Results from the international kickboxing scene this weekend:
Mike Zambidis took home the title at the W5 Grand Prix event in Moscow, although it wasn’t an easy road. In the semi-finals, Enriko Gogokhia provided a tough challenge, taking the fight into the extension round before Zambo could score the decision win. In semi-final #2, Dzhabar Askerov took a decision against William Diender, setting up Zambidis vs. Askerov 2 for the final. The two men once again went to war, and once again it was Zambidis claiming the win via unanimous decision. With that win, Zambidis has won 7 of his last 8, with the only loss coming against Giorgio Petrosyan. Prior to this run, he was on a 2-4 streak, and looked like his days at the top could be finished; it’s been great to see the veteran fighter make this resurgence. Also at W5: Vladimir Mineev won over Vitaly Shemetov by doctor stopage at the end of round 1, Alexandr Stetsurenko def. Vasily Tershonok by decision in the extension round, and Roman Mailov def. Ramil Novruzov via decision.
Evolution 23 took place in Australia on Saturday. As always, the Australian Muay Thai show delivered, with a number of exciting fights. In the main event, one of the scene’s big names, Bruce “The Preacher” Macfie dropped a unanimous decision to Franki Giorgi. Giorgi had defeated Macfie by stoppage at the last card to set up this rematch, and while the Preacher went the distance this time, reports indicate the result was never in doubt.
Elsewhere in the card there was some controversy in a fight between Eli Madigan and Jason Scerri, which Madigan won. Post-show, Scerri’s corner has been very critical of Madigan and Evolution, claiming that when they agreed to the fight, they requested there be no elbows used, as Scerri no longer fights under full Muay Thai rules. According to Scerri’s camp at Jabout Gym, both Evolution and Madigan’s team agreed to this, however when the fight started, Madigan used numerous elbows to cut open his opponent. Scerri’s corner threw in the towel as they felt they were being cheated. Bit of an ugly situation there.
One final note from the show – much credit is due to Glen Purvis, who came in on very short notice to face the tough and experienced Dane Daddy Kool when Dane’s original opponent had to bow out. Taking a fight against a fighter at that level on just a few days notice is impressive. Even more impressive? Purvis is only 16 years old. Hats off to him for stepping in there.
Full results from Evolution 23 in the complete entry.
And finally, top Muay Thai fighter Saenchai Sinbi (the former Saenchai Sor Kingstar) was in action in England. Saenchai faced top ranked UK Muay Thai fighter Liam Harrison. Reports say this was an excellent fight with Harrisoin giving it his all, but in the end, Saenchai was too much and took the unanimous decision win. He’s now 2-0 against Harrison after a 2009 decision victory. If you’re unfamiliar with Saenchai, get to YouTube and check him out – truly one of the most gifted athletes in the world in any combat sports discipline.
There have been a number of smaller Muay Thai stories making the rounds lately that we haven't had a chance to mention, so for you fans of the science of eight limbs, here are some of the latest rumblings, all collected together.
-First up, a result from this past weekend direct from Thailand. One of the big events this year has been the ongoing Isuzu Thai Fight qualifying tournament at Omnoi Stadium. That tournament is nearing completion, as the first of the two semi-finals went down this past Saturday. In semi-final #1, it was Nopparet Keatkhamtorn vs. Dernchonlek Sor. Niyom. Check the full entry for the complete fight, and if you don't want the result spoiled, stop reading this paragraph now. The semi-final clash was a good, if slightly odd fight at times, with Nopparet seeming to show some irritation throughout. As the fight progressed, Dernchonlek looked to control the clinch for the win, but it wasn't enough as Nopparet took the decision win. He now moves onto the finals to face the winner of Khem Sitsongpeenong vs. Prakaisaeng Sit O on April 16.
-We previously reported on the May 14 Thai Fight Extreme card, and now we have some more details. Coming from France, this is the event featuring a stacked line-up including Buakaw, Yodsaenklai, Saiyok, and more. A tentative card has been released, and it looks like they are going with a Thailand vs. France theme. The current line-up:
Saiyok Pumpanmuang vs. Mohamed Diaby
Sudsakon Sor Klinmee vs. Abdallah Mabel
Yodsaenklai Fairtex vs. Jose Barradas
Buakaw Por Pramuk vs. Djime Coulibaly
Petasawin Seatransferry vs. Sofian Dergada
Yuya Yamato vs. Fabio Pinca
Hiroki Komata vs. Samir Mohamed
Hiroki Yamamoto vs. Ibrahim Chiahou
Not a huge challenge for either Yod or Buakaw, but both Sudsakorn vs. Mabel and Saiyok vs. Diaby should be good fights.
