Jean-Claude Van Damme has chosen a promoter and country for his fight

By Dave Walsh

It was bound to happen sooner or later, and it did. We’ve been talking about this mythical fight Jean-Claude Van Damme has been preparing for now for just about two years, and it never felt any closer. There were talks of having Golden Boy promote the fight in Vegas, but after contacting the NSAC it was clear that they had never heard from anyone about a JCVD fight, ever, and that it would be a big risk for Oscar De la Hoya and his crew.

There were talks about China, Thailand, Japan, getting K-1 to promote the fight. There were dates, it was pushed back due to JCVD’s schedule, trouble finding a suitable promoter. The list goes on and on and on and sadly, on. But it seems like JCVD has finally found suitable business partners and an arena to host such an event as a kickboxing fight against Somluck Kamsing.

Apparently the legendary Fairtex gym will be hosting JCVD’s fight in November or December of this year in Thailand. Banjong Bussarakamwong of Fairtex will be promoting the fight and is currently looking for a suitable 30,000 seat arena, possibly the Impact Arena or the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium. There are talks about the fight being broadcast live across the world as well and Kamsing was given a 200,000 baht down payment (about $6,500).

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Hesdy Gerges Goes to War With Daniel Ghita, Survives to Take a Decision

By Dave Walsh

The fight that almost didn’t happen is indeed happening. Hesdy Gerges has had his legal problems, but he is a free man for now and takes on the very, very tough Daniel Ghita. Both men start off throwing incredibly hard and fast kicks, to the extent where you forget how big they are. Ghita’s hands have improved, but Gerges still has an edge in that department, he is also checking every few leg kicks, but Ghita’s leg kicks are crisp and deadly.

Ghita comes out a bit slower than he did in the first round and is getting frustrated by Gerges’ quick combos. He drops his hands and invites Gerges to unload on him, awesome moment where he is just shouting for more punishment. This won’t win him the round or the fight, but moments like that are amazing. Gerges keeps his combos crisp and near the end of the second round is actually able to drop Ghita hitting him low! Ghita pulls himself up and keeps slugging it out. It isn’t clear if that was counted as a down or not, but it doesn’t matter as it was a round for Hesdy.

 

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Badr Hari vs Tony Gregory Official For It’s Showtime, May 14th In Lyon, France

By Dave Walsh

They say that the news never sleeps, and in that regard, neither do I, apparently. Keeping Dutch hours leads you to find pretty cool stuff in the wee hours of the morning, and it turns out that Badr Hari‘s return opponent has been announced by It’s Showtime, officially, as has the rest of the Lyon card and it is lining up to be absolutely incredible.

The main event features the return of the Bad Boy, Badr Hari! Badr will be coming back after a year layoff due to some nagging legal issues, and his return opponent has been hotly debated for the past few weeks or so. The long-standing rumor was that the fight between Gokhan Saki and Badr Hari that was originally airmarked for the Amsterdam ArenA show would materialize in Lyon, but instead local kickboxer Tony Gregory has been called back into action to fight Badr Hari. This is a great return bout for Badr Hari, as it gives him a chance to hone his skills and gives him a bit of a cushion before heading back into the deep waters. Tony Gregory retired from kickboxing a few years ago to pursue a boxing career, but after disappointing results he finds himself back in the kickboxing mix, this time against one of the most dangerous fighters in the kickboxing world.

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Akihiro Gono returns to kickboxing with a match against Yuya Yamamoto on March 19th

K-1 World MAX 2009 Final 4 Yuya Yamamoto’s March 19th “Krush The First Championship Tournament ~Triple Final Round~” superfight opponent was announced at the public press conference today and it is Former All-Japan Kickboxing Heavyweight champion, PRIDE veteran, and recent Lightweight convert Akihiro Gono.

Krush The First Championship Tournament Final Round
Date: March 19th, 2011
Krush First 55kg Champion Tournament Finals
Ryuya Kusakabe vs. Hiroaki Mizuhara
KENJI vs. Shota Takiya

Krush First 60kg Champion Tournament Finals
Hirotaka Urabe vs. Dynamite Yuta
Masaaki Noiri vs. “Crazy Fist” Yuji Takeuchi

Krush First 63kg Champion Tournament Finals
Koya Urabe vs. Takuya Shirahama
Ryuji Kajiwara vs. Kizaemon Saiga

Superfights
70kg: Yuya Yamamoto vs. Akihiro Gono
63kg: Yuki Yamamoto vs. Shunsuke Oishi
55kg: TAKUMI vs. Kazuki Tanaka

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Strikeforce in Japan: Why it’ll work and UFC won’t

By Dave Walsh

There have been rumors since the announcement of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP that Strikeforce’s head honcho Scott Coker had plans on running a leg of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP in Japan, of all places. He wants this tournament to have a “global” feel to it, and running in a new market like Japan seems like a no-brainer.

I really haven’t given this much thought, as it seemed like big plans with no follow-through. Especially after Coker had all of this big talk about running Cowboys Stadium in Texas, a feat that a Manny Pacquiao fight sold 50,000+ tickets to. A bit of insanity if you ask many, as UFC has yet to even approach such a large stadium. Japan, on the other hand, seems to be a very real possibility. On Tuesday night I spoke with MMA Torch about the announcement from the UFC in regards to their “Japanese expansion” and Jamie surprised me with a question about Strikeforce running Japan.

Honestly, Strikeforce has a much better chance of running Japan than the UFC does, this year next year or after. The logic behind this is very, very simple, but also very solid. The big thing is that to run in Japan, you have to be ready to make concessions and promote in Japan. UFC’s expansion is, well, underwhelming. They have an obscure pay-TV network they run on and will now feature some mobile video services, but none of this is very interesting to fans in Japan. Without live shows, a broadcast television network and some star power the UFC has no real hopes. Their attitude of “all or nothing” will be their achilles heel in Japan.

 

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