|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
The countdown to It's Showtime's huge Fast and Furious tournament is on and there is a lot to be excited over. If you want to know how the media is picking it up internationally, this newspaper clipping of Chris Ngimbi training and breaking down the tournament from a Belgian newspaper.
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Mark Miller has been training his ass off since making his big comeback in May knocking out Nikolaj Falin in just under 9 seconds. It was one of those moments that was almost too perfect to sum up. Since then he has been training just as hard waiting for his next fight to come together, and this training also included making a special appearance at Rampage Jackson's training camp as a sparring partner and coach for Rampage in his upcoming fight. Regardless of the whole, ridiculous "spygate" non-scandal that has been talked about for Rampage's training camp, a lot of actual work was done and Mark helped push Rampage to his limits.
Since then he has been training using the Mass Suit, something almost out of a science fiction movie that was made to help athletes maximize their workouts by providing extra tension. This video is of Mark working out with the suit and they interview him for some background information as well. [source]
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This Sunday marks the second big K-1 event of the year, the 70kg MAX Japan tournament. Last year's tournament featured Yuichiro Nagashima and Hiroki Nakajima scoring knockouts in their quarter and semifinal bouts which culminated in a dramatic 3rd round knockout by Nagashima in the finals in a wild brawl. This year's tournament is extremely interesting because, for the first time, K-1 has placed a former K-1 MAX World Champion into the field in Albert Kraus. It is also interesting because of the new blood brought in by K-1. They have brought in young prospects in RISE Middleweight champion Takafumi Morita, Krush 70kg tournament champion Kenta and K-1 Koshien 2009 70kg champion Shintaro Matsukura. Returning from last year's tournament are 2010 Japan MAX tournament finalist Hiroki Nakajima, 2009 K-1 World MAX semifinalist Yuya Yamamoto, 2008 Japan MAX tournament winner Yasuhiro Kido and Yuji Nashiro. Despite losing tournament mainstays Ryuji and Tatsuji as well as last year's winner Yuichiro Nagashima and semifinalist Hinata, the tournament field is as strong as ever and could produce a couple new stars for K-1. I have decided to rank the fighters in this tournament by their likelihood of winning to give people who may not know much about some of the participating fighters an idea as to where each fighter stands entering the tournament.
1. Albert Kraus: I doubt there are many people who don't have Kraus as a big favorite to win this tournament and for good reason. Despite winning his K-1 MAX World championship back in 2002, Kraus has stayed an elite fighter. He is coming off a controversial loss to Yoshihiro Sato in which Sato got a bit of a gift from the judges and it would be hard to argue that Sato isn't the best fighter at 70kg in Japan at the moment. Outside of an upset loss to Batu Khasikov in March, his only other losses in the past two years have come in the quarterfinals of the K-1 MAX World tournament to eventual champion Giorgio Petrosyan. In the past two years' Final 16s, Kraus absolutely dominated last year's Japan MAX tournament's finalists Nagashima and Nakajima. Upsets can happen, but Kraus is well above the competition in this field.
2. Yuya Yamamoto: Upsets happen. Despite the loss to Shintaro Matsukura in Krush, I still feel Yuya is the #3 fighter in Japan behind Sato and Hinata. Outside of the knockdown, Yuya was outworking and outlanding Matsukura. While his aggressive, brawling style may not fare too well against the elite fighters in the division, it should hold up well in this tournament which features a few fighters who haven't shied away from slugfests. I don't doubt that I could be completely wrong in placing him this high, but I don't think Yuya's lack of defense is going to hold him back in this tournament. A quarterfinal rematch with Matsukura will be telling of Yuya's success. If he is able to impose his will, Yuya could find himself in the finals. If not, it'll be a long road ahead for the former World MAX tournament semifinalist.
3. Kenta: I can't get over how good Kenta looked in the Krush 70kg tournament. He was accurate, he beat Nakajima and Yamauchi to the punch consistently and rarely got hit. Kenta has the most momentum heading into this tournament and if he looked as good as he did in Krush, I can definitely see him making it to the finals. Kido is a difficult first round matchup and Kenta likely won't be able to put him away, but his defense should be strong enough to stay away from a knockdown or a knockout.
Yeah, I know that all you probably care about today is the Golden Glory saga but here's some other news. On October 15th in Marseilles, France, Fight Code will team up with TK2 to put on a pretty nice card.
