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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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Mark "Fight Shark" Miller Returns to Action May 28th Against Nikolaj Falin

Mark MillerSometimes you work really hard for something and the payoff isn't immediate, other times you just get lucky and are in the right place at the right now. Other times you wait what feels like a lifetime and have to prove yourself and it can drive you mad. If you've been following K-1 religiously for the past 15 years, you'll know the name Mark Miller. No, I don't mean the IFL Middleweight MMA fighter that competed on UFC's The Ultimate Fighter, but instead the Heavyweight kickboxer who participated in a few of the K-1 Las Vegas Grand Prix tournaments at the turn of the century.

If you don't know Miller you are missing out, not only missing out on an incredible story of overcoming the odds and facing a lot of tough competition, you are missing out on an incredible talent and a great guy. Mark is the first fighter to ever stage a comeback after open heart surgery. I'm not kidding you. Check out the trailer to his upcoming documentary about his trials and tribulations as well as his comeback. After his comeback fight it will be a wrap on the film and it'll be released, telling his awesome story to the world.

His opponent is stiff competition in Nikolaj Falin, who many should know as the fighter who competed in the first round of the GLORY World Series against Gokhan Saki. If you saw that fight you know that he is no slouch at all and will absolutely be game competition for the man who was once talking with Kazuyoshi Ishii about being the American face of K-1 with both men in agreement that he was the future for American kickboxing.

This fight goes down May 28th at the Ultimate GLORY World Series final round as a K-1 Heavyweight Superfight. This fight will be huge for Miller and in the world of fighting this is absolutely a first as a fighter returns from open heart surgery and is doing so in tip-top shape.

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