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K-1 Announces 11 of the 16 Competitors for FINAL 16 in Nanjing

K-1 Event Producer Sadaharu Tanikawa held a live U-Stream press conference today regarding the 2011 World Grand Prix FINAL 16 in Nanjing, China on October 29th.

Regarding China and the venue, Tanikawa announced that K-1 has plans to return for the WGP Finals later this year in China or another area in Asia. FEG has a joint deal with regional broadcasting company Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation. From what I've gathered, this station only broadcasts in the Jiangsu province, so I'm not sure if there will be any way for the rest of the country to watch it. The venue for the event is the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium which holds 13,000.

Tanikawa also announced that It's Showtime's Simon Rutz is going to cooperate with K-1, and has made Badr Hari, Tyrone Spong, Daniel Ghita, Hesdy Gerges, Ruslan Karaev, Melvin Manhoef, Ben Edwards, Sergeii Lascenko, Rico Verhoeven, Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Paul Slowinski, Dzevad Poturak, Mourad Bouzidi and Rustemi Kreshnik available to K-1 for the Final 16. K-1 also mentioned they have been in talks with Jerome LeBanner, Peter Aerts and Bas Boon. Unfortunately, defending champion Alistar Overeem will be unable to compete due to his UFC contract.

The competitors that K-1 has announced for the event so far are Badr Hari, Hesdy Gerges, Tyrone Spong, Ruslan Karaev, Daniel Ghita, Ben Edwards, Melvin Manhoef, Dzevad Poturak, Sergii Lashchenko, Rico Verhoeven, and Anderson “Braddock” Silva. There's video of the press conference, with English subtitles, after the break.


UPDATE: Hesdy Gerges said on Twitter that he's set to face Errol Zimmerman.


It's Showtime Headed to Spain Again on November 12th - Fight Card + Details

its showtime

After a very successful Spanish debut back in June, It's Showtime is set to once again hold an event in Spain on November 12th. This time, It's Showtime will stray away from the mainland and hold the event in Tenerife. Tenerife is the largest and most populous of the Canary Islands.

It's a good strategic move on behalf of It's Showtime, as kickboxing has quite strong support in the Canaries. Local fighters like Loren Javier Jorge and Moises Ruibal have strong followings that will most definitely draw interest towards the event. It's Showtime utilized Spanish fighters for their Madrid show back in June, and they had quite good showings. The atmosphere at the Madrid event was among the best that It's Showtime has had at their events and I'd expect this one to rival that.

Most notably on the card, the pound for pound best kickboxer in the world, Giorgio Petrosyan returns to action after once again injuring his hand against Hinata. Petrosyan will take on the hometown favorite Zeben Diaz. Diaz took a win over Yavuz Kayabasi at It's Showtime's Madrid event in June. A month after, Diaz fought Warren Stevelmans and lost on a questionable referee stoppage. Diaz isn't really the ideal opponent for Petrosyan, but it looks like the fight is more of a tune up for him, with all due respect to Zeben Diaz (Petrosyan is just that good.). There were rumors that Petrosyan would've faced the top 70kg fighter in Spain, Abraham Roqueni at this event but it turns out they were just that - rumors. A win for Giorgio opens up the possibility of a fight against the winner of the upcoming Fast & Furious 70MAX Tournament on It's Showtime's January 28th card in Amsterdam.

Other names on the card include It's Showtime 95MAX World Champ, Danyo Ilunga who faces Loren Javier Jorge in a title fight. Loren fought Tyrone Spong at Super Heavyweight but -95kg is much more suited to him. Ilunga may be forced to pull out of a planned tournament in Germany in October because of this. Another It's Showtime titlist on the card is Javier Hernandez at 61kg, who fights former champ Sergio Wielzen in a non title bout. To round out the card, Moises Ruibal fights Amir Zeyada and Murthel Groenhart takes on Santi Gonzales.

Here's the full fight card so far:


-70kg: Zeben Diaz vs Giorgio Petrosyan

-85kg: Moises Ruibal vs Amir Zeyada

-70kg: Jonay Risco vs William Diender

-95kg: Loren Javier Jorge vs Danyo Ilunga (IT'S SHOWTIME 95MAX World Title)

-61kg: Sergio Wielzen vs Javier Hernandez

TBA: Santi Gonzales vs Murthel Groenhart

The full release from It's Showtime's website can be viewed here.


