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It's Showtime In Action Today

It's Showtime wraps up their year later today with a show from their home base in Amsterdam.

The main event is for the vacant 77kg title, and is between L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni and Artem Levin.  Originally booked as Ouzgni challenging champion Cosmo Alexandre for the belt, the match was changed after Cosmo took part in the King's Cup tournament against IS's wishes, resulting in him being stripped of the title.  Ouzgni v. Alexandre was a great fight on paper, but this is a good substitution.  Both fighters are coming in off huge wins - Ouzgni's destruction of top 10 fighter Nieky Holzken, and Levin's upset victory over Yodsaenklai Fairtex.  I like this fight, but Aussie is just too dominant right now; I expect him to take the win.  This division is really gaining strength at the moment, and the winner here can make a claim to being at the top of the 77kg mountain.

The other big fight is in the 70kg division and is a potential show stealer between K-1 MAX Final 8 fighter Mo Khamal and Mosab Amrani.  These are two popular fighter, who have gained strong fan support for their action-packed fights.  This could be a classic.

Other fights on the main card are: K-1 2010 Europe GP champion Freddy Kemayo v.  Anderson "Braddock" Silva; Warren Stevelmans v. Kenneth van Eesvelde; Murthel Groenhart v. Khlaid Bourdif; and, in a late replacement, Frank Munoz v. Rico Verhoeven.

The show will be streamed live at It's Showtime Fights for 10 Euro.  Click here for details.

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Hirotaka Urabe Upsets Naoki Ishikawa at KRUSH

KRUSH held their 60kgs and 55kgs tournament quarterfinals this weekend, with K-1 Koshien Champion Hirotaka Urabe upsetting Naoki Ishikawa to move forward. This show helped to illustrate just how big of a deal these Koshien tournaments that K-1 has run can be and how they can impact the kickboxing world. Urabe wasn't the only Koshien fighter to participate and win.

The new 60kg tournament favorite should be 2009 Koshien champion Masaaki Noiri, who defeated Junpei Aotsu via decision.  Noiri has been on a great streak this year, winning a number of tough fights in Krush, including defeating Hirotaka Urabe at Krush.10.  A rematch between the two is a real possibility as the tournament progresses.

In other 60kg action, Yuji Takeuchi TKO'd Yosuke Mizuochi, while Daisuke Uematsu, the man K-1 once fancied as their 63kg version of Masato, lost to Dynamite Yuta by KO in round 1.  Not sure where Uematsu will go from here, as he seems unable to hang at the upper levels at this point.

The other big fight on the card was in the 55kg division, where Shootboxing champion Ryuya Kusakabe faced RISE champion Nobuchiko Terado.  In the end, it was Shootboxing reigning supreme, as Kusakabe took home the win, earning himself a spot as the 55kg tournament favorite.  Also advancing in this division were Hiroaki Mizuhara, Shota Takiya, and KENJI.

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Mike Tyson Had a Pride Contract

From mma-japan.com or follow on twitter bushido816

Up until now, PRIDE had held many of their plans below the surface of the water.  Many plans disappeared before they were even announced, and even some disappeared after they were announced.  A prime example of this was Mike Tyson fighting for PRIDE in the USA.

The mood was skeptical regarding Mike Tyson from the beginning.  Before PRIDE had gotten in touch with Tyson, K-1 had also gotten a hold of him, and it is said that the prohibitive cost involved was what led to the massive tax evasion scandal that hit K-1.  It wasn't just about seeing Tyson fight, PRIDE had an entire plan as to the marketability of Mike Tyson in PRIDE.  In regards to the plan, Mike Tyson was VERY interested as PRIDE was going to create a world tour of sorts for Tyson.

While they were transitioning to the United States, getting a hold of Mike Tyson was one of their primary objectives.  The simple news of "Japan's largest MMA event is coming to the United States" was not sufficient in the minds of DSE management.  With that in mind, DSE management began to look at Tyson to be their superstar, being that he had a huge name value and his star in the boxing world was all but diminished.

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K-1 Brings in Andre Dida, World MAX Finals Gearing Up

K-1 MAX

K-1 continues to chug along with plans for post-Japan Asian domination. On July 21st K-1 will present the K-1 World MAX Finals event, featuring Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl in the Finals. Some fans are expecting a repeat from December's fight between Banchamek and Kehl, but that was under Muay Thai rules, making this fight all the more interesting. Kehl is a solid up-and-comer and has a lot of upsides to him. Banchamek was the biggest signing for K-1, but Kehl has to be the best prospect that they currently have and he does possess the tools to possibly defeat Buakaw.

K-1 has added more fights to the card of late, including Lee Sung-Hyun squaring off against Andrei Kulebin. Kulebin has been a solid name throughout the world for the past few years and should make for a fine addition for K-1 on this event.

The other big news is that former K-1 MAX and K-1 HERO*s star Andre "Dida" Amade has signed a new deal with K-1. Dida is perhaps best known for his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil recently where he was involved in a pull-apart brawl between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen, with Dida throwing a few punches after Sonnen took Silva down in the middle of shooting. Dida landed in hot water with the UFC for that and was told that he was potentially banned from cornering fighters in the UFC, but things worked out for him in the end. He announced his return to the ring shortly afterwards and has now announced his intentions to fight for K-1.

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