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It's Showtime Amsterdam Arena 2004 5/20/04 Amsterdam, NED Amsterdam Arena
-1hr 40min. Q=Perfect

Rayen Simson vs. Leonard Sitpholek 5R. A very hesitant fight with Simson really struggling to deal with the southpaw's reach. Leonard did some good work on the inside with knees, but was content to use his reach, scoring from the outside with the left hand or leg. Simson just seemed unwilling to close the distance, but that left him hanging around on the outside not landing anything. The fight picked up in R3 because Leonard started getting inside and working his clinch knees, and the pressure of both Leonard and the scoreboard seemed to finally wake Simson up. Simson actually got moving, and held the center of the ring for periods in the 4th & 5th, doing his best work when he switched to southpaw. The last few rounds were watchable enough, but you never felt Simson had a chance of pulling the fight out, so of course the judges gave it to him despite him clearly losing the 1st 3 rounds. Below average match.

Badr Hari vs. Aziz Khattou R2 1:45. Khattou was a 54-2 world champion, but a 19-year-old Hari completely took him apart. Hari's clinch knees were just lethal, and Aziz couldn't do a thing to stop them, so Hari was able to go back to them over and over. Hari broke Aziz's nose with the knees in R1 and then probably his arm in R2 when he was trying to use that to protect his face, leading to the stoppage. The action was fine, but Hari so outclassed him it seemed like a jobber match. Average match.

Chris van Venrooy vs. Fikri Tijarti. Tijarti had the reach and way too much variety on the outside. He was slippery as well, so Fikri was scoring readily without taking much in return. Tijarti's game though was to get inside and land the knees, and he was really working Venrooy's body over with them. Venrooy's only defense was to hug Tijarti, holding him so close he didn't have space to throw the knees, but obviously this didn't allow Venrooy to land anything either, and he was already way down on the scorecards. As the bout progressed, Fikri realized he wasn't going to take any damage as long as Venrooy was just going to hug him on the inside, so he got in quickly and allowed the action to completely stall. Tijarti won a unanimous decision. Poor match.

6/23/07 Amsterdam Arena: Tarik El Idrissi vs. Pajunsuk R1 1:34. A real intense, rough little match. These two were bombing from the get go. El Idrissi was the puncher, and appeared to have a knockdown 40 seconds in, but the ref was out to lunch or something. Pajunsuk was the kicker, and he mixed them up well. Pajunsuk was looking to suplex El Idrissi whenever the distance was closed as though it was pro wrestling, and actually hit a belly to belly suplex that broke El Idrissi's lower leg.

Enfusion S3 8/11: Alexandros Chatzichronoglou vs. Hakan Aksoy

It's Showtime Amsterdam Arena 2005 6/12/05 Amsterdam, NED Amsterdam Arena
-1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

Pajunsuk vs. Tarek Slimani 5R. Slimani had really quick hands, but Pajunsuk mostly kept them at bay with middle kicks to the body or the arms and low kicks on the outside. Pajunsuk would then close the distance, smothering Slimani's boxing by work the clinch knees and then throwing him down with the twist. The first 3 rounds were competitive, as Slimani had his moments with quick 3 punch combos, but Slimani was just battered from Pajunsuk's heavy kicks and knees in the final 2 to the point it was mostly all one way traffic. Average match.

6/23/07 Amsterdam Arena: Murat Direkci vs. Joerie Mes R1 1:40. Direkci inches forward, defends, and then closes the distance with a jumping knee or comes forward unleasing a combo. Direkci cut Mes him badly under the eye with a clinch knee for the stoppage.

Badr Hari vs. Stephan Leko R1 1:44. Aggression vs. more aggression. Hari really wanted to please the home fans, and was out of control trying to take Leko out immediately. Leko caught him with possibly the best spinning back kick in the history of fighting. Hari was not only KO'd, but down for almost twice the length of the actual fight. Leko was really being a classless dick taunting Hari when he was down even before the fight was actually over.

9/23/06 TOP Sporthallen Rotterdam: Ruben van der Giessen vs. Junior Gonsalves 3R. These two may not be big names, but they pushed the pace, delivering a really intense, high level back and forth contest that was extremely hard to judge. Gonsalves' kicks were very impressive, particularly for their speed. He mainly mixed low and middle kicks, while Giessen was more of a boxer who tried high kicks but had them blocked. Gonsalves was more active, but Giessen was more consistent, as Junior would slow down later in the rounds. Junior came out fast in the 3rd, pulling the jumping knees out, but reverting to boxing later when he was winded. Giessen had the cleaner technique and his stamina held up a little better. It was too tough to pick a winner, but they gave it to Giessen. Good match.

