|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Nick Diaz is a polarizing character in the MMA world, he is brash, disrespectful and he is very talented. Tonight he successfully defended his Strikeforce Welterweight Championship against Chute Boxe's Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. Mr. Cyborg was coming into this fight off of a two-fight win streak, with a win over Marius Zaromskis in Strikeforce and Paul Daley's uncertain future setting this fight up for him. Mrs. Cyborg was in the audience to support her husband and the storyline going into this fight was Cyborg had really turned his career around and improved vastly.
The first round was an incredible brawl, with Cyborg's technique dominating early in the round. Cyborg worked a brilliant game plan early on, working the leg kicks and following up with some crisp punches. With Diaz reeling most of the early parts of the round, a right hand from Diaz and a flurry was able to change the atmosphere of the fight. It turned into an all-out brawl afterwards and Cyborg looked as if he was slowing down.
The second round saw neither man looking to give an inch. Cyborg's game plan began to fall apart as he simply started looking to take Diaz's head off. As soon as he stopped working the leg kick the fight began to slip from his grasp. Diaz was starting to take advantage of this and was hurting Cyborg standing up, forcing Cyborg to take Diaz down. This proved to be a mistake, though, as Diaz slipped on an armbar to secure the win.
The night also saw Robbie Lawler put up a good fight against Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza until it went to the ground, with Jacare choking Lawler out, disproving the "Beard Theory." Herschel Walker remains undefeated against hand-picked opponents in Strikeforce, which they'll note over and over again. Roger Gracie showed a well-rounded game, but finished with his grappling against Trevor Prangley.Add a comment
For those who missed the introduction article, the winner of the ongoing 67 kg Isuzu Tournament in Thailand gets to represent Thailand in Thai Fight 2011, which kicks off this September. The Isuzu Tournament is about set to move from the groups stage to the semi-finals and finals.
There are two more fights scheduled in the groups: Kem Sitsongpeenong vs Kongjak Sor Tuanthong, and Prakaisaeng Sit-Or vs Thanongdet Petpayatai. Kem is heavily favored to beat Kongjak.
Thepsutin Pumpanmuang and Nopparat Keatkhamtorn have already been eliminated from the tournament. Thepsutin picked up a decision victory over Thanongdet, but was stopped by Prakaisaeng's knees in his next tournament bout. Nopparat went up against Kem was knocked out in the third by punches.
Sudsakorn 13 Coins Gym (out of Sor Klinmee camp) and Dernchonlek Sor Sor Niyom have both qualified to the semi-finals with two wins apiece. Sudsakorn beat Kongjak Sor Tuanthong and Kem Sitsongpeenong for his place. Sudsakorn's advancement did not surprise fans, though his win over Kem was considered a slight upset. Dernchonlek, however, was something of an unknown factor going into the tournament. The youngest fighter in the tournament, at 17 years of age, the combination of his height, style, and the weight advantage afforded by his relative inexperience helped him beat Prakaisaeng and Thanongdet.
Though the tournament portion of Thai Fight 2011 kicks off in September, giving the winner of the Isuzu Tournament plenty of recovery time, there will be three events held separately as part of the Thai Fight series. These events are planned for May, July, and December, and Yodsaenklai Fairtex and Saiyok Pumpanmuang are set to participate.Add a comment
I feel like we all got to see an amazing work in progress when AFAV released a video of the footage they took of the It's Showtime stars which was to be used for the final video seen below. AFAV released a video a few weeks ago of all of the footage for this Fighting Stars promo, in a way giving us a look behind the curtain for the number two kickboxing promotion in the world's hype package for what will turn out to be the first major kickboxing show of 2011. There have been many note-worthy shows, but for the current atmosphere, if it isn't K-1 or It's Showtime, it just isn't that huge.
