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Heavyweight (Per 4/15)
1. Rico Verhoeven
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Gokhan Saki
4. Tyrone Spong
5. Peter Aerts
6. Errol Zimmerman up
7. Benjamin Adegbuyiup
8. Ismael Londt up
9. Hesdy Gerges up
10. Ben Edwards up

Light HW (per 4/15)
1. Gokhan Saki up
2. Tyrone Spong down
3. Danyo Ilunga
4. Nathan Corbett down
5. Saulo Cavalari

Middleweight (per 4/15)
1. Wayne Barrett
2. Joe Schilling
3. Artem Levin
4. Steven Wakeling
5. Franci Grajs

Welterweight (per 4/15)
1. Nieky Holzken 
2. Joseph Valtellini 
3. Simon Marcus
4. Marc de Bonte
5. Aussie Ouzgni

 

70kg (Per 4/15)
1. Davit Kiriaup
2. Andy Ristiedown
3. Robin van Roosmalendown
4. Giorgio Petrosyandown
5. Murthel Groenhart
6. Buakaw Banchamek
7. Dzhabar Askerov
8. Ky Hollenbeckup
9. Aikprachaup
10. Enriko Kehlup

65kg (per 1/20)
1. Masaaki Noiri
2. Mosab Amraniup
3. Yuta Kubo down
4. Sagetdao
5. Liam Harrison

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W5 Grand PrixThis weekend's big kickboxing action comes from Moscow, as the city hosts the W5 Grand Prix.  Highlight of the show is the 4 man 70kg tournament featuring Mike Zambidis, Dzhabar Askerov, William Diender, and Enriko Gogokhia.  Now we've got good news for fans - the show will be streamed live online.  Visit http://allboxing.tv/en where the show can be purchased for just 99 rubles - that translates to roughly $3.50 US (2,50 Euro).  That's a great price to see these fighters in action.  Show starts at 6:00 pm Moscow time on Saturday - 10:00 am EST in the US, 2:00 pm GMT.

Although this is a smaller show, this is definitely a strong four man field for a tournament.  The semi-final round will feature Zambidis vs. Gogokhia and Askerov vs. Diender.  Both are excellent fights in their own right, but the big money fight is definitely the potential Zambidis vs. Askerov final.  Both men are aggressive and have been knocking out opponents lately.  Their clash would be two heavy hitters coming at each other, and could be a very exciting showdown.  It seems likely that this is where the tournament will go, but in this format you never know how it will play out.  If there's a spoiler here, I'd say it's Gogokhia, who has been under the radar, but looked great in two 8 man tournaments last year.  I still think Zambo will take him, but he's a tough challenger to watch out for.

One other fighter to watch on the card is Alexander Stetsurenko.  The talented Russian fighter holds a 2009 win over It's Showtime champion Artem Levin, and is deserving of a high profile international fight.

The complete line-up:

MIKE ZAMBIDIS vs. ENRIKO GOGOKHIA (71 kg)

DZHABAR ASKEROV vs. WILLIAM DIENDER (71 kg)

FINAL

ROMAN MAYILOV vs. RAMIL NOZRUZOV (63.5 kg)

VLADIMIR MINEEV vs. VITALY SHEMETIV (91 kg)

ALEXANDER STETSURENKO vs. VASSILY TERESHONOK (81 kg)

ALIM NABIEV vs. VYACHESLAV BORSCHEV (67 kg)

VLADIMIR SHULIAK vs. PETR VOSNITSKI (71 kg)

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I know that everyone is concerned about the return of K-1, but for the time being I find it fruitless to discuss what is going on with FEG. We all know that FEG plans to undertake a restructuring and return within the year, if this happens or not no one really knows. There are talks of dates, times, venues and also that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami pushed things back. The optimist says that is what happened, the pessimist says that is a rather remarkable excuse and a great way to make things look like they are moving along. We at this point have no opinion on this matter, as we all want K-1 back, but will just have to wait.

