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It's Showtime Lyon: Yohan Lidon vs. Marat Grigorian preview

maratgrigorian

In the fourth bout on the main card, another title is up for grabs as Yohan Lidon and Marat Grigorian battle it out for the vacant It's Showtime 73MAX World Title.

The winner will be the first ever holder of the It's Showtime 73MAX World Title as the division was just introduced this year. Fighting it out for the title are Frenchman Yohan Lidon and 19 year old rising star Marat Grigorian. Lidon is a veteran of the game while Grigorian is one of the rising stars of It's Showtime. Despite only being 19 years old, Grigorian already has 35 fights of which only 3 he has lost. Grigorian has been fighting for It's Showtime since he was just 17 years old.

Making his home at the Bulldogs Gym under trainer Daniella Somers, Grigorian is relentless in his attack. He'll hunt down his opponents and punish them until they can no longer fight back. Possessing heavy hands, Grigorian loves to bang to the head and body with combinations of hooks and uppercuts. Many fighters just cover up and wilt when faced with Grigorian's onslaught of non stop pressure.

Grigorian's opponent, Yohan Lidon has other plans in mind. Lidon likes to take a more technical approach to a fight. While a semi-aggressive fighter, Lidon will pick his shots with every one of them having a calculated purpose. Lidon will go forward on his opponents but nowhere near as much as Grigorian does. Lidon also likes to throw hands, but takes a more crisp approach throwing straight punches as well as mixing in hooks. He uses his kicks to find the range on his opponent before he can move in and start doing some damage.

One of the keys for Lidon in this fight will be the teep. Lidon frequently uses the teep to establish his range and set up his strikes. Grigorian will be coming forward all night long so it's essential for Lidon to throw out the teep to stop Grigorian's forward movement for a moment that Lidon can use to set up strikes. Grigorian will be looking to just walk Lidon down and bludgeon him with punches and knees inside.

I see this being a very close fight that has a good chance of going the full five round distance. Both fighters will have their moments as they go back and forth with exchanges. If Lidon can throw straight punches then he can tag Grigorian coming in with wide punches but I expect Grigorian to walk through a lot of shots to deliver his own.

I think Grigorian's relentless pressure will give him a slight edge but if Lidon can land clean punches consistently then he has a chance to stop Grigorian. It'll be tough to get Grigorian out of there. Lidon would have to pounce on Grigorian right away after hurting him. In the end, I believe this fight will go to a decision. Don't be surprised if one of or both of them get dropped in the fight. Lidon's more diverse arsenal will help him come cleaner in the exchanges and edge out a close, hard fought decision that is likely to have the crowd on the edge of their seats.

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Hesdy Gerges Released Again

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Hesdy Gerges has been released from authorities for the second time this year. Amsterdam news source AT5 confirmed the news today.

Back in February, Gerges was arrested in the Netherlands on suspicion that he was part of a cocaine trafficking ring. He was released and went on to still fight and beat Daniel Ghita. This time he was extradited to Belgium to be dealt with as the Belgian authorities suspected that the trafficking ring was going through Belgium. Gerges was released again today and stays with his claim that he is 100% innocent.

Recently Gerges was pulled from the May 21st It's Showtime card in Amsterdam due to these issues but now that he's been released, will he be able to pull off what he did last time against Daniel Ghita? It'll be interesting to see if he is indeed put back on the card in the main event against Englishman Chris Knowles.

Here's the full news report, translated:

This confirms his lawyer Sander Janssen AT5. Gerges was earlier this month handed over to Belgium . Justice having suspected him of involvement in cocaine trafficking. Gerges will immediately travel to the Netherlands after his release. He must still be available for the Belgian judiciary.

The kick boxer in February for the first half was arrested in the case. A SWAT team charged him into his home in Noord. After nine days he was allowed to go home, pending the surrender request. Gerges denies anything to do with drug trafficking have.

http://www.at5.nl/artikelen/62191/kickbokser-hesdy-gerges-vrij

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It's Showtime Lyon: Daniel Ghita vs. Fikri Ameziane Preview

danielghitaThe third bout on the main card features a heavyweight class between world class heavyweight Daniel Ghita and a man looking to make a name for himself, Fikri Ameziane.

First, let's get straight to the backstory of how this fight came to fruition. Daniel Ghita was originally supposed to be facing Paul Slowinski. Slowinski got injured and was forced out of the contest. In stepped Anderson "Braddock" Silva. Just last week, Silva had gotten injured and once again, Daniel Ghita was left without an opponent. It's Showtime frantically searched for an opponent on 9 days notice and Fikri Ameziane was the man who stepped up to the challenge.

