|Heavyweight (Per 1/20)|
|6.||Mirko Cro Cop
|Light HW (per 1/20)|
|Middleweight (per 1/20)|
|Welterweight (per 1/20)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 1/20)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Fighting Entertainment Group was formed in 2003, it came from the fallout of K-1 founder Kazuyoshi Ishii's massive tax scandal that left K-1 financially in ruins. The company's public image had also taken a hit, so the only thing to do was change. Fighting Entertainment Group (FEG) was formed, with a former pro wrestling writer, Sudaharu Tanikawa at the reigns. It was implied that the entire organization was put together by Ishii, it was to be the parent company of K-1 and all of K-1's other ventures into combat sports.
It is now 2011 and it looks like Fighting Entertainment Group is ready for the chopping block. Since this initially came out, there have been articles posted with speculation that this "clearly" means that K-1 and DREAM will go the way of the dodo. I've even seen one article go as far as to say that the UFC should swoop in and purchase their assets. I urge you to not give these articles any mind and ignore them, wholesale. The headline that NightmareOfBattle used was enough information as you'll need; "The Event Name Will Be Left, But the Promotion Will Change."
Mike Hackler of MMA-Japan.com uses his business acumen to point out why this is actually the best case scenario:
|Now there are many possible scenarios here. The way I take this comment, is similar to corporations restructuring their operations when taking bankruptcy. They do so to shed debt, to boost liquidity, and reduce liabilities. When this is done, the company most likely comes out smaller, yet fine tuned, able to run more efficiently.|
|FEG is running on a business model that was working ten years ago. Ten years ago, they were huge.|
|FEG needs to model themselves after World Victory Road. They are not what they were ten years ago. They need to shrink and position themselves in a way that, when and if things take off again, they will be able to grow.|
FEG was bloated and signs pointed to bankruptcy for a while now, shooting FEG into the ground, restructuring and coming forward as a new company could very well be exactly what they need to move forward. This would be like if Zuffa fell on rough times, would that mean that UFC would die with it? No, it has too strong of a brand and name value, think of K-1 and FEG like this.Add a comment
Some interesting updates to the It's Showtime Amsterdam card on March 6:
In an undercard bout, the #22 ranked Leroy Kaestner (pictured) faces Ramzi Tamaditi. Kaestner is a young fighter training under Peter Aerts, and is looking to move up the ranks. He's had a number of big fights, including wins over Gago Drago last year, and Marco Pique in the K-1 MAX Europe GP 2009, but he's not yet been able to put together a string of wins that really pushes him up to the next level. Still, at just 22 years old and only 5 years as a pro, he has time to develop, and remains one of the young fighters to watch. His last fight was a loss to Armen Petrosyan in December.
Ramzi "The Professor" Tamaditi is a lesser known fighter, though he has received some accolades, and is well regarded as an unknown prospect. He defeated Imro Main on an It's Showtime card last year, and has done some training at Chakuriki. A win over Kaestner would definitely elevate his status. Watch a video package on Tamaditi below, put together by the always great AFAV.
Also on the undercard: Warren Stevelmans vs. Mo Medhar. Stevelmans is a K-1 MAX veteran who is always a tough opponent, although he has struggled a bit lately. His last fights were at the K-1 MAX Madrid show, where he made the tournament finals before losing to Rafi Zouheir. Medhar is looking to capitalize on his 2009 It's Showtime victory over Gago Drago. Like Tamaditi, he has another opportunity here to really establish his name in the 70kg division.
Finally, It's Showtime has not yet made it official, but Fighting Stars, the company co-promoting the event, announced a bout between IS 77kg champion Artem Levin and Younes el Mhassani. Their announcement indicates it will be a title fight, although it's also listed as 3 rounds, when IS does 5 rounds for title fights. This would be Levin's first fight since winning the belt against Aussi in December. The Russian fighter had a huge 2010, defeating two of the world's best in Yodsaenklai Fairtex and L'houcince "Aussi" Ouzgni, establishing himself as the clear #1 at 77kg. Levin is currently scheduled to face Kaoklai on February 23 - not sure if this would impact that fight, as IS typically doesn't like having their fighters compete so quickly after another bout.