4/12/08 Palalido Milan: Dzmitry Shakuta vs. Roberto Coco. Shakuta was the better all around fighter. He had the reach, the movement, and the heart. Coco is a strong boxer who didn't fear him in the least, but he seemed to get down on himself when he couldn't dominate early, and that led to him going away somewhat. The first round was pretty even, but Shakuta got the measure of Coco early in the 2nd, and began to land from distance then tie Coco up when he stepped forward to smother Coco's boxing and work him over with knees. Coco landed a couple good punches in the 3rd, but Shakuta just had too much skill and will for Coco as the fight went on, being far more accurate. Average match.

It's Showtime Trophy 75 MAX Final 2006 9/23/06 Rotterdam, NED TOP Sporthallen Rotterdam
-4 1/2hr. Q=Perfect. 3 DVDs

 

5/13/06 Amsterdam, NED Amsterdam Arena: Ramon Dekkers vs. Joerie Mes 3R. Mes had the movement, the hand and foot speed, and the reach, so he was able to dictate the terms. He scored from the outside initially, but quickly was able to back Dekkers into the ropes and keep the combos coming so Dekkers had limited ability to defend and couldn't get his shots off. Dekkers switched to southpaw, but wasn't throwing anything seeming to have injured his right hand, so Mes got his confidence up and let his guard down, and suddenly Dekkers flattened him with a left hook out of nowhere. I mean, this was literally the only notable shot Dekkers had even attempted in nearly 2 rounds, but in his first fight in 5 years of retirement, the 36-year-old still had the big explosive power to drop his opponent with 1 punch. Unfortunately, Dekkers movement didn't return, so Mes was able to get right back to dominating as he had earlier. Mes was a little more cautious in the 3rd having felt Dekkers power, but even if his volume was down, he still landed 99% of the quality shots en route to the unanimous decision. Dekkers retired again after this match. Average match.

6/23/07 Amsterdam Arena: Gokhan Saki vs. Mourad Bouzidi 3R. A really close fight. Bouzidi was moving better, showing better balance and doing a nice job of angling in to score. Saki seemed to have a little more accuracy with his strikes. Neither had any real signature shots though, so while I thought Bouzidi probably won the first 2 rounds, both could have gone either way. Saki stepped up in the 3rd, pressing the action and landing more, while Saki's increased aggression led to Bouziki moving more and firing back less. The 3rd round was clearly Saki's, so I wasn't surprised when he won the decision since the first two were close enough the judges probably split them. Above average match.

It's Showtime Trophy 75 MAX Final 2006 9/23/06 Rotterdam, Ned TOP Sporthallen Rotterdam

Reserve Fight: Nieky Holzken vs. Jan van Denderen 3R. What started out as a close fight where Holzken's main advantage was his power grew increasingly one-sided as van Denderen's hands were too low and his chin was all too available. Holzken wore van Denderen down with big punches, and when he began working the low kicks he hobbled Jan badly. Holzken likely could have finished with 1 or 2 more low kicks he'd damaged the leg so badly, but he hurt his leg, probably in the process, so he had to go back to punching and take the decision. Average match.

Trophy 75 MAX Final 2006 Quarterfinals

Sahin Yakut vs. Jiri Zak 4R. These two train at Gym Alkmaar, and have very similar skill sets and styles. Both kick and move extremely well, and don't want to give the opponent and inch. The 3rd round was particularly intense, as neither had a clue how the 1st two had gone and knew they needed to make an impression. I definitely agree with the extra round. I thought Zak was more effective with low kicks in the 3rd as Yakut inexplicably went away from them, but Yakut got back to them in the 4th to much more effect and hit another twist. Yakut won a split decision. Good match.