There's two portions of the card, the Fight Code portion and the TK2 portion. The Fight Code portion will hold four of the Dragons Series Final 8 match-ups along with two super fights. The TK2 portion of the card will hold a one night, eight man tournament along with a reserve fight and three super fights.
Dragon Series Final 8:
Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee (Thailand) VS Halim Issaoui (Morocco)
Bruno Franchi (Italia) VS Norbert Balogh (Hungary
Abdallah Mabel ( France) VS Xu Yan (China)
Armen Petrosyan (Armenia) VS Jury Bessemrtny (Belarus)
Chingiz Allazov (Azerbaijan) vs. Raouf Beliouz (France)
Cedric Castagna (France) vs. Sofiane Derdega (France)
Leroy Kaestner (Netherlands) vs. Ismail Uzuner (Turkey)
Farhat Ahmedjanov (Belarus) vs. Aziz Ali Kada (France)
Yohan Lidon (France) vs. Ait Said (Netherlands)
Mohammed Medhar (Netherlands) vs. Enriko Gogokhia (Georgia)
Philippe Salmon (France) vs. Willy Borrel (France)
Wallid Haddad (France) vs. Niklas Larsen (Denmark)
Fabrice Aureng (France) vs. TBA
Overall, a very solid card from top to bottom. Very established names like Yohan Lidon and Sudsakorn are on the card with a ton of lesser known but good fighters that are waiting for their moment to get recognition. Enriko Gogokhia and Chingiz Allazov are ones to watch out for here.
The event will be broadcast on Fight Code's website, but as of right now it's not known if the TK2 portion will also be shown. I'd sure hope it would be. As per usual with kickboxing shows, don't be surprised if many match-ups get shuffled, new participants come in or fighters drop out. Many of these fighters have a very busy schedule around this time and one small injury can end one's go at this event.
In a major upset English Muay Thai fighter Andy Thrasher won the 154 lbs Toyota Marathon which took place in Kanchanaburi yesterday. This Muay Thai tournament contained two top Thai fighters, Prakayseng Kaeyanghadao and Panom Topkingboxing, and anyone who watches these eight man knock out competitions regularly will tell you that it is virtually unheard of for a Thai fighter not to win.
Prakayseng is ranked the number one contender at Lumpini Stadium in the highest weight category there, 147 lbs, and Panom is also ranked in the top ten. Both Thais comfortably won their quarter finals with Prakayseng defeating Dom from Sweden in the opening round and Panom winning a decision against Yan Goldenglorygym from Holland.
In the other two quarter finals Rodrigo Alonso from Mexico won a decision over Jonas Risco from Spain and Thrasher defeated Umaro from Uganda also by way of decision at the end of three rounds, with fights being reduced from the normal five due to the quick fire tournament format.
The two Thai fighters met in the semi finals in a contest which most assumed would decided the winner of the actual tournament. Thrasher was extremely unortunate not to have beaten Panom when the two fought for the WPMF title in Bali earlier this year and he found himself on the receiving end of a decision loss at the end of a fight that even his opponent felt he had done enough to win.
Any hopes he had of avenging that loss were extinguished when Prakayseng emerged victorious in the semi final after getting the nod from the judges. Thrasher still had a semi final of his own to worry about but he won a decision over Alonso to set up a Toyota Marathon final with Prakayseng with THB 300,000 in prize money on offer for the winner.
Winning a decision against a Thai fighter in Thailand is no easy task for a foreign fighter. After over 200 fights you learn how to fight in a style which the judges, who are of course also from Thailand, will appreciate and Prakayseng is as experienced as they come. Without wishing to be overly cynical I think it is fair to day that in a highly publicized tournament which is being broadcast live on national television in Thailand and has a significant amount of prize money at stake a 'farang' is going to have to do something pretty emphatic if they want to win.
Thrasher did just that, knocking out the number one ranked Lumpini contender in the second round to claim a surprise victory. This performance must instantly make the Nak Muay from Manchester one of the top fighters in Thailand at 154 lbs. He seems to get constantly overlooked by the prestigious shows such as Thai Fights, Thailand vs Challenger and the Muay Thai Premier League but promoters will surely be taking a much closer interest in his career after such an impressive performance at the Toyota Marathon yesterday.
His success is in no small part due to the trainers at Jitti Gym in Bangkok who have an excellent record of producing top class foreign fighters such as Liam Harrison, who was unfortunate to be knocked out from the Thai Fights tournament last year despite winning both his fights after being unable to make weight beore the semi final.
For more information about Andy Thrasher and Jitti Gym visit: http://www.jittigym.com/Add a comment