-Another upcoming fight for Buakaw could be his planned appearance in the US at the August 13 Stand Up Promotions event in Anaheim, CA. Seeing the K-1 MAX legend is reason enough to be excited for this card, but they've now added a huge fight that should draw you in. On August 13 it will be pound for pound Muay Thai king Saenchai Sinbi (that's the former Saenchai Sor Kingstar, now relocated to Sinbi gym) vs. American Muay Thai stand-out Kevin Ross. This is an amazing score for the promotion, as this will mark the first time an American challenges Saenchai here in the US. There's great stuff going on in the west coast Muay Thai scene these days, and this match just shows how alive that scene is. Also discussed for that card are Kaoklai and Saiyok.
-Speaking of Saenchai, just a reminder that he is in action this weekend, facing Liam Harrison on the 9th at Duel at the Dome in the UK.
-Finally, one more US fight rumor - on May 14 Lion Fight Promotions will host Battle in the Desert 2. Rumors now indicate that the show may feature former It's Showtime and King's Cup champion Cosmo Alexandre against Cyrus Washington. Once again, this would be a great chance to see a top international Muay Thai name here in the US.
Watch Nopparet vs. Dernchonlek in the full entry.
This weekend the K-1 World MAX Quarter Finals in Foshan will be coming your way live via Epicentre.tv's PPV if you live outside of China, and if my traffic records indicate anything, you probably do. So you might not want to miss this awesome card from K-1, including Buakaw Banchamek, Saenchai, Shane Campbell and more. The event costs $20 and takes place on December 28th at 6am Eastern time.
UPDATE: The event has started now, much earlier than projected time.
After the last minute change of not only venues but continents, Muay Thai Mania Yokkao 5 went down without a hitch yesterday in Thailand. The event would have been considered a success even if it wasn't moved on one week's notice, but it really is amazing to look at how they had to move the entire event from Europe to Thailand that quickly and that everything went smoothly. The main event saw a bout between Saenchai and Singdam with both guys trying to win the KO bonus, but Saenchai was just overwhelming and won by points.
If you were one of the people who saw the January 11th K-1 event, which serves as one half of the K-1 World MAX Final 8, and were a bit disappointed by it, K-1's announcement today makes up for that tenfold. Today K-1 held a press conference in China to announce the K-1 World MAX 2013 Quarter Final event in Foshan, China which takes place on December 28th. The event will air live on Hunan TV in China as well as across the globe via Epicentre.tv (like last time).
While the card for the January 11th event might be a bit threadbare to the untrained eye, this event is pretty stacked with some big names on the card. Here is the full card;
Saenchai is another huge win for K-1, especially after signing Buakaw Banchamek a few months ago, with this whole China show being a win. It is being viewed as the beginning of a new era for K-1 as they are looking to potentially make China their new home for their big events.
Lumpini Kriekrai, June 10, Results, from Petyindee Promotions at Lumpini Stadium
1: Kangwanlek Petyindee vs Petchpanomrung Sor Tamransee
2: The-lek Wor Sangprapai vs Julong Ekbangsai for vacant Thailand Light-flyweight title
3: Panpet Chor Na Phattalung vs Sittisak Chengsimiew gym for Panpet’s Thailand Super-featherweight title
4: Singdam Kiatmuu9 vs Petboonchu FA Group for vacant WMC Lightweight title
5: Sagetdao Petpayathai 133 vs Saenchai Sinbi Muaythai 131 for Sagetdao’s Lumpini Lightweight title
6: Sam-A Gaiyanghaadao gym vs Thong PuiD9D for Sam-A’s Lumpini Super-bantamweight title
7: Nong-O Gaiyanghaadao gym vs Kongsak Sitboonmee for Nong-O’s Lumpini Super-featherweight title
Brent did a good job profiling this event and outlining how absolutely gigantic a show it is. This event consisted almost entirely of championship fights, and all the names on the card are either established fighters or exciting up and comers, like Thelek. Also note, Sam-A and Nong-O have not changed gyms. Gaiyangadao is the name of a sponsor.
