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Saki on Badr Hari: "Sometimes He Makes a Mistake Because he Fights Too Aggressive."

The showdown between Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki is just two days away now, with things reaching a critical mass for both fighters. At this point both men are done training and are simply wading through the final preparations before the big fight. In an interesting interview with Fighters Only, Gokhan Saki interrupted his training earlier in the week to discuss the upcoming bout with Badr Hari as well as a bunch of other issues. One of the big topics was K-1, and he says that he knows "many things" about K-1, but that he can't talk about them right now. This goes along with a lot of the rumblings we've been hearing behind the scenes.

When asked about MMA and if he is interested, his answer is simply, "Yes, of course, I'm a fighter, you know?" Saki mentioned maybe MMA, maybe Boxing, that he has been training in both, but that his "thing is K-1" and that is his main focus for right now. [source]

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Saenchai Set to Train UFC Fighters in New York Seminar

  • Published in Muay Thai

Muay Thai legend Saenchai has landed in New York and is all set for his round of seminars that are set to go down on the 13th, 14th and 15th at the Striking 101 Gym in New York City. Pakorn was initially supposed to accompany Saenchai, but due to visa issues Saenchai will be going it alone without Pakorn.

There are a host of UFC, MMA and Kickboxing stars that are to be in attendance for Saenchai's NYC seminars, with Uriah Hall's name being tossed around as one of the names that has requested some time with the legendary Thai fighter. We'll have an update with what his schedule looks like further in the coming days. Here's a look at some highlights from his seminar in Kuala Lumpur. 

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Overeem and Fedor Play Nice, For Once

  • Published in Kickboxing

I was just reading the mothership, MiddleEasy.com, and saw a photograph that I can only describe as absolutely, 100% insane yet somehow adorable and lovable. If you've been following MMA for a while now, you know that Fedor Emelianenko is a very earnest, down-to-earth and likable guy. He does some really cool things and seems like the kind of guy we could all get along with. From wearing comfy sweaters, double-fisting ice cream cones and just being a sort of goofy dude, he has endeared us all. While he is still a chubby robot bent on destroying your face when his thumb circuits aren't malfunctioning, he is a real guy and shows it a lot more than he ever did in the past.

Then there is Alistair Overeem. Overeem has been making the media rounds like crazy the past few weeks, and it is clear that Overeem is truly becoming a star in the United States. The media have gotten over their rabid questions about PEDs and treating Overeem like they would any other world champion. When the media treat someone like a star, fans see them as a star, and thus, the 2-year long odyssey that is the ascent of Alistair Overeem continues, and his management team, including Bas Boon look brilliant for the PR work they've done and the feeding of "cans" for him to dispatch and build up a highlight reel.

The proposed bout between the two fell apart when Emelianenko was defeated by Fabricio Werdum last year, which led us to where we are today. The fight between the two is still one that fans would love to see and one that Overeem still wants, but he believes, correctly, that Werdum deserves the first crack at him, hence the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP. Enter fight week in New York this week, and we get... well, this incredible photo. [source]

Fedor/Overeem

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GLORY Announces GLORY 16 Card - Pat Barry's Debut

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

GLORY has released the full card for GLORY 16 Denver today, including the one night GLORY Heavyweight Contender tournament as well as the main event between Nieky Holzken and Marc de Bonte. The surprise on the card is that they will be airing the Reserve bout this time around, mostly due to the fact that it is Pat Barry. Pat Barry will be making his GLORY debut on May 3rd in Denver, which is a pretty big deal.

Here's a look at the card.

GLORY 16 DENVER

 

  • Tournament Final Bout C: Semifinal Bout A Winner vs. Semifinal Bout B Winner
  • Welterweight World Title Bout: Nieky Holzken vs. Marc de Bonte
  • Tournament Reserve Bout: Pat Barry vs. Zack Mwekassa
  • Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Anderson Silva vs. Sergey Kharitonov
  • Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Ben Edwards vs. Errol Zimmerman
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No K-1 Until at LEAST July, Maybe

  • Published in K-1

Amidst all of the talk of the possibility of Sakikabara, formerly of PRIDE, involved in one of the biggest yakuza scandals in Japanese MMA that led to the death of PRIDE and the Zuffa purchase, returning to promote MMA again, there is some news on FEG's future.

Daniel Herbertson spoke with FEG USA's Mike Kogan, and by the looks of things, FEG is planning on still hosting K-1, K-1 MAX and DREAM events in 2011, as long as things pan out. The voluntary shut down was supposed to last until March, and with March fast approaching, it looks like the new target date is May.

FEG USA's Mike Kogan this week confirmed to MMA Fighting that the leading Japanese promoter's internal restructuring will not be completed until at least May and no FEG events are expected until at least July. 

At the moment, FEG is planning to continue all three of its major events (K-1, K-1 MAX and DREAM), although that is obviously subject to change and it is clear that the events will be scaled down.

The financial state of FEG is still uncertain and Kogan was unable to confirm whether Chinese backer PUJI or any sponsors are still involved in FEG events. It seems as though Dynamite, K-1 MAX and DREAM broadcaster TBS has not signed on for 2011 yet, all signs are indicate that a new contract will be discussed after FEG's restructuring process is complete.

