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It's Showtime Lyon: Anderson Silva Replaces Slowinski Against Daniel Ghita

BraddockA few bits of juicy news coming out of the It's Showtime camp on this rather gorgeous (at least where I am) Friday afternoon. The first bit of news comes in the form of Paul Slowinski having to withdraw from the big It's Showtime card in Lyon, France on May 14th. We saw this coming from a mile away as Slowinski had to pull out of a fight a few weeks ago due to injury and there was no way he'd be OK in time to square off against a beast like Daniel Ghita.

Ghita just came off of a hard-fought loss against Hesdy Gerges on March 6th in a bout that is still disputed by fans across the globe. We are all hoping to get an eventual rematch on that bout, but for now we'll see Ghita back in action in May. This is hard luck for Slowinski, a fighter who has always just been out of reach for being one of the top Super Heavyweights in the world. Slowinski always strings together impressive wins before putting on disappointing performances against fighters he should be beating or top of the food chain competition like Badr Hari and Melvin Manhoef. One man's loss is another man's gain, though, as Anderson "Braddock" Silva has been pulled from his bout with Jamal Ben Saddik on May 21, with Saddik now looking for a new opponent and Braddock replacing Slowinski.

Silva had a rough 2010, racking up 3 of his career 5 wins, with two of them against Mourad Bouzidi. Braddock made an exclamation point for the year of 2010 with an amazingly brutal head kick knockout on Freddy Kemayo that made a few highlight reels so far. This proves as another chance for Braddock to prove himself against top competition against a K-1 Final 8 competitor in Daniel Ghita. [source]

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This Saturday's W5 GP to Stream Online

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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Fight Code's 2011 Calendar

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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Mike's Gym Looking for the Next Badr Hari

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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