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Mike Zambidis vs. Mohamed Khamal, April 21 In Athens

Mike Zambidis hasn't fought since his loss to Batu Khasikov in November where he suffered a broken jaw. It was uncertain when "Zambo" would come back and there are still rumors afloat that he'd rematch Khasikov in June. For the time being though, Zambidis has a fight set.

Zambidis today posted on his Facebook page that he'll be fighting Mohamed Khamal on April 21 at the SEF Stadium in Athens, Greece. It's a great fight, pitting two of the more exciting fighters at 70kg against each other. Zambidis doesn't fight in Greece all that often so a big crowd should be on hand much like his past fights in the country.

Mohamed Khamal has shifted his focus more to Muay Thai but it appears that that won't stop him from still participating in some kickboxing bouts, which I can assume that this is because Zambidis only fights in kickboxing rules. It'll also be a hop back up to around 70kg for Khamal, who has been fighting at 67kg as of late and will be doing so in May against Saiyok Pumphanmuang.

This also raises the question of if Khamal is still participating in the Muay Thai tournament that Kader Marouf is putting on in Lyon on April 5. It would look like he isn't anymore, as that is a one night tournament under full Muay Thai rules and he'd most likely be in no shape to fight Zambidis a few weeks later.


Peter Aerts Signs With GLORY, Declines K-1 Contract


In what comes as a massive shot across the bow in the awkward war going on in the kickboxing world right now, Peter Aerts has apparently signed with GLORY Sports International. Aerts has inked a multi-fight deal with GLORY, which apparently makes his "retirement" fight against Tyrone Spong null and void as a retirement bout. We already knew that Aerts was in talks with K-1 to continue fighting, as we reported earlier, but according to Fighters Only's John Joe O'Regan Aerts has "snubbed" K-1 to sign with GLORY.

According to O'Regan, sources told him that the offer might have been too low for Mr. K-1, as well as there being a certain level of mistrust of K-1 making good on their promises after past issues with late or non-payments. It is not clear if Aerts was offered the famous "50%" offer that many fighters under It's Showtime contract were offered or if he was offered a signing bonus with GLORY like many Golden Glory fighters were offered, but what is clear is that he has chosen a side.

We've reached out to people within Aerts's camp for comment and will report back when we know more, but for now it does seem that Aerts has signed with GLORY and that the GLORY World Series has yet another big name to participate in their tournament.

UPDATE: Confirmed with a source close to Peter Aerts that this is indeed the case.


Hiroya vs Kajiwara, Terado vs Izawa Added to Krush Events, Final 60kg Tourney Participants Announced

Earlier today, Krush announced that 63kg champ Ryuji Kajiwara would be in a superfight with 2008 K-1 Koshien champion Hiroya at Krush.18 on May 3rd. Kajiwara (21-10-1, 6 KO) is coming in off of his first title defense against Tetsuya Yamato in December where he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a late knockdown. Kajiwara has won his last two, and 8 of his last 9. Hiroya (10-5-0, 5 KO) is currently riding a 2-fight losing streak as he lost to Masaaki Noiri in the Krush Youth tournament semis and was upset by Naoki at Big Bang 8 last month. Despite Hiroya’s recent struggles, I think Kajiwara needs to be on upset watch because of the style matchup here. Hiroya is a dynamic striker whose biggest weakness is his defense and Kajiwara has struggled with offensively gifted fighters recently, losing to Masaaki Noiri and needing late knockdowns to get him past Koya Urabe and Tetsuya Yamato. However, Hiroya is susceptible to counter punching, something that was evident in his losses to Tetsuya Yamato and Masaaki Noiri, and even in his wins in the Krush Youth tournament. Kajiwara’s biggest strength is his counter punching. Even if Hiroya is able to control the fight, Kajiwara can swing everything back in his favor with a knockdown, so this fight is more or less a toss up.

