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It's Showtime May 21st Preview: Amir Zeyada vs. Sahak Parparyan

sahakzeyada
In the fourth fight of the main card, the It's Showtime 85MAX World Title is up for grabs as Sahak Parparyan and Amir Zeyada battle it out for the belt.

Amir Zeyada has spent his career fighting in lower weight classes such as -70kg, -73kg and -77kg. This will be his first fight at -85kg, a big step up in weight. His last fight took place at -76kg and he lost that one against Murthel Groenhart. Having not fought for over a year you have to wonder if he'll be ready to face such a challenge in Sahak Parparyan. Judging from the weigh in pictures, Zeyada looks to have spent the time putting on the weight properly.

Sahak Parparyan is the exact opposite. He's spent his career fighting in the higher weight classes, most recently at -95kg back on March 26 against Marco Vlieger where he won a decision. Sahak looked much thinner than I've ever seen him at the weigh ins, as shown in the picture above. Once again, you have to wonder how the big change in weight has affected him. Just 2 months ago he fought at -95kg.

The fight being a 5 round fight should also ask some questions. Both men have proven they can go the distance, but with the new weight class, will they be able to last for all 5 rounds? Zeyada is a pretty high paced fighter while Sahak likes to take his time. We can't assume how the new weights will affect the fighters except for that usually getting bigger will slow down a fighter and cutting down will result in more speed and better conditioning if done right. Zeyada is the one who is moving up and Sahak the one who is moving down. Zeyada looks to have put on the weight well and surprisingly looks a bit bigger than Sahak.

Amir Zeyada has lost a lot of fights in the lower weight classes. Most of the times he's just gotten outskilled and a few times stopped. Moving up in weight isn't an easy task. A lot of fighters who move up can't maintain their chins in a higher weight class. Zeyada has been dropped and stopped before at lower weight classes. Sahak isn't a knockout artist by any means but he is primarily a puncher who throws hand combinations. With Sahak having fought at higher weight classes, it's hard to see him being hurt by Zeyada as well.

With Sahak primarily throwing punches, Zeyada will have to utilize his kicks which he can throw quite hard. Zeyada's kicks are the key to wearing Sahak down and limiting the power on his punches. It'd be better for Sahak to throw some kicks also as Zeyada is pretty susceptible to low kicks. Sahak will need to be active with his hands and work combinations to the body and head. Sometimes Sahak won't be active enough and that will result in Zeyada throwing a lot of hard kicks at him.

With both fighters changing weight classes, it's hard to say who will get the better of the weight change. I'd lean towards Sahak as he's fought in higher weight classes and felt power that Amir Zeyada probably doesn't possess. With Zeyada having been worked so many times in lower weight classes, it's hard to see him being able to withstand the Sahak's punches even though he isn't even a big puncher. 85kg is 9kg above where he last fought. That's almost 20lbs that he's moved up and 20lbs more power that he'll have to withstand. You also have to ask if he'll be slower with the added weight.

I favor Sahak in the fight just because Zeyada has never fought this high in weight. While Sahak has gone down almost 20lbs, it should only make him better. Zeyada won't be able to phase him and should be there all night for Sahak to hit him. Sahak will just have to stay active and he should be able to wear Zeyada down, possibly stopping him.

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It's Showtime May 21st Preview: Mohammed Medhar vs. Hafid el Boustati

medharTwo Moroccan warriors clash in the third fight of the card as Mohammed Medhar takes on Hafid el Boustati.

Mohammed Medhar scored a big win over Gago Drago last September. Shortly after, many fans began to take notice. He went on to beat Jan van Denderen the next month and continued his on his roll. Unfortunately for him, his hype was derailed when he lost to Warren Stevelmans on the March 6 It's Showtime event in Amsterdam. Medhar looks to get back on track with a win over Hafid el Boustati.

Hafid el Boustati is looking to add to his resume of wins, already consisting of Chahid Oulad El Hadj and William Diender. el Boustati is coming off a draw on February 6 in Spain against Manuel Hinojo. He'll look to get back on track and higher into the ranks of the -70kg division with a win. el Boustati fights with a style that many Moroccan fighters like his stablemate Mosab Amrani have become known for, being fearless warriors in the ring.

Both fighters love to brawl and push forward throwing combos filled with power shots. Medhar proved in his fight against Gago Drago that he can go full speed for 3 full rounds and out pressure a pressure fighter. Although Medhar appeared tired at times, he pushed through it with pure grit and determination. Grit and determination will be the story of this fight as Hafid el Boustati won't be one to back down either.

Punches and kicks will be flying all over the place as one man looks to establish an advantage over his opponent. Each fighter will probably take turns backing up as they try to dictate the fight. I'd give the power advantage to Medhar. He has the type of power that can change a fight, visibly rocking Gago Drago and stopping Jan van Denderen. el Boustati is a tough customer and it will take a lot to phase him.

This fight has a good chance of being a war and possible fight of the night. Both men will leave it all on the line in the ring. Medhar looks to come back off a loss and el Boustati looks to come back off a disappointing draw. Hunger will be in the air and whoever wants it more will likely get it.