Behind the curtain for this video consisted of a few minutes of guys shadowboxing with cool lighting and some text flying around. Honestly, if you were given a behind the curtain look at LiverKick.com you'd see my kitchen table, my laptop and myself shadowboxing (the wine glasses in the cabinet clang against each other when I high kick or feign a flying knee) with words flying all through my mind with Pink Floyd's "The Wall" playing on a near infinite loop to go with my sometimes intentionally lacking grammar. Writing is like music, once you know the rules and master them you can break them and answer to no one but the inner recesses of your mind.
If this video does not excite you for what is gearing up to be an incredible show, I highly recommend you look up the names of some of these fighters on YouTube, as I'm doubting you've seen them fight before. That is how good this is looking.
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There have been rumors since the announcement of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP that Strikeforce's head honcho Scott Coker had plans on running a leg of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP in Japan, of all places. He wants this tournament to have a "global" feel to it, and running in a new market like Japan seems like a no-brainer.
I really haven't given this much thought, as it seemed like big plans with no follow-through. Especially after Coker had all of this big talk about running Cowboys Stadium in Texas, a feat that a Manny Pacquiao fight sold 50,000+ tickets to. A bit of insanity if you ask many, as UFC has yet to even approach such a large stadium. Japan, on the other hand, seems to be a very real possibility. On Tuesday night I spoke with MMA Torch about the announcement from the UFC in regards to their "Japanese expansion" and Jamie surprised me with a question about Strikeforce running Japan.
Honestly, Strikeforce has a much better chance of running Japan than the UFC does, this year next year or after. The logic behind this is very, very simple, but also very solid. The big thing is that to run in Japan, you have to be ready to make concessions and promote in Japan. UFC's expansion is, well, underwhelming. They have an obscure pay-TV network they run on and will now feature some mobile video services, but none of this is very interesting to fans in Japan. Without live shows, a broadcast television network and some star power the UFC has no real hopes. Their attitude of "all or nothing" will be their achilles heel in Japan.
Strikeforce, though, seem to know what it means to do business in Japan, and according to ESPN.com's Josh Gross, Scott Coker is planning to meet with Real Entertainment to discuss an April 9th event. When I spoke with MMA Torch, I explained that the only real way for Strikeforce to promote in Japan would be to work with another company, and with FEG's future uncertain, the DREAM partner company, Real Entertainment made perfect sense. Real has fighter contracts (most of the DREAM fighters), production staff, television partners, sponsors and a lot more.
If you take into account fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva, Fabricio Werdum and Sergei Kharitonov, all of these fighters have established name value in Japan. For Fedor Emelianenko this would be a grand homecoming for him. For Alistair Overeem this would be the K-1 and DREAM Champion fighting in his home away from home turf. Also consider that Satoshi Ishii could have a Strikeforce contract by then and that Tatsuya Kawajiri just defeated Josh Thomson at Dynamite!!, so a possible bout between Kawajiri and Gilbert Melendez could be big for Japanese fans as well.
Strikeforce also seems to be considering working with Real Entertainment even more, says Gross. Real Entertainment is going to take some of those fighter contracts that they have and with Strikeforce's help, put on a Lightweight tournament, with our without DREAM. It looks like Strikeforce is taking Japan seriously and are willing to "play ball." Now, if it will pan out financially for them, that is another story for another day (or another site, like FightOpinion.com).Add a comment
Andrei Arlovski has always been one of the greats in the world of MMA for a reason, and it didn't really have a lot to do with his fighting ability as much as it did his personality. Andrei Arlovski in the UFC was a breath of fresh air in a world of fighters with shaved or buzzed heads, covered head to toe in tattoos. He came into UFC with wild, crazy hair, a beard, chest hair and a mouthpiece with fangs on it. The fact that his fist could cripple anyone that stands in its path was just the icing on the cake.
