Smirnov vs. Dmitry Baranov

Farhat Ahmedjanov vs. Tadas Jonkus

Yury Bessmertny vs. Edvin Erik Kibus

Non Tournament Fights:

69kg: Chingiz Allazov vs. Dmitry Rudenko

81kg: Dmitry Shakuta vs. Igor Ljapin


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