In the mean time there are great things happening around the world in kickboxing that aren't related to FEG or K-1. There is It's Showtime putting on a million shows and really stepping up to the plate in a unique way, then there is the Glory World Series put on by Martijn de Jong and Golden Glory, then of course there is Fight Code. Fight Code has come out of the gates swinging in 2011 and impressed everyone who has seen their first few shows this year. Just to illustrate that there is a lot going on in the kickboxing world, here is a calendar of their upcoming events. The "Dragon" events are for their tournament featuring K-1 World MAX Champion Giorgio Petrosyan, his brother Armen Petrosyan, Sudsakorn and Dzhabar Askerov. Check here for the full break down of the tournament.

Then there is the "Rhino" series, which take place either on alternate dates or at least alternate locations, it is a -105kg (Heavyweight) tournament, and while all the names have yet to be finalized, there are dates planned and of course fighters vying to get involved in this tournament.

Fight Code

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There was a pretty decent discussion about kickboxing this morning on Twitter between Bloodstain Lane, Michael Schiavello, myself and a few fans about kickboxing. There were those that argued kickboxing was dead in the United States and had no talent and then a lot of talk about who were the big stars of the past 20 years, who is coming up and how the regional muay thai scenes are still going very strong. There are some promotions that do great work on the West coast and East coast as well as some strong upstarts in Las Vegas like Lion Fights.

We already know that Mark Miller is going to be representing America in Russia at the Glory World Series event in May and there are talks of a possible kickboxing tournament in May in the United States featuring some former heavyweight K-1 stars from the United States. Call me foolish, but I'm optimistic. So, apparently, are the guys who work at Mike's Gym in the Netherlands. So much so that Danny Delvers at Mike's Gym trains kids and I must say, some of the stuff they are doing is far beyond what a lot of MMA fighters pull off on UFC cards. That isn't an insult as much as it is praise for what youth programs can develop. [source]

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April is shaping up to be a rather uneventful month for the world of kickboxing after a jam-packed March return for many of the bigger promotions in Europe. We saw the GLORY World Series continue, It's Showtime put on two big cards and Fight Code gave us the gift of Giorgio Petrosyan and a few other big fights. Understandably, Japan has been rather quiet the past month or so. Japan was actually hit by another earthquake today, a 7.4 and is once again on tsunami watch. Needless to say, inactivity in Japan is not a big deal. A few promotions are stepping up and running shows for Japan, to show the strength of the nation as well as to do their best to help out. Thankfully for us, Shootboxing is one of those promotions. Here is their poster. [source]

Shootboxing

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Muay Thai prospect Cyrus Washington is set to square off against former It's Showtime fighter and champion Cosmo Alexandre next month for Lion Fight Promotions. The two will clash at 160lbs on May 14th, the following is from Lion Fights' press release.

Cosmo "Good Boy" Alexandre is a professional Brazilian Muay Thai fighter. He is a former WMC Intercontinental and WPMF World Champion. On December 5, 2009 he won the WMC King's Cup Challenger Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, and today, he holds a record of 39 wins / 13 losses. Alexandre has fought some of the best Muay Thai practitioners in the world, including Giorgio Petrosyan, Yodsanklai Fairtex, and John Wayne Parr. Alexandre, who is represented by the team at Authentic Sports Management, currently resides and trains out of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Cyrus Washington has won multiple professional Muay Thai titles, including a title victory over the well known Burmese fighter Saw Nga in a bare knuckle championship bout that took place in Burma. Washington had previously lived in Thailand for over three years and trained out of Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket. Washington recently made his way back to the U.S. and now currently lives and trains out of Michigan. Washington's current record is 47 wins / 16 losses.

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We've been preaching this for a while now; that kickboxing is one of the greatest sports in the world and that it needs a bigger following in the United States. No, it deserves a bigger following in the United States. Any sport as exciting as kickboxing deserves a wider audience and the fighters, promoters and sponsors who work hard all do so for a reason; passion. That is all that you can ask for, and that is what kickboxing delivers.

Our good friend Bloodstain Lane agrees and his latest video is just that; he urges everyone to support the kickboxing world and talks about the upcoming return of Mark Miller as well.

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