Kangwanlek is a big name and something of an anomaly. He is in his thirties and competing still in the top ranks with some success.
Thelek is a young fighter known for his outstanding workrate. This was a rematch, with him having beaten Julong before.
Singdam's been posting strong performances since before winning the Sports Writer's Fighter of the Year award in 2002. That is amazing longevity for this sport. He has been slowing lately, however.Petboonchu should need no introduction, as he has fought Saenchai in a few high profile bouts. His power-clinching style has brought him a lot of success in the top ranks, and he has been moving up in weight.
Sagetdao and Saenchai have fought before multiple times. Sagetdao and Petboonchu actually fought Saenchai together in 2009, with Sagetdao fighting rounds 1-3 and Petboonchu rounds 4-5. Saenchai took that fight, though he lost to Sagetdao some time afterward. Sagetdao took it again this time, on points.
Sam-A is a consistent, classy performer. Against Tong, he did not have to worry about competing against a larger opponent. Historically, he has struggled with larger opponents because of his patient, technical style, but it served him well recently against the larger, and favored, Kongsak. That fight went to a draw, which was something of an upset decision, considering Kongsak is on a 9 fight win streak.
Nong-O, after posting a very strong 2010, when he won Lumpini's Fighter of the Year, has not had much luck this year. This was an interesting bout, as Nong-O is a large, powerful kicker who fights well in orthodox and southpaw. Kongsak is just proving very hard to beat, however. He has wonderful timing and conservation of motion in his bouts. Even though Nong-O has been on the losing end of some decisions, he has consistently looked good in his bouts. Keep in mind he has been around about as long as Singdam, too.
If you weren't already super stoked for Muay Thai Combat Mania Yokkao 5 on the 15th of November, things only get better with Saenchai vs. Singdam headlining in a 3x3 fight. If you are saying that it might not be enough time for both men to work their magic and put on an exciting fight, Yokkao has tossed in a special KO Bonus, giving incentive for the fighters to give it their all and get an extra pay day out of the fight.
Thai fight had a show today at the The Riverfront Asiatique which looked like a really interesting place to have fights. Some fights were fought with ropes wrapped on their hands, and others with the regular gloves. After hearing from people I consider legends in this sport about how hard Yodsanklai hits, I feel you must have a death wish to fight him with only ropes on his hands. Also Saenchai showed why he is the best showman in the sport with a very sneaky head kick KO.
Saiyok Pumphanmuang Windysport def. Antoine Pinto by decision
Yodsanklai Fairtex def. Christophe Pruvost by TKO Rd 1
Chanajon P.K. Saenchaimuaythaigym def. Dambo Gaetan Thomas by decision
Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee (Thailand) def. Gow Sauo by TKO Rd 1
Saenchai P.K. Saenchaimuaythaigym def. Ghilas Barache KO Rd 1
Iquezang Kor.Rungthanakeat def. Saping Yu by decision
Leo Pinto def. Celestin Mendes by TKO Rd 3
How can you not enjoy Yod's handywork.
The Hoost Cup went down this weekend, featuring a few interesting fights, namely Saenchai's first "Kickboxing" fight, which has sparked all sorts of speculation as to what his future might be and if he might be headed to K-1 as his sponsor Yokkao has insinuated at on Twitter. It doesn't hurt that K-1 head Mr. Kim has been seen visiting with Stefania, the mastermind behind Yokkao Extreme, either.
The results are as follows;
Yoshihiro Sato (R3 - Dec.) Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima
Saenchai (R3 - Dec.) Yosuke Mizuochi
Souta Ichinohe (R1 - TKO) Ryuya Kusakabe
Shu Ogawa (R3 - Dec.) Hiroki
Hukashi (R3 - Dec.) Yuto Tsujide
Satoko Sasaki (R3 - Dec.) Maria Pantazi
Now, as for Saenchai and K-1, it is no secret that K-1 is looking to re-establish itself with a new set of stars, and who better than one of the most famous Thai fighters alive today in Saenchai? Saenchai's flashy style has won him tons of fans all over the world and it would make for a perfect and entertaining fit for K-1. Seeing as though Saenchai's natural weight class is around 60kg and his tendency to fight up in weight it wouldn't shock me to see him at 65kgs.
As for Saenchai's relationship with K-1 right now it is still too early to predict what will happen, but LiverKick has been able to confirm that there have been preliminary talks between the two parties, although it is not clear how far these talks have gone.