Vuyisile Colossa Back In Muay Thai Action at Thai Fights

September is a busy month for Vuyisile Colossa, the man who is fast developing a reputation as the top Muay Thai fighter in the world of MMA. The main difference between the South African and most mixed martial artists from a stand up background is that his still competes in his original style of fighting at the very highest level and will be fighting in both disciplines in the space of a few weeks.

ONE Fighting Championship was the biggest Asian MMA event of the year and was witnessed by an audience of almost 7,000 people in the Singapore Indoor Stadium and many, many more watching around the world on an internet stream. The event was a phenomenal success and so was Colossa who put in one of the most impressive performances of his career to stop Sanda specialist Ma Xing Yue early in the first round.

Most men would have taken a few weeks off to enjoy the moment and reflect on a victory which will have been seen by more people than any other fight in his career. Not Colossa, he was back training two days later for a Muay Thai fight on September 25th which will see him take on Nishikawa Tomoyuk in the quarter finals of the Thai Fights >70 kgs tournament which also features two times K-1 winner Buakaw Por Pramuk.


There can be few fighters in the world who would make two such high profile appearances in the space of a few weeks and if Colosas could follow up his win at Asia's most prestigious MMA event with another victory at the highest profile Muay Thai show on the planet right now September could be a very good month for the Cheetah.

He will also be coming to a TV screen near you on AXN's reality Muay Thai series 'The Challenger' although fortunately for Colossa the filming for this was completed month's ago. His focus may now be on his fight with Tomoyuk at Rangsit Stadium on the outskirts of Bangkok but it appears that ONE Fighting Championship's inaugural event left a lasting impression,

"One FC's first show was the beginning of the new age of MMA in Asia and I was honoured to be a part of it!! I had never fought in front of so many fans and they they gave me more energy for the fight. I was happy because I I wanted a KO and I got it but I was disappointed not to get knock out of the night bonus, scoring the One FC quickest KO in 49sec I think I deserved the bonus," he said.

Colossa can probably count himself a little bit unlucky not to have been awarded the bonus which would also have seen him pick up a $5,000 cheque but there will be plenty of opportunities in the future. ONE Fighting Championship have ambitious plans for expansion and Colossa is very much a part of those plans, having been told that he has another 10 fights lined up.

With ONE FC set to put on events in multiple countries during 2012 MMA looks likely to take over Colossa's career but he is determined to continue to compete in Muay Thai and feels it can only help his development as a mixed martial artist ,

"Muay Thai is what makes me stronger in MMA, as long as I am fighting in the higher level of Muay Thai no one in the world of MMA is going to stand with me. If you do you get knocked out!"

He is one of the favourites to reach the final of the Thai Fights >70 kgs tournament although much will depend on whether he can avoid being drawn against Buakaw in the semi finals. Colossa has already recorded a win over top Thai fighter Yodsaenklai, coming back from a knockdown to win a decision in Guinea, but he might find it a little more difficult to win a decision over Buakaw in Thailand.

September could be just the start of a frantic period of fighting and training for Colossa who has multiple MMA fights on the horizon as well as the prospect of three Muay Thai fights, assuming he is successful in the Thai fights tournament. Alistair Overeem is a good example of a fighter who has managed to pursue a career in two elite level combat sports but the K-1 Champion and Strikeforce Heavyweight champion only needs to fight two or three times per year. Colossa by contrast is fighting multiple times per month but he feels that the more he competes the quicker he improves,

"I work hard during training, so that I can improve in every fight whether it be MMA or Muay Thai. To be at the top of the game is all about how much time you spend preparing for the competition and I feel I am ready to fight anyone."

Another mixed martial artist to try his hand at Muay Thai was Akihiro Gono who lost a decision to Yohan Lidon at the last Thai Fights show in Japan. Gono was widely tipped to be a participant in the Thai Fights >70 kgs tournament but these rumours never came to fruition. However he was pictured in the VIP area at ONE Fighting Championship 1 leading multiple MMA websites to suggest he was on the verge of signing for One FC.

