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Your Muay Thai Update

SaenchaiThere have been a number of smaller Muay Thai stories making the rounds lately that we haven't had a chance to mention, so for you fans of the science of eight limbs, here are some of the latest rumblings, all collected together.

-First up, a result from this past weekend direct from Thailand.  One of the big events this year has been the ongoing Isuzu Thai Fight qualifying tournament at Omnoi Stadium.  That tournament is nearing completion, as the first of the two semi-finals went down this past Saturday.  In semi-final #1, it was Nopparet Keatkhamtorn vs. Dernchonlek Sor. Niyom.  Check the full entry for the complete fight, and if you don't want the result spoiled, stop reading this paragraph now.  The semi-final clash was a good, if slightly odd fight at times, with Nopparet seeming to show some irritation throughout.  As the fight progressed, Dernchonlek looked to control the clinch for the win, but it wasn't enough as Nopparet took the decision win.  He now moves onto the finals to face the winner of Khem Sitsongpeenong vs. Prakaisaeng Sit O on April 16.

-We previously reported on the May 14 Thai Fight Extreme card, and now we have some more details.  Coming from France, this is the event featuring a stacked line-up including Buakaw, Yodsaenklai, Saiyok, and more.  A tentative card has been released, and it looks like they are going with a Thailand vs. France theme.  The current line-up:

Saiyok Pumpanmuang vs. Mohamed Diaby

Sudsakon Sor Klinmee vs. Abdallah Mabel

Yodsaenklai Fairtex vs. Jose Barradas 

Buakaw Por Pramuk vs. Djime Coulibaly

Petasawin Seatransferry vs. Sofian Dergada 

Yuya Yamato vs. Fabio Pinca 

Hiroki Komata vs. Samir Mohamed

Hiroki Yamamoto vs. Ibrahim Chiahou

Not a huge challenge for either Yod or Buakaw, but both Sudsakorn vs. Mabel and Saiyok vs. Diaby should be good fights.

-Another upcoming fight for Buakaw could be his planned appearance in the US at the August 13 Stand Up Promotions event in Anaheim, CA.  Seeing the K-1 MAX legend is reason enough to be excited for this card, but they've now added a huge fight that should draw you in.  On August 13 it will be pound for pound Muay Thai king Saenchai Sinbi (that's the former Saenchai Sor Kingstar, now relocated to Sinbi gym) vs. American Muay Thai stand-out Kevin Ross.  This is an amazing score for the promotion, as this will mark the first time an American challenges Saenchai here in the US.  There's great stuff going on in the west coast Muay Thai scene these days, and this match just shows how alive that scene is.  Also discussed for that card are Kaoklai and Saiyok.

-Speaking of Saenchai, just a reminder that he is in action this weekend, facing Liam Harrison on the 9th at Duel at the Dome in the UK.

-Finally, one more US fight rumor - on May 14 Lion Fight Promotions will host Battle in the Desert 2.  Rumors now indicate that the show may feature former It's Showtime and King's Cup champion Cosmo Alexandre against Cyrus Washington.  Once again, this would be a great chance to see a top international Muay Thai name here in the US.

Watch Nopparet vs. Dernchonlek in the full entry.

 

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Why Mark "Fight Shark" Miller's Return is Huge for American Kickboxing

Photo Credit: John Remus / johnremus.comI’ve had a few people ask me about the upcoming fight we just announced for Mark “Fight Shark” Miller against Nikolaj Falin in Ultimate GLORY on May 28. Lots of people are excited about Miller’s comeback, while others have asked me why exactly this fight is a big deal for American kickboxing. The truth of the matter is, the fight is a very big deal for the sport of kickboxing and combat sports in general because this has never been done before.

As someone who has been writing about kickboxing for a while now, I can honestly say that there is a lot of disappointment that comes with the territory. In the United States the kickboxing scene got wiped out by scandal in the early 90’s and then the rise of the UFC. All of the big names grew old or started training MMA fighters and gave up the kickboxing dream in the United States. The best we get is Joe Rogan’s commentary in the UFC where he’ll mention a fighter having experience in K-1 or international kickboxing experience.

Whenever I’d talk candidly with someone about kickboxing in the US and how to help it grow, it was always written off as a lost cause. “There are no US stars,” they’d say. When I’d talk to some of the big name fight promoters in Europe about bringing over US guys or promoting in the US, “they aren’t on the same level, my guys would kill them.”

As you can imagine, you hear that enough and you really get the impression that the market is just too tough right now and no one believes in it. There are some Muay Thai fighters, like Kevin Ross, who have made a name internationally, but Muay Thai and kickboxing are very different beasts. So imagine a break like the GLORY World Series inviting their first American kickboxer to a card and how big of a deal that is.

Miller brings with him a rather unique story, as he made it almost to the top of the mountain in the world of kickboxing, in K-1, when things started to go wrong. He had a heart condition from birth that he was able to work through, and for having that condition he made it very far, until he realized the only way to move forward with his career was open heart surgery. Not only will Miller be the first American kickboxer to compete for GLORY in May, but he’ll be the first fighter to ever return from open heart surgery and get put right into the fire.

For a comeback fight, Falin is no slouch. It will actually be stiff competition and just shows the level of commitment that Miller has for fighting. He wasn’t looking for anything to be handed to him, just to be able to prove himself again. There were talks once of Miller being “the guy” for K-1 in the United States, but for multiple reasons that never panned out. Now is a chance for kickboxing in the US to have a modern name attached to it and he will have truly overcome incredible odds to get there.

We’ll be bringing you more features on Mark Miller’s comeback over the next month and a half including photos, videos and interviews. If you'd like to contact Mark about doing interviews, sponsorships or to ask any questions, contact his team This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Photo of the Day: Alistair Overeem and Dutch Royalty

Alistair Overeem is an ambassador for the world of Martial Arts. It is rare for an athlete to be a world champion in multiple sports, but that is exactly what Alistair Overeem is. Alistair Overeem is the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. On top of that, he is involved in the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP and will most likely end up in the UFC after all is said and done. The man gets around and there is no doubt that he makes his home proud. There is no doubt, in fact, because the Dutch Royal Family invited Alistair Overeem to a lunch with the royal family.

Yes, the photo below is of Alistair Overeem hanging out with Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange. There are sadly no photos with the sometimes cute Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, but we'll survive. [source]

Overeem/Prince Willem-Alexander

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Weekly Poll Results

Last week's poll asked: Do you train any martial arts?

41% - Yes, quite a bit

17% - Yes, somewhat

17% - I used to, but not at the moment

17% - I want to, but no

8% - Nope

This week: in case you missed it, over the weekend we posted a video wrap up of March's kickboxing action.  Included in that wrap-up was a discussion of the best fights of March (check here for videos from my picks for best fights).  So, what do you think?

What was the best fight from March?

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