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That really isn't a sensationalist headline or anything, that is a quote from FEG President Tanikawa from Sports Graphic that was released the other day in Japan. This comes around the same time that Tanikawa posted on his twitter that he would "do something huge." Actually, this interview came before that tweet was pushed out to the public. Quote comes from NOB, as always.
|“The current course is that FEG will die. There are probably staff members that will leave as well. The event name will be left but the promotion will change. If the current structure remains as it is it will be impossible to continue. If many investments from companies overseas do not come in we can’t survive.”|
One can only really wonder what exactly will become of K-1 and DREAM. As we have been reporting from way back when we were HKL, part of the deal in place with PUJI was that FEG would need to do some serious restructuring to continue on into 2011. FEG was against major restructuring and the deal came to a standstill, when in the 11th hour PUJI and FEG came to an agreement and PUJI had found a few suitable investors for the restructured FEG.
So it looks like the FEG that we know and love will cease to exist, and in its place something new. K-1 and DREAM will continue on, and to the casual observer, there may not be too many differences. Now it is time to simply wait and see what else is announced in the coming days.
UPDATE: As always, if you use Twitter, you should follow @DanHerbertson, as he has some more quotes.
UPDATE 2: A sneaking suspicion was confirmed by Stuart Tomkin, that these quotes are indeed from the Dynamite!! post-press conference.Add a comment
Well, new career might be a stretch, but much like when former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell was on "Dancing with the Stars" in America, Remy Bonjasky, the Flying Gentleman will participate in "Stars Dancing on Ice" in the Netherlands, on SBS6. It is a bit lower impact than what Bonjasky is used to, but one can be assured that Bonjasky keeping himself as such a public figure is a good thing. If you heard the rumors a few weeks ago about something involving Remy and Ice Skating, yeah, this is it.
Bonjasky makes his glorious, ice skating debut on January 28th and I assure you, as long as there is footage available on the internet, LiverKick.com will hunt it down like a rabid dog so we can all bask in the glory that is a 3-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion in tights figure skating on Dutch national television. If you still aren't buying it, well, there is video footage. Don't expect any flying kicks any time soon.
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AFAV is a group that tosses together some really awesome video packages for the Dutch kickboxing scene, so it is no surprise that they lent a hand in recording the recent promo for the upcoming It's Showtime/Fight Stars event on March 6th. AFAV took all of the footage that they took for the upcoming event and tossed together their own, epic promo for it. [source]
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Yasuhiro Kido has had a really strange run of bad luck. Most of the Japanese 70kgs fighters that K-1 has brought up in hopes of becoming the next Masato have had this bad luck. Think about it; Yuya Yamamoto imploded against hard competition, Yoshihiro Sato has had mild success, but can never piece things together, Taishin Kohiruimaki is now retired due to injury and the list could probably go on. The truth is, living up to the high standards set by Masato is impossible. I know lots of people have only seen Masato's fights and don't get what there is to live up to outside of being a champion kickboxer. Masato had the talent, charisma and good looks that every fight promoter dreams of. His television appearances popped gigantic ratings, film directors wanted Masato to cameo in their films so they could put him on the promotional materials.
Enter Yasuhiro Kido. Kido tore up the scene from 2003 until 2007 when K-1 decided to call him up from RISE and MAJKF/MA-Kick (whatever you feel like calling it today). His first year of 2008 showed promise, where he won the World MAX Japan tournament and made it to the Final 8. Then came the 4-loss streak, followed by two wins in 2009 and another loss streak, 3, in K-1. Kido was returning to his roots this weekend, participating in MA-Kick's BREAK-9 event at Shinjuku-FACE (think tiny bingo hall). Kido was taking place in a Super Middleweight tournament when his opponent dropped out due to injury, so Kido took on Tiger Hiroshi in an exhibition bout.
So Kido will have to fight another day, at least he got to show off and promote his blog.Add a comment
There are some peculiar things about Yuichiro Nagashima. OK, that is a ludicrous statement, there are many downright odd things about Yuichiro Nagashima, from his nickname of Jienotsu, which embodies the character he portrays, to the clothing he wears in public to play this character. Then of course is the fact that he is an obsessive anime fan and that his fanbase seems to consist entirely of "cosplaying" teens, many basically crossdressing. Nagashima talked with K-1's official site, and he knew that the odds were against him going into the fight.
