|Heavyweight (Per 10/13)|
|1.||Semmy Schilt (?)|
|7.||Mirko Cro Cop|
|Light HW (per 10/13)|
|Middleweight (per 11/25)|
|Welterweight (per 10/13)|
|70kg (Per 11/25)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 10/6)|
Thai Fight 2011 will feature two weightclasses: 67 kg and 70 kg. Thailand's 67 kg representative will be decided by the ongoing67 kg Isuzu Tournament. Thus far, strong contenders in that tournament are Kem Sitsongpeenong, Sudsakorn 13 Coins Gym, and Prakaisaeng Sit-Or. Dernchonlek Sor Sor Niyom is something of a dark horse. Thai Fight and the Isuzu Tournament share a sponsor in Isuzu Motors.
Buakaw Por Pramuk has been selected as the Thai representative in the 70 kg Thai Fight. He has a very high profile in international Muay Thai and kickboxing and his participation will draw a lot of media and fan attention.
The Thai Fight tournaments follow an eight man format, with fighters competing once per event.
The tournaments are set to kick off on September 25, 2011 with the quarterfinals in both weight divisions. The semi-finals follow on October 24th, and the finals on November 27th.
New fight news coming out of Greece: On March 12 in Athens it will be "Iron" Mike Zambidis vs. Ali Gunyar. The two are headlining a show called Iron Challenge. No other fights are yet announced.
This is a big fight for both men. For Zambidis, this is a chance to continue to reestablish himself as a relevant name in the 70kg ranks. Two years ago, it looked like Zambo's time at the top might have been done. But he turned that around in 2010, putting together a 4 fight win streak over all strong names (Dzhabar Askerov, Warren Stevelmans, Chahid Oulad El Hadj, Yuichiro Nagashima) and ending the year as the first man in K-1 MAX to actually give champ Giorgio Petrosyan a challenge. Oh, and along the way he just happened to turn in one of the greatest fights in K-1 MAX history, the 2010 LiverKick.com Fight of the Year against Chahid. He's pulled himself all the way back up to #11 in our rankings, which is a huge swing from where he was not long ago. A win over Gunyar says that he's all the way back, but a loss here will cause some to question if 2010 was an anomaly for the popular veteran fighter.
For Ali Gunyar, this is a chance to put his name in there with the real players in this division. The veteran fighter has faced many of the big names at 70kg, including Albert Kraus and Gago Drago among others, although he has often come up short in these fights. In 2008 and 2009 he put together some solid wins, scoring victories over Chahid Oulad El Hadj, Virgil Kalakoda, and more. He's the kind of skilled, traveled fighter that could give Zambidis a challenge, and while he's the underdog here, this is not a gimme for Zambidis.
As is always the case when Zambidis fights, he'll give up the height and reach to Gunyar, but will make up for it with an advantage in power. In the end, I think that power and resilience, combined with the thrill of fighting in front of the Greek fans that treat him as a national hero, will give Zambidis the edge here.Add a comment
Pat Barry got a chance to show off his stand up without breaking his hands and feet tonight, against fellow UFC Heavyweight Joey Beltran in one of those fights that makes UFC President Dana White proud to be a fight promoter and me confused as to why more UFC fans aren't dashing to watch K-1 events whenever they can to see better stand up wars. Barry took it to Beltran, who wasn't afraid to stand and bang with Barry.
This was a fight custom made for Pat Barry to show off his striking and I'm sincerely not sure that he accomplished what he wanted to do. Going into the Cro Cop fight one of the big stories for kickboxing fans was two K-1 deserters facing off, and Barry was completely trashed by Ernesto Hoost and the rest of the VOS gym for simply not being good enough to hang. Barry went out to prove himself and broke enough bones on Cro Cop's head to where a lazy choke took him out. Cro Cop choked him out.
