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Vuyisile Colossa: The Muay Thai World Champion In Action at ONE Fighting Championship

Vuyisile Colossa is one of the top Muay Thai fighters on the planet but he will be turning his attention to MMA this September to take part in ONE Fighting Championship's inaugural show. The Hong Kong based South African is still a very active Muay Thai fighter who regularly faces world class opposition. He is about to return to MMA, where he boasts a 3-1 record, after a six month absence but is still recovering from the disappointment of seeing a fight with Muay Thai legend John Wayne Parr cancelled at late notice,

"I was very disappointed with the situation because fighting JWP in his home country was a great thing for my Muay Thai career and I had never fought in Australia. Training for that fight and for The Challenger has been very hard but there is no substitute for the experience that comes from world class Muay Thai training. I am already in great shape and to adjust for the up and coming fight I need only to spend time on the mat and I will be ready to go," he said.

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Results from The Challenger, which is effectively season two of Contender Asia, have not been released yet because the TV series has yet to hit our screens. Colossa holds a victory over the original Contender Asia winner Yodsaenklai Fairtex and has won numerous world titles in Muay Thai. He probably has better stand up credentials than just about any active fighter in the world of MMA today,

"I think people appreciate the fact that a world class Muay Thai fighter is making a stand in MMA. I know for a fact my stand up skills are far better than any other MMA fighters out there and I am always looking for that knockout because I don't want to leave decisions in the hands of the judges," he said.

This is perhaps a thinly veiled reference to his fight with highly experienced Filipino Eduard Folayang last year when Colossa lost a controversial decision. Round three was an extremely one sided affair as Colossa chased the URCC Welterweight champion all around the cage dominating him in the stand up department. Folayang, who is probably the top fighter to emerge from the Philippines scene, managed to survive the round and was awarded the fight by all three judges courtesy of securing repeated takedowns in the opening two rounds. Many cageside spectators felt that Colossa had done enough to win the final round 10-8 and he still believes he won that fight,

"I was very suprised when they gave him the win because he only did eight takedowns in the whole fight and he didn't even control me on the ground. I was the aggressor and he was back peddling the entire fight, how can one win like that?"

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Folayang's reward for defeating Colossa is a marquee fight against Ole Laursen in the main event at ONE Fighting Championship while the South African has had to settle for a place on what is admittedly a star studded undercard. Colossa has to get past Chinese Sanda champion Wang Ya Gi first but assuming he does he would relish the prospect of facing the winner of the contest between Folayang and Laursen,

"I think everyone would like to see the rematch with Folayang and I would also love to fight Laursen. Maybe we could fight for the ONE C lightweight belt? It would be a battle between two world class stand up fighters: Colossa vs Laursen, I like the sound of that."

One FC's lightweight division already looks set to be extremely competitive and Colossa will be keeping a close eye on Eddie Ng and Zorobabel Moreira Jnr who will both be in action on September 3rd. Ng's fight is of particular interest because Colossa has been based in Hong Kong for several years and Ng is being billed as the best fighter to ever emerge from his adopted home,

"I had never heard of him before because he had been living in England but since it got announced that he would be fighting for One FC a lot of people in Hong Kong have been talking about this fighter who is supposed to be the best fighter from Hong Kong. I hope I get to watch his fight because I want to see if he is as good as everyone says he is."

Mixed martial arts in Hong Kong is still a little way behind other places in South Asia such as the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore where there are numerous MMA camps and regular competitions. Colossa is currently without a full time training camp and has been forced to travel around in order to find suitable sparring partners but he has been making the most of a difficult situation,

"Since my gym closed up last month, it's been very hard to get in a routine. Luckliy I have guys like Irshaad Sayeed and Quinton Arendse at Versus gym who are both from South Africa and also Rodrigo Coporal and Andrew Wonkie at JAB MMA and Douglas Pieterse. All these guys have been very helpful with my MMA training and I would like to say thank you to them."

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Colossa has won world titles in Muay Thai, kickboxing and Wu Ling Feng and with world class stand up skills and a rapidly evolving ground game many feel that is is only a matter of time until he adds MMA to the list. Audiences love to see a truly elite striker inside the cage and Colossa knows that September 3rd could be a truly defining moment for his career,

"I feel like this is the biggest fight of my life because not only will there be 12,000 people there but it is being shown on domestic TV in Singapore and will also be broadcast all over Asia so everyone in Hong Kong will be watching. It's a fantastic opportunity for me and I am looking forward to showcasing my Muay Thai skills in MMA."

For more information about One Fighting Championship visit: www.onefc.com.

