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Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita Shows a Bright Future For Kickboxing

Hesdy Gerges vs. Daniel Ghita (C) Ben PontierUsually by this time in the year, we'd have a K-1 show to kick off the Heavyweight season, or at least be preparing for one. This year is different, as instead It's Showtime stepped up to the plate and has taken that top position by promoting a big card over the weekend that proved to be the first big kickboxing card of the year on an international level, and it was great. The show's headliner was two young European heavyweights squaring off against each other.

The fight wasn't about titles or a tournament, instead it was two young heavyweights jocking for position and showing the world what they are capable of. Neither men have the hype behind them that a fighter like Badr Hari does, nor did they have the opportunities that he was given. They had to fight for their positions.

Daniel Ghita is the elder of the two, clocking in at 29. Ghita meddled in his home of Romania for a full ten years, until 2009 when It's Showtime gave him a shot on their biggest show of the year, the Amsterdam ArenA show against the Czech Republic's Thomas Hron. Ghita came in with a fire lit from under him and stopped the fight in the second round with his deadly leg kicks that he is known for. Then in August he entered K-1's Final Qualifying tournament in Tokyo and blew through it with all first round knockouts.

Hesdy Gerges (pronounced 'Hell-heth' if you didn't know, how bad ass is that?) is 27 and worked his way up the ultra-competitive circuit in Amsterdam, as well as through personal issues. Thom Harinck has discussed Gerges troubled past and how if people thought Badr Hari was a bad boy, if they knew about Gerges it would blow them away. Gerges was invited to K-1 in 2009 to take on the giant, Semmy Schilt in what should have been a feature bout for Schilt in the March opening of the K-1 season show. Gerges fought hard and was able to hold on for all three rounds before the bout was decided for Schilt. Gerges fought his way back up and caught the eye of It's Showtime, who the next year felt like they had gold putting him up against Badr Hari. It has all been upward from there, as he proved just how tough he is and made an impact on K-1 as well in 2010.

Neither man had an easy path to this weekend's show. Gerges was given Semmy Schilt again in the Final 16 last year, knocking him out of contention, while Ghita was able to make the Final 8 before falling to Gokhan Saki. I feel like there has been a swell of support for Ghita over the last year, and rightfully so. Ghita's powerful kicks and hard head can take him far, he has shown a weakness with his hands but is clearly working on improving them. Gerges is a fighter that I feel a lot of people underrate. While Badr Hari was beating him last year, the heart and toughness he had shown, as well as the clean shots he was landing amid Badr's angry flurries were impressive. For a while now I've felt that Gerges has some serious potential and a strong future as a Heavyweight. His kicks are not as crushing as Ghita's, but his hands are much, much better at this point. So going into this fight, it was clear that both men are a big deal.

Over the past few years that has been a rather obnoxious talking point on the internet that Heavyweight kickboxing is "dead" and there is no new talent. That dominance of Peter Aerts and Semmy Schilt is "clear" proof of this, somehow. It isn't that they are just that good, but their age should somehow bring down the rest of the field. The rise of Badr Hari, Ruslan Karaev, Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong, Kyotaro and now Ghita and Gerges tells an entirely different story. It shows an upcoming changing of the guard, a new generation coming from a few transition years in the mid-00's. A fight between Hesdy Gerges and Daniel Ghita was more than a Heavyweight clash, it was a clash between two of the fighters that we've felt will carry on the elite Heavyweight tradition in the coming years and be part of a new golden age. The fact that the fight we saw was such an even, exciting fight is simply proof of all of these things, that regardless of who walked away the victor, both these men are going to make the next ten years or so extremely exciting to watch unfold.

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Weekly Poll Results

Last week we asked who would win the It's Showtime main event between Daniel Ghita and Hesdy Gerges. Your response...

66% - Ghita

34% - Gerges

Sorry LiverKick.com readers - you know we love you, but 66% of you were stumped this time. Of course, the fight was not without a bit of controversy as Ghita was considered knocked down after a low blow. So...

This Week's Question: How did you score the fight?

Vote now!

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Busy Weekend Ahead for JMMA

Yuki Shojo (Sherdog)It's a busy weekend ahead for combat sport in Japan! While we wait for more information on the promotional plans of former PRIDE FC brass Nobuyuki Sakakibara and Hiroyuki Kato and the future direction of FEG/K-1/DREAM, we’re lucky enough to be tied over with lots of great action from the smaller promotions.