Dan's awesome Nippon Weekly has lots of information about Sakakiraba and what's new in Japanese MMA, so check that out. [source]

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Raul Catinas and Hesdy Gerges the Latest Fighters Confirmed for K-1 WGP Final 16

  • Published in K-1

GergesThere has yet to be anything official from K-1 yet when it comes to who is fighting in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16, but that is alright as we've already heard from a few fighters' camps already, talking about their inclusion. So far we know that Dzevad Poturak, Paul Slowinski, Mirko Cro Cop, Ben Edwards and probably Daniel Ghita will be fighting in the K-1 tournament. There are other names rumored, like Sergei Laschenko and Catalin Morosanu, but we've yet to see anything official to that effect yet. The latest names added to the list are that of Raul Catinas and Hesdy Gerges, confirmed by their coach, Thom Harinck.

Catinas is a great addition, as a young fighter who has been continually improving over the past few years. Catinas, a Romanian fighter, has primarily been fighting for SuperKombat for the past two years in his home of Romania. His signing hints at the possible SuperKombat partnership we've been hearing about for a while, but regardless, Catinas serves as a great addition to the tournament at age 24 riding on a five fight win streak.

The addition of Gerges helps to legitimize the tournament, as Ghita will serve as the third participant in the tournament, on top of Ghita and Laschenko, who are ranked in LiverKick.com's Top 10. Daniel Ghita is a strong #2, Laschenko is #6 and Gerges is at #10. Gerges has had a tough few years after looking incredibly strong in 2010. This doesn't mean that he can't rebound, as this tournament will be a perfect chance for him to string a few quality wins together and get himself back in the discussion as one of the elite Heavyweights.

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LEGEND 3 Set for April 5th in Milan, LEGEND 4 with Badr Hari in June

  • Published in Kickboxing

Legend

Interestingly enough, if you follow the exploits of LEGEND's Ruslan Suleymanov you'd know that he appeared at UFC 169 to have some discussions with Dana White and Lorenzo Fertita about a possible UFC event in Russia, just like he had been in discussions with GLORY officials recently and plans to again. Suleymanov has money and a love for the world of Kickboxing and MMA, so he seems steadfast on promoting more big events around the world.

According to an interview with MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani from this weekend, the next LEGEND event will be on April 5th in Milan, Italy. There have been no bouts announced yet, but we have learned that it will be a co-promotion with Carlo di Blasi's Oktagon promotion, which promotes Muay Thai in Milan. This has added to it rumors of using Giorgio Petrosyan on the card, as Di Blasi is Petrosyan's manager. This could be an explanation for the meetings with GLORY officials, as Petrosyan is signed to GLORY. The next LEGEND event afterwards will be in June, where Suleymanov expects Badr Hari to appear.

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Full Card for Lion Fight 16 on July 4th

  • Published in Muay Thai

This Friday, July 4th at 9pm Eastern time on AXS TV the world will be treated to Lion Fight 16. Lion Fight 16 will take place at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada and be an official part of UFC's International Fight Week. That means that the UFC will be helping Lion Fight to promote the event throughout the week and it should be an electric atmosphere on Friday. The event is headlined by Kevin Ross taking on Michael Thompson with the Lion Fight Super Lightweight Championship to be decided.

The event will also feature muay thai legend Rungravee Sasiprapa and Tiffany Van Soest in action. Here is a look at the full fight card.

Super Lightweight Title Bout
Kevin Ross vs Michael Thompson
Co-Main Event
Tiffany Van Soest vs Sindy Huyer
Super Fight
Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Adrian Morilla
Tyler Toner vs. Gaston Bolanos
Josh Shepard vs Casey Parlett

AXS TV has also released the bloody, awesome video from Lion Fight 15 of Kevin Ross vs. Chris Mauceri. Check it out.

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Why You Should Be Amped for Sergio Wielzen This Weekend in It's Showtime

  • Published in Kickboxing

Time gets the better of all of us once in a while, and for me, there has been a lot of combat sports lately, enough so to where I kept putting off discussing this weekend's It's Showtime event. Now here I am early on Tuesday morning trying to sell you on watching the fights this weekend. The big fight coming up is a 61kg MAX It's Showtime World Championship bout between the champion, Sergio Wiezlen.

Wiezlen, for a fighter at a mere 61kg (135lbs) has a ton of power to go with his speed. If you need proof, watch this video from a fighter last year, where Wiezlen faced off against a former Lumpini and four time Rajadamnern Stadium Champion (this was of course 2003 - 2006ish) and annihilated him with a right head kick.

Not sold yet? OK, in December Sergio defended his newly won It's Showtime 61kg MAX crown against a game challenger in Masahiro Yamamoto. Yamamoto was able to match him with speed, but not in power. One of my favorite moments in this fight is the left knee in the first round that puts Yamamoto down. Wiezlen looks to use those knees like a mini Ubereem, granted he is just about half the size and uses his kicks a bit more liberally.

A nice, commanding performance and what we get to look forward to this weekend. Will Wiezlen make this his 19th professional knockout?

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Go Ahead and Watch Tyrone Spong's MMA Debut

  • Published in Video

So Tyrone Spong finally made his MMA debut this weekend at the World Series of Fighting's inaugural event. WSoF is headed up by Ray Sefo, whom you should all know, so there is no surprise that this is where Kickboxing and Muay Thai fighter Tyrone Spong decided to make his debut. Spong fought, well, some dude named Travis Bartlett that we give all of the credit in the world to for stepping into the ring with Tyrone, but yeah. This was what it was. Watch it and marvel at why Tyrone hasn't been super active in Kickboxing.

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