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Fight Code Budapest Fight Card

Fight CodeThe next big European fight card is only a few short weeks away, taking place on May 1st in Budapest, Hungary. The card will be promoted by dynamo fight promotion Fight Code, who much like It's Showtime and Ultimate GLORY have stepped up in 2011 as serious contenders in the realm of high-end kickboxing.

This is a continuation of Fight Code's "Dragon Series." The Dragon Series is Fight Code's 72.5kg tournament (primarily 70kg/MAX fighters), where we've seen such fighters as Yoshihiro Sato, Armen Petrosyan, Dzabar Askerov, Giorgio Petrosyan and Cosmo Alexandre participate.

Fight Code released the card for the event earlier in the week, and it is shaping up to look like a strong event.

Dragon Tournament Bouts

Halim Issaoui [Maroc] vs Simon Chu [United Kingdom]

Luka Tomic [Croatia] vs Norbert Balogh [Hungary]

Juri Bessmertny [Belarus] vs Selmedin Didic [Switzerland]

 

Non-Tournament Bouts

Vitaly Akhramenko [Belarus] vs Gyorgy Mihalik [Hungary]

Mladen Brestovac [Croatia] vs Tihamer Brunner [Hungary]

Corneliu "Coco" Rus [Romania] vs Freddy Kemayo [France]

 

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Krush Fan Fest This Weekend

KrushJapan's Krush organization has been planning a big 2011, with the culmination of four separate tournaments to crown the company's first ever champions.  Like everyone based out of Japan, their plans were greatly delayed by the tragedy there, but now, one month later, Krush is getting ready for their return.

The next Krush show will be the April 30 event, featuring the 55, 60, and 63kg finals.  That show was originally scheduled for March, but pushed back for obvious reasons.  Now, they've announced a fan fest to be held this Saturday in anticipation of the show.  These kind of fan fests are pretty common in Japan, and typically not much to take not of, but this one stands out for a few reasons.

At the fan fest, Krush will announce the first 6 fighters to compete in the 70kg tournament, which will begin on May 29.  Originally I had pegged this to be the weakest of the 4 Krush tournaments, with Yuya Yamamoto likely being the lone big name.  But considering K-1 MAX's lack of shows, it's entirely possible we'll see more ranked names taking part here.  I anticipate Yamamoto and Nashiro are locks, and would love to see Jienotsu and Sato in there as well.

Also taking place at the event will be quite a weird exhibition fight - in some form of tag team competition, it will be Kyotaro and Keiji Ozaki vs. Fire Harada and an opponent who will be announced that day.  Will this be kickboxing?  MMA?  Pro-wrestling?  Who knows, but with Fire Harada in there, it should be fun.  Bizarre, but fun.  And, if you ask me, these are the kind of things you have to love about the Japan combat sports scene - you're just not going to get that sort of thing anywhere else.

Finally, one more exhibition fight was announced between Naoki Ishikawa and Kensaku Maeda.  While Maeda's name may be unfamiliar, anyone who has watched much Japanese kickboxing in the last year will surely recognize him.  Maeda is the head of Team Dragon, and is the man always in the corner of Kyotaro, the Urabes, and the rest of the Dragon fighters.  Maeda has been retired from competition since 2002, but was a decorated fighter back in his day.  The exhibition will be just one 3 minute round.  Cool to hear that Maeda is getting back in there, although I wouldn't bet on getting to see any footage of the fight.

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It's Showtime Postpones Russia Show in July

It's ShowtimeKickboxing megapromotion It's Showtime has been a freight train in 2011, booking show after show and adding more and more big fights to these cards. So it comes almost as a shock to hear that one of their shows has been called off, and that the show was the one with an expected 8-man 70kg MAX tournament, featuring the biggest names in the world of kickboxing at that division.

According to It's Showtime management the show will go on, with the tournament pushed to a different location and possibly a different date. Knowing It's Showtime, they will find a suitable place for this mega-tournament.

The reason given for the show's cancellation is "political reasons." They also stated that they will book an event in Sochi, Russia in 2012, so it seems like there could be some unseen forces at play here. Political reasons could mean local licensing situations or television and sponsorship issues.

The card being pushed back and into a different location could mean there is a better location for the tournament as well. As this is complete conjecture at this point, there is a strong rumor that It's Showtime will push forward with their Amsterdam ArenA show in October or November. I, for one, couldn't think of a better place to put on a huge one-night tournament between some of the biggest stars in the sport than a giant arena.

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Isuzu Tournament Update -- Sudsakorn, Thepsutin out in February

Some of you may have noticed changes to the scheduled lineup of the Isuzu Tournament at the end of the groups phase. In February, Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee from Group A and Thepsutin Pumpanmuang from Group B were barred from the tournament for breaking contract stipulations by fighting outside of Thailand during the duration of the tournament, similar to what happened to Cosmo Alexandre with It's Showtime.

We ended up seeing Nopparat Keatkhamtorn vs Antoine Siangboxing and Dernchonlek Sor Sor Niyom vs Diesellek Top King Boxing. Both the original tournament competitors ended up winning their fights, Nopparat by a very close decision and Dernchonlek by third round tko.

Prakaisaeng Sit-Or took a decision over Thanongdet Petpayatai, while Kem Sitsongpeenong knocked out Kongjak Sor Tuantong to close groups action.

The semi-finals concluded on the April 16. Matchmaking for the semi-finals was done by fan vote, which is an interesting innovation by the organizers, as these things are usually decided by the organizers or by the fighters themselves. Dernchonlek vs Nopparat took place on April 2nd. Nopparat took the decision despite Dernchonlek was a favorite to face Kem in the finals.

Kem Sitsongpeenong vs Prakaisaeng Sit-Or was originally scheduled for April 9, but was postponed due to Kem being sick. The match ended up happening on April 16 with Kem winning by round 4 tko.

This places Nopparat and Kem in the finals. Kem has to be the heavy favorite in this match-up since he's scored multiple KO victories over Nopparat, including one in the groups phase of this same Isuzu Tournament. If he wins this tournament, he will proceed to Thai Fight 2011 where he also likely will be a heavy favorite in a field of foreign fighters.

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