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Training Diary: March 18

As I looked to begin my Muay Thai training, I realized I was somewhat underprepared from a gym attire standpoint. As someone who hasn’t worked out in a few years, I knew I needed a few things before I started. So, prior to class #1 I hit the store and bought... shoes. Why did I do this? I have no idea. I’ve watched plenty of Muay Thai. I understand the rules of Muay Thai. And shoes? Not exactly Muay Thai gear. And yet there I was, shiny new workout shoes in hand. It took about 5 seconds of being in the gym to realize what a stupid purchase that had been.

But my purchasing journey had just begun. At class #2, we got a quick talking down about coming to class unprepared – it’s a Muay Thai class, you need Muay Thai gear. Which is correct. My only problem? I’m not rolling in money, so needed to find things that were inexpensive, but still effective. I made a list: Gloves, Shin pads, Mouth guard, Hand wraps, Head gear, Cup, Muay Thai trunks, Ankle braces.

After some deliberation, I decided to put head gear, trunks, and ankle braces on the back burner and focus on the rest. Now, the trouble is, there are an unbelievable amount of options out there in cyberspace for these things. Where do you turn? How cheap can you go before you are getting something worthless? And is that $99 pair really so much better than the $59 pair? Here’s what I ended up with:

Gloves Shin Guards Hand WrapsGLOVES – I started searching for these at the local used sporting goods store, which quickly revealed itself to be a mistake. Partly because the nice, enthusiastic salesman had no clue what he was talking about and told me emphatically I did NOT want a boxing glove for Muay Thai, but instead some sort of large, fingered glove? I still don’t get what he was talking about – those weird Bruce Lee gloves no one ever uses? But the bigger problem is that you can’t buy boxing gloves used, because once they’ve gone to the used store, the padding is shot, and your knuckles will be too if you use them. Of course. So, off to the Sport Authority to try on their stock. Lots of options here, most of them uncomfortable, and many of them felt downright unsafe. None more so than the Muhammed Ali signature line – maybe it was just the way it fit my own hand, but I felt like using those would result in both broken knuckles and a broken wrist. The Greatest deserves better. I tried on everything they had, threw some punches at the nearby heavy bag, and in the end I settled on a pair of Everlast 16 oz. MMA Sparring Gloves (pictured). They fit well, they’re comfortable – I’m happy. Cost: $40.

SHIN PADS – This was the toughest one, as I found no stores with any in stock that I could try out (Although Mr. Eager Used Goods Clerk suggested soccer shin guards. No thanks.), which meant I would have to order online and hope for the best. I scouted and scouted, comparing tons of stores, prices, reading reviews – it’s exhausting, particularly when shopping for a product you’ve never once used before. I ended up ordering from MMAStop.com, partly because they are local, based just outside of Chicago, and I like supporting local if I can. Turned out to be a bit of a process as the first pair I ordered were out of stock, and the replacement was out of stock too. I exchanged a number of e-mails with the folks there, who were extremely nice and accommodating. They ended up recommending a slightly more expensive pair, but giving it to me at the original price since it had been a hassle. Very nice customer service, and a thumbs up to MMAStop.com from me. I ended up with a pair from RevGear (pictured). Have not yet used them, but they feel very sturdy and well constructed, and they fit me nicely. Cost (with shipping): $32

MOUTH GUARD – Just a basic $10 molded version. Covers just the top teeth, but it will do for now. I hope.

HAND WRAPS – Picked these up on the glove trip. Various options here, but I went with the Everlast 180 (pictured). Biggest difficulty so far is trying to get them on correctly – still not sure I’m getting the absolute best protection from them, particularly around the thumb, which is very hard to wrap. Cost: $10.

CUP – There are a ton of very expensive options for supporters and cups, but frankly, I don’t see the need to spend so much when you can get a perfectly fine, basic version at Target for $10. That’s what I got - it fits fine, supports fine, no complaints.

So there we go. Total cost for gloves, shin guards, mouth piece, cup, hand wraps: $102. Head gear, better shorts, and ankle sleeves are yet to come. Did I make good purchases? Well, the only way to find out is to get in there and start using them. We’ll give that a go next week and report back on the findings.

This is an area where I really want to hear from you. What gear do you use? What works for you and what have you had a bad experience with? It would be great if those starting off could have some good info on this rather confusing area from those of you who have been at it.

Training Diary is a weekly series documenting my journey starting Muay Thai training. For more on this series, read the first entry here.  I train at Conviction Fitness & Martial Arts, 4430 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL www.convictionfitness.com.

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Simon Rutz Interview Part 2

Simon RutzAmidst all the bad K-1 news, Europe’s top fighting organization, It’s Showtime, has been a hot topic of conversation lately. As plans for 2011 come together, we’re seeing more and more events announced by the company, who find themselves constantly expanding their product throughout the world. But in the middle of all the positive news came an unfortunate announcement last week – due to a planned co-promotion with K-1 falling through, It’s Showtime would not run their big annual show at the Amsterdam Arena in 2011.

