|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)|
Just a few days after announcing an all-star list of participants for It's Showtime's January 28th event, Simon Rutz is at it again. Rutz took to his Facebook to announce that Errol Zimmerman and Melvin Manhoef will also be in action on January 28th.
This now leaves the list of confirmed participants at:
The location and fight lineup will be announced before the end of the month. The card is slated to be the biggest kickboxing show in a while, with It's Showtime bringing out all their top fighters and stars.Add a comment
Eastern Europe is quietly becoming one of the areas where more and more strikers are entering MMA. Konstantin Gluhov (as highlighted here), Zabit Samedov and a bevy of lesser known strikers from Eastern Europe have dawned the open gloves and participated in MMA this year and in years past. One of the best up and coming heavyweights out of the area in my opinion is Alexei Kudin.
In kickboxing, Kudin is probably most known for fighting Pavel Zhuravlev six times. Yes, six times. Although his record against Zhuravlev isn't very pretty at 1-4-1, all the fights have been competitive with three split decisions, a majority decision and a draw between them. Recently, Kudin won the IFMA European Championships of Muay Thai, defeating Dmitry Bezus in the final. Kudin stands 6'2, 242 pounds. With the recent major success of Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, it's a body frame that is quite optimal for MMA if the skills and speed are possessed to make up for the strength of the behemoths in the division.
Of Kudin's four wins this year, three have been stoppages with punches. He seems to favor the hands when he fights in MMA and rightfully so, as they pose less threat of getting taken down than kicks and knees do. He'll often leave his hands a bit low, but he doesn't mind eating a few shots for it as long as he can effectively counter with punches. His fight with Dmitry Poberezhets is a good gauge of where he's at, stylewise and skillwise.
Kudin recently won a ProFC tournament in Moldova, stopping both of his opponents in under a minute, including a seven second knockout in the first fight (video). In the second fight, he dropped his opponent with low kicks and finished off on the ground. Low kicks are a weapon that Kudin should definitely use more in MMA, even if there's a bigger threat of getting taken down. Kudin's low kicks pack some power and most MMA fighters won't be able to handle them if hit cleanly a few times.
The opportunities are there in Eastern Europe, more specifically Russia for MMA fighters to keep active. Even if the opposition is week, staying active with fights is good for progression and experience. Then again, Kudin could always head back to stand up fighting too, where there are some pretty good cards coming up in Russia. Most fighters in Eastern Europe who compete in both stand up fighting and MMA often compete in both, as there's more opportunities to make money between them, rather than just one. If Kudin is serious about doing MMA full time, he could turn out to be a pretty decent heavyweight.Add a comment
A couple weeks ago, WBC Muay Thai Japan announced an October 2nd card headlined by Tetsuya Yamato taking on WBC Muay Thai World Champion Jomthong Chuwattana, as well as Erika Kamimura vs Denise Mellor and a WBC Japan Lightweight Title fight between Rashata and Hiromasa Masuda. It seems as though WBC Japan is looking to set up a big event with as many title fights as possible in the near future, as this event has been subtitled "Path to the Championship" and will now feature 2 more WBC Japan Title fights and 3 "playoff" matches that could possibly be #1 contender bouts, all of which contain promising, young talent.
First, WBC Japan Flyweight champion Naoki Otsuki will defend his title against WPMF Japan Flyweight champion Ryuji Kato. Otsuki was recently on a 4 fight winning streak before being upset by J-NETWORK #6 flyweight Hiroyuki Yamamo by split decision in July.
The other title fight announced is a match between current Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi and J-Network Super Lightweight champion Yusuke Sugawara.
The first of the playoff bouts is a Super Bantamweight fight between Shootboxing 55kg champion Ryuya Kusakabe and #1 ranked NJKF Super Bantamweight Rookie. Kusakabe was on a tear since leaving the K-1 Koshien system, racking up 7 straight wins before losing in the finals of the Krush 55kg Tournament to Shota Takiya. Rookie put himself in a match for the vacant NJKF Super Bantamweight title by defeating Shinya Haga and will face Hiroshi Senchaigym for that title. The winner will probably face current champion Genji Umeno who is set to take on Thai Utideto Rukupurabato at It's Showtime Japan 3 this Sunday.
The next playoff bout is a Bantamweight contest between WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion TO-MA and NJKF #2 ranked Bantamweight Kojiro. TO-MA was riding a 5 fight win streak which included him picking up the M-1, J-NETWORK and WPMF Japan Super Flyweight titles until he lost to Arashi Fujiwara at It's Showtime Japan 1. Afterwards, he vacated his J-NETWORK title. Kojiro is currently on a 4-fight losing streak. If TO-MA wins, he will likely face current champion Arashi Fujiwara for the title. However, if Kojiro scores the upset another playoff bout would seem to be a good idea, possibly a rematch against Noboru Yamamoto who is ranked #1, Takuma Ito who is ranked #2 or Hiroyuki Yamano, all of which would be interesting rematches.
The final bout announced will feature one of Japan's most promising prospects and recently crowned NJKF Lightweight champion Keijiro Miyakoshi taking on J-NETWORK Lightweight champion Akihiro Kuroda. Miyakoshi beat former NJKF champion Ikki in a rematch in July, winning by a wide decision. Kuroda was riding a 2-fight losing streak with losses to HIROYA and WBC Japan Super Lightweight champion Seiji Takahashi but just defended his title against Fire Harada in Harada's retirement match. The winner will likely face the winner of the Lightweight title match between Rashata and Hiromasa Masuda.Add a comment
The IGF is a pro wrestling promotion ran out of Japan by former New Japan Pro Wrestling head and MMA pioneer Antonio Inoki. It features his "brand" of pro wrestling, which is a hybrid of real fighting and the theatrics and "booking" (read: scripted nature) of pro wrestling. In the end what it yields is the high drama of pro wrestling with the grit, violence and impact of a real fight. That style goes far back to catch-as-catch-can wrestling and Japan was king of the "shoot-style" with the early UWF, early Pancrase, RINGS, UWF-i and U-Style. Inoki's last show was an eclectic mix, featuring Jerome Le Banner against Kazuyoshi Fujita, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima against pro wrestling legend Masahiro Chono and Peter Aerts against fallen sumo Shinichi Suzukawa.
Chono vs. Jienotsu
Peter Aerts vs. Shinichi Suzukawa
Jerome Le Banner vs. Kazuyoshi Fujita
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It's Showtime owner Simon Rutz took to Facebook today to announce a plethora of big names for It's Showtime's January 28 mega event. Among the fighters confirmed for the event are Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Tyrone Spong, Rico Verhoeven and Ben Edwards. Quite the lineup right there. More fighters and match-ups will be confirmed soon.
So far, it's already evident that It's Showtime is stacking the card big time with all their stars. It's Showtime hasn't had any meaningful heavyweight fights this year in terms of rankings besides when Daniel Ghita fought Hesdy Gerges back in March. Rutz has said that the card will feature all super fights. With all these big names on deck, I'd hope that they would be fighting each other. Based on rumblings within the kickboxing community, it sounds like it may just happen, which would really make these "super" fights.
With tickets going on sale starting October 15th, a safe assumption could be made that actual match-ups could be announced in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for more news here at LiverKick.com.Add a comment