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Photo of the Day: Taishin Kohiruimaki To Make MMA Debut for RINGS

Not much in the world of MMA could get me as excited as the idea of Akira Maeda re-starting the legendary RINGS promotion. Of course I expect it to be nothing like the original RINGS, which began as a pro wrestling promotion ala UWF, which he ran previously, but quickly added real fights to the mix. That being said, RINGS had some of the absolute best mix in talent of any promotion imaginable, and a lot of that had to do with taking an unorthodox view of booking fights. Lots of European and Eastern European fighters, like Fedor Emelianenko, got their start thanks to Maeda's RINGS, at least when it came to being big worldwide stars. So when it was announced today that Maeda was booking British fighter Ben Abbott agains former K-1 MAX Japan champion Taishin Kohiruimaki, that definitely caught my attention.

Kohi made an unexpected departure from Kickboxing due to an injury in 2010 and hasn't fought since 2009. It will be interesting to see him in a MMA ring, especially one being led by Akira Maeda. [source]

Kohi

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Watch Steven Wright's Absolutely Epic 2011 Year in Kickboxing

Our good pal Steven Wright has done a lot in the realm of Kickboxing and Muay Thai, form his podcast to the film he has worked on to working with UFC fighters to help improve their standup, so there should be no shock that he has done it yet again. This time around he went ahead and put together an intensely comprehensive look at the highlights from 2011. Pretty much the best way to wrap up all of the amazing fights that took place in 2011 while leaving no stone unturned. So go ahead, sit back and watch.

 

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Gary Goodridge Blames K-1 Fights for a Career's Worth of Brain Damage

GoodridgeThere is something to be said for the risk that fighters put themselves under each time they enter a ring to fight as professionals. Many of us get caught up in a lot of the facts, statistics, the drama and the whole insular world of professional combat sports, sometimes putting aside the most important aspect of them all; combat sports are a form of entertainment. Professional fighters enter into unarmed combat with another fighter, with the purpose being defeating said opponent in combat. Period. This can lead to a lot of injuries, some worse than others, and some that can affect a fighter for the rest of their lives. If you need an example, Muhammad Ali is a prime example, if anything.

So there is no shock when former UFC, PRIDE and K-1 veteren Gary Goodridge comes out and says that he has suffered a lot of brain damage in his stint as a professional fighter. The effects of combat sports on the athletes is a topic which should be taken far more seriously and get the spotlight more often, as opposed to Dana White's latest twitter tirade or which esteemed member of the fraternity of Mixed Martial Arts media "broke" a story first. Sadly, the world that we live in tends to focus more on the immediate as opposed to the long term, and in MMA and K-1, we will finally see a generation of fighters nearing the age of retirement and how their careers have affected their bodies and minds. Goodridge recently released a tell-all book, and it turns out that he has been diagnosed with Pugilistic Dementia. He spoke with our good friend Jonathan Snowden, and he actually blames K-1 for most of the damage he received in his career.

Far be it from me to doubt the damage that fighters in the stand up world have received, especially under the K-1 banner where the rules are tailor-made for non-stop action, but to simply blame his Kickboxing career for his condition seems rather crass. If you were to analyze Goodridge's K-1 career, his record tells one story, that at 12-24 he did not belong in a K-1 ring. A whopping 14 of those losses were to Knockout, and quite frankly, it is a telling sign that there was something wrong, but on the other hand, Goodridge's MMA career spanned a longer time period and saw him in a similar state of a record of 23-22, with another whopping 10 knockouts to his detriment. It was a seven-loss streak in MMA and a twelve-loss streak in Kickboxing that finally shelved him.

The story that this tells is more a fighter's lack of discretion and needing to be surrounded with realistic people who care enough to tell you it is time to stop. I think it would be unfair to claim that K-1 or MMA fights alone did the damage, but it is a collection of a career of nothing but horrific knockouts that led Goodridge to his condition.

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Watch Nieky Holzken Training, golden Glory Style

Nieky Holzken is a fighter that is known around the world for being one of the most exciting and dynamic, fighting under the Golden Glory banner. As a part of Golden Glory's new YouTube channel, they put up some training footage of Nieky Holzken preparing for his fight today, which we will have results for when available.

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