|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Few things are more exciting than a fighter that throws caution to the wind. One that's willing to lay it all on the line to entertain the fans and make sure everyone in attendance sees a good show. As fight fans, we cheer most intensely for those that have one goal in mind: to show no quarter and destroy or be destroyed. It's a recipe for success in gaining fans and there are those that have parlayed that style into a legendary career. But what about those that don't walk that thin line between success and failure? The fighters that place winning above entertainment.
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More news today from Japan’s Shootboxing organization. The normally quiet company has been making a lot of noise in the past few weeks as they get things in place for their upcoming 2011 season. We already heard the news that their 5 main shows were scheduled (for Feb. 19, Apr. 23, Jun. 5, Sep. 10, and Nov. 11), that we could expect to see both 2010 S-Cup finalists Buakaw Por. Pramuk and Toby Imada return this year, and that the Feb. 19 show would feature an exciting rematch between one of the top Shootboxing Japanese stars Hiroki Shishido and the fun Thai brawler Bovy Sor. Udomson. Now we have confirmation on some of their other 2011 plans.
To start, this year will feature the 3rd annual Girls S-Cup, scheduled for some time in August. No other details yet, but you can bet two time S-Cup champion RENA will be back to defend her crown. RENA is one of the hottest stars in the Japanese fight game right now, and her recent appearance on TV drew huge ratings. She’s a great asset for Shootboxing, and it’s a smart move for them to continue putting the spotlight on her at the Girls S-Cup. Hopefully this year we will also see more development of other women in this division, such as Japanese fighter Hisae Watanabe, V Hajime, and Ai Takahashi. I’m also hoping to see American Kate Martinez back, as she had a strong performance at last year’s event.
Also announced is the return of the Young Caesar’s Cup. The Cup is Shootboxing’s version of K-1 Koshien, giving young fighters a chance to gain valuable experience and make their way into the main Shootboxing ranks. And just like Koshien, last year saw the Young Caesar’s Cup pay great dividends. 2010 Cup champion Ryuya Kusakabe is one of Japan’s top young prospects at 55kg. Since winning the Cup, he has claimed the Shootboxing 55kg title, and is the front runner to win Krush’s 55kg championship tournament. With kickboxing in Japan looking for the next wave of talent, events like K-1 Koshien and the Young Caesar’s Cup are vital to ensure the sport’s future. Young Caesar’s Cup events will take place on January 30, March 13, and a July date TBD.
One event that will not take place this year is their big S-Cup tournament. That show happens every other year, so will be back in 2012.
Finally, Shootboxing is involved with an event called the MACS Amateur Championship taking place in February, and will be staging a small event in May.
This is all great news for fans of the unique action only Shootboxing can bring. I’m thrilled we have so much to say about this promotion, and look forward to their 2011.Add a comment
I'm not sure if what I'm posing at this point is a rhetorical at this point or if it actually has value. Recently SHOOTBOXING Girls S-Cup 2009 and 2010 champ Rena Kubota (simply called RENA) made a television appearance on the Female Athletes TV show on TBS, and the ratings she scored for her segment were quite positive. The overall rating for the show was 11.8%, with RENA's segment where she embarrassed three male comedians in the ring received a staggering 16.8%.
RENA, to say the least, has proven that she has the attention of Japan's fickle audiences, and once again on a show featuring female athletes from different sports, was able to prove that combat sports can be seen as "cool." This is immensely important for combat sports. Recently, @DanHerbertson, @Kuri_Kinton and myself (@LiverKickdotcom) had a discussion about the future of combat sports in Japan. Stuart Tonkin (Kuri Kinton), of course, for the uninitiated has been in Japan for ages and does work for K-1, while Herbertson is MMAFighting.com's Japan reporter.
The talk came on the heels of Herbertson and myself discussing TBS and FEG's future, which at this point is a big unknown. TBS had a two year deal with FEG that expired at Dynamite!!, which means as of right now the future of K-1 MAX and DREAM are uncertain on television. This of course could all be idle talk and TBS picks FEG programming back up and simply alters the contract a bit, but if they opt out it is incredibly uncertain for the future. K-1 MAX was the brainchild of FEG and TBS, used mainly to capitalize on the popularity of Japanese Middleweight kickboxer Masato. Masato scaled back his participation and soon retired, leaving MAX in a bad spot.