Between this latest news, all the rumors swirling around K-1, Badr Hari’s return, and various other stories, now seemed like a good time to speak to the always forthcoming It’s Showtime president Simon Rutz. As always, Mr. Rutz offered plenty of insight into their dealings with K-1 and so much more.

If you missed part 1 yesterday, click here for the story on exactly what happened with the canceled Amsterdam Arena event and the state of affairs for K-1 and It’s Showtime.

LiverKick.com Exclusive Interview with Simon Rutz Part 2

LiverKick.com: It’s very exciting to hear Badr Hari will return in May in Lyon. Is that fight confirmed?

Simon Rutz: It is not confirmed yet because the contract is not signed, but I think we will have the contract signed in 2 weeks.

LK: Any news on his return opponent?

SR: At this moment we are talking with possible opponents.

LK: Where do his legal troubles stand?

SR: Nobody knows what will happen in the future with this case! This case was big in the news in The Netherlands, but from what I understand, the police still don’t have any witnesses.

LK: So do you have concerns about Hari’s reputation considering the trouble kickboxing recently had with the government in Amsterdam?

SR: Of course it doesn’t help! But these are two totally different cases. Amsterdam wants to have big sports events in their city, but with one of the biggest events (It’s Showtime), they make it difficult. When we don’t run show in the future in Amsterdam, it will be a shame for the city, but not for It’s Showtime. We will survive with or without Amsterdam.

LK: Remy Bonjasky is working with It’s Showtime now. Have you discussed him having a retirement fight with you?

SR: Yes, I discussed a retirement fight for him, but the money he asked for I don’t want to pay! Of course he can ask, but believe me, nobody will pay him that much money!

LK: How did you feel about K-1’s response to the protest regarding the Hesdy Gerges vs. Semmy Schilt fight?

SR: What they said and did was bullshit. They say that the corner for Schilt was wrong, and they punished the judges? I understand why K-1 did this, because last year they didn’t get Badr Hari and Remy Bonjasky, so they needed the 4 time K-1 winner Semmy Schilt in the final. I think if Hesdy Gerges was in the final, it would have been a totally different final.

LK: You had an unfortunate falling out with Cosmo Alexandre last year. Why couldn’t that situation be worked out?

SR: Because it was the second time he did something wrong. But for me there’s no problem. He is a nice guy and a good fighter, but I don’t use him anymore.

LK: I understand your clause regarding fighters taking fights before It’s Showtime shows – is that written in to their contracts?

SR: It’s always written in their contract, but with Cosmo, we didn’t write the contract because, stupid as I am sometime, a word from me is more important than a contract. But don’t misunderstand me, in 99% of the cases we have a contract!

LK: Tyrone Spong is no longer the 95kg champ. Any idea when there will be a fight for that title, and who might fight for it?

SR: Yes, I am working on that and I think that 2 fighters are fighting for this title on March 6 in Amsterdam. Soon I will let everybody know.

LK: Melvin Manhoef said on twitter that he likely won’t fight for It’s Showtime this year. Might he be stripped of the 85kg belt?

SR: If he doesn’t fight for his title, yes I will strip him of the belt because those are the rules! But Melvin is Melvin, one day he says that and the other day he thinks differently. Also, if he doesn’t fight this year for It’s Showtime and K-1 is broke, who else can pay him? Last time Melvin was disappointed because K-1 didn’t treat him well and that’s the case.

LK: What are your personal favorite fights in It’s Showtime history?

SR: Badr Hari vs. Sem Schilt, Mootje Khamal vs. Chahid, Ivan Hipolyte vs. Rayen Simson, Rob Kaman vs. Alexei Ignashov, and almost all the fights from Gago Drago.

LK: Last year when I spoke to you and asked who we should watch for in 2010, you brought up Aussi Ouzgni, who then had a great year. So, who should we watch out for in 2011?

SR: Marat Grigorian is one of the biggest talents in the world. Watch him.

LK: Anything else our readers should know?

SR: A lot of people think that It’s Showtime is happy that K-1 is broke, but believe me we hope that K-1 survives. That’s really better for the sport. Also personally I like the people from FEG like Mr. Tanikawa, but in my opinion they do a lot of strange things. For many years I have said to them that they must do things differently but every time they do the opposite. I think that they were afraid of It’s Showtime, but that is totally not necessary. The world is big enough for two good and big kickboxing organizations. Also, I want to say that life is beautiful! Carpe Diem!

