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Iron Mike Zambidis Announces Participation in K-1 World MAX Final 16

ZambidisPart of the fun of the upcoming weeks will be watching, one-by-one, to see which fighter picks what side in the ongoing battle between K-1 and GLORY. Yesterday we announced that former World MAX Champion Albert Kraus has chosen to sign with GLORY Sports International, making him the second-biggest name in their tournament, and today Iron Mike Zambidis made an announcement on his official Facebook page saying that he will be participating in the K-1 World MAX Final 16 on May 27th in Madrid, Spain.

Zambidis might be one of the fighters who has never won a K-1 World MAX Championship, but in 2010 the world saw a resurgence of sorts that culminated in a loss to Giorgio Petrosyan in the World MAX semi-finals, but continued his tear through the world in 2011 in a world without K-1. Zambidis went 4-2 in 2011, with a loss to John Wayne Parr as well as a controversial loss to Batu Khasikov, losing his W5 title which he had won from Dzabar Askerov earlier on in the year in a four-man Grand Prix.

This leaves the projected World MAX field featuring names like; Zambidis, Chahid, Andy Souwer, Gago Drago, Artur Kyshenko, Harut Grigorian, Yasuhiro Kido, Yuji Nashiro, Su Hwan Lee, Abraham Roqueni, Longern Samui Pro (rumored) and Chris Ngimbi. One could argue that so far it is a better field than the field that GLORY has produced, but both still have open spots for fighters and there are still a few x-factors in the wild.

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Sadaharu Tanikawa and FEG Talk of Withdrawal From K-1

In a way, it feels like a victory, although a small victory at that, when FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa finally broke his silence on what has been going on with FEG. FEG is broke and Tanikawa has formally announced that they no longer have control over K-1. If you have been privy to what has been happening behind the scenes, this is no giant surprise, but for Tanikawa to come out and yield like this is a pretty big deal.

Fighting Entertainment Group (FEG) took over K-1 when Kazuyoshi Ishii was forced to resign from K-1 due to a tax evasion scandal. The company was completely re-organized, with FEG as the parent company and K-1 becoming a brand, but to many on the outside it was seamless. Things continued on, K-1 shows kept going and it seemed like business as usual. The problems were that FEG and Tanikawa were still at the mercy of Kazuyoshi Ishii and money was being lost on a regular basis. Eventually, this began to come out to the public when fighters began speaking out, and it flowed like cheap wine at a party. Tanikawa and FEG did damage control, but never really faced the problems head-on, which only made things worse.

This, in turn, left the K-1 brand in a terrible place, with fighters owed incredible sums of money and K-1's former home in Japan no longer willing to accept it with open arms. In Japan, broadcast television is king, and do not expect to see K-1 on broadcast television again any time soon there. Much like PRIDE had to do, K-1 has to look elsewhere to survive, only for K-1, the new owners are not simply looking for another notch in their belt. Tanikawa wished the new K-1 owners well and said that he would continue to work towards a resolution of repayment, but it came across as hollow, as hollow as him announcing that he is already lining up investors for his new series of martial arts events.

In FEG's stead we are left with Ishii holding K-1 tournaments for high school students in Japan, Mr. Kim and EMCOM owning K-1 and working with It's Showtime to produce events and Golden Glory as the spurned lover running their own series of events after losing out on the K-1 brand in a bidding war with Mr. Kim that never quite turned into a bidding war like they imagined it would.

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Alistair Overeem's Failed Drug Test and the Word Maybe

Badr/Overeem

When news broke earlier today that UFC Heavyweight Alistair Overeem failed a random drug test administered by the NSAC, there was a swell of mixed emotions from the fans and media. The usual suspects were quick to harp on how they "knew" that Overeem was going to get caught eventually. Others were in shock that one of the UFC's banner main events for the year 2012 was potentially crumbling into pieces right before their eyes. Nothing is final yet, and there are a lot of "maybes" hanging in the air.

Maybe Overeem's "B" sample will come up clean.

Maybe the fight will be called off.

Maybe Frank Mir will step in.

Maybe Dana White will fire Alistair Overeem on the spot for putting the main event in jeopardy.

As of right now, everything is simply speculation, with the only facts being that Alistair Overeem turned up a test with a 10:1 T/E ratio, where 6:1 is considered NSAC's legal limit. The UFC 146 main event against UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos is indeed in danger, but simply put, no one knows until there is a verdict from NSAC on this matter.

What is interesting to note is that kickboxing fans are already looking to the future. If Alistair Overeem would be let go from the UFC, since his ties with Golden Glory have been more than severed, the only logical place for him to go would be K-1. With K-1 under new management and looking to make a big splash on European and American markets, a fighter like Overeem who is already the most recent K-1 World Grand Prix Champion who has also risen to be a top contender within the UFC, would be huge for them. The "stigma" of PED abuse with U.S. fans does not seem to stick for fighters, as the UFC houses multiple offenders, with some like Chael Sonnen even receiving title fights.

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Behold: Kevin Ross and Andy Souwer Sparring

In the kickboxing and muay thai worlds there are sometimes some strange separations that exist. That seems to be the case with the American muay thai community and the European kickboxing scene. Well, Andy Souwer put on a seminar in California last month, and believe it or not, this means he met with American muay thai fighter Kevin Ross. So Ross and Souwer did some sparring and if you are a fan of both, it is quite awesome to watch.

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