Over the years we've been treated to the indignity of seeing him getting repeatedly hit in the jaw and taking a nap or simply being far too timid in the ring. Where was the wild man? Where was the Pitbull? The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP is a chance for Arlovski to prove to the world that he is still for real. He takes on stiff competition from Golden Glory's Sergei Kharitonov and is currently training with Greg Jackson's camp in my adopted home of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Sadly for me, I have yet to see Arlovski walking the streets of the Duke City like I have with other fighters. I've seen GSP bumping and grinding with some chunky chicks, Rashad Evans in a pretty sharp suit, Melvin Guillard jogging, Greg Jackson almost side-swiped me on the way to work one morning, rolled his window down and yelled "sorry, bro" while I flipped him off, and I did my laundry next to Keith Jardine in the area of town we lovingly call the "student ghetto."
Go figure, one of the coolest figures in MMA history is around and I have yet to bump into him walking the dog. Jackson's MMA released a video on YouTube earlier today that shows why everybody loves Andrei, he is a legitimately fun guy to be around, and apparently a part of his training is running full speed at a bag, doing a push kick and shouting "This is Sparta!" while Jon Jones giggles.
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There are some topics that are just so strange that you have to say them out loud to believe that they truly exist. The mysterious kickboxing fight between Olympic boxer Somluck Kamsing and action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of them. We've been covering this fight for a while now, almost two years by the time the fight is actually scheduled to take place, which is amazing in and of itself.
JCVD himself has set up a Facebook "event" page for the fight, currently scheduled for April 1, 2011 in Las Vegas. As of this story being published, no one that I've spoken with in Las Vegas knows of this fight and the page itself says that the date and place are subject to change. There have been multiple places named as well as multiple dates floating around for this fight, everything was set to line up with three projects JCVD is currently working on, from a film project, to a reality series, to a documentary on training for a fight. He will also do his first major VO work in the second Kung Fu Panda film and there is talk of him working on a "Muppets" project as well.
His team recently released a video where JCVD publicly speaks about his decision to fight at this point in his career, how he is a normal guy and is doing this because he believes it is the right thing for him to do. Then some of his fans from around the world tell you that JCVD will win or do crazy, JCVD-esque kicks to show you why he'll win (the Hindi dude at 2:33 yells with such conviction).
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There is always a sort of stigma that follows around fight fans, that they can be critical but refuse to learn about the sports they love to criticize. That is often-times untrue, as there are tons of fans who end up jumping into the deep end and training with some of the best trainers available in their area due to their love of fighting. For those of you that might have an inkling of participating, but for some reason don't, here is a bit of a motivational tool for you.
Phil Collen (no, not Phil Collins), the guitar player from 80's hair metal band Def Leppard from about 1982 on in a recent interview with the LA Times talked about his love for martial arts. Collen is a black belt in Kempo Karate and has for years now practiced Muay Thai to keep himself in shape. To understand how weird this is, the dude is 53 years old and maintains a rather rigorous training schedule as well as a touring schedule with the band. He talks a lot about his fitness now, more than he does about his guitar playing (well, I can't blame people there) or the band (ditto).
|About 12 weeks before a tour I'll start training, and the last eight weeks I'll work out two to three times a day doing weights, jumping rope, hopping on the spin bike. The rest of the time I work out three to four times a week and try to eat OK. Jean (Carrillo) does come with me on tour, and we work out -- there are so many different ways to do it, and switching it out makes it fun.
|We've been in places where there's just a bar or a beam to hang from, but you can do push-ups or pull-ups or do bits on a chair. You can have the most fantastic workout if you use your imagination.|
Collen talks about how after sobering up he was looking for ways to get himself into shape, he used to jog until he realized how much he hated it, then started kickboxing and has for the past 23 years loved the sport. While I don't see him stepping into the ring with Badr Hari or Ubereem any time soon, he shows that literally anyone can kickbox. [source]Add a comment
Just a few days ago Golden Glory announced that the United Glory Tournament's second round show, which was set to take place on January 30th was postponed, mainly due to Gokhan Saki's hand injury. Saki was one of the top-billed fighters on the card and had to bow out due to the injuries he sustained during the K-1 World Grand Prix. The second round of the tournament was set for the 30th in Charleroi, Belgium, but has now seemingly been pushed back to March 19th.
This hopefully gives time for Saki as well as John Alessio, who was also injured heading into the January 30th event, time to fully recover and appear on the March 19th show.