Najim Ettouhlali vs. Alviar Lima 4R. A classic, match of the year caliber contest that was something like if the Diaz brothers suddenly had diverse high level kickboxing training and decided to fight to one of them dropped. Tremendous intense action as Lima just stormed forward with punch combos and Ettouhlali fought furiously to fend him off. Lima refused to take a single backward step, but Ettouhlali adjusted to the pace and started beating him to the combo. Finally, late in the 2nd, Ettouhlali reversed out of the corner and attacked to keep Lima's back against the ropes, and did some great work to keep him on the defensive and take the round. Ettouhlali wasn't giving an inch in the 3rd, and was doing some fantastic stuff to hold his ground and finally keep Lima from coming forward when they were in the center of the ring. I want to say Lima had slowed down from the punishment Najim had inflicted, but both were standing toe to toe in the center of the ring throwing double speed combinations the entire round. If I absolutely had to choose, I'd give Lima the 1st & Ettouhlali the 2nd & 3rd, but it was razor thin and everyone was ecstatic they went an extra round. Ettouhlali threw so many kicks in the 3rd that he couldn't maintain that ridiuclous workrate, and Lima was once again able to press forward throughout, though Ettouhlali pulled the corner reversal again. Overall though, Lima was the fresher fighter in the 4th, and his continous ability to put a super high volume on Ettouhlali was the slight difference even though Ettouhlali was probably the more skilled fighter. I don't know how either of these guys could possibly have anything left going forward in the tournament as they dug deep, deeper, deepest, but I definitely thank them for it. Great match.

Joerie Mes vs. Emile Zoraj 3R. Another very competitive back and forth fight with a high workrate. The 1st round was almost a toss up until Mes dropped Zoraj to a knee with a left hook counter just before the bell. Zoraj was pushing forward in the 2nd, and finished particularly strong, landing almost all the shots in the last 30 seconds including a left hook that wobbled Mes. That left Mes as the one with work to do in round 3, and he was now coming forward with combinations the entire round. Mes won a unanimous decision. Good match.

Ondrey "Spejble" Hutnik vs. Dimitri Shakuta. Not much between these two guys. Shakuta's movement and kicking gave him a slight edge in the 1st, but they weren't as impressive in the 2nd, and Hutnik put him down with a short left hand. Shakuta was backing quickly, but he did so in a straight line and I felt it was a knockdown from a sloppy disengage rather than a slip. Hutnik would have won the fight had the knockdown held up, but without it, I couldn't see any reason to give either the nod. I was shocked this didn't go to the extra round, but the judges seemed to count it as a knockdown on their own as they gave it to Hutnik outright. Above average match.

Super Fight: Vincent Vielvoye vs. Sem Braan 3R. Braan was just relentless, constantly coming forward and battering Vielvoye. Vielvoye never really got going, and what little zip he seemed to have on his blows at the outset quickly disappated as he wilted under Braan's unyielding pressure. I was shocked that one judge only had it 30-28 Braan, as this was a whitewash. Below average match.

TG: Sandy Furner vs. Peach R1. Sandy punched her way in, got the clinch, and finished with a series of knees.

It's Showtime Trophy 75 MAX Final 2006 Semifinals

Sahin Yakut vs. Alviar Lima

Joerie Mes vs. Ondrej Hutnik

Superfight: Gago Drago vs. Kamal Chabrani

Final: Sahin Yakut vs. Ondrej Hutnik

It's Showtime Trophy 75 MAX Final 2006 9/23/06 Rotterdam, NED TOP Sporthallen Rotterdam Part 2
-1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

match list coming soon

It's Showtime 23 & 24 Trophy 2007 3/24/07 Lommel, BE Soeverein Hal
-1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

Murat Direkci vs. Salah Edine Ait Naceur 3R draw

Jiri Zak vs. Tarel Slimani

Frederic Sinistra vs. Brecht Wallis

Ondrej Hutnik vs. Karapet Papijan

Morad Sari vs. Dmitri Shakuta

Joerie Mes vs. Jan de Keyzer

It's Showtime 26 It’s Showtime Trophy 75MAX 2008 Final 3/15/08 's-Hertogenbosch, NL Maasport
& ?
-1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