Facing Daniel Ghita just in itself is a tall task but on 9 days notice it's unheard of. Ghita has risen to the top of the sport in the last few years, starting with his dominant run-through of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 in Tokyo Final 16 Qualifying GP. Since then he's been battling it out with the top fighters in the sport making a name for himself. Fans have started to associate him with the upper echeleon of the Super Heavyweight division alongside names such as Semmy Schilt and Badr Hari. Ghita is doing the right thing in staying active, with another fight on It's Showtime's June 11 card in Warsaw, Poland against Erhan Deniz on his schedule. A win over Ameziane just means it's on to the next one for Daniel Ghita.

Fikri Ameziane is fighting out of the Siam Gym, alongside It's Showtime 70MAX World Champ Chris Ngimbi and trainer Mekki Benazzouz. Ameziane is young at the age of 22 and this will by far be his biggest and toughest test to date. Up until now, his biggest fight has been against Nikolaj Falin which he won via third round knockout from a high kick. You might remember Falin as being the guy Gokhan Saki absolutely destroyed. The fight was mostly even with it looking like Ameziane was hurt by Falin in the second. In the third, Falin gassed and Ameziane took advantage and got the finish. With Daniel Ghita infront of him, Ameziane can't afford to get hurt in this fight as it's likely Ghita will be quick to end his night.

Ameziane is a small heavyweight and sports a lot of fat on him, especially in the midsection. Ghita has shown time and time again that his kicks are absolutely vicious and if he can repeatedly hit Ameziane there for a round, I think Ameziane will be done by the second. Ghita's hands have been improving also and look for him to set them up while Ameziane anticipates incoming kicks.

And then comes the question. Has Ameziane been training? Is he in shape? We don't know but to be honest I don't think Ghita would have any trouble with a 100% ready Fikri Ameziane. While Ameziane's physique is deceiving, I expect Ghita to wear him down in the body and legs while finding a place for the hands in the second round where Ameziane is overwhelmed by Ghita's power and gets stopped.

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UPDATE: HDnet and It's Showtime Ink Deal; K-1 Soon to Return

It's ShowtimeWith K-1's stunning silence throughout the year 2011 there is no doubt that Dutch promotion It's Showtime has picked up the slack that K-1 left and then some. It's Showtime has grown from a smaller organization that promoted a few scattered events, which from 1999 until 2004 involved one big event a year, which eventually turned into one big event at the Amsterdam ArenA until 2005 when the promotion decided to branch out and run more events. In 2005 they held a series with Gentlemen's Promotion that revolved around a massive 75kg tournament. The next year saw them co-promote with K-1 for the first time in what turned into a longstanding and beneficial relationship for both sides until recently, when K-1 fell upon massive financial woes and It's Showtime decided to move forward in the wake of K-1's absence.

This year is primed to be It's Showtime's biggest year yet, with last year holding 7 events and this year having 6 events already on their calendar and another three to four events in the works, but it doesn't stop there. LiverKick.com has been speaking with It's Showtime officials for a while now, and have understood that It's Showtime was not just happy with European expansion and was indeed looking to expand into the United States. This led to talks with a few television stations and promotional partners, some deals falling apart and then some rumors over the past week of big things brewing for It's Showtime.

Simon Rutz is no fool, as can be seen with the gradual growth of It's Showtime over the past 12 years. It's Showtime was not simply looking for a television deal for the United States, they were looking for promotional partners. Like we've seen with all of It's Showtime's recent events, they partner up with another company for all of their shows; BFN Group, Fight Group, Fighting Stars, Oktagon and even individuals like Yiannis Evgenikos and Kader Marouf. They wanted nothing different when it came to the United States and would not even think about promoting shows here without strong support from another promotion or entity, the same goes with television. They simply did not want to be on television, they wanted a working partnership that would expand the company.

We've dug pretty deep and found out that It's Showtime and HDnet finalized a deal earlier this week that will change the kickboxing world as we know it. It's Showtime has been added to HDnet's fight library, starting as soon as the May 14th Lyon, France show. That event will be aired on the following Friday at 11pm Eastern time. It is not airing live because of the short notice for the deal working itself out. We do know that Michael Schiavello is in Lyon, France right now most likely to commentate live on the event. To say that HDnet is going to give It's Showtime the "K-1 treatment" is an understatement.

Multiple sources have claimed that HDnet actually went and bought It's Showtime, or at least bought into the company. It was announced today that HDnet will begin airing It's Showtime immediately, through an agency called Fighting Spirit. LiverKick.com has also learned that HDnet is very interested in possibly purchasing K-1 to add to their stable of original programming. HDnet has aired K-1 in the past, but this would be different. K-1 has been having financial problems and many have been critical of their management, HDnet would look to have the legendary promotion turn a corner and help fully realize its potential in the United States.

UPDATE: Andrew Simon clarified that HDnet has only purchased the rights to It's Showtime in the U.S., not outright purchasing the promotion. They will work with the promotion to promote the shows, but won't hold an actual stake in it. As for K-1, HDnet will look to possibly further air their programming when live programming is available.

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