Also added to Krush.18 was 55kg champ Shota Takiya in what will most likely be a superfight and the two matches for the 3rd round of the 63kg WILDRUSH Leagues with matchups of Hideaki Yamazaki vs NOMAN and Hitoshi Tsukagoshi vs Naoki Terasaki. This is a key opportunity for Yamazaki to pull away if he wants a comfortable lead as NOMAN was just knocked out and both fighters in 2nd place, Tsukagoshi and TaCa, face difficult matchups this round.

Krush has also made announcements regarding their day-night Krush-EX vol.1 and 2 shows on April 22nd. First, for the day portion, ISKA World Super Bantamweight champ Nobuchika Terado will take on Team Dragon’s Namito Izawa. Terado (27-8-1, 12 KO) is coming off a 71 second knockout at the hands of 55kg champ Shota Takiya in a title fight in January. Izawa most recently fought to a draw at Krush.16. Terado is by and far the better fighter and should by all means win this fight, however this has many elements of an upset. Terado has been in his fair share of brawls and at 31, they could be starting to catch up to him and he is coming off of a fast knockout loss. Izawa is an unproven fighter that trains with an elite team in Team Dragon. If Terado overlooks Izawa, it could prove to be troublesome.

In addition to adding a fight to the day portion, Krush has begun filling out the night portion of the event which is highlighted by the first two rounds of an 8-man tournament to determine 60kg champ Hirotaka Urabe’s next title challenger. First is Makoto Morishige, who Krush fans will remember as Naoki Ishikawa’s bounce-back fight in Krush after a rough 2010. Another addition is Katsuya Goto, who most recently dropped a close decision to Kizaemon Saiga at Krush.16. Also added was Takashi Nakajima (7-2-0) whose most recent fight was a win back in October. Katsuya Goto owns a win over Nakajima from last February. The final participant is Krush Youth tournament participant Fumiya Osawa. Osawa is currently riding a 3-fight losing streak with those losses to Kizaemon Saiga, Sho Ogawa and fellow tournament participant Yuzo Suzuki.

In order to avoid quarterfinal rematches, the opening round of the tournament is Takashi Nakajima vs Yuzo Suzuki, Yuta DYNAMITE vs Katsuya Goto, Fumiya Osawa vs Makoto Morishige and Junpei Aotsu vs Yuya, with the winners of Nakajima-Suzuki and Yuta-Goto in one semifinal and the winners of Osawa-Morishige and Aotsu-Yuya in the other. Right now I think whoever wins the upper portion of the tournament will ultimately win the tournament as it seems to be the deeper half.{jcomments on}


Giorgio Petrosyan Signs With Glory, Will Fight in May

PetroSometimes I am legitimately taken aback at how certain organizations do business or deal with branding. The branding for the Golden Glory shows has always been confusing to say the least, with the word 'Glory' being involved every time, but the rest seems to fluctuate on a regular basis. The Glory World Series events are set to be Glory's flagship shows, featuring the world's top kickboxers in association with Glory and Total Sports Asia.

There is a new Facebook profile associated with the Glory World Series, titled Glory Sports International, which is indeed official. This is pretty much my point when it comes to branding, as there is yet another "brand name" being tossed around and I'm not quite sure which name to use to discuss the shows. Regardless of brand confusion, there will be three big tournaments taking place this year under the Glory banner; Heavyweight, 85kg and 70kg, and it appears that fears of the tournaments not having top talent might be on hold for a while, as they announced that Giorgio Petrosyan has signed with Glory Sports International to compete in the Glory World Series.

This will without a doubt mean that the 70kg tournament has the best fighter in the weight class under contract, and according to their post he is set to fight in May. It'll be interesting to see if they can secure the Artist Formerly Known as Buakaw Por Pramuk and see the consensus number one and number two involved in the same tournament.

While this clears up some questions about the Glory series, it does make one wonder about the K-1 MAX scene. If there are any plans for a K-1 World MAX tournament this year, the omission of Giorgio Petrosyan would be a glaring hole in the division and crush the legitimacy of the tournament. Hopefully we'll see Petrosyan competing against the best in the world no matter what and not see a fractured Kickboxing world.


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