It’s Showtime Trophy 75MAX 2008 Final: Dmitry Shakuta vs. Gregory Choplin 3R

WSCA Cruiserweight World Title Match: Tyrone Spong vs. Ondrej Hutnik

Gohkan Saki vs. Jantje Siersema

Sem Braan vs. Alexandro Cosmo

It's Showtimes 27 4/26/08 Amsterdam, NL Amsterdam ArenA
-2hr. Q=Perfect

Sem Braan vs. Alexandro Cosmo 3R

Perry Ubeda vs. Stephen Tapilatu R5

Gokhan Saki vs. Paul Slowinsky R1

Chris Ngimbi vs. Georgio Petrosyan 3R

Nieky Holzken vs. Joerie Mes

4/14/17 Welterweight Title Match: Zoltan Laszak vs. Karim Ghajji

It's Showtime & K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in AMSTERDAM -EUROPE GP FINAL- 4/26/08 Amsterdam, NL Amsterdam ArenA
-2 1/2hr. Q=Near Perfect. 1 DVD

K-1 WORLD GP 2008 in AMSTERDAM

Super Fight: Remy Bonjasky vs. Melvin Manhoef R3 2:32. The previous fight was going to be tough to top. Certainly, when we were treated to a live performance of the atrocious rap song dedicated to Melvin Manhoef, with the thoughtful chorus of, you guessed it, MEL-VEEN MAN-HOOF, it wasn’t off to a good start. However, things quickly picked up with Bonjasky coming out to Ennio Morricone’s Man with a Harmonica from Sergio Leone’s greatest western Once Upon a Time in the West, and never let down. Propelled by a tremendous first round of furious action, they may well have exceeded Bregy vs. Zimmerman. If you thought Manhoef was a torrid starter who never had to go any deeper, you were wrong, as he can bring the haymakers for three rounds. He threw everything he had at Bonjasky and then some, but when he’s on, as he was today, Bonjasky is such a skilled counter striker. Aside from giving up 6 inches and close to 50 pounds, Manhoef’s big problem is throwing looping bombs is all he can do while Bonjasky can change styles, strategies, and pace. Bonjasky knew Manhoef would come out like a house on fire, so he immediately took Manhoef out of his game by putting him on the defensive with a series of flying knees. Manhoef would back away and fire back with his hooks to Bonjasky’s block, so Bonjasky shifted to kicking but Manhoef did a great job of catching his leg. Manhoef would, of course, fire back with his hooks, but though he did get an uppercut through, he’s such a headhunter that he threw all his hooks high into Bonjasky’s block even though the gut was open. Bonjasky rocked Manhoef with a right high kick when Melvin was trying to throw the right hand, sending him stumbling back several feet, following with a jumping knee for the knockdown. Manhoef was ready for Bonjasky’s flying knee at the restart, cracking Remy with an overhand right that sent him stumbling backwards, nearly evening the fight. Bonjasky’s hand hit the deck, but he boosted himself off the canvas, regaining his balance in time to push his in for the kill opponent off then turn the fight back in his favor by knocking a charging Manhoef down with a jumping roundhouse. The first round of this furious contest was the best because Bonjasky took more chances. Up two downs to none, Bonjasky began to rely on his stonewall block, lulling Manhoef into complacency so he could use his height advantage to quickly stuff Manhoef’s head into his knee. Bonjasky connected with a big clinch knee midway through the 2nd, but Manhoef ducked under the top rope to prevent Remy from following with a high kick that would have been lights out. Manhoef again had success countering the jumping knee with an overhand right, hurting Bonjasky, but Remy blocked Manhoef’s flurry and knocked him down. I didn’t see any real blow here; it appeared Manhoef simply dropped to avoid the clinch knee, but in any case he wasn’t up quickly and it did count as another down. Manhoef fought with desperation in a more wide open 3rd, but Bonjasky blocked enough of his big blows, firing back with low and high kicks. Even though Manhoef mostly blocked a high kick (he had better success when he was ducking them), it was powerful enough to knock him back into the ropes, and a subsequent high kick sent Manhoef to the canvas for the 4th time. Manhoef was back on his feet yet again, but this time Remy flew in at the restart with a high kick to finally put him out of his misery. A valiant effort by Manhoef, who didn’t back down despite being out of his depth and weight class against a two-time world champion. Excellent match.

Super Fight: Tyrone Spong vs. Azem Maksutaj R2 0:45. Maksutaj was completely outclassed in this one-sided contest, displaying poor footwork and looking uncoordinated as he slipped and stumbled around the ring. Spong had no trouble closing the distance, bringing the knee when he got inside, which had Maksutaj on the canvas by the middle of the first. Maksutaj was caught hunched over when he missed a wild haymaker, allowing Spong to knee him in the head, land a high kick, and then follow with a few punches for the knockdown, except the round ended by this point. They traded low kicks to start the 2nd, but Azem’s didn’t have much zip on them and Spong soon KO’d him with another knee to the gut. Below average match.

