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Mark "Fightshark" Miller Asks if He is Famous

The Glory World Series on May 28th is rapidly approaching as U.S. fighter Mark "Fightshark" Miller prepares for his return fight against Nikolaj Falin. Miller has overcome many hurdles on the way to his comeback, from open heart surgery where he had a cadaver valve placed in his chest to replace his own faulty heart valve to losing his parents and brother in short order. For most people, this kind of crippling pain would be the end of the line, they'd give up on their dreams, but not for Miller.

Miller has worked hard at getting himself healthy, back into fighting shape and surrounding himself with good people to get his comeback in gear. 2011 is the year where things are coming together for Mark, as he finally has his comeback fight for the Glory World Series, Golden Glory's promotional arm. In his latest blog on MMAWeekly, Miller discusses this past weekend where he went to an invite-only dinner as the guest of television personality Anthony Bourdain and his wife.

On Sunday, I drove to Santa Barbara to see Anthony and genius chef Eric Ripert speak. Following their talk, I was invited by Ottavia to attend a small gathering, where I was to meet Anthony and Eric. I was a little excited. The brash honesty, not blunted, but accompanied by a good heart in Anthony was always a thing I thought would jive well with me. I wasn’t wrong.

After a few minutes of mingling and nibbling on tasty food, Anthony’s eyes caught mine and he gestured vehemently at me while mouthing “get your ass over here!” Anthony Bourdain knew who I was. Color me tickled.

He asked about the comeback, and we chatted honestly about the fight, about Russia, about his fantastic MMA enthusiast wife, all the while Shelby stood, shuffling her feet and looking nervous, as she is a serious fan of Eric Ripert.

After chatting with them for a while, I invited him to the fight (should he find himself in Russia), posed for a photo, which he asked for (again, color me tickled), and shook the big man’s hand.

Read more of Mark's blog including a guilt-by-association moment and him reflecting on what it means to be famous. [source]

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Photo of the Day: UFC's Stefan Struve Training With Daniel Ghita

Here is a photo of UFC's Stefan Struve sparring with K-1 and It's Showtime fighter Daniel Ghita. Our friends AFAV are following Struve, documenting his training for his next UFC fight at UFC 130 against Travis Browne. Ghita is also preparing for a fight against Anderson "Braddock" Silva at It's Showtime Lyon on May 14. [source]

Struve/Ghita

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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at Badr vs. Alistair Overeem, 2009 WGP Semi-Finals

Badr/ReemOver the past week we've taken a look at some of the fights from Badr Hari's 2009, the year after his meltdown in the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals against Remy Bonjasky and his loss to Alistair Overeem at Dynamite!! in K-1 rules. 2009 was Badr Hari's year for redemption, where he looked to avenge past losses and finally capture the K-1 World Grand Prix Title. He was poised to take over the world at this stage.

Entering into the Semi-Finals of the tournament, Badr Hari had already made short work of Ruslan Karaev in the Quarterfinals earlier that night. He was walking into a big rematch for himself, and a bout that a lot was on the line for Badr himself as well as the K-1 world. At the time, Alistair Overeem was billed as a MMA fighter "invading" K-1 for storyline purposes. His interviews were following the same narrative; he was a MMA fighter and he would prove that MMA was stronger than K-1. For Badr Hari, he was embarrassed in 2008 against Overeem after shaming himself by getting disqualified in a fight that he could have still won.

The Badr Hari that entered the ring against Overeem was a determined fighter, with his eyes not on revenge but on winning the K-1 World Grand Prix. The often-emotional "Bad Boy" was composed during this fight, taking on Overeem's great timing and clinch work with aggression and technical combinations. The fight opens up with Overeem's trademark at the time; clinching and sweeping Badr onto his back. A move like that would score him points in Muay Thai competition or be a takedown in MMA, but in K-1 rules it is just an annoyance. He used this technique throughout 2009 to frustrate his opponents and prevent them from getting their rhythm.

Overeem's movement frustrates Hari during the round, as Hari goes head hunting only for Overeem to time them and move out of the way and clinch before Badr finds an opening and lands a few body shots. Overeem continued to clinch while Badr was finishing his combinations with body shots that connected until Overeem made his first big mistake; throwing Badr Hari into the corner. Literally just throwing him into the corner, giving Badr a few moments to regain his composure and pick himself up. Much like we've seen in the past with Badr, if you plant him to the mat, he gets up and looks to take your head off. Overeem threw a left hook that Badr was able to time perfectly and slip a right hook of his own in that landed square on the temple. Overeem stayed on his feet until another quick, short right planted him face first.

Badr smelled blood at this point, and emotions were running high for both men. Overeem knew he was in trouble and Badr Hari wanted to keep good on his promise of knocking him out in under 3 minutes. Badr Hari swarmed at Overeem with rights and lefts, with the odd body shot to throw off Overeem's rhythm and leave an opening. Badr went for a head kick but overshot it, leaving his leg in Overeem's possession for Overeem to plant him on the mat. Hari followed up using the same combination of throwing a series of lefts and rights and finishing with a right body shot and what finally put Overeem out of the tournament was that combination with a left head kick at the end sending Overeem crashing into the corner.

For Badr Hari he had overcome yet another demon of his past, and left him heading into the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix Finals against Semmy Schilt, the fighter that he had made short work of earlier in the year. Things were finally looking to fall into place for Badr Hari. Catch the video of the fight after the break.

Badr Hari returns on May 14th at It's Showtime Lyon against Gregory Tony after a year layoff. This series we are doing, "The Return of Badr Hari" looks back at the moments that led to Badr Hari's meltdown and time spent in jail, leading to his one year layoff from the world of kickboxing. The next one will cover the Semmy Schilt rematch from the Finals of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009.

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The Voice Versus Hulk Hogan Teaser Trailer

Our good friend Michael Schiavello has a wonderful interview series on HDnet that features him in a sit-down interview with various names from the world of combat sports. It appears we still might have a ways to go before we can see the Voice Versus Badr Hari, but we can hold out hope, can't we? The latest in the series is the Voice Versus Hulk Hogan. This time it is a bit of an interesting departure from the norm, opting to interview a legendary professional wrestler. Knowing Schiavello, I fully expect a few questions about Antonio Inoki and the Axe Bomber from his time in Japan.

The show debuts May 20th at 10 PM Eastern.

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