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Cosmo Alexandre Signs With Bellator: Possibly a sign of things to come

MMA promotion Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that they had signed Cosmo Alexandre, a very accomplished standout in the world of muay thai and kickboxing. Alexandre has not had any MMA fights but has been training MMA for a while in America. Right now, Cosmo trains out of Imperial MMA, with the likes of Rashad Evans, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, Jorge Santiago and most recently Tyrone Spong. "Good Boy" has accomplished feats such as winning the 2009 King's Cup tournament and holding the It's Showtime 77MAX World Title.

One of the most interesting things about this is that Cosmo has never fought in MMA before. Bellator is signing him solely based off of his credentials in stand up fighting. It's a bold move by Bellator. They must be making the assumption that Cosmo has trained for long enough to have grappling skills that will get him by.

Cosmo will be fighting at 155 lbs in the Lightweight division. In kickboxing, Cosmo normally fought at 160 and in recent years moved to 170. This year, Cosmo started cutting to 155 where he posted a 1-2 record at the weight. Cosmo's optimum weight would probably be 160, but there's no division for that in MMA and 155 is the closest thing. Either way, 155 and 170 are filled with wreslers in MMA and almost everyone will be trying to take him down.

Recently, some high profile kickboxers have talked about fighting MMA. Tyrone Spong looks to be all but headed to MMA by next year. Andy Souwer talked about it too, although I think he'll most likely stay in kickboxing. Recently in MMA, we've seen kickboxers try their hand at MMA, and a few have had success. Konstantin Gluhov has been stopping everyone with body shots, fighting pretty frequently with only one recent loss in January. Alexei Kudin just knocked out two opponents in under a minute to win a tournament this past week. Kudin has won four MMA fights this year and it looks like he'll continue doing it.

This raises the question: Will more kickboxers try their hand at MMA and possibly even fully make the transition? It's proven that humans will flock to where the money is, and as the sport grows, more and more money is going into MMA. The recent inactivity of K-1, along with several fighters claiming to not have been paid are just adding more fuel to the fire. K-1 was the pinnacle of kickboxing and if they're not paying fighters, many might look for an alternative in MMA.

 

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It's Showtime Announces Huge January Event in Amsterdam

It looks like if you are a kickboxing fan, your patience over what has been a tumultuous and eerily quiet year for the kickboxing world is about to payoff. It's Showtime began the year strong, promoting event after event in March, April, May and June before the "summer silence" hit. If you are a longtime reader and have been wondering why LiverKick.com's rankings have not changed since then, the reason is just that -- nobody is putting on big fights between ranked opponents. September is gearing up to be another big month for the kickboxing world, and is starting off with a bang as Simon Rutz of It's Showtime promised a big announcement and has delivered on that announcement.

It's Showtime is indeed planning a mega-show on January 28th as previously announced. This show will not be a Heavyweight tournament as was rumored, but will feature top names inside of the It's Showtime ring, including but not limited to Badr Hari, Tyrone Spong, Hesdy Gerges, Daniel Ghita and Ben Edwards. That would be a great beginning of a line up for a Heavyweight tournament, but big matches are just as good if delivered as It's Showtime has promised. It's Showtime has promised 12 "absolute world class" fights.

It's Showtime also wants to know who you want to fight Badr Hari at this event. They plan on releasing the card by the end of September and tickets should be on presale on October 15th. In honor of this, LiverKick.com's latest poll will ask you just who you want to see as Badr Hari's next opponent. Everyone has been waiting a long time to see Badr Hari against a legitimate opponent and now might be the time.

The decision for this card to be in January rests on the fact that It's Showtime has received word that K-1 plans to hold the World Grand Prix Final 16 in October and the Final 8 in December of this year, and that this gives more time for the fighters to prepare for their fights (WGP is usually the second week of December, the It's Showtime card is the last week of January). So for kickboxing fans the next few months should be gearing up again.

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Photo of the Day: Peter Aerts, Professional Wrestler

This is where things are for Kickboxers who want to compete in Japan and get paid by their sponsors with K-1 still not 100% up and running, in a professional wrestling ring. On August 27th there was an unprecedented number of K-1 fighters participating in professional wrestling in Antonio Inoki's IGF promotion. Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, Ray Sefo, Jerome Le Banner and yes, Mr. K-1, Peter Aerts. Le Banner is currently the big star of IGF, serving as Antonio Inoki's Champion, he was originally slated to defend his title against Josh Barnett, but Barnett was forced to pull out due to scheduling difficulties with his fight in Strikeforce, so Kazuyoshi Fujita stepped in for him. Peter Aerts 'fought' former sumo wrestler Shinnichi Suzukawa and brutalized him until the referee stopped the match. [source]

Peter Aerts, Wrestling

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"Aussie" Returns on October 16



Over the past few years, L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni has emerged as one of It's Showtime's premier fighters in the -77kg division. He went on a tear through 2009 and 2010, going undefeated with wins over Amir Zeyada, Ali Gunyar, Khalid Chabrani, Sem Braan and Nieky Holzken. Lately though, the Dutch-Moroccan fighter has found himself on a bit of a losing streak, as he's dropped to in a row, albeit to top competition in Artem Levin and Andy Souwer. "Aussie" looked noticeably flat in his fight at -70kg against Andy Souwer in March where he dropped a Unanimous Decision.  Since then, he hasn't fought.

It's rare for kickboxers to have such a long layoff, as many are known for fighting very frequently. "Aussie" will return on October 16 in Beverwijk, Netherlands at the annual Beverwijk Top Team Gala. Beverwijk Top Team is the gym Ouzgni trains out of and an annual event is held in October by the gym each year. He'll take on Hicham El Gaoui, a fighter very similar to himself.

El Gaoui is a very tall, lanky Moroccan fighter that has in the past fought at higher weights. He holds a win over current It's Showtime 85MAX World Champion Sahak Parparyan from 2009. This is definitely a winnable fight for Ouzgni and should serve as a step back on track. "Aussie" is essentially a much more powerful and dynamic version of El Gaoui and those two factors should give him an edge.

Other notable match-ups on the card include Rodney Glunder vs. Raemon Welboeren and Brian Douwes vs. Janfarr Wilnis.

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