The MMA Welterweight tournament brackets are as follows:
John Alessio vs. Siyar Bahudurzada
Tommy Depret vs. Roan Carneiro
The Kickboxing Heavyweight tournament is as follows:
Gokhan Saki vs. Wendel Roche
Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi
There has been a lot written about Nick Diaz over the past few years, and his hilarious performance at the recent Strikeforce conference call has helped lead him into the limelight once again. This weekend he defends his Welterweight Championship against Brazilian striker Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. Cyborg has fought just about everywhere, from Brazil to the US and Japan and fights with that crazy, brawling Chute Boxe style that we all know, love and miss in modern MMA. Robbie Lawler is also coming off the destruction of Manhoef last year to take on Jacare. Even if you are just a stand up fan, you are bound to see some awesomeness this weekend.
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Shootboxing has made a handful of fight announcements in the past few days as their 2011 act.1 show on February 19 begins to take shape. Already announced was a main event rematch between Shootboxing’s top Japanese star HIROKI SHISHIDO and BOVY SOR. UDOMSON that promises to be a fun fight. Over the past week, 3 new fights have been added to the show:
SHIGEKI OSAWA vs. HIROAKI SUZUKI
Osawa (pictured, in white) is an interesting addition to Shootboxing’s roster. An MMA fighter with a strong wrestling background, Osawa’s professional career has largely been in SRC, where he’s had a number of wins under MMA rules. He’s also an accomplished wrestler and is looking to represent Japan at the 2012 Olympics in London. He’s a potentially great signing for Shootboxing, as Japanese fans love a national sports star, and could really take some interest in Osawa. Normally an MMA fighter with a wrestling background doesn’t have much of a chance in a stand-up organization, but this is Shootboxing, and Osawa’s wrestling skills could help him earn a Toby Imada style victory via takedowns. Shootboxing is pushing the idea that there is a “new style” in the organization with an emphasis on throws and takedowns, and there’s no doubt Osawa is there to help encourage that style. He’s got a very tough debut opponent though, as Hiroaki Suzuki is one of the best young stars in Shootboxing and is the marquee fighter of their 65kg division. He’s coming in off an S-Cup win over Mitsuhiro Ishida – another debuting MMA fighter with a wrestling background. Suzuki shut him down and knocked him out, and will look to do the same here.
Osawa had this to say about the fight and his lofty goals, courtesy of Nightmare of Battle:
“I thought striking was the core of SB but at the S-cup, applying takedowns cleverly while also exchanging strikes, MMA fighter Imada left a deep impression on me. But if it’s me I’m confident that I can do even more awesome takedowns and fire up the arena, and since I’m doing this I want to aim for the Shoot Boxing belt as well. My goal is to have reached the top of both SB and MMA when I win the gold medal in London.”
KUNIYOSHI HIRONAKA vs. TBA
Hironaka is another MMA fighter, although he has competed in Shootboxing before, KO-ing Shinichiro Kuroki at Ishin 1 last February. Hironaka is the Cage Force Lightweight champion, and has fought in both Dream and the UFC. He holds a 2002 win over Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz. No word yet on his opponent.
AI TAKAHASHI vs. ZAZA SOR AREE
Shootboxing’s #2 in the women’s division, Ai Takahashi returns to action here. Last year, Takahashi made it to the finals at the Girls’ S-Cup where she was finally defeated by RENA after two extension rounds in an excellent fight. She’s one of the women out there who can give RENA a real challenge, and it seems likely those two will clash again this year. Zaza Sor Aree is a Muay Thai fighter, who also competed at last year’s S-Cup where she was choked out by American Kate Martinez in the quarter-finals. I’ll be interested to see her back, but I don’t see her defeating Takahashi here.
Those four fights likely make up the top portion of the card, and make a great night of fights so far.
One final Shootboxing note – this weekend is the first event in the 2011 Young Ceaser’s Cup. Hopefully we will have results from that show up on Monday.Add a comment