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Andy Souwer vs Toby Imada II, Akihiro Gono vs Henry Van Opstal Announced for Shoot the Shooto 2011

Shootboxing has announced two more MMA vs kickboxing fights for November 6th's Shoot the Shooto 2011 event.

The first fight is a rematch from last year's big upset, 3-time Shootboxing S-Cup champion and 2-time K-1 World MAX champion Andy Souwer will try to avenge his loss in last year's S-Cup semifinals to MMA fighter and Shootboxing convert Toby Imada. Souwer's position near the top of the 70kg world has come into question over the last couple of years. After hard fought back to back losses to Giorgio Petrosyan in the 2009 K-1 MAX final and Masato at Dynamite!!! 2009 in Masato's retirement fight, K-1 neglected inviting Souwer to the 2010 MAX Final 16, assuming the 3-time S-Cup champion would want to focus on the 2010 S-Cup and not want to fight in the K-1 MAX tournament. After a quarterfinal KO of Bovy Sor Udomson, Souwer lost a close split decision to Imada on the strength of Imada's grappling. Souwer bounced back with a decision win over Pajonsuk, but a February loss to Abraham Roqueni and an unimpressive showing in the It's Showtime Fast and Furious tournament, despite reports of a compressed nerve, have seemed to diminish his standing at 70kg. Imada has surprised everyone in Shootboxing, coming in as a late replacement for Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett and upsetting Takaaki Umeno in the quarterfinals as well as Souwer in the semis before losing to Buakaw Por Pramuk in the finals. After being knocked out by Patricky Freire, denying him his 3rd straight Bellator Lightweight tournament final, Imada returned to Shootboxing, picking up another upset win over Hiroki Shishido. However, Imada had his Shootboxing success stunted with a loss to Bovy Sor Udomson in his latest outing. Souwer should be the big favorite in this fight, but Imada hasn't failed to surprise in any of his fights.

The other fight announced for the event is former PRIDE, UFC, Sengoku, Shooto and Pancrase fighter Akihiro Gono taking on Team Souwer's Henry Van Opstal. Gono found his most success in PRIDE, making it to the semifinals of the 2006 Welterweight tournament despite fighting above his weight class. After struggling in the UFC and being cut, he returned to Japan to fight in Sengoku, being brutally knocked out by Dan Hornbuckle. After 3 straight wins, Gono dropped to lightweight and was upset by the then unknown Jadamba Narantungalag and has since moved on to kickboxing. He won the AJKF Heavyweight title back in 2005 and since his return he has gone 2-2, with losses to Yuya Yamamoto and Yohan Lidon. Van Opstal made it to the semifinals of the 2010 S-Cup, losing by decision to eventual champion Buakaw Por Pramuk. Since, Van Opstal picked up a TKO win over former boxer Satoru Suzuki back in June. {jcomments on}

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Fight Code Teams Up With W5 For Rhinos Final 8 on Saturday

w5

Fight Code is again co-promoting with another kickboxing organization this weekend on October 22nd. Last week saw them in Marseilles, France co-promoting with TK2 for their Dragons Final 8. This weekend will be the Rhinos Final 8 featuring heavyweights.

Some respectable talent has been brought in for single fights with Sergio Wielzen, Maxim Smirnov, Keiji Ozaki and Aziz Kallah among names. They've reached from all different regions to grab up talent for the card. Hopefully it's something we'll see more of in the future.

The Rhinos Final 8 tournament features eight heavyweight fighters that have advanced to the Final 8 from previous Fight Code Rhinos qualification fights. Vitali Akhramenko and Freddy Kemayo have had strong performances so far in Fight Code and will probably continue that on Saturday. The rest of the tournament doesn't quite stack up to those two.

Sergio Wielzen returns for a W5 title fight at 60kg against Russian fighter Ruslan Tozliyan. It's Wielzen's first real fight since March when he lost his It's Showtime 61MAX title to Karim Bennoui. He was scheduled to fight at an It's Showtime Japan event last month but the bout was turned into an exhibition match because one fighter missed weight. It should be a good fight as Russia is producing some very good kickboxers these days like Maxim Smirnov who will fight against fellow Russian Maxim Shalnev on the card. Smirnov, after this fight is scheduled to fight Dzhabar Askerov at the Tatneft Cup 2011 Finals. Keiji Ozaki has been brought in to face Roman Mailov on the Fight Code portion of the card. Ozaki recently lost to Thomas Adamandopoulos at Krush.12 and will look to get back on track. It won't be an easy fight at all, as Mailov has been running through competition lately in Russia and is another one of the up and coming fighters coming out of the region.

If last weekend's Fight Code event is any indication, then the W5 portion of the card probably won't be shown on Fight Code's stream. Videos of W5 events seem to get out pretty quickly though, so we'll keep our readers posted on those. You can catch the stream on Saturday at www.livefightcode.tv. All you have to do is register and the stream is free to watch. Here's the full fight card below:

 

 Fight Code Superfights:

Roman Mailov (Ukraine) - Keiji Ozaki (Japan), 65 kg

Edgar Arutyunyan (Ukraine) - Imro Main (Holland), 75 kg

Rhinos Final 8 Fight Code 3x3 105 kg:

Freddy Kemayo (France) - Mladen Kujundzic (Croatia)

Vitali Akhramenko (Belarus) - Zamig Atakishiyev (Azerbaijan)

Yüksel Ayadin (Turkey) - Thomas Kohut (Slovakia)

