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Muay Thai at the Mecca 2: Washington vs. Lindsay

The full line-up for Muay Thai at the Mecca 2 has been released by Take-On Productions, and it's set to be one of the biggest North American Muay Thai cards of the year.

That's no surprise, of course, considering the first Muay Thai at the Mecca was the largest full-Thai rules event ever put on in the state of New York. This year, the card takes place on November 10th at the Theater at Madison Sqaure Garden, New York, and features 14 solid fights topped off with Cryus Washington taking on Chike Lindsay in the main event.

The winner of the Washington/Lindsay fight is set to compete on the Yokkao Extreme 2013 card next January, so there's a lot on the line for both guys. Fighting on what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest Muay Thai shows of 2013 is a major accomplishment in and of itself, and could serve as a platform into future stardom.

Washington is coming off two back-to-back losses, one to Nieky Holzken who most recently scored a KO victory over Murat Direkci in Glory 2 Brussels, and the other to fellow American Ky Hollenbeck, who is competing against Giorgio Petrosyan in the Glory MAX tournament next weekend. Needless to say, Washington doesn't take easy fights. He's been off the radar for a few months training MMA fighters, so it'll be interesting to see how he'll do against a hungry Chike Lindsay who's looking to make an international name for himself.

Atlanta-based Chike Lindsay defeated Malaipet for the WBC strap back in August of last year, and beat him for the second time at Bangkok Fight Night in June. Nicknamed "Vicious Croc," Lindsay is undoubtedly one of the more well known American Thaiboxers, but still hasn't quite reached the same level of stardom as Kevin Ross, Joe Schilling, or Cyrus Washington.

The card also features a rematch between Ryan Madigan, who briefly fought in the UFC and competed on the first Muay at the Mecca card, and Tarek Rached. The original fight ended in a TKO victory for Rached after Madigan injured his knee halfway through the match.

The card will be streaming on gfl.tv for $15 on November 10 at 7 PM ET.

Full card after the break

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Thai Fight Tournaments Begin Tomorrow: Buakaw vs. Mauro Serra

Thai Fight is back on October 23 (which is tonight or tomorrow, depending on what timezone you're in), with the start of their 2012 tournaments, again using the same weights of 67kg and 70kg. Last year's winners were Kem Sitsongpeenong at 67kg and Buakaw at 70kg.

Buakaw will still be in the 70kg field this year, while Kem is no longer in the 67kg field, as Singmanee Kaewsamrit will be the Thai representative. With Singmanee at 67kg, the field is much more competitive with him already having lost to fellow tournament participant Houcine Bennoui and arguably losing to Andrei Kulebin in June. As for 70kg, Buakaw the field is pretty much made for Buakaw to run right through it. Last year's field at 70kg was much stronger.

Thai Fight as usual will be shown live on Channel 3 in Thailand, and we'll assume you're internet-savvy enough to find a way to watch it for those outside of Thailand. The approximate start time is 2:20 AM ET/11:20 PM PT in North America and 1:20 PM local time in Thailand.

67 kg: 

Rachid Boumalek vs Singmanee Kaewsamrit

Mehdi Zatout vs Shan Cangelosi

Andrei Kulebin vs Crice Boussoukou

Adaylton Pareira De Freitas vs Houcine Bennoui 

70 kg: 

Buakaw Por Pramuk vs Mauro Serra

Choi Woo Yeong vs Nishikawa Tomoyuki

Shannon King vs Antero Hynynen

Vitaly Gurkov vs Fares Bechar

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Dylan Salvador Scores Huge Upset With KO Over Saiyok Pumphanmuang

Today in Roschtigrabe, Switzerland, a few major upsets in the world of Muay Thai took place at the Roschtigrabe Derby event. Saiyok Pumphanmuang faced Dylan Salvador and Hongtonglek Chor. Fahpiansi faced Hakim Hamech, both being Thailand vs. France fights. In a shocker, both French fighters won. I didn't think either of them would win but the fact that both of them won is a huge surprise.

The way that Dylan Salvador won was especially a surprise, as he knocked out Saiyok in the first round. Salvador was still seen as an up and comer, having two wins at Thai Fight. He also usually fights around 65-67kg and is smaller than Saiyok. Taking that into account, Saiyok just handily beat Fabio Pinca a month ago. This is a major upset, with Salvador's Team Nasser K teammate Fabio Pinca not even coming close to beating Saiyok.