Then there is DREAM. DREAM is essentially a venture between FEG and what we all knew as DSE. If you don't remember DSE, think back to PRIDE. K-1 currently resides on Fuji TV, who killed off PRIDE's programming after the yakuza scandal DSE had and refuse to associate with that again. This means even if Fuji TV, who have a great relationship with Kazuyoshi Ishii, pick up K-1 MAX, DREAM might be without a home.
Are you following where RENA comes into play yet? Satoshi Ishii's popularity is in the balance right now, and if he disappears again for a prolonged period of time or says something ridiculously stupid in interviews, well, that is it for Ishii. Ishii really needs better handlers, but then again, that won't change anything now. With proper management from the beginning we wouldn't have these issues with Ishii. K-1 has used RENA before, in 2009 she participated in their Korean MAX show where she had a tough extra round decision loss to Su Jeong Lim after being promoted as one of the show's headliners.
RENA has rebound, though, having an incredible 10-fight win streak after that loss and taking two SHOOTBOXING tournaments, which is nothing short of spectacular. For TBS to feel comfortable with further FEG programming, they need some sort of star to push, a Japanese star, and there have not been any outside of Ishii that have presented themselves. If you think back, since the fall of PRIDE there have been no stars created, everything has been left over from PRIDE and earlier K-1 success. Using a female fighter like RENA might not attract the crowd that Japanese broadcasters and sponsors are looking for, but it will bring in viewers. At least until they finally find that "next Masato" they are grasping at straws for. There is a very, very good chance that K-1's KOSHIEN division, which we all laughed at years ago, can provide that next big star for them. There have already been a few fighters not named HIROYA who have come from the KOSHIEN program who have gone on to have success and could be huge stars. [source]
Video of RENA's appearance after the break.
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There are a few writers out there who have gotten a bad rap over the past few years, Tomas Rios is one of them, after the whole "Joe Rogan got Rios fired" thread from the Underground Forum happened a few months ago that also involved some poor word choices. The truth is, Rios knows what he is doing, and his new blog is a breath of fresh air when he posts something new.
Rios takes a look at Alistair Overeem's absolutely astounding December where he ripped through top competition in K-1 to become the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion as well as his hilarious dismantling of Todd Duffee, a fighter who was on the "UFC-level" before his bad attitude got him fired. Rios takes a slow-motion, blow-by-blow look at the turning points in each fight and comes to a conclusion that you haven't seen a lot of people wanting to admit; Alistair Overeem is really, really good.
In his last four fights the same storyline has played out -- a single, careless mistake is made and the response is a fundamentally flawless display of pure violence. The X-factor here isn't Overeem's size, strength or anything else that is won in the genetic lottery or gained in weight rooms.
What makes Overeem so singular in combat sports is that he is a 6'5", 260 lb. heavyweight who has the striking technique to dismantle all comers and the kind of cutthroat finishing instincts that can't be explained, they can only be admired. By the way, take another look at the GIFs [included] and something else should catch your eye -- Overeem was doing work from both the orthodox and southpaw stance.
Go and read the full article for a breakdown of each fight and to see just how incredible Ubereem really is.Add a comment
There were a few minor announcements on today's Strikeforce conference call, like only the final of the tournament will be a five round fight. Wait a minute, doesn't that fly in the face of the interviews Scott Coker had been giving about every fight being five rounds and every fight with the title being a title fight? Absolutely.
As it turns out, the title is not on the line at all, the winner of the tournament walks away the Strikeforce 2010 Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, but not the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion. That means none of Alistair Overeem's fights will be for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship. Honestly, this does not bother me. When it comes down to it, one of my main criticisms of the tournament was the inclusion of the Heavyweight Champion and only his fights being five-round affairs. Many would note some of the "special rules" used in the earlier PRIDE GPs, and I'll be the first to point out that while we got Royce vs. Sakuraba, otherwise the special rules were a waste of time and things probably should have been uniform.
There was some other strange stuff that went down on this conference call (if you've never been on a Strikeforce conference call count yourself as lucky, they are a mess). Some of the other announcements were that there would be a "fourth judge" in case of a draw. This judge? Strikeforce-appointed. I can almost hear the squishing sound of your eyes rolling back into your head, but we'll give it a pass as the chance of a draw is very rare, outside of UFC title fights, apparently. The other announcement was that there will be a five-person committee to decide which reserve fighter to use in the case of a draw. I'm not quite sure why you just wouldn't have two reserve bouts, one for each side of the bracket, and if you reach the finals and neither side has been used, have the winning fighters face off for a 'finals reserve' or something similar.
