So far, 2011 has been a rough year for kickboxing fans. K-1 has been completely inactive, and despite their repeated claims that they will run again, there remains nothing on the horizon, while various other shows have been cancelled due to political troubles or the disaster in Japan. But this weekend is a big one for kickboxing with the biggest card of the year to date.
On Saturday, It's Showtime hosts an event in Lyon, France. If you've never seen their shows before, It's Showtime is an excellent promotion, who have really stepped up their game in the last year to fill the void left by K-1. If K-1 does indeed go under, It's Showtime will be the top kickboxing organization in the world, and they will have earned that title.
This Saturday's show features a great batch of world class talent. The biggest story is in the main event, where controversial fighter Badr Hari returns from a one-year exile caused by assorted legal troubles. But for die-hard fans, the big name here is Giorgio Petrosyan, the clear #1 pound-for-pound kickboxer in the world, and one of the very best fighters in any combat sport. Much like Manny Pacquiao, Petrosyan is the kind of world class stand-up artist that any fan should check out. Also featured are top 10 fighters Tyrone Spong and Daniel Ghita, among others.
The show can be streamed live online at showtimefights.com. The stream costs 10 Euro (about $14) and starts at 4 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon. We will be hosting a live discussion here at BloodyElbow during the show, so come by and let's talk some kickboxing. If you don't want to pay, and don't mind waiting a week, HDNet just announced they will be airing the show next weekend on May 20. We'll have more on that news to follow.
Our friends at Head Kick Legend have done a great job getting the word out about this show -- check out links to all their articles below to fully prepare yourself for the show.
And one final note -- tonight on Inside MMA on HDNet, we understand there will be a preview of the card, so tune in there as well.
- Primer: Chris Ngimbi vs. Willy Borrel
- Primer: Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj
- Badr Hari Retrospectives: Badr vs. Peter Graham, vs. Errol Zimmerman, vs. Remy Bonjasky, vs. Stefan Leko II, vs. Stefan Leko I, vs. Alistair Overeem II, vs. Semmy Schilt, vs. Alistair Overeem I, vs. Gokhan Saki
- Giorgio Petrosyan, Buakaw Por. Pramuk, and the Pinnacle of the 70kg Division
- Daniel Ghita Has an Opponent: Fikri Ameziane
- Badr Hari as a Revolutionary