Speaking of Team Nasser K, they are really on a roll lately with Salvador's win, Houcine Bennoui beating Singmanee and Mickael Piscitello beating Sudsakorn. It's hard to argue that they don't have the most stacked team in Europe.

For Hakim Hamech to beat Hongtonglek is also a shocker, considering Hongtonglek is ranked #7 at Lumpinee at 115lbs/52kg and was the champion of Thailand at 112lbs/50.8kg as well as 115lbs/52kg. Hamech is very young and unknown but is French champion at 118lbs/53.5kg.

UPDATE: While the first news that got out was that Salvador won by KO, now it seems as if Saiyok actually stopped the fight in his corner after the first round due to a ligament injury sustained to one of his knees. Still an upset, yes, but not the same magnitude now that it seems as if Saiyok couldn't fight on due to an injury.

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8 North American Fighters to Keep an Eye On

With Jarrell Miller winning a spot in the K-1 Final 8 tournament bracket, the possibility of more Americans competing at an international level in kickboxing doesn't seem so unbelievable anymore. As K-1 is breaking into mainstream U.S television next year, it's almost guaranteed that they'll be looking to use local talent. Here's a list of 8 promising North American fighters you might be seeing in the future.

1. Matt Embree/Canada

Embree’s had a good year, picking up a win over Nils Widlund and defeating Coke Chanhuwat for the WBC International Interim belt at LionFight 5, although he most recently lost a decision to Lerdsilla Chumpairtour in August. Embree was originally scheduled to face Kevin Ross a few months ago, but Ross was forced to withdraw due to an injury. If this fight happens in the future, it'll almost certainly be fireworks

2. Andy Singh/USA

If you didn't catch Andy Singh at LionFight 7, you missed out. He defeated Anthony Castrejon for the 118 pound WBC National Title, using vicious face-teeps to bloody Castrejon en-route to a decision victory. I expect to see Singh fighting internationally soon, as there aren't too many challengers for him in the States.

3. Ognjen Topic/USA

Topic is a guy to watch for sure. He recently TKO'd Rami Ibrahim to take home the WBC International Super Featherweight title at Warriors Cup XV. Topic is a big featherweight, and I could see him making the move to one of K-1's new, lighter-weight divisions.

4. Eddie Walker/USA

There's been a lot of talk about Eddie "Showtime" Walker lately. After KO'ing Joe Schilling at LionFight 7, many people questioned whether his win was luck or skill, Regardless, Walker's stock has skyrocketed in the past few weeks, and there will be a significant amount of pressure on his shoulders when he enters the K-1 ring for the first time.

5. Gabriel Varga/Canada

Varga made some serious waves in September when he defeated Lerdsilla in a superfight at K-1 Rising. A heavy underdog, Varga pressed Lerdsilla the entire match and prevented the Thai from being his usual elusive self. He is expected to fight on K-1's HW Grand Prix card in New York.

6. Brett Hlavaceck/USA

Hlavaceck currently has a record of 6-0 in Muay Thai, with his last win being over Harry Baker in England. He's been touted as "the next big thing" by more than a few people, and despite being nearly 30 years old, could have a bright future in the sport. He'll be fighting Stephen Richards at The Warriors Cup XVI on November 3rd for a WBC National title.

7. Joseph Valtellini/Canada

With a professional record of 6-1, Bazooka Joe tasted defeat for the first time at LionFight 7, dropping a decision to the experienced Gregory Choplin. Joe's previous 6 fights all ended by way of TKO,  which speaks both to Choplin's skill and Valtellini's knockout power. He plans to fight again in December.

8. Cyrus Washington/USA

If you follow American Muay Thai even a little bit, then you probably know Cyrus Washington. He's been on somewhat of a rough streak lately, losing two in a row to Nieky Holzken and Ky Hollenbeck, before taking time off to train MMA fighters. Washington's next bout is going to be at Muay Thai at the Mecca 2, which goes down November 10th. It'll be good to to see if "Black Dynamite" can return to form after the break.

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