|-- Honestly, did you think you would lose.|
|Jienotsu: I wanted to finish it in the first round and I didn't really imagine I would win in the second. I thought I would do my best, and when I won I was like, "That's what K-1 is all about!" I really felt like I'm the new face if K-1. I did what Masato couldn't do, right?|
|-- There were a lot of DREAM fans there so the whole arena reacted when you won.|
|Jienotsu: I heard it was the biggest rated moment of the night. I'm up against non-fightfans. That means they don't know much about K-1. And I'm sure that there are DREAM fans that don't care about K-1. I think I engaged all those people. I think I got them to feel that they might want to at least watch my fights.|
|-- Did you see the reaction on the Internet?|
|Jienotsu: I followed on 'Channel 2' (Japan's most popular BBS). Before the fight people were like, "I wonder which bone Jienotsu will get broken". I showed them. Things change so quickly on the net. People looked at the fight and some said, "I guess cosplay isn't that bad" which made me happy.|
Nagashima is always looking out for cosplayers' rights everywhere, I guess. Nagashima also has a new book out entitled JiDENotsu that tells his life story, up until the last few months, and if you have to wonder exactly what kind of things he overcame to become the fighter he is now, well, behold.
|-- What's in it?|
|Jienotsu: How I went from shut-in and bullied kid to martial artist to K-1 Japan champion. What inspired me to try hard. It's a book with a lot of "moe" (fan spirit).|
|-- What kind of person do you want to read it?|
|Jienotsu: I hope people who are lost and confused read it. People who are shut-ins.|
If you are a shut-in or gender confused with K-1 aspirations, take a page from Nagashima's book, you might end up a MAX Japan champion and have the scalp of one of the best MMA fighters in the world to show off to your peers. [source]Add a comment
Coming up on January 30 is the semi-final round of the United Glory World Series of Kickboxing and MMA - a pair of 8 man tournaments started last October and wrapping up this spring. The current favorite to win the kickboxing side of the tournament is the #6 ranked Gokhan Saki, however the latest rumors indicate Saki may end up dropping out of the January 30 event. Saki is still recovering from injuries suffered in his Grand Prix war with Daniel Ghita, and may not have time to get back in shape for this semi-final round. If he does indeed drop out, Saki will likely be replaced by his Golden Glory stablemate Errol Zimmerman. Zimmerman was originally scheduled to take part in the tournament, but had to drop out after being KO'd by Ghita at the K-1 Final 16.
The current semi-final matches have Saki vs. Wendel Roche and Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi, with the winners meeting in the finals on April 21. Losing Saki would be unfortunate, but in all honesty would make the tournament more interesting. As it stands right now, Saki is the prohibitive favorite - Roche, Guidon, and Bouzidi are all talented fighters, but Saki stands head and shoulders above them. Zimmerman on the other hand is at a career low point, and more on a level with the other semi-finalists. He has already faced both Roche (with Zimmerman pulling off a close extra round decision win) and Bouzidi (in a fight that Bouzidi won via cut stoppage). Both opponents would make interesting rematches for The Bonecrusher, while the underrated Guidon would be a tough challenge for Zimmerman. Entering this tournament would help give us a clear view of just where Zimmerman stands right now, so while I wish Saki the best recovery, I won't complain about this switch if it happens.
On the MMA side, the semi-finals are currently listed as Siyar Bahadurzada vs. John Alessio and Roan Carneiro vs. Tommy Depret, however there is some shuffling over here also, as Alessio posted on twitter that he has been forced to drop out due to an injury suffered in training. No word yet on a possible replacement. Again, winners here will meet in the finals on April 21.
The rest of the January 30 card includes a number of kickboxing and MMA super fights. Two fights of note for kickboxing fans: Robin van Roosmalen will be in action, though his opponent is not yet determined; and Frederic Sinistra faces Filip Verlinden.
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Sudsakorn 13 Coins Gym (pictured, vs. Chahid) beat Kem Sitsongpeenong by decision in the groups round of the Isuzu Tournament this January 15th in Bangkok, Thailand. Sudsakorn dropped Kem in the fourth with an elbow en route to the decision victory.
This was a rematch and also a minor upset, since both are strong in the tournament field, but Kem was favored to win the entire tournament. Kem won the first fight by third round knockout.
Sudsakorn and Kem are in group A of the 67 kg Isuzu Tournament and have logged one win apiece, Sudsakorn over Kongjak Sor Thuantong and Kem over Nopparat Keatkhamtorn.
I'll post video once it gets up. This is a major fight so expect to see it within a day or two.
edit: Video is up.
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We've been talking about RENA a bit the past few days, the 2009 and 2010 SHOOTBOXING Girls S-Cup Champion, but for a lot of people out there, they might not be as familiar with SHOOTBOXING, never mind Girls SHOOTBOXING. Leave it to one of our favorite readers, Jill, to toss together an awesome highlight video where you can see RENA's awesome use of push kicks, mid kicks and great judo throws that put her on top of the SHOOTBOXING mountain. [source]
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