Can't win them all, folks. The tournament will still be incredible. We still get a tournament featuring Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Brett Rogers, Sergei Kharitonov and Antonio Silva.Add a comment
Some might question the newsworthiness of kickboxing promotion It's Showtime opening up a web store in English, but for the hardcore kickboxing fans out there, it is pretty cool. If you want K-1 gear you have to bug someone who knows someone in Japan or just become an elite kickboxer and get invited to compete in K-1. This way is a lot easier for those of us whose better days have passed them and their dreams of kicking people for a living have been dashed through strings of injuries or pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
If you are a fan of the UFC or Strikeforce you have a lot of options, from official clothing to walkout gear from various companies like TapouT, Affliction, Silver Star or Hitman. But for those of us who prefer to idea of Badr Hari gear to Brock Lesnar gear, this is a great solution. The only catch is if you are like me and live in the continental United States, shipping costs around 22 Euros, which is basically $30. So buy in bulk or do a buy with a friend or two if you are just looking to snatch up an awesome kickboxing t-shirt.
How many other web shops have Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Melvin Manhoef, William Diender, Gago Drago and Badr Hari as models? Find me a web store that bad ass and I'll shop there. So if you are interested, head over to http://itsshowtimeshop.com/en/. Yes, that is a picture of Badr Hari in a shirt that says "Kickboxing Couture." You know you need it.Add a comment
K-1 MAX champion and all around fighting genius Giorgio Petrosyan has two exciting upcoming bouts scheduled.
First up,on January 29, he faces Sudsakorn 13 Coins (formerly Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee) for Thai Boxe Mania. Despite the event name, this is not a Muay Thai fight, and will be 3 rounds under K-1 rules. Sudsakorn is our #18 ranked fighter at 70kg, and really made a name for himself in the international scene in 2010. He started last year with a decision win over K-1 MAX fighter Chahid Oulad El Hadj in It's Showtime, and followed that up with a tournament win where he defeated Andrei Kulebin in the finals. He's currently set to face Khem Sitsongpeenong in just a few days, and if he can pull off a win there, it will give him great momentum heading into the Petrosyan fight. Other notable fights on the Thai Boxe Mania card: Andrei Kulebin vs. Kaopon Lek, Abdallah Mabel vs. Kostantin Serebrennikov, and Armen Petrosyan vs. Miodrag Olar. Kulebin's fight is Muay Thai rules, the rest are K-1.
After that, Petrosyan faces former It's Showtime champion Cosmo Alexandre at another Italian event - Oktagon 2011 on March 12. It looks like that fight will be again under K-1 rules, and at 70kg, which puts Cosmo at a distinct disadvantage. Alexandre has spent the last year fighting primarily at 77kg in It's Showtime, and will be dropping a lot of weight to make the 70kg limit. At 72 and 77kgs, Alexandre has found tremendous success lately, winning the It's Showtime belt and 2009 Thailand King's Cup among other notable victories. He's not ranked at 70kg due to his inactivity in that division, though at 77kg he would easily be in the top 5. He's an interesting challenger for Petrosyan, as the two men share a very cerebral, technical approach to the game. He also possesses a great flying knee, which he has used to win fights by opening up cuts. And no matter how good a fighter is, a cut can always end a fight. Petrosyan is the favorite here undoubtedly, but I think Cosmo will challenge him.
I had some questions about these fight due to Petrosyan's broken hand suffered at the K-1 MAX finals, but as we draw closer, new reports are coming out that indicate these fights are in fact going to happen. Assuming they do, these are two fantastic chances to see the pound for pound best kickboxer in the world in action. And unlike some other fights, these are not just Petrosyan being trotted out to face an overmatched opponent - both Sudsakorn and Cosmo provide interesting, and very different challenges to the champ. Of course, Giorgio is so good that he may make these fights look beyond simple, but isn't that part of his charm?Add a comment
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, Shinya Aoki getting knocked out by Yuichiro Nagashima from Dynamite!! will not die, actually, someone has lovingly mocked it up like Street Fighter 2. This isn't the first time we've seen something similar before, and it won't be the last time we see it, either. This comes hot on the heels as reports from Japan revolve around Nagashima's crazy cosplaying fans making Aoki's life a nightmare. We've actually heard that a few days ago Nagashima appeared at Aoki's gym, but we haven't heard if it was for an apology or if Nagashima was just messing around. Yikes. Aoki even has a new, private Twitter account, so the odds are he won't let you read his feed. Sorry. [source]
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One of the best fights of 2009 was the initial meeting between Hiroki Shishido and Bovy Sor. Udomson. Both men were participants in the 2010 Shootboxing S-Cup and look to have their second match this year in Shootboxing. The good news is that the bout will take place sooner rather than later, on Shootboxing's February 19th event. This is just the first of many bouts announced for the Shootboxing Feb. 19 event, so keep visiting LiverKick.com for the latest updates on this event.
