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Kongsak Sitboonmee: The Best Fighter In Thailand

With Saenchai Sinbimuaythai now concentrating on fighting over sea's a lot more, and Nong-O in a bit of a slump, a clear #1 has emerged in Thailand. That man would be Kongsak Sitboonmee, the latest winner of the Thailand's Sportswriters fighter of the year, the most prestigious award that can be given to a fighter. He went a perfect 8-0 from March of 2010 - March of 2011. After going 7-0 he was paired against Pakon Sakyotin in a fight at 127 pounds that would determine the winner of the award. Pakon who is remembered for his ultra violent fight with Pornsaneh Sitmonchai from last year was also riding a great record coming into the fight, and a win over Kongsak was the only thing holding him back from grasping the award he has come close to winning before. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GncRVBMFM14

You can see the fight is competitive, even though it gets a bit ugly. It seems like there was a little bit of tension in both guys, and neither are throwing with there usual superb technique, though its still very good. I think a lot of that can be do to the importance of the fight. By R4 it appears Kongsak has got the fight where he wants it. Pakon who is a strong clinch fighter has struggles tying the bigger Kongsak up, but does get in his share of strikes at times. The left leg of Kongsak and his ability to not let Pakon get comfortable were the determining factors. While not super exciting, Kongsak is a very smart fighter, and throws a heavy kick. This style of fighting will allow the 21 year old to be around for many more years.

Next month he looks to start off another run at fighter of the year when he faces one of Thailand's best, Sam-A Thor Ratonakiat. 

For the sake of Muay Thai I hope he and Saenchai who will also be competing next month on the same card against Petchboonchu F.A Group.... again, (sigh) can agree on a suitable catch weight. Kongsak vs. Saenchai is the biggest, and best fight that can be made in all of Muay Thai. Lets cross our fingers and hope it happens.

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Mark Miller Talks About Legends and Family

I know that it has been a hard week for the fighter we know and love as the Fight Shark. The training, the traveling, the unraveling of his mind as he prepares himself to fly to Russia to fight for the Glory World Series against Nikolaj Falin. This is his first fight in years now since his open heart surgery in 2007. MMAWeekly.com has been publishing a weekly blog written by Mark where he discusses preparing for his fight and the thoughts that go through his mind.

One of the best parts about reading the articles is that you get to see a lot of the more intimate thoughts that go through Miller's mind, as well as see a fighter that is well-read, educated and brilliant in his own right. It is a breath of fresh air to know that you are supporting someone who is not only a skilled fighter, but able to think and communicate far beyond your average professional fighter. In his latest blog he discusses training with Buddy McGirt and Rob Kaman.

Here I am years later, and these two men are my coaches. These are the men polishing me for this fight. I feel so lucky to have such a career that I get to work with the people I have looked up to and aspired to be like. And truly, my career has been this way since the beginning. Starting with Maurice Smith and Rick Roufus, two men I still am so grateful to, and now these guys.

On top of that, Miller discusses his father and his NBA career as well as his three children.

My dad played in the very first NBA game ever. He played for the Toronto Huskies. I always sort of held that fact as a piece of pride. He was a part of something big, bigger than himself.

I hope to do that for my kids. I have three sons, all of whom are so brilliant, and so individual. I am so proud of the human beings they are growing up to be. I hope one day that they will feel that they can have that same pride when it comes to me.

This is what drives me when it gets hard on nights like this.


Read the rest of Mark's blog on MMAWeekly.com and of course, stay tuned to LiverKick.com for more updates as Mark prepares for his big return fight. [source]

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Jerome Le Banner vs. Stefan Leko on June 11th in Geneva

There have been persisting rumors over the past few weeks over who Jerome Le Banner will square off with in his next fight. Le Banner has not fought since his disappointing bout with Kyotaro in October for K-1 where Le Banner had clearly won the bout in his mind and the judges voted for an extension round. As opposed to continuing on like most men do, despite protesting, Le Banner opted to simply walk out. K-1 has a long history of "gift decisions" that would make MMA fighters like Leonard Garcia even cringe. Since then, the return of Le Banner has been hotly debated, with long-standing rumors that his next fight would be for It's Showtime on May 14th. We were able to confirm with Le Banner a few weeks ago that he was not going to be fighting for It's Showtime any time soon.

Someone had leaked out over the past few weeks that there was a promoter putting together a super fight between Jerome Le Banner and Stefan "Blitz" Leko. Leko, just vacating a WKA World title due to not defending it, and not exactly being the most active fighter over the past few years was not the most promising candidate for a bout with Le Banner it seemed. Thankfully, the fight has materialized and will indeed happen in Geneva on June 11th.

Leko and Le Banner met back in 2001 for K-1 with Jerome Le Banner pulling off the 5-round decision after a war. This was during Le Banner's prime and Le Banner looked ready to take a K-1 World Grand Prix title. Think of Alistair Overeem's 2010 and how huge of a star he is in Japan, how much of a celebrity he is, and that is where Le Banner was at that point. This is yet another huge bout to look forward to, but one that might be difficult to acquire a video of for a while. It will be interesting to see where both men stand almost exactly ten years later. Watch the first below. [source]

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It's Showtime in Final Talks with US Television Network

It's Showtime continues to march on forward, and they do so in blinding speed so far in 2011. From having to cancel their Amsterdam ArenA show scheduled in May, to all of a sudden booking show after show in a vast array of countries, signing a TV deal with the Fight Network in Canada and booking some of the best fighters in the world it feels like It's Showtime is unstoppable. The latest bit of news was dropped by It's Showtime's head, Simon Rutz on his Facebook profile earlier today.

We are in the last stadium to sign a contract with a big tv station in the USA. Soon more information about this! Meaby our first event on May 14 th is already on tv in the USA!

So it looks like they are in the final talks of securing a US television deal. LiverKick.com has spoken at length with Rutz and It's Showtime employees over the past few months about possibly bringing It's Showtime to the United States and helping expand their fan base. We even ran a contest a few months ago where we gave away It's Showtime merchandise to fans to help spread the word.

The May 14th event featuring Badr Hari probably has the widest appeal for It's Showtime, as Badr Hari is an internationally established name, one of the biggest names in the world. Showcasing Hari in the United States would be a great move for them.

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