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Askerov Out -- Xu Yan in for Fight Code Dragon's Tournament

Xu YanThere is no doubt that one of the more exciting names involved in the Fight Code Dragons Series was Dzabar Askerov, and sadly for fans, there is no chance that we'll see him move on in said tournament. Fight Code sent out a press release the other day detailing the reasons why Askerov has been removed from the tournament, chiefly that the event is in December and there is a contract clause within each Fight Code contract stating that no fighter may fight within a month of their bout with Fight Code. The trouble arose when Askerov was booked in a bout in Sweden on November 26th against Chahid Oulad el Hadj.

This leaves Abdullah Mabel with a new opponent, which was announced by Fight Code earlier today by the way of Xu Yan. Xu Yan is a Chinese kickboxer and while many might take a glance at his wikipedia entry and write him off, his full record is 29 and 14 with impressive wins over Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, Baxter Humby and Malaipet. Xu Yan's last fight for Fight Code was in March against Sudsakorn sor Klinmee, who is easily one of the best kickfighters of any discipline or weight class in the world. Losing to Suds is nothing to be ashamed of.

It is disappointing to fans that Askerov was forced to drop out, but Xu Yan is a solid fighter who can turn on the sparks when pushed hard enough and there could be huge things for him in the future. Even with the brackets not changing, this changes the entire landscape of the Fight Code Dragons Series tournament.

The tournament's Final 8 takes place in October and unravels as follows;

FIGHT CODE – FINAL 8 October 15th
Marseille – Aix en Provence (France)

SUDSAKORN (THAI) VS HALIM ISSAOUI (MAR)
BRUNO FRANCHI (ITA) VS NORBERT BALOGH (HUN)
ABDELLAH MABEL(FR) VS XU YAN (CHN)
ARMEN PETROSYAN (ITA) VS JURI BESSMERTNY (BY)
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Stand Up Fighters in MMA: Konstantin Gluhov

Continuing on our series of kickboxers and Muay Thai fighters in MMA, we profile Konstantin Gluhov. Nicknamed "Lacplesis" which means bear-slayer in Latvian, you already get an idea of what he brings to the table. Although the term "Lacplesis" was made renouned from a Latvian epic poem, Gluhov is all but poetic when the cage door shuts.

At 31 years of age, Gluhov has been fighting for over ten years, spending the larger portion of that time in the realm of kickboxing. The likes of Pavel Zhuravlev, Mourad Bouzidi and Brian Douwes have all been in the ring with Gluhov while his hand was being raised. While not an elite kickboxer by any means, Gluhov is a solid heavyweight fighter that hovers around the middle of the pack. Despite not being among the best in kickboxing, he's definitely among the best in MMA when it comes to striking.

Gluhov had his first MMA fight back in 2006. The beginning of his MMA career wasn't stellar. Losses began to build up, losing three in a row at one point. He kept at it though, and now has won 14 out of his last 15 fights since September 23 of last year, including a current six fight win streak. Mind you, this has all come in less than a year. Gluhov's current tear includes multiple one-night tournaments, even winning four fights in one night on one occasion.. Take a look closer, and you'll see what's really spectacular about this up and coming heavyweight from Latvia.

Gluhov is a rib roaster to put it lightly. Five opponents in the past year have succumbed to his left hook to the liver. Gluhov may be one of the few fighters in MMA to have a "signature move" in which fights are regularly finished with. When you think of Konstantin Gluhov, you think of the left hook to the liver. Despite his obvious favoring of the left hook liver shot as his go-to move, Gluhov has a whole arsenal of weapons that a kickboxer would possess. He rarely uses his kicks in MMA, probably because of the threat of takedowns.

