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Take a Deep Breath, Another Big Event Coming Up; Thai Boxe Mania 2012

TBM

It's Showtime 55 blew everyone away this weekend, putting on the biggest combat sports event in the world after fans watching UFC on Fox 2 fizzle out. We saw some huge finishes from Errol Zimmerman, Daniel Ghita and Badr Hari and the landscape of the Heavyweight Kickboxing world was re-written. This next weekend in Italy we see yet another big event from what has felt like a rather active Italy, this time it is Thai Boxe Mania 2012, with the big bouts using Fight Code rules in association with Oktagon.

The big bout of the night is Artur Kyshenko taking on Roberto Cocco at -75kg. This is a warm-up bout of sorts before Kyshenko faces down Giorgio Petrosyan in March, also in Italy, and is a tough challenge. Roberto Cocco is a very tough veteran fighter with over 138 fights under his belt, he also fights at 75kg normally, while Kyshenko falls between 70 and 73 usually. Kyshenko was well on his way to winning the It's Showtime Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament before Robin van Roosmalen quickly finished him off before moving on to defeat Yodsanklai Fairtex at Sweden's Rumble of the Kings in what many voted as the fight of the year for 2011.

Another big feature bout is at 72.5kg between Gago Drago and the 2011 Fight Code Dragons tournament champion, Yuri Bessmertny. This is a good test for Yuri and a good measuring stick for where Drago is at in 2012 after having a tough 2011. For the full fight card, check it out here.

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The Heavyweight Landscape In Kickboxing Following Badr Hari's Departure

Badr Hari ended his kickboxing career yesterday with a first round knockout of fellow top heavyweight, Gokhan Saki. Now that Badr has left the sport, the heavyweight division that has been unstable ever since the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix is now just as up in the air as it's ever been. His departure shakes up the landscape of the heavyweight division, leaving it wide open and creating a vacancy that may or may not be filled.

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Badr Hari Retires, Daniel Ghita the Man to Beat at Heavyweight

It's Showtime 55 was an explosive show, and in the realm of the Heavyweight division helped to organize it and make some sense of what was a rather confusing division. The retirement of Badr Hari was the big story for this show, and quite honestly, Badr Hari looked better than he has looked in a long, long time in the ring. He was focused, in control and defending just about everything that Saki had to offer. It is a shame that we will not get to watch him fight again for an undisclosed amount of time, but he is off to try his hand at Boxing where he will try to become a star in America.

What is clear is that Daniel Ghita's win over Hesdy Gerges has proven that Ghita is finally making good on his potential. Ghita burst onto the international scene in 2009 when he first appeared in the It's Showtime ring, stopping Tomas Hron with deadly low kicks. He then went on to win the K-1 WGP Final Qualifying Tournament in Japan three months later, which gave him the unenviable task of making his K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 debut against Semmy Schilt. Ghita was yet to become a complete fighter and Semmy was able to pick him apart in typical Schilt fashion. The years that have followed have been important learning years for Ghita, with the last two years in particular with him realizing that he needed to improve his hands to hang with the elite Heavyweights.

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Harut Grigorian PIcks Chris Ngimbi Apart at It's Showtime 55

GrigorianThis fight is a rematch from 2009 in It’s Showtime where Harut Grigorian took an extra round decision over Ngimbi. Since then Ngimbi went on to win the It’s Showtime 70kg MAX title from Murat Direcki and has gotten a lot of international attention.

The first rounds saw Grigorian controlling the pace and changing levels with his strikes connecting with low kicks and shots to the body almost at will. Ngimbi working his flying knee from the inside, not off of the breaks and seeing about the same level of success, missing those shots. Grigorian starts opening up with his hands and is finding some success beginning to bully Ngimbi into the corners.

Grigorian opens up aggressive in the second round, actually going for a flying knee of his own. Grigorian once again bullying Ngimbi into the corners and opening up with his hands while Ngimbi looking to clinch to get separated. A big cut gets opened up on Ngimbi’s eye from keeping his head down and taking a knee to the face and the fight is called off.

Harut Grigorian wins via stoppage.

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