K-1 Europe GP Final: 1st Round:

Errol Zimmerman vs. Attila Karacs R1 2:10. A cut somehow opened on Karacs shin, forcing the fight to be stopped before it got going.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Jan “The Giant” Nortje R1 1:10. A dominant performance by Bregy, never allowing the big man to get his bearings. Bregy brought straights down the middle to get inside Nortje’s Giant reach then banged him with a series of short hooks. Nortje was quickly in trouble, and Bregy kept the heat on, backing him into the ropes and grazing with a right high kick then putting together a flurry of punches for the KO.

K-1 Europe GP Final: Semifinals:

Zabit Samedov vs. Brian Douwes 4R. Kemayo bowed out due to injury, thrusting reserver Douwes into the semis. Samedov had his best round of the night in the first, picking Douwes apart with crisp combos. Having fought three hard rounds earlier to Douwes 70 seconds, Samedov began tiring in the 2nd, evening the contest out. Douwes began to answer with a left hook, and started pressing the action more. Samedov had a nice sequence where Douwes mostly avoided his right hook, but he evaded Douwes right hand comeback and smacked him with a left hook. After an even 2nd, Douwes seemed to stun Samedov with a left hook early in the 3rd, but made no attempt to follow up. The bout went to the extension, where neither seemed to step it up and most of their attacks were blocked or dodged. Samedov landed a few left hooks late, which may have been enough to eke out the decision as the 4th was the closest round of the fight. Average match.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Errol Zimmerman R3 2:59. One of the wildest K-1 fights I’ve seen. Not a technical gem, but a surprising and thrilling war featuring some serious heavy hitting that caused the tide to turn quickly and regularly. Started tentatively, but once it got going it never let up. Bregy almost had a down with a right hook, but Zimmerman was saved from tumbling by catching the ropes with his arm. Bregy was a head taller and was consistently backing up an opponent who lacked the reach to strike from the outside and was on the defensive when Bregy allowed him within distance. Bregy did a nice job of using the left jab to start Zimmerman backing, charging in with hooks or knees to get him against the ropes where he could wail away. Just as I was thinking Zimmerman seemed a lot quicker and more explosive the last time I saw him, he threw a flying knee that missed but, while still in midair, he followed with a punch that connected. Finally putting Bregy on the defensive, Zimmerman was able to land a few good rights in the exchange, cutting Bregy around the left eye. Bregy dropped his hands and screamed for Zimmerman to come on, with Zimmerman obliging by dropping Bregy with a nice hook combo. Bregy doesn’t believe in recovery, always attacking after a knockdown, but the round ended. Zimmerman stunned Bjorn with a punch early in round three, but Bregy used his own mistake to fire himself up and mount a comeback. Some bad footwork found Bregy with his back to his opponent, but he had the presence of mind to whip around with a backfist that sent his opponent wobbling back then follow with a few punches for a flash down Errol protested. Bregy pressed with punch after punch with Zimmerman against the ropes, but suddenly Zimmerman came back to life and knocked Bregy down with a big right hook. Bregy went right back on the attack, but with the round just about to end Zimmerman backed him all the way across the ring into the ropes with punches for a standing down when Zimmerman turned his back. Bregy seemed more interested in walking out of the ring while the ref was counting than sturdying himself and maintaining a fighting posture, and needless to say the fight was stopped with 1 second left! Excellent match.

K-1 Europe GP Final: Final: Zabit Samedov vs. Errol Zimmerman 3R. The previous two bouts were so good these two couldn’t hold my attention with their feeling out and missing. Samedov was having a hard time landing, whiffing on the big swings but maybe landing one out of three on his quick combos, though without much force. Even that was a higher percentage than Zimmerman landed, as the much quicker and lighter on his feet Samedov was dancing, bobbing and weaving out of danger. Zimmerman was landing a right hand counter, but again not with any power. I thought there was a 10% chance Samedov would get the decision and a 90% chance they’d call for the extra round, which shows how much I know as Zimmerman captured the majority decision. It helps to be the hometown fighter. Average match.