Kicking things off Friday, Jewels Lightweight Champion Ayaka Hamasaki (4-0) will headline the JEWELS 12th Ring show against American Top Team's Jessica Aguilar (10-4) in a non-title match. Lisa Ward was originally scheduled to face Hamasaki however she was inujred training and is unable to compete. Jessica Aguilar steps in after her fight scheduled for this weekend in Michigan was cancelled.

Injuries also affected the main event for Shooto's SHOOTOR'S LEGACY 2 which takes place on Saturday at Korakuen Hall. World Shooto Flyweight Champion Rambaa "M16" Somdet was injured late last month and forced to drop out of his title fight against Junji Sarumaru. The match is now scheduled to take place on April 29th. Yuki Shojo (10-5-2) vs. Noboru "Shinpei" Tahara (9-5-1) has been moved up to the main event slot. Yuki Shojo is an exciting fighter who ranks as one of the top Flyweights in the world and Shinpei Tahara is a former 114-pound title challenger. Also on the card King of Pancrase Flyweight Champion Kiyotaka Shimizu (7-3-2) will make his Shooto debut as he's set to take on Shinichi Hanawa (8-7-1) who’s won his last four fights.

Speaking of Pancrase, The Impressive Tour 2011 makes a stop in Osaka on Sunday. In the main event, 2010 Bantamweight Neo-Blood tournament winner and former Karate champion Motonobu Tezuka (15-3-3) meets Judo specialist Hiroshi Tomita (8-2-2) of Pancrase Inagakigumi. The semi-main event is a Womens ‘Athena’ match billed as JEWELS vs VALKYRIE, Osaka native Hitomi Akano (16-8) will fight for the first time in her home town when she takes on the much outclassed Chisa Yonezawa (1-3).

DEEP is holding a Rock/MMA fushion event on Sunday called ANNIHILATE! It's a smaller card featuring a one night four-man Megaton GP tournament along with a bunch of hard rock/metal bands. In Block A of the GP, Baru “Seiryu” Harn (1-1) is set to meet Seigo Mizuguchi (7-8) and in Block B Ryota (0-1) takes on Gerogian judoka and Yoshida Dojo's Levan Razmadze (1-0). The winner will get a future title shot against newly crowned Megaton Champion Kazuhisa Tazawa.

Rounding out the action on Sunday, HEAT 17 takes place from Nagoya with two former K-1 veterans squaring off when Hiromi Amada will defend his HEAT Heavyweight Kick title against Tatsufumi Tomihira and over in Shoot Boxing they kick off the 2011 edition of the Young Ceasar's Cup tournament.


3/11 – JEWELS 12th Ring – Tokyo
3/12 – SHOOTO ~ SHOOTOR’S LEGACY 02 – Tokyo
3/13 – SHOOTBOXING ~ Young Caesar Cup – Nagoya
3/13 – DEEP 10th Anniversary DEEP ANNIHILATE! – Tokyo
3/13 – HEAT 17 – Nagoya
3/13 – PANCRASE 2011 IMPRESSIVE TOUR 3.13 – Osaka

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It's Showtime: Sporthallen Zuid Amsterdam Live Results and Commentary

Hesdy/GhitaJoin us here at LiverKick.com as we'll be doing live results and commentary for Fighting Stars Presents: It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid Amsterdam, the event is live today, March 6th at 8pm CET/2pm EST/11am PST on http://www.showtimefights.com. The show is headlined by Hesdy Gerges squaring off against Daniel Ghita in a heavyweight showdown between two top prospects, as well as L'houcine "Aussie" Ouzgni, a fighter seen as the future of the 70kg division, against a legend in the division, Andy Souwer.

70kg MAX: Robin van Roosmalen (R3. - Decision) Chahid Oulad El Hadj

70kg MAX: William Diender (R3. - Decision) Rachid Belaini

It's Showtime 95kg MAX Championship: Danyo Ilunga (R5. - Decision) Wendell Roche

70kg MAX: Artur Kyshenko (R3. - Decision) Gago Drago

70kg MAX: Andy Souwer (R3. - Decision) L'houcine Ouzgni

Heavyweight: Hesdy Gerges (R3. - Decision) Daniel Ghita

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