Another weekend gone and another edition of Monday Morning Head Kicks is here. While last week saw the Krush 63kg. tournament quarterfinals and K-1 MAX Madrid tournament, we certainly don't have as much in the way of event results this week. Even so, the week saw a few interesting bouts, some intriguing news, and plainly awesome articles written all around. Also, while I'm hoping to build the Monday Morning Head Kicks brand around the fact that we're all heading back to work after the weekend, I'll have today off as it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the States.
The year in Japanese MMA finally got under way, as Shooto hosted Shootor's Legacy 1 on Monday, January 10th. The event brought us a new Shooto Pacific Rim champion, a quality submission from a veteran Japanese fighter, and some more solid action. The next Shootor's Legacy event should bring more exciting fights, as a certain Shooto kingpin will be in action, along with a number of recent Shooto Rookie tournament finalists.
Highly regarded Muay Thai fighter Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee has had a pretty good run as of late, and that seems to be continuing as he scored a major victory over fellow standout Kem Sitsongpeenong in the group stage of the Isuzu Thai Fight 2011 Thailand qualifier. While Sudsakorn may be riding high, it seems that Giorgio Petrosyan may be the man to try to buck that trend later this month.
Also this week, DEEP came through with another edition of their annual grappling tournament after canceling Mayhem in Macau, there's some news involving both the It's Showtime website and another possible event for the promotion in the summer, and we've got some more updates involving both Japanese MMA fighters and K-1 veterans.
Let's get it started...
Sudsakorn in Against Petrosyan: Something that many of us already knew but weren't able to find any real confirmation of. Unless of course one of you out there could find confirmation - then you're a better human being than me. Anyway, as was recently reported, Thai standout Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee will be Giorgio Petrosyan's opponent at Thai Boxe Mania 2011 on January 29th. The bout will be fought under K-1 rules at 70kg. You may remember hearing about the Isuzu Thai Fight qualifier that Sudsakorn is currently competing in. Well, the man who is now training out of 13 Coins in Bangkok took a decision victory against fellow top competitor Kem Sitsongpeenong this weekend.
Word is that Petrosyan's original opponent, WBC MT middleweight champion Yohan Lidon, just isn't going to be making the cut back down to 70kg. any time soon. Lidon's WBC belt is, again, at the 72.5kg. middleweight limit. That should be a difference of about six pounds, but I would encourage you to confirm that with your token European friend, or perhaps an international student if you're in college.
Shootor's Legacy 1: Well, after DEEP canceled Mayhem in Macau, Shooto was granted the opportunity to kick off another year of Japanese MMA with their Shootor's Legacy 1 event on January 10th. Ralph Acosta came in as a late replacement against Masakatsu Ueda. Ueda just wanted a brabo choke, and eventually he got it. Yoshihiro Koyama stopped Shinji Sasaki to become the Shooto Pacific Rim champion at 154lb. Taiki Tsuchiya took Tony Hervey out, Yusuke Endo defeated Daisuke Sugie, and there was some Shooto Rookie tournament action. For videos and such, follow the link to my post about the event.
It's Showtime in Germany?: In an interview with Groudandpound.de, Mix Fight Promotions head Sefer Goktepe indicated that he is working on getting an It's Showtime event to Germany on either the second or third Saturday of June. Names like Tyrone Spong, Mosab Amrani, and Gago Drago are thrown around!
Belfort's Shotokan Karate & UFC 126: Anton Tabuena over at Bloody Elbow pointed to a recent Portal Vale Tudo interview with Jayme Sandall, in which Sandall discussed Vitor Belfort's belief that his Shotokan experience will prove valuable in his upcoming match against middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. The theme of incorporating an eclectic skill set is one that we've seen before in discussions of fighters such as Lyoto Machida and we've seen its advantages recently in performances such as the one put on by John Makdessi against Pat Audinwood at UFC 124.
As for the Silva-Belfort bout, I'm willing to believe that Belfort will have a better showing in the striking department than most of Silva's competition. We'll just have to see if his Shotokan skills will play a part in that, and if any success that he may have in the striking department will be enough to secure victory. I'm anticipating a really enjoyable bout.
You know the routine. The full post includes news related to It's Showtime merchandise, Shooto flyweight kingpin Rambaa Somdet, and former DEEP competitors in the UFC, as well as a look at one of the more storied Muay Thai gyms in Bangkok and one of the most awesome Muay Thai fight videos you'll see. Head on over to Head Kick Legend if you're interested.