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It's Monday morning and you know what that means. Of course UFC 126 was the big story this week. People were wondering all sorts of things: what could Vitor Belfort offer Anderson Silva and how would Anderson Silva respond? Would Jon Jones be deemed the future of MMA or the most recent overblown fighter? Could the Japanese fighters represent and win some fights? There were other questions, but I'll spare you. You know what happened, and if you don't, well read on. Or, read on either way I mean. You know?
Saturday may have been rough for Japanese MMA, but Pancrase, ZST, and DEEP did what they could on Sunday. There's a new King of Pancrase and a certain former King of Pancrase just fell flat while dropping down a weight class.
A slightly less huge week for kickboxing, but Andy Souwer was in action against Abraham Roqueni in Malaga, Spain. That didn't quite end like you would expect. Oh yeah, and Yasuhiro Kido headlined the Big Bang 4 card in Japan on Friday. More than anything, this was a week for fight announcements in the kickboxing community. News related to Nieky Holzken, Mosab Amrani, Harut Grigorian, and more can be found below.
The 144lb. Fuktien Group Tournament was set to begin at Omnoi Stadium in Thailand this weekend. Still no word on results, but I'll bring them you way as soon as possible. Elsewhere in the world of Muay Thai, we finally got video for Nong-O's upset loss to Sagetdao from January 25th at Lumpinee Stadium. There were some really great techniques thrown in that bout, and even in defeat Nong-O threw some insane elbows. Recommend you watch it. A couple fight announcements to round things out: you already knew this if you read our interview with John Wayne Parr, but Thor Hoopman will be facing Paul Slowinski in Australia in a few weeks. Lastly, newly crowned WPMF welterweight champion Antuan Siangboxing will be meeting one of the competitors from the Thai Fight 2011 Thailand Qualifier in March.
Let's get it going.
UFC 126: While the biggest event of the week may have had some moments that left a lot of fans complaining, it ultimately provided us with the sort of moments that fight fans will talk about for some time to come. Anderson Silva's front kick knockout was a thing of beauty and, while it's certainly not unprecedented, was something we haven't seen many times before in combat sports. The way Jon Jones was presented with the opportunity to face Mauricio Rua for the light heavyweight title was pretty great, even if a bit overdone. The rest of my thoughts can be found here.
Souwer Loses in Spain: Let's get this out of the way: Abraham Roqueni is not a bad fighter. He's the sort of guy that has been in there with other accomplished kickboxers, and even in defeat he has a skill set that can cause trouble for opponents. He throws in combination, often adding in solid leg kicks. He likes the head kick and I've seen him use it effectively after going to the body. Regardless, he just was not supposed t beat Andy Souwer in Spain on Saturday. The bout had its issues - a lot of people have questioned the knockdown Roqueni scored in the second and noted the interesting manner in which Roqueni's cut was checked in the third. Legitimate points (the latter more so than the former, in my opinion), but still, Andy Souwer just took another loss to a fighter he should have beaten. Video from the bout is here.
Takenori Sato, New Welterweight King of Pancrase: At Pancrase's Impressive Tour 1, the student of Kazushi Sakuraba got his fight with Kengo Ura to the ground, advanced position, and secured a kimura. Obviously this is regarded as one of those lesser titles out there and Sato may not have the most impressive record around, but I'll be curious to see how his run as King of Pancrase goes. Of course, his victory is also not without some question, as Ura did not tap to the kimura and the bout was instead called off after one of the supplementary referees (please stop with the madness, promotions) expressed concern and the in-ring referee halted the bout.
Nieky Holzken vs. Thilo Schneider February 26th: These two are set to headline a Golden Glory sponsored event in Eindhoven on the 26th. Though the German Schneider will be a clear underdog in this championship bout, it will actually be his World Full Contact Association title on the line when the two meet near the 77kg. limit. This will likely be viewed as a warm up bout for the Golden Glory Breda product Holzken, as he'll likely be able to pick up another trinket and move forward. Holzken will be returning to action after closing out 2010 with a victory over Murthel Groenhart. Check out highlights from the United Glory bout here.
Want to check out the video of Nong-O's recent bout with Sagetdao? Interested in learning about the internal issues facing the World Muay Thai Council from a former high-ranking official? Curious to know when Mosab Amrani and others will be fighting next? Well, you can get that information and more from this full edition of Monday Morning Head Kicks. Head on over to Head Kick Legend.