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Fikri Ameziane Steps in to Face Daniel Ghita on May 14th

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Many of us were looking forward to seeing Daniel Ghita and Anderson "Braddock" Silva clash but unfortunately it's been announced that Silva is out of the match. Never fear though, as It's Showtime just announced on their Twitter that Fikri Ameziane from the Siam Gym has stepped in to fill the void. The 21 year old steps in on 8 days notice and faces a tall order in one of the top fighters in the world at heavyweight, Daniel Ghita. It's a win-win situation for Ameziane. If he wins, it's a huge upset and he'll be catapulting himself right into the mix of the top heavyweights in the world of kickboxing. If he loses, his stock doesn't go down at all. If anything, he gains more respect for taking this fight on such short notice.

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Big Card in France on June 4th

By Rian Scalia

French promotions La Nuit Des Challenges and Explosion Fight Night will come together on June 4th in Lyon, France to put on a stacked card featuring many big names in the kickboxing world. The theme of the card is Team Nasser K against the world. For those who aren't familiar with Team Nasser K, it's one of best kickboxing teams in all of Europe. Housing names suchs as It's Showtime 61MAX World Champion Karim Bennoui and his brother Houcine, Fabio Pinca, Yohan Lidon, Abdallah Mabel and many more. Top that off with 8 Full Muay Thai Rules Super Fight bouts and you've got a stacked card.

Fabio Pinca, winner of last year's Isuzu Thai Fight Tournament takes on WMC World Muaythai -135lb Champion, Saenchai Sor Sinbi (formerly known as Saenchai Sor Kingstar) in a rematch of their fight from 2007. Saenchai was able to take a unanimous decision win over Pinca the first time they fought. Now Pinca will try to even up the scores to 1-1 a piece. French fighter Yohan Lidon takes on Kongjak Sor Tuantong in a rematch of their fight from last August, where Lidon had to stop fighting after a middle kick to the arm forced him unable to continue. Lidon will be making a quick turn-around after his It's Showtime 73MAX World Title fight against Marat Grigorian on May 14 in Lyon.

Other notables on the Super Fight portion of the card include 3 time opponent of Giorgio Petrosyan, Abdallah Mabel, Abderahmane Penda, Yuksel Aydin, Chanachai Kaewsamrit and Houcine Bennoui.

In the Explosion Fight Night portion of the card, a mini one night -71kg qualification tournament is being held. Mickael Piscitello takes on Mickael Lallemand while Ludovic Millett battles Hichem Chaibi on the other side of the bracket. The winner will qualify for a place at the Explosion Fight Night Final Tournament alongside Ahmed Zragua of Belgium and Kem Sitsongpeenong of Thailand. These bouts will be K-1 3x3 Rules.

The full fight card is as follows:

Super Fights (Full Muay Thai Rules 5x3)
Fabio Pinca VS Saenchai Sor Sinbi
Yohan Lidon VS Sor Kongjak Tuantong 
Abdallah Mabel VS Chanachai Kaewsamrit 
Abderahmane Penda VS Johane Beauserjour 
Yuksel Ayaydin VS Abderrahmane Coulibaly 
Issam Reghis VS Cheick Sidibe 
Houcine Bennoui VS Lakthai 
Nabil Elouissi VS Samir Amrouche

Explosion Fight Night Qualification Tournament Step 3 (K-1 Rules 3x3 -71kg):
Mickael Piscitello VS Mickael Lallemand
Ludovic Millett VS Hichem Chaibi

Note: Saenchai is not 100% confirmed for the card. Also many of these fighters are fighting on It's Showtime's May 14th card. Don't be surprised to see some withdraw from this event with injuries.

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Hesdy Gerges Officially Removed from May 21st It's Showtime Card

GergesThe hits keep on rolling, as we quickly approach It's Showtime's May 14th card and their May 21st card there have been a few notable changes, as we just reported, Anderson Silva had to pull out of his bout with Daniel Ghita for the 14th. We have more bad news for It's Showtime fans, as many will remember, Hesdy Gerges has found himself in some legal trouble of late, and has now been extradited to Belgium to be interrogated about his possible involvement with cocaine trafficking.

The bad news is that It's Showtime no longer believes that Gerges will be able to participate on their May 21 card. They have removed him from the official card line up on their website, and Simon Rutz confirmed on his Facebook account in response to a fan that Gerges is out for the time being. This leaves It's Showtime without their main event for the card, but Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Mohamed Khamal is a great bout that could easily fill in for the absence of Hesdy Gerges on the card.

We'll keep you updated on any further updates for It's Showtime's May 14th and May 21st cards and who will fill in what spot. Hopefully they find an opponent for Chris Knowles.

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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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