Don't be surprised if Medhar's power changes the fight in the blink of an eye. Still very young, you don't even know if Medhar has his "man strength" yet. He could get it all of a sudden and start knocking guys out left and right. I don't know about a knockout, but I do think Medhar will get the win in a hard fought fight. Look for a close decision in a back and forth fight with Medhar getting the better of the exchanges.

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Big Night on HDnet; The Voice Versus Hulk Hogan and It's Showtime Lyon

Some quick programming notes for tonight, as HDnet adds on to their usual programming of Inside MMA and a fight card with a few awesome additions tonight. While tomorrow is the live It's Showtime event from The Sand in Amsterdam featuring Hesdy Gerges, tonight It's Showtime makes their United States debut on HDnet. What was a really fun card headlined by Badr Hari and a scared-out-of-his-mind Gregory Tony should be fun to watch with Michael Schiavello and Melvin Manhoef calling the action. The show was filled with some awesome knockouts and great action, but is just a taste of whats to come if you for some reason haven't seen It's Showtime yet.

It's Showtime airs at 11PM Eastern time.

That is of course directly following after the latest episode of Michael Schiavello's "The Voice Versus" series, a series of sit down interviews that pits Schiavello mano-e-mano with some of the biggest names in the world of combat sports. He takes a bit of a departure for this episode and will sit opposite someone who has had a very different impact on the world of fighting; Hulk Hogan. Now, I know what some people are thinking, that Hulk Hogan was just a professional wrestler from the 80's and maybe 90's if you were young enough or even young enough at heart.

What many seem to disregard is how closely related professional wrestling and MMA really are, with the easiest example I can think of is how the first season of The Ultimate Fighter can directly credit a lead-in from WWE's Monday Night RAW program. The first TUF was a bit over-the-top, with some larger than life characters and a lot of drama, it just so happened to also be one of the most talent-rich casts of the show ever. The sad irony is that was the first season, but the format has yielded some other contenders and champions after that first season. But, the point is that the professional wrestling audience that spilled over helped give MMA and the UFC a ton of exposure in a world that was still being a bit cold to Mixed Martial Arts.

Schiavello is clearly well-school in pro wrestling, asking questions about Hogan's career in Japan, the AWA and other parts of his early career outside of the standard "who was your favorite opponent" line of questioning. Hogan was, for what it's worth, pretty honest when in the past he has been known to pat himself on his back and push for his own agenda. A lot of older professional wrestlers have gone the way of the "shoot interview" -- a concept best known to hardcore wrestling fans, where an older wrestler sits down and talks about the wrestling world and "tells it how it is." This is of course rare, less rare since the surge of the internet, but the wrestling world is secretive and many wrestlers don't like to break down the wall between outsiders and themselves.

Hogan came across as personable and a bit humbled, especially when talking about some of his fallen friends such as Andre the Giant and more recent losses such as "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig and "Ravishing" Rick Roode.

The Voice Versus airs at 10PM on HDnet tonight.

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It's Showtime May 21st Preview: Evgeniy Kurovskoy vs. Giga Chikadze

kurovskoyOpening up the main card just a week after It's Showtime's Lyon event, Russian Evgeniy Kurovskoy takes on Georgian Giga Chikadze.

Evgeniy Kurovskoy is a -70kg fighter from Russia who now trains out of the Chakuriki Gym under legendary trainer Thom Harinck. Holding just one loss to his name, Kurovskoy looks to move up the ranks in It's Showtime's 70MAX division and inch closer to a title shot. He's still a long ways off but a win over Chikadze will move him to  a 2-0 record in It's Showtime. Kurovskoy won his last fight in It's Showtime with a decision victory over Andre Grigorian in Brussels on March 26.

His opponent, Giga Chikadze is a fighter from Georgia who now trains and fights out of Mike's Gym alongside Badr Hari and Melvin Manhoef. Chikadze will look to get his name out there with a win. A convincing win over Kurovskoy would definitely make the division take notice as Kurovskoy was originally slated to be in the monster -70kg tournament.

Both fighters like to move forward but Kurovskoy will relentlessly come forward for the whole fight. While the level of technique between these two isn't that high, they both could make up for it with their aggression. Kurovskoy will throw a counter lead hook while his opponent makes a move which could be a key factor in this fight. I'd probably give the edge in technique to Kurovskoy as Chikadze can get wild with his punches. Both like to counter off exchanges but Kurovskoy's lead hook will likely land better than Chikadze's more wild punches.

Both fighters aren't too worried about defense, sacrificing a lot of it in favor of offense. Expect a lot of flush shots landing in exchanges when they decide to trade in the pocket. Chikadze will likely be the one backing up and coming out worse in the exchanges.

The lack of strong technique in some areas could lead to this fight being a good old fashioned brawl. This could be the sleeper fight of the card as both guys won't hesitate to throw down.

Kurovskoy will likely dictate the fight and back Chikadze up. Expect Kurovskoy's pressure to take over the fight while Chikadze covers up without any offense at times. Kurovskoy will move forward and get the unanimous decision.

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