Let's face it, lots of us have smart phones and live life on the go, so it is nice to be able to stay up to date with the latest news of one of your favorite kickboxing organizations.
This weekend former UFC Lightweight contender Kenny Florian will officially make the move to Featherweight. Florian’s move to Featherweight is the first of its kind since WEC’s Featherweight division was folded into the UFC, Jose Aldo being crowned as the first UFC Featherweight Champion. For fans, Florian almost immediately becomes a top contender for the Featherweight title, with Diego Nunes his first opponent.
If you are a kickboxing fan, the possibility of a Florian and Aldo clash is a bit different, as both fighters are known for their striking prowess. Aldo is known for his explosive power in his striking, while Florian is known for adding a solid in-tight Muay Thai game to his outstanding jiu-jitsu. What is truly interesting is that both men have incorporated some of the finest kickboxers in the world to their training camps.
Jose Aldo while preparing for his UFC debut went to the Netherlands to train with one of the finest competitors that 70kg has ever seen in Andy Souwer. Andy Souwer can bring an interesting perspective to Aldo’s striking, as Souwer not only has experience in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but he is also one of the best to ever compete in Japan’s strange hybrid sport of Shoot Boxing. Shoot Boxing incorporates the standard Kickboxing rules along with Judo elements of throws and standing submissions. To excel at Shoot Boxing, you not only need a solid stand up game, but you need to have a strong clinch game and grappling defense as well. Aldo went to war with Mark Hominick at UFC 129 to defend his title, with a possible title fight against Chad Mendes on the horizon once his injuries are healed. Aldo has expressed that he will work with Andy Souwer again, and Andy Souwer has also expressed that he’d love to train MMA with Aldo.
In the same vein, Kenny Florian has brought Cosmo Alexandre into his training camp for his Featherweight debut. Cosmo has made it clear that he is very much wanting to get into the world of MMA sometime soon, and aligning himself with Kenny Florian is a great place to start. Cosmo Alexandre is the former It’s Showtime 77MAX Champion, who only lost his title via politics when It’s Showtime was unhappy with him taking another fight close to his next title defense without their consent and he was unhappy with their contract situation. Cosmo has held multiple world Muay Thai titles and fought all over the world, generally considered one of the best Muay Thai fighters who Kickboxes in his weight class, he can provide Florian with a different approach to his Muay Thai. Florian, known for being a Mark DellaGrote Muay Thai student has learned a lot from Mark, but truth be told, training with fighters who not only currently compete, but are seen as some of the best in the world is vastly different.
What these two UFC fighters looking to some of the elite kickboxers of the world shows is that international kickboxing is gaining more respect in the United States, and elite fighters are realizing that not all stand up training is the same, to train and work with some of the most elite strikers in the world is a vastly different and rewarding experience from the same, cookie-cutter “Stand Up” training that you’ll see at your local MMA gyms across the country. I look forward to the days where more UFC fighters are talking about how incredible these fighters are that we already know are incredible.
Big news from the It's Showtime camp today, as it looks like Pajonsuk Samui Pro has had to pull out of the Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament in September, and that he will be replaced by Chahid Oulad el Hadj, best known for his knock down, drag out brawl with Mike Zambidis last year. [source]
his means that the 8 contestants for the € 50.000 jackpot will be:
Chahid Oulad el Hadj
I feel like Danyo Ilunga came out of nowhere in March at It's Showtime when he fought Wendell Roche for the It's Showtime 95MAX Championship. Of course, Ilunga didn't come out of nowhere, as he has been fighting for years, known as a protege of Remy Bonjasky. The truth of the matter is, Ilunga is 36 - 4, with a whopping 32 KOs under his belt already. The absolute clinic he put on against veteran fighter Wendell Roche should speak volumes of just how much talent he has. On June 11th he will fight again, this time defending his It's Showtime 95MAX Championship against Nenad Pagonis at It's Showtime: Warsaw. If you have only seen the Roche fight, do yourself a favor and watch this highlight video of Ilunga's 2010.