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Another edition of Monday Morning Head Kicks coming at you. In this final last week of January, we finally have some more significant kickboxing to cover. Giorgio Petrosyan and Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee headlined the Thai Boxe Mania 2011 card in Torino, Italy on Saturday. While the event was heavy on decisions, I really enjoyed all the main card bouts and have to recommend the bouts to everybody. We're also going to take a quick look at Giorgio Petrosyan's next opponent, Cosmo Alexandre. In a recent interview, Alexandre talked about a number of interesting topics including his continued desire to transition to MMA. Remember how Alexandre was stripped of his It's Showtime title a while back when he insisted on fighting at the King's Cup? Well, we can tell you who Artem Levin, the man who ultimately replaced him as the promotion's 77kg. champion, will be fighting next.
Strikeforce hosted a successful card with two promotional titles on the line, a bout between Roger Gracie and Trevor Prangley, and (as we noted last week) the appearance of some female Muay Thai specialists on the undercard. While most people interested in Titan Fighting Championships 16 were focused on the bout between Abe Wagner and Tim Sylvia, we also got to see UFC and DREAM veteran Jason High in action. Most of the mixed martial arts action was stateside this week, but the Pacific region was well represented by Legend FC 4. You can check the results here, as always.
There have also been some great Muay Thai bouts in the past week (well, week and a half). There were a few World Professional Muay Thai Federation titles up for grabs on the night of the 22nd in Suphanburi province, while the action shifted to Japan the following night, where Hinata scored a head kick knockout under the REBELS Muay Thai banner. I've only got a picture so far (fanshot), but whenever that video will be posted whenever it shows up. I can also tell you that as of this past Saturday, the first two rounds of the Isuzu Thai Fight 2011: Thailand Qualifier are officially in the book. Furthermore, it seems Omnoi stadium will be hosting another big tournament in the near future, we've got details on competitors below.
Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg Results: Well, the headlining bout was a real fun brawl and the main card showcased some high level grapplers, with Roger Gracie and Ronaldo Souza both submitting their opponents. The undercard was rather interesting as well, with a personal highlight coming as Germaine de Randamie was able to rely on her Muay Thai skills to dispatch her opponent. Check out her post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani here. A lot of the themes we've talked about with strikers transitioning to MMA are in the background here, it's interesting stuff to me.
All the talk of the heavyweight tournament really does have me looking forward to it. As for that little "vote for the tournament you want" thing they pulled, hey, middleweights are cool and all that, but uhh this whole lightweight grand prix thing? That's where it's at.
Speaking of Strikeforce and working with our friends in Asia, I can't help but wonder what Scott Coker thinks of the current power dynamics in the kickboxing world.
Thai Boxe Mania 2011 Results: Everything went as expected for the Petrosyan brothers. Giorgio topped Sudsakorn in a good, but not overly close, bout that definitely showed why both men are where they are in the sport. Sudsakorn belongs among the top fighters around the 70kg. mark, and Petrosyan represents the very pinnacle of that group. Petrosyan's upcoming bout against Cosmo Alexandre is a whole other thing to be taking a look at in the near future. Cosmo's been fighting at a slightly higher weight, and his skill set is serious. We'll actually be talking a bit more about the Brazilian in a few moments...
Armen Petrosyan is on the climb, and I would have to say I was most impressed by the moments of real defensive awareness that he showed. Yoshihiro Sato is going to be a huge test for him. If he wins? That's huge. If he doesn't? Well, he's still young.
Abdallah Mabel is a damn good fighter, but we already knew that. There will probably always be a class (or two) of competition that he's going to struggle with, but the man is skilled. As for Vladimir Shulyak, you have to respect somebody coming in against a well-regarded fighter like that. Here's your fights-that-nobody-else-has-ever-seen video of the day: check out Shulyak face off against the man he replaced at Thai Boxe Mania in this video.
Cosmo Alexandre on It's Showtime, a Future in MMA, and More: Cosmo Alexandre talks with Mike LNg over at Scienceof8limbs.com in a pretty informative interview. The former It's Showtime champion discusses his departure from the promotion, as well as the politics of fighting Thai fighters in Thailand. Alexandre also touches on the disconnect between the availability of training Muay Thai in his native Brazil and the country's utter lack of Muay Thai rules competition.
What some folks may be most intrigued by: Alexandre has restated his interest in transitioning to mixed martial arts, and it would seem he is taking that to a new level as he is currently teaching Muay Thai at Link BJJ in Massachusetts. I wish I could find some tape of him on the mat, but I guess you guys can settle for this quick video of Alexandre and Gabriel Gonzaga in training. For what it's worth, I do recall a Graciemag article some time last year stating that Alexandre was a blue belt.
DEEP 52 Update: Click it. Hopefully you understand Japanese or can use an online translator. Masakazu Imanari will meet Hiroshi Nakamura in a non-title affair. Nakamura is riding a two fight win streak, while Imanari is on a fight five win streak and has established himself as the definite promotional kingpin at bantamweight. DEEP light heavyweight champion, Yoshiyuki Nakanishi, will drop to middleweight and meet Ryuta Sakurai.
Want to read more about the Isuzu Thai Fight qualifier and learn about another upcoming tournament in Thailand that hardcore fight fans should definitely pay attention to? Curious to learn when It's Showtime 77kg. champion Artem Levin is fighting next and check out some awesome fight videos from the month of January? Well, you can get all that and more by checking out this full edition of Monday Morning Head Kicks. Head on over to Head Kick Legend.