Watch the first bout between the two and marvel at the awesome Shootboxing action. If you agree, Tweet @AndrewHDnet and tell him that you want HDnet to start airing Shootboxing events. I mean, c'mon, imagine Schiavello calling a fight like this. [source]
Fame, like many things in life, has its pros and cons. It can be a blessing and a curse; bringing opportunities into ones life that they otherwise would never have had. It's up to that individual to dictate where a lifestyle of fortune takes them. Often times, that task is too heavy for one to bear and tragedy soon follows. No one knows that better than Alexey Ignashov.
Alexey was born in Minsk, Belarus on January 18th, 1978. He developed a passion for combat sports early in life. Muay Thai is where the Belarusian would get his start. Training at Chinuk Gym, The Red Scorpion, as his fans call him, would go on to win two Muay Thai titles in less than a year, defeating future K-1 legend Remy Bonjasky, in the process. It was clear that Ignashov had the talent to compete at an even higher level as he soon moved to K-1 to try his hand at fighting the worlds best kickboxers.
Picking right up where he left off, Alexey was the victor in his first three fights in K-1 and in the process, won the K-1 Belarus 2000 Grand Prix which qualified him for the World Grand Prix in Yokohama. Alexey would lose to Matt Skelton in the quarterfinals but it was apparent that a star was quickly rising on the global kickboxing scene.
Between 2000 - 2004, Alexey would go on to defeat such K-1 luminaries as Peter Aerts, Badr Hari, Semmy Schilt, Mike Bernardo, and Paul Slowinski, among others. Quite an accomplishment for the young Ignashov. With this amount of success comes great acclaim and all that goes with it. Alexey took full advantage.
Partying and alcohol abuse replaced time in the gym for Ignashov, triggering a downward spiral in his career. Alexey would lose four straight fights in 2005, failing to qualify for the prestigious K-1 World Grand Prix in the process. His lack of dedication was apparent. Ignashov was now the victim of fighters that were climbing the ladder of the K-1 world. A stark contrast to where he was just two years earlier.
Though he made it to the semifinals in the K-1 Amsterdam 2006 Grand Prix, Alexey would go on to lose to Turkish superstar, Gokhan Saki. A blow to the psyche of the fragile fighter.
Ignashov would toil in smaller promotions for the next three years. During this time, Alexey transplanted himself to Auckland, New Zealand to train at Balmoral Lee Gar Gym under Lollo Heimuli. It was then that he would become sober and work on returning himself to the prominence he once enjoyed - even though it must have seemed like so long ago that he was there.
After preparing himself to the point where he felt ready to enter the K-1 ring once again, Alexey approached K-1 president, Sadaharu Tanikawa to give him his shot. Tanikawa was hesitant but granted him the chance at one more go around.
Not drawing the easiest of fighters, Ignashov was given a fight with K-1 superstar Badr Hari on April 3rd, 2010 at the K-1 Yokohama Grand Prix. You could tell that Alexey had been out of the spotlight for many years as he looked sluggish and unambitious while Badr Hari took the unanimous decision win.
Some thought that we had seen the last of The Red Scorpion but he found himself in the K-1 Bucharest Grand Prix a month later. Scoring a knockout win over Mindaugas Sakalauskas and a decision win over Freddy Kemayo, it looked like Ignashov was going to finally return to the dominant fighter of old. But it was not to be - Alexey was injured during his fight with Kemayo and could not continue. Another setback.
It's hard to know if Alexey will ever return to being the superstar fighter of his youth. At 32, he is certainly young enough to continue fighting for years to come but it's more than age that determines your success as a fighter - it's winning the mental game. It looks as though Alexey has won the battle over alcohol and the vices of this world. Now, he must win the battle over self-doubt and be willing to stand at the bottom of the mountain and work his way back to the top.