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Behold: Akihiro Gono vs. Yuya Yamamoto from KRUSH

This weekend's KRUSH show saw MMA fighter Akihiro Gono return to his kickboxing roots as he dropped down to a svelte 70kg (around 150lbs) to face K-1 MAX fighter Yuya Yamamoto. Gono had some issues making weight, missing weight and having to go cut a few more kilograms to make 70kg. He hasn't fought that light in years now, so it makes sense. He looked extremely dehydrated in the photos floating around of the weigh-ins, albeit also very cut. Watch how Gono, a SHOOTO, Pancrase, ZST, DEEP, PRIDE and UFC veteran handles himself against a good K-1 MAX fighter in Yamamoto, while still out classed he had some tricks in his bag.

Not bad for a MMA fighter who was brutally KO'd by Dan Hornbuckle in Sengoku a while back.

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Robert Sor Klinmee vs Famai Sit Boonrue 2011

April 24th

A couple of days ago, one of our fighters fought at Rajadamnern. It was his third outing there, with him going 1 and 1 in his first two bouts there, and he put on a good showing.

I've embedded the video from the Sor Klinmee Youtube channel. Subscribe to the channel for updates from the gym. Sudsakorn and Ekapapop – not to be confused with Ekapon, though the three are friends – will be fighting in France, and there are fights at Theprasit, Rajadamnern, and Lumpini almost every week. Ekapop is doing a four man tournament at 72 kg in France this month.

Robert is in the red corner, Famai the blue. The bout was contested at 45 kg, or 99 lb.

 

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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at Badr vs. Semmy Schilt from the Amsterdam ArenA

The return of Badr Hari on May 14th is a big deal, as Badr Hari is one of the kickboxing world's top fighters. Badr Hari has for a long time been a very strong prospect before making it to the finals of the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2008. Making the Finals in 2008 was huge for Badr Hari, but his much-talked about temper reared its ugly head when he couldn't get the better of Remy Bonjasky. Bonjasky went down after being tripped and Badr Hari's heel met Bonjasky's face.

In 2009 Badr Hari had a lot to prove, to the world and to himself. His temper kept him from achieving what many saw as his destiny, to win the K-1 World Grand Prix. So for Badr Hari, the year of 2009 was a year of redemption and second chances. Not only was he disqualified against Remy Bonjasky in the Finals, but at Dynamite!! he was knocked out by Alistair Overeem. To say when he was given a shot at then three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Semmy Schilt that he had a lot to prove is an understatement. Badr Hari walked into the Amsterdam ArenA to fight for It's Showtime in a bout to decide the It's Showtime World Heavyweight Championship.

Many saw this fight as Semmy Schilt's fight, for Badr Hari to defeat Schilt he would need to pull off a miracle Peter Aerts performance.

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Interview with world champ Liam Harrison before THE big fight: Harrison/Saenchai II

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A real clash of the titans.

An oft overused phrase in fightsports, but in this case it is undoubtedly true. As Liam himself puts it in this video interview, regarding the fight later today with Saenchai, it is a meeting between "the p4p best thai-boxer in England, against the p4p best in the world in the last 20yrs, from Thailand".

Stay tuned for a report on the fight itself.

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March 2011 Month in Review

We're always trying new things out here at LiverKick.com, and so here is our latest feature: the video Month in Review. Each month, I'll post a short 3-5 minute review of the month's top stories, the best fights from the month, and a look ahead at the most anticipated fights of next month.

Below is our first installment for March 2011.

Check the full entry for videos of the 4 must watch fights from March.

Of course, since this is a new feature, any (constructive) feedback is most appreciated.  Too long?  Too short?  Something you want added?  Something you want removed?  Let me know so I can improve for next month.

Thanks for your support - and I hope you enjoy!

 

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Fabio Pinca vs Petmankong Petfergus 2010

I'm in China right now, unable to access Youtube, so I'm going all the way back to December 2010 for this bout, the final of the inaugural Thai Fight Tournament.

The winner got a heap of prizes including an Isuzu (yes, this tournament is also funded by Isuzu Motors), a million baht (approx. 33k USD), sponsors, and a lot exposure.