Pacome Assi (France) - Peter Vondracek (Czech Republic)

W5 60kg World Title Fight 5x3:

Ruslan Tozliyan (Russia) - Sergio Wielzen (The Netherlands)

W5 Super Fights 3x3:

Maxim Smirnov (Russia) - Max Shalnev (Russia), 71 kg

Yuri Zhukovski (Belarus) - Valdrin Vatnikaj (Albania), 65 kg

Goran Radonjic (Montenegro) - Nadir Hajiyev (Russia), 96

Alim Nabiev (Ukraine) - Aziz Callah (The Netherlands), 71 kg

Evgeny Khil (Russia) - Vitali Lisnyak (Ukraine), 60 kg

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RISE Rounds Out Heavyweight Tournament; Shooto the Shoot Announces More Fights

Shooto and Shootboxing have announced two more cross-promotional fights for their Shoot the Shooto/Shooto the Shoot 2011 co-promotion and they are scheduled to be MMA fights for the November 5th Shooto the Shoot portion of the event.

First, Shooto legend Rumina "Moon Wolf" Sato is set to take on Team Souwer's Nico Verresen. Veressen is a Muay Thai fighter from Belgium with a record of 40-14-3 (12 KO) and has only fought in one MMA fight which was back in February where he won by split decision. Sato has spent his entire career in Shooto, compiling a 24-15-2 against a who's who of Shooto fighters at lower weights. In a way, Sato embodies the essence of Shooto, as he never captured a title in the promotion and was unsuccessful in each of his attempts at the elite of the 155, 145 and 135lb weight classes, losing to the likes of Caol Uno, Takanori Gomi, Joachim Hansen, Alexandre Nogueira, Gilbert Melendez, Akitoshi Tamura, "Lion" Takeshi Inoue, Hatsu Hioki, and most recently, Masakatsu Ueda. Despite being on the downturn of his career, Sato should be able to get this to the ground easily and submit the Muay Thai fighter. That being said, Sato has a propensity to entertain and could turn this into a striking contest.

The other fight announced for the event is Shooto 115lb title challenger Junji "Sarumaru" Ito taking on Shootboxing's Kazuyuki Fushimi. Ito is coming off of a loss to current champion Junji Ikoma in a fight for the vacant 115lb title. Fushimi has gone 5-2 since June 2010, making it to the finals of the Shootboxing 55kg Young Caeser's Tournament, but losing to Ryuya Kusakabe. He was set to fight Shooto 123lb champion Yasuhiro Urushitani in February, but Urushitani pulled out and Fushimi ended up losing to Koya Shimada. He is currently on a 2-fight win streak. This should be a fun fight as Ito is primarily a striker and although it may be in his best interest to get it to the ground, I doubt he will do so. Ito joins Shooting Gym Yokohama teammates "Lion" Takeshi Inoue and "Wicky" Akiyo Nishiura as participants in the cross-promotional event, but is the first to do so in MMA.

A while back, RISE announced it would be holding a heavyweight tournament with Stefan Leko and Mighty Mo representing K-1. Fabiano Cyclone (Fabiano Aoki) and Hiromi Amada won their way into the tournament with wins back in July and Makoto Uehara was placed in the tournament as the RISE Heavyweight champion. RISE announced two more fight-in spots, which were won by Singh "Heart" Jaideep and Raoumaru back in September and RISE announced the final participant to be K-1 veteran and 2nd place at the 9th World Karate Championships Jan Soukup. The tournament will take place at RISE 85 on November 23rd which is the same event that Rena and Erika Kamimura face off to become the first "Queen of RISE" as well as a fight for the vacant 55kg Bantamweight title between Yuta Kubo's brother KENJI and #1 ranked Dyki. As far as I know it is a one night tournament and RISE will announce the quarterfinal matchups on Tuesday the 25th.{jcomments on}

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Fighter Spotlight: Sagetdao Petpaiyathai

On August 14th Kevin Ross fought arguably the best Thai boxer in the world, Saenchai Sinbimuaythai. He did not win but in defeat he showed he could at the very least be competitive with the worlds best. Just over two months later he will get another chance against an elite Thai when he takes on Lumpinee lightweight champion, Sagetdao Petpaiyathai. Sagetdao however will bring a completely different style of fighting, something that may be even harder for Ross to deal with. The 24 year old Thai is a southpaw with a solid left kick and a fairly decent punch, but being that he's 5'10 or 5'11 his strong point would obviously be kneeing on the way into the clinch, and strong sharp knees while tying up his opponent with a plethora of different clinch techniques. Kevin Ross will likely have his chances to land on Sagetdao, as he is very hittable, particularly with punches. When he fought Liam Harrison he was able to land his kicks and knees, but ate a lot of hard punches, fortunately he has a great chin and was able to absorb them and win the fight. Another thing that could help Ross is his style. Sagetdao often fights at the pace that his opponent chooses, which may have costed him some wins. However its hard to say Ross brings something to the table that Sagetdao's never seen. He's fought and beaten one of the top foreign Thai boxers, Liam Harrison, and has wins over top Thai's like Saenchai Sinbimuaythai, Petchboonchu FA Group, Singdam Kiatmuu9, Nong-O Kaiyanghadaogym, Jomthong Chuwattana, and many others. Seeing as Saenchai was able to hurt Ross to the body I find it difficult to believe he'll be able to last all 5 rounds from a fighter with a much better body assault. 

Ross can suck Sagetdao into a brawl, but he will need to be careful.

 

Sagetdao has good finishing instinct.

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