Although a fight between the two men in the Thai Fights tournament is not going to materialize they could yet meet in the cage a prospect which Colossa claims he would welcome,

"Akihiro Gono one of the great fighters from Japan and I would definitely like to fight him at One Fighting Championship. He never fought anyone like me and I am sure I would knock him out," he said.

It would be an interesting prospect as Colossa's stand up pedigree is vastly superior but Gono is an MMA thoroughbred who has faced the likes of Dan Henderson, Matt Hughes and Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua'. Colossa is already checking out potential One FC opponents but he also has his hands full with an innovative new competition he is organizing in Hong Kong, which will give normal working people the opportunity to become fighters.

The White Collar Asian MMA Championship is organized by City Fight Club, Colossa's business, and will give contestants the opportunity to train with the Cheetah for bouts in boxing, Muay Thai, grappling and ultimately MMA. There have been no shortage of applicants and Colossa feels it is important for people with more normal jobs to get to experience the thrill of competition,

"A fight is a moment which someone will remember for the rest of their life and most people don't get many of those at work every day. I want to give people the opportunity to get in the best shape of their lives and to feel the thrill of competing and testing their new found martial arts skills in front of their friends and family here in Hong Kong," he said.

The participants will all be trained by Colossa himself and it is an innovative idea which appears to have caught the imagination of people in Hong Kong. For more information visit:



Yohan Lidon, Houcine Bennoui and More Return for NDC on November 12

French promotion Nuit des Challenges returns on November 12 in Marseilles, France with quite a good fight card featuring a strong lineup of French fighters. Nuit des Challenges is probably the strongest France-based promotion, always gathering top domestic and foreign talent for their cards. They've somewhat remodeled their brand now, opting for Nuit des Challenges (Night of Challenge) instead of the previously used La Nuit des Challenges.

Yohan Lidon, It's Showtime 73MAX World Champion faces off against French fighter Sebastien Pace. Pace isn't well known by any means. He's just starting to scratch the surface when it comes to facing higher competition. This will easily be Pace's toughest fight to date. It's somewhat unfamiliar territory for Lidon, as the fight will take place under Full Contact rules, which means that the fight will be fought over seven rounds of two minutes each. Lidon has fought in Thai rules and K-1 rules for the most part. These rules probably favor Pace, as he has more experience fighting under them.

Thomas Adamandopoulos and Houcine Bennoui face off for the ISKA World Kickboxing Title at -62.3kg. Adamandopoulos recently won the title in a bout with Keiji Ozaki at Krush.11 on August 14th. This should be a really good fight, being a rematch between France's two best fighters in the weight category. Bennoui has knocked Adamandopolous out before but Adamandopoulos has been on a role lately, cementing himself as one of France's top fighters. Bennoui also is fighting in the Thai Fight -67kg tournament, starting against Mosab Amrani in a rematch on September 25th. The tournament takes place in September, October and November so if he keeps on winning, this fight may be in jeopardy if Bennoui decides not to fight because of the Thai Fight tournament. This fight will be under K-1 rules.

Two more of France's top fighters face off as Gregory Choplin battles Karim Ghajji at -76kg under Thai rules. Choplin is coming off a win just yesterday in Canada on short notice while Ghajji is coming off a loss to Yodsanklai Fairtex. Other notable French fighter Ludovic Millet fights Bruce Codron at -70kg under Full Contact rules.

Full fight card below:

-62.3 K-1: Thomas Adamandopoulos vs. Houcine Bennoui

-76kg Full Contact: Yohan Lidon vs. Sebastien Pace

-70kg Full Contact: Ludovic Millet vs. Bruce Codron

-76kg Muay Thai: Gregory Choplin vs. Karim Ghajji

-79kg Full Contact: Medhi Amar vs. Francis Taveres

-67kg Full Contact: Samir Mohamed vs. Cedric Castagna

-85kg Full Contact: Vincent Petitjean vs. Gerald Michiara

-86kg Full Contact: Sofiane Koliai vs. Cyril Vetter





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