European Fighting Network presents It's Showtime

Sem Braan vs. Alexandro Cosmo 3R. Cosmo was too quick and athletic from Braan. He did a nice job of slipping Braan’s punch and firing back with a fast blow. Cosmo was such a counter puncher that he never took over the fight even though it seemed he could have. Braan was active and aggressive, and I guess the judges where impressed by the way he pressed forward. Neither fighter hurt each other, but Cosmo certainly landed with more consistency than Braan. Braan won a decision. Average match.

Perry Ubeda vs. Stephen Tapilatu R5. One-sided fight with Ubeda stalking Tapilatu, keeping him on the defensive. He was the much better boxer, and once he closed the distance Tapilatu wasn’t able to throw his kicks. When Tapilatu wanted to throw a kick, he’d usually switch to side stance. Though kicks were Tapilatu’s primary weapon, he didn’t have much on them. They were designed to keep Ubeda away, but Ubeda had little trouble getting inside and working the body with punch combos. Tapilatu’s nose was busted up, and Ubeda knocked him down in the third with a punch combo in the corner. Finally, Ubeda landed a middle kick then brought it to the head for the KO. Average match.

Gokhan Saki vs. Paul Slowinsky R1. Dominant performance by undersized underdog Saki, upsetting a top 10 K-1 fighter whose career seemed to be on the rise. Saki was getting off quick and mixing his blows well, connecting with almost everything he threw, many of which had good zip on them. He stunned Slowinsky with a punch combo then followed with another fore the knockdown. Slowinsky knew he was in a fight, and increased his concentration, but still had no answer for Saki’s precision blows. Saki soon stunned Slowinsky with a left hook then KO’d him with another.

Chris Ngimbi vs. Georgio Petrosyan 3R. Petrosyan is a very quick fighter who kept his distance, throwing roundhouses then darting in when the opening presented itself. Ngimbi is a good athlete, but Petrosyan largely made him look silly, as the space Georgio kept allowed him enough time to evade the majority of what Ngimbi threw at him. Ngimbi stopped fighting after taking a left hook, so Petrosyan was credited with a knockdown. Petrosyan won a unanimous decision. Average match.

Nieky Holzken vs. Joerie Mes. Holzken scored knockdown in the second with a right straight that caught Mes off guard. Mess seemed more determined, but Holzken weathered his attack and dropped him with a spinning hook kick for a second knockdown. Holzken smelled blood and kept backing Mes into the corner, soon landing a spinning high kick for the 3rd knockdown. Above average match.

Buakaw Por Pramuk vs. Faldir Chabari 3R. Chabari tried to utilize his reach advantage, but Buakaw walked right through his jab. Pramuk kept moving forward, backing Chabari with front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and jabs then pounding the body with punch combos. Pramuk was really pushing Chabari around, and time and time again Chabari would wind up stuck in the ropes covering while his opponent unleashed a barrage. Easy decision win for Pramuk. Average match.

Warren Stevelmans vs. Drago 3R. Good fast-paced match. As soon as one kickboxer finished their combo the other would fire back with a combo of their own. The first round was pretty even, but Drago’s combos were even faster than Stevelmans, and he was scoring with his low kick finishes. Though the combos were high level, the defense was on par with the offense. The main difference is that as the bout progressed, Drago was able to keep Stevelmans’ on the defensive more and more because he could get off quicker. Drago won a unanimous decision. Good match.

It's Showtime 30 It's Showtime 2008 Eindhoven 11/29/08 Eindhoven, NL Indoor Sportcentrum Eindhoven
-2hr 5min. Q=Perfect

Perry Ubeda vs. Murat Direkci

Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Warren Stevelmans

Chris Ngimbi vs. Joerie Mes

It's Showtime 95MAX World Title: Tyrone Spong vs. Zabit Samedov

Gago Drago vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

Albert Kraus vs. Buakaw Por. Pramuk

It's Showtime 31 2/8/09 Antwerpen
-1hr 40min. Q=Ex

Mourad Bouzidi vs. Rustemi Kreshnick

Hassan El Hamzaoui vs. Mustafa Bensimed

Sahin "Kaas" Yakut vs. Mohammed Rahhaoui

Joerie Mes vs. Jan van Denderen

Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Fermin Rodriguez

Badr Hari vs. Frederic Sinistra

World title: Murat Direkci vs. Gago Drago

It's Showtime 32 Oktagon presents: It's Showtime 2009 3/14/09 Milan, IT PalaSharp
& It's Showtime 33 It's Showtime 2009 Amsterdam 5/16/09 Amsterdam, NL Amsterdam Arena Part 1
-2hr. Q=Perfect