Joey Beltran took it to Barry in round 1, Barry landing a few strong leg kicks but his dirty boxing was enough to secure him the round. Beltran was introduced to Barry's mean streak in the second round, to easily secure the round for him, but the third round saw a lot more of Joey Beltran dirty boxing and some great body shots while Barry simply winged head kicks at him looking to take his head off. The distinct lack of aggression was hurting Barry until he started landing some leg kicks, and unfortunately poked Beltran in the eye. setting up the kick.
The damage Barry had done to Beltran's legs over the three rounds accumulated in the third after Beltran recovered from the eye poke, to the point where every time Barry chopped away at the legs, Beltran shouted in pain and collapsed. Barry pulled off just enough to get the decision, winning the second and third rounds.
Pat gives an emotional speech after the bout about his father, who was in the military and passed away 25 years ago, which all but makes up for the fact that he really wasn't fighting up to his potential. Honestly, he has a height disadvantage and a cut to 205 could do wonders for him.Add a comment
We are all-but-done writing about FEG's financial woes. At this point what needs to be said has been said, and there is a lot of information on this topic that will never be released to the public. Until FEG makes their move, it is a dead horse that I'm sick of beating. So I've seen some articles and questions floating around that pertain to the future of DREAM and K-1, which of course revolves around television and ownership.
What many people tend to forget is way back to the death of PRIDE, the one-off event known as "Yarennoka" and the formation of DREAM. DREAM is not simple a FEG production. There is a company called "Real Entertainment" that was formed by what was left of DSE, and all of those great video packages on those DREAM events, Lenne Hardt screaming out fighters' names and even lots of the fighters themselves participating in DREAM? Thank Real Entertainment. DREAM is a co-production between RE and FEG, which is why you'll never see DREAM on Fuji TV.
So now, to fully understand how this impacts FEG, I'll hand this over to Mike Hackler of MMA-Japan.com, who did some digging and found out exactly what Real Entertainment's services mean to FEG.
FEG is in debt to Real Entertainment around $7 million USD. Real Entertainment's involvement is a large reason why there are problems getting a TV deal done, due to the fact they still have management from DSE. FUJI has no interest in a television deal, solely for this reason. Real Entertainment is also responsible for paying the fighters (as to what extent, I do not know). Many fighters contracts are with Real Entertainment and not FEG.
FEG is stuck. Ishii owns the rights and the brand names with FEG. This makes reorganizing the company extremely difficult, if not impossible. That said, it has been confirmed that PUJI has backed out of this altogether. As any private equity does, FEG is reluctant to allow for managerial changes to take place. This creates a brick wall for outside investors to get involved.
This beautifully articulates how FEG is stuck in a tough position, and some of the power struggles that are going on during this downtime for K-1 and DREAM. Many people I've spoken to have talked about (off the record, as always) Tanikawa wanting to form a new company and leave Ishii out of the business entirely, but as long as Ishii owns the name "K-1" it will be impossible to break away from his influence. [source]Add a comment
After a year of inactivity, Badr Hari will make his return to action in the It's Showtime ring. With K-1 on a hiatus for the moment, and nothing planned or announced as of yet, It's Showtime has been reeling off the show announcements, with a tentative plan for ten or more shows within 2011. In May It's Showtime will make their way to Lyon, France, where Badr Hari will make his return to action against a to-be-decided opponent.
According to Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, Simon Rutz has gotten a verbal agreement for the bout and the opponent should be decided within the next two weeks.
"Badr makes his comeback in May," Rutz commented to De Telegraaf. "Hopefully Badr will be doing what he does best: fighting in the ring. He must show that he is among the best fighters in the world."
The fight that fans want to see the most would be against Hesdy Gerges, who is currently booked to fight on March 6th, taking on Daniel Ghita. At It's Showtime's christmas show at the Sands, they also announced that he would be defending his title, most likely at the ArenA show. With the ArenA show not happening, one can only speculate that they will try to assemble a rematch between the two a year later.
There are a plethora of match-ups involving Badr Hari that fans would love to see, including a rubber match against current K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, Alistair Overeem, but Overeem might be tied up in the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP and be unable to make a fight in May. Nod to Simon Raedts for diligently reading de Telegraaf and alerting us to the news.Add a comment