 

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Exclusive Simon Rutz Interview

SimonRutzAmidst all the bad K-1 news, Europe’s top fighting organization, It’s Showtime, has been a hot topic of conversation lately.  As plans for 2011 come together, we’re seeing more and more events announced by the company, who find themselves constantly expanding their product throughout the world.  But in the middle of all the positive news came an unfortunate announcement last week – due to a planned co-promotion with K-1 falling through, It’s Showtime would not run their big annual show at the Amsterdam Arena in 2011.

Between this latest news, all the rumors swirling around K-1, Badr Hari’s return, and various other stories, now seemed like a good time to speak to the always forthcoming It’s Showtime president Simon Rutz.  As always, Mr. Rutz offered plenty of insight into their dealings with K-1 and so much more.

Read on for part 1 of this 2 part exclusive LiverKick.com interview, as we get the story on exactly what happened with the canceled Amsterdam Arena event and the state of affairs for K-1 and It’s Showtime.

LiverKick.com: It’s a shame you may not run in the Amsterdam Arena this year. When did you begin to think this show might not happen?

Simon Rutz: We have already known for many years that K-1 has big problems, but a few months ago they said to me that they have a new investor.  That was the reason why I agreed to cooperate on the Amsterdam Arena event in May this year.  Around Christmas I felt that there was something wrong with their situation because they didn’t answer my requests anymore.

LK: What were the plans for the show? Did you have fighters already lined up?

SR: When It’s Showtime and K-1 cooperate I always give my suggestions, and most of the time they use them.  My suggestions for this year were: Badr Hari vs. Gokhan Saki; Peter Aerts vs. Tyrone Spong; and Hesdy Gerges vs. Alistair Overeem, Errol Zimmerman, or someone else.

LK: We’ve heard a lot about K-1 not paying fighters, and I know Giorgio Petrosyan had problems with that last year. Are there It’s Showtime or Black Label fighters who are waiting to be paid by K-1?

SR: Yes, the following fighters have not been paid for a fight: Melvin Manhoef, Tyrone Spong, Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Gago Drago, Pajonsuk, Dzevad Poturak, Chahid, and Giorgio Petrosyan still needs his win bonus from the last K-1 MAX tournament.  It is a lot of money! I never let our fighters fight before they are paid for their last fight.  I hear that some other fighters haven’t gotten their money for 4 fights.  It is a sad situation for all the fighters.

LK:  Given all these problems, what, in your opinion, does K-1 need to do to survive?

SR: They need a lot of money, and they must ask my advice (and do something with that advice) because they do a lot of stupid things.

LK: If they don’t get that money, and they don’t survive, what will it mean for kickboxing and for It’s Showtime?

SR: If they don’t survive it is very bad for the sport and for many fighters.  For It’s Showtime, it would mean that we are the number 1 kickboxing organization in the world and everybody will look to us.  We are getting busy like never before.  We have already seen a movement from K-1 to It’s Showtime.  Almost every day I talk with people around the world who want to organize an It’s Showtime event in their country.

LK: Would you ever consider buying out K-1?

SR: Why should I do that?  I have my own brand and company who is healthy and is going very well.  Also, what am I buying then?  Only a lot of problems!  The [K-1] name is very strong, but I already have a good name.  I will keep my money in my pocket!

LK: You said you are talking with people around the world, and this looks like a huge year for you with new events in England, Germany, and Spain. Any details on those shows?

SR: Our schedule for the year is now: March 6 – Amsterdam, Holland; March 26 – Brussels, Belgium; May 14 – Lyon, France (not signed yet); May – Manheim, Germany (not signed yet); June 11 – Warsaw, Poland; July 23 – Sochi, Russia; August 27 – Sarajevo, Bosnia; September 18 – Amsterdam, Holland; September 24 – Manchester, England (not signed yet); October 8 – Geneva, Switzerland; End of December in Amsterdam for the It’s Showtime Christmas Edition again.  We are also talking about It’s Showtime events in Spain, Ukraine, and Australia.  As you see, we are really busy.  We have at least 10 big events this year, maybe 12.

LK: You know I have to ask – any further info on possibly running in the United States?

SR: I am getting more and more interest for It’s Showtime events in the US.  Last week, one of the TV stations from the US bought our It’s Showtime events, so that is starting.  I also am speaking with several people to see what the possibilities are in the US.  But when we start, we will start slowly with events for 2,000 people.

LK:  With all this expansion, where do you want It’s Showtime to be in 2 years?

SR: Pff......... 6 months ago I said that in 5 years It’s Showtime would organize between 15 and 20 events a year, but we are going so fast, maybe next year we will already be doing 15 events a year!

Check back tomorrow for the conclusion of this interview as we discuss Remy Bonjasky’s retirement, Cosmo Alexandre, the Hesdy Gerges/Semmy Schilt controversy, and of course, Badr Hari.

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