Arnaldo Silva vs. Armen Petrosyan

Murthel Groenhart vs. Alexander Cosmo

Sahin Yakut vs. Shemsi Beqiri

Hassan El Hamzaqui vs. Frederico Pacini

5/16/09

Sahin Yakut vs. Perry Ubeda

Bjorn Bregy vs. Aschwin Balrak

It's Showtime 35 It's Showtime 2009 Budapest 8/29/09 Budapest, HU Papp Laszlo Sportarena
-2hr 5min. Q=Perfect

It's Showtime 85MAX World Title Match: Denes Racz vs. Melvin Manhoef

Wendell Roche vs. Rustemi Kreshnik

Rodney Glunder vs. Ondrej Hutnik

It's Showtime 77MAX Title Match: Dmitry Shakuta vs. Gregory Choplin

Gago Drago vs. Barnabas Szucs

Bjorn Bregy vs. Attila Karacs

It's Showtime 36 It's Showtime 2009 Lommel 10/24/09 Lommel, BE
-1hr 35min. Q=Perfect

Kenneth van Eesvelde vs. William Diender 3R. Van Eesvelde has an awkward style where he takes very overexaggerated kangaroo bounces straight up when he's not attacking then plants & is completely flatfooted when he unleashes his combos. He likes to go back & forth with body hooks in a manner that seems as much designed to annoy the opponent as to actually take the wind out of them. Diender, on the other hand, holds a very tight guard around his face & is content to let the opponent wear themselves out while he responds with some low kicks. Diender tried to get more aggressive in the 2nd because van Eesvelde won the 1st on activity, but it was quickly apparent that van Eesvelde was the far better conditioned fighter, with Diender reverting back to his defensive shell because he lacked the stamina to continue to push the action. Diender was very disciplined early on, but in round 3 his only chance was to get the knockdown, so he was just brawling. Van Eesvelde was fading fast in the 3rd, losing most of the zip off his shots & having an increasingly difficult time keeping Diender off him. Diender was threatening to pull this out on heart & desire, just wanting it more than van Eesvelde in the 3rd (granted van Eesvelde just needed to stay on his feet). Diender nearly put van Eesvelde down with a right straight counter, but van Eesvelde just kept his balance, and that allowed him to get the 4-1 win. Above average match.

Harut Grigorian vs. Chris Ngimbi 4R. A really high level fight for anyone, much less guys this young. 20-year-old Grigorian, in particular, was really offensive, but both had very solid defensive bases & although this was an extremely high work rate & volume contest, they weren't leaving themselves exposed or really even sacrificing defense. Harut was getting off 1st with fast punch combos, pushing Ngimbi back & keeping him on the defensive. Ngimbi couldn't get his knees off & was having trouble even getting his counters in, really only landing some low kicks in the 1st. Ngimbi did a better job of getting a punch off so he could follow with a low kick that almost always landed in the 2nd, but Grigorian wasn't slowing down much & was still doing great work with his quick hands. The fight was getting better with each round, if only because Ngimbi had to keep elevating himself to another level in order to have a chance to win. The difference in the fight was really Ngimbi's will because Harut was doing everything he could to run away with this, but Ngimbi increasingly refused to be backed up, & in standing his ground he was able to do a better job of firing back & obviously landing with more power. They could have given it to Grigorian in 3, but I love the extra round for close fights like this. The pace was never less than non-stop, but Grigorian pushed through the fatigue better in the 4th to finally secure the victory. Neither guy was landing bombs, but the speed & volume was pretty amazing. This is the kind of match that proves you don't need to have huge shots to produce big time intensity. Very good match.

Sebastien van Thielen vs. Dillian Whyte 3R. Whyte had so much size & strength on van Thielen, but van Thielen hung in there while Whyte tired himself out winging bombs. Whyte got a knockdown with an overhand right counter early in the 3rd, but was too tired to even make an attempt to finish van Thielen off. This fight did nothing for me, as it was very slow paced, lumbering, sloppy low workrate stuff. Both clearly have a lot of potential, but van Thielen was just outsized here. Below average match.