Pinca fought his way through Sharos Huyer and Rafi Zouheir, and Petmankong went through Zhou Hong Zhang and Vitaly Gurkov to meet in the semi-finals. There were questions about whether Petmankong, previously a 126 lb and 135 lb fighter, could be successful in the 147 lb tournament, but he'd proved more than skillful enough to handle his first two opponents. Pinca had been making a name for himself facing high quality Thai opponents, but had come up short against elite fighters like Kem Sitsongpeenong, Saenchai Sor Kingstar, and Attachai Fairtex. He himself was not a a large fighter for 67 kg, having fought at 140 lb a number of times.

Pinca wears the blue in this bout, Petmankong the red.

(As I said, Youtube is blocked in China, so I'm actually viewing the bout here: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjI5NjM5NTc2.html)

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Start Your Monday Off Right: Watch This Highlight

Initially I was going to post a highlight reel that went up on Mixfight of ten of the top K-1 knockouts in history, and while that is good in theory, if you are coming to LiverKick.com on a regular basis, this is stuff that you should already have in your pocket somewhere. If not, well, have at it. Our good friend Jill puts together some rather awesome highlight packages once in a while, and on occasion when I actually check my Tumblr account I see them and think that the world needs to see them.

All Japan Kickboxing Federation had a very rich history until its untimely death in 2009, while still making sure to keep us happy by splintering off into the KRUSH events that we know and love today. AJKF gave us a lot of top Japanese stars, so why not reflect on it?

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Buakaw Por Pramuk vs Petnamek Sor Siriwat 2002

The below is a beautiful display of Muay Thai. Both Buakaw and Petnamek throw beautifully and utilize their technique in rather different strategies to impose their will on the fight.

This bout, in addition to being a fun to watch display of Muay Thai, also serves to highlight a difference in scoring between Muay Thai and kickboxing or Western boxing. Namely, that the judges weigh the last two rounds heavily over the first three. This makes sense on paper, but for those of us who are used to seeing each round weighed equally, it seems strange on viewing.

Of the fighters, Buakaw is undoubtedly more famous, due to his successes in K-1. At this point, he was still fighting in the 135 - 140 lb (61.5 - 63.5 kg) range.  It would be two years before his debut in that organization. He now fights at 154 lb (70 kg), which is also his walk-around weight.

Like Buakaw, Petnamek Sor Siriwat was a well-regarded fighter on the Muay Thai circuits during this time. He too would move up in weight. I believe the most recent footage of him on Youtube showed him participating in Muay Thai vs San Da in 2005.

Buakaw fights out of the blue corner in this bout, Petnamek, southpaw, fights out of the red corner.

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Kaoponlek vs Diego Calzolari

Hello, people. Here's a short highlight of a knockout for you all. I'm pretty sure this fight happened recently in Italy.

Calzolari is a regional fighter in Italy and has fought recently against Namsaknoi, Kem, and Sudsakorn, among others. Kaoponlek fought at a very high level in Thailand before moving to Europe, holding Lumpini and Rajadamnern titles. I'm not sure where he lives these days, but I'm fairly certain he's overseas.

This video is only a short clip, but it certainly gives a sense of how a "dramatic" KO looks. Kaoponlek wears golden shorts, Calzolari blue.

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Must See Muay Thai Fight: Muangthai vs. Amata

Proof that you don't need to be on a grand stage to have a great fight, here is an unknown fight from a few weeks ago in Thailand that is absolutely a must see.

What you have here is a match in the 46kg (101 lbs) division at the Channel 7 Stadium in Bangkok from February 6.  In the blue is Muangthai Sor Boonyeeam, a 17 year old fighter with a record of 40-18.  In the red, Amata Por Tongboran, age 20, 40-20.  Two very young fighters, neither of whom sports an amazing record, but the end result is simply spectacular.

No joke, you should watch this:

What starts off as a relatively normal Muay Thai opening round picks up immediately at the start of round 2 as Amata comes out fast and furious.  He spends almost the entirety of this 2nd round landing punch after punch, absolutely rocking Muangthai to the point that many refs would have stepped in and called a down.  In the 3rd, Muangthai rallies, connecting with his own shots before landing one of the most beautiful elbow KO's I have ever seen.  Both men show a huge variety of technique here, using elbows, knees, kicks, and punches to show off the full range of what makes Muay Thai so special.  But it's the changes in momentum and the heart shown by both that really sets this fight apart and makes it something special.

We've got a long way to go before the year is done, but don't be surprised if this one shows up on the Fight of the Year ballots when the time comes.

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