Gluhov's last kickboxing match came in November of last year, where he knocked out Awadh Tamim in the first round (Which was pretty awesome, by the way. You can watch that below.) It's not known if Gluhov will make a return to kickboxing anytime soon. With the success he's having in MMA, it wouldn't be surprising for an organization like Bellator to go after him. You could probably rule out kickboxing if that happened. Right now though, Gluhov can fight wherever he wants, in whatever sport he wants so I wouldn't rule out a return to kickboxing.

Like many strikers that enter MMA, the grappling deficiencies are obvious in Konstantin Gluhov. They'll probably stop him from being any type of top heavyweight in MMA. It's still fun to see him punching MMA fighters in the liver five times a year though, so you should look forward to whenever he fights.

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Baxter Humby defends his title at the Muay Thai Premiere League in style

Baxter Humby, a man who has defied the odds of someone who is missing a limb in professional combat sports over and over- has done it again. The intercontinental champ defeated Zidov Domenik handily over the weekend at the Muay Thai Premier League's "Stars and Stripes" event. The one armed man indeed did it. Take a look at the impressive KO below.

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Stand Up Fighters in MMA: Vuyisile Colossa

Welcome to a new series here on LiverKick.com, Kickboxers in MMA. The purpose of the series is to profile kickboxers or Muay Thai fighters that dabble into the MMA world, whether it be mixed in with competing in the realm of stand up fighting or permanently. Our first fighter profile will be on Vuyisile Colossa, fresh off a win at One Fighting Championship today.

Vuyisile Colossa is from South Africa, where he started his career. Colossa racked up wins on the South African scene before moving to Hong Kong, where he currently calls home. Since the move to Hong Kong, Colossa has fought all over Asia, stepping over the top rope in China, Thailand and Korea. Colossa has faced Yodsanklai Fairtex four times, going the distance each time, including one win, albeit controversial. Naruepol Fairtex, Armen Petrosyan and Dmitry Valent are among other names that Colossa has shared the ring with.

Colossa first tested the MMA waters in May of 2010, where he submitted John Vargas with a rear naked choke (video). Submitting an opponent in your first MMA fight is very uncharacteristic of a kickboxer just entering the sport. His opponent came to grapple and ended up getting submitted. Not too shabby for an MMA debut. Next up was Alex Niu, who succumbed to Colossa's fists at Martial Combat 7 in Singapore. Colossa found himself in trouble, caught in an early armbar attempt but battled out of it and finished the job in the second round. Colossa's next fight would be against Eduard Folayang, the biggest MMA star in Filipino MMA. Folayang took Colossa down many times but when the fight was on the feet, Colossa owned it. Folayang walked away with the decision, but many were talking about the South African fighter.

Fast forward a bit less than a year later with one more win under his belt, and we're at One Fighting Championship's inaugural event. Colossa is up against a Chinese Sanda fighter, Xing Yu Ma. It was apparent from the get-go that Colossa was the far superior striker, brutalizing the Chinese fighter on the feet. The knockout came just 49 seconds into the first round. There should be no doubt now that Colossa is one of the best strikers in MMA.

Video from ironforgesiron.com

Colossa's stand up fighting experience is very apparent when he steps in the cage, especially in Muay Thai. Knees and elbows are fired off as opponents find themselves clinched up, making them think twice about trying to grapple. From range, Colossa throws crisp punches in bunches to batter opponents. This is where he often finishes fights.

As far as being a top fighter in MMA, it probably won't happen for Colossa. His grappling skills simply aren't good enough to become a true force and training in Hong Kong isn't the ideal place to fix that. What we can expect though if he continues fighting MMA are some more great displays of striking. It's not often in MMA that high levels of striking such as that of Colossa's are seen. A drop to featherweight would most likely benefit him as well.

So what's next for Mr. Colossa? Well, he'll be taking place in the Thai Fight -70kg tournament on September 25 in Bangkok. He'll take on Nishiwaka Tomoyuki of Japan in the opening round. As for MMA, Colossa is signed to One Fighting Championship, so it's probably safe to say he'll fight there again sometime in the near future.

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