It's Showtime 70kg Max Title Match: Murat Direkci vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj R1. One of the weirdest fights ever. Direkci cuts El Hadj on the right cheek with a left high kick 5 seconds in. This should totally be no big deal as it's a legal blow &, although the cut is deep, it's not a cut that will have any impact on El Hadj's ability to continue fighting. The action is delayed forever though. El Hadj's corner whines about Direkci's nails, checking the right foot when they didn't find anything wrong with the left, but no one seems to know what's going on or why the fight isn't continuing. Eventually, the result is announced as a doctor stoppage no contest, but their individual records show the fight as a doctor stop TKO win for Direkci.

11/21/09 Barneveld, NL: Seo Doo Won vs. Harut Grigorian. All one way traffic with Harut applying massive pressure & running through Doo Won as quickly as he can. Doo Won keeps his hands tight to his chin, so Grigorian keeps attacking the liver with left body hooks & kicks. Grigorian puts a lot of pressure on Doo Won, consistently backing him, and soon connects with a brutal liver hook that folds Doo Won in half. Doo Won manages to get up, but it's academic from here with Harut quickly dropping him a second time with a clinch knee & a third time with another liver shot.

NJ 12/91(Ex VQ): Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Pegasus Kid

It's Showtime 37 It's Showtime 2009 Barneveld 11/21/09
-1hr 35min. Q=Perfect

Dennis Stolzenbach vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva

It's Showtime 77kg World Title Match: Dmitry Shakuta vs. Sem Braan

Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi

2/13/10 It's Showtime 2010 Prague: Gago Drago vs. Yutaro Yamauchi

NJ HH 11/7/90 (fair VQ): Jushin Thunder Liger & Osamu Matsuda vs. Masahiro Chono & Keiji Muto

It's Showtime 39 Oktagon presents: It's Showtime 2010 3/13/10 Milan, IT PalaSharp
& It's Showtime 40 It's Showtime 2010 Budapest 4/17/10 Budapest, HU Syma Sport and Events Centre
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

3/13/10

Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee 3R. Both fighters executed their strategy early on, El Hadj backing Klinmee & using his quick hands but Klinmee utilizing his reach advantage to keep El Hadj on the outside with teeps & precise straights. Klinmee was very accurate, & got rolling quickly once he got El Hadj fighting at his pace. The difference in the fight wasn't really the reach because Chahid could get inside, but rather how slippery Klinmee was. The more confident he got, the more fluid he looked out there, dodging Chadid's punches & landing his own counters. Klinmee also had success with knees when El Hadj worked into range. Klinmee's head movement was just too good - which made it all the more surprising that el Hadj didn't throw to the body more - and El Hadj was getting frustrated because he kept missing. El Hadj wasn't giving up, but his quick hands just weren't quick enough & nothing he did seemed to work with any consistency. Chahid went all out in the 3rd, turning it into a brawl when he could, but it was too little too late & Klinmee certainly was never worried. In the end, Klinmee was too fast & had too many options, while El Hadj seemed stuck pressuring even though that wasn't working because the alternatives were worse. Klinmee was super impressive here, negating a really good quick, aggressive persistent fighter. Above average match.

77KG Max Title Match: Dmitry Shakuta vs. Cosmo Alexandre R2. Shakuta had the speed advantage & would stay on the outside then explode in with a combo. His left kick was particularly fast, scoring well with the inside leg kick. Shakuta won the 1st round & was doing fine in the 2nd when Alexandre got hold of him & split his forehead with a clinch knee. Shakuta wasn't hurt, & there was no shot that showed how bad the cut was, but the doctor stopped it right away, much to the now former champion's chagrin. It was okay, but Alexandre is a muay thai & thanks to it being a title match could pace himself similarly, so the fight never really got started. The 1st round was more of a feeling out with excess clinching by Cosmo & the second was proceeding similarly until the finish out of nowhere.

Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Kem Sitsongpeenong 3R. Petrosyan is the ultimate artist in kickboxing, always moving and angling slightly to finds the spot where he can avoid your strike & land the one available counter. Kem did catch him flush midway through the 1st with a short right hook counter to the left inside leg kick. Generally though, Petrosyan was too quick with too precise & diverse an attack in addition to obviously being incredibly difficult to ever actually hit. Kem was no pushover. He came forward in the 2nd & landed a decent number of single shots, the problem was Petrosyan would then land 2 back. Kem did a good job of taking space away from Petrosyan, keeping him near the ropes so he didn't have as much room to evade. