K-1 MAX champion and all around fighting genius Giorgio Petrosyan has two exciting upcoming bouts scheduled.
First up,on January 29, he faces Sudsakorn 13 Coins (formerly Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee) for Thai Boxe Mania. Despite the event name, this is not a Muay Thai fight, and will be 3 rounds under K-1 rules. Sudsakorn is our #18 ranked fighter at 70kg, and really made a name for himself in the international scene in 2010. He started last year with a decision win over K-1 MAX fighter Chahid Oulad El Hadj in It's Showtime, and followed that up with a tournament win where he defeated Andrei Kulebin in the finals. He's currently set to face Khem Sitsongpeenong in just a few days, and if he can pull off a win there, it will give him great momentum heading into the Petrosyan fight. Other notable fights on the Thai Boxe Mania card: Andrei Kulebin vs. Kaopon Lek, Abdallah Mabel vs. Kostantin Serebrennikov, and Armen Petrosyan vs. Miodrag Olar. Kulebin's fight is Muay Thai rules, the rest are K-1.
After that, Petrosyan faces former It's Showtime champion Cosmo Alexandre at another Italian event - Oktagon 2011 on March 12. It looks like that fight will be again under K-1 rules, and at 70kg, which puts Cosmo at a distinct disadvantage. Alexandre has spent the last year fighting primarily at 77kg in It's Showtime, and will be dropping a lot of weight to make the 70kg limit. At 72 and 77kgs, Alexandre has found tremendous success lately, winning the It's Showtime belt and 2009 Thailand King's Cup among other notable victories. He's not ranked at 70kg due to his inactivity in that division, though at 77kg he would easily be in the top 5. He's an interesting challenger for Petrosyan, as the two men share a very cerebral, technical approach to the game. He also possesses a great flying knee, which he has used to win fights by opening up cuts. And no matter how good a fighter is, a cut can always end a fight. Petrosyan is the favorite here undoubtedly, but I think Cosmo will challenge him.
I had some questions about these fight due to Petrosyan's broken hand suffered at the K-1 MAX finals, but as we draw closer, new reports are coming out that indicate these fights are in fact going to happen. Assuming they do, these are two fantastic chances to see the pound for pound best kickboxer in the world in action. And unlike some other fights, these are not just Petrosyan being trotted out to face an overmatched opponent - both Sudsakorn and Cosmo provide interesting, and very different challenges to the champ. Of course, Giorgio is so good that he may make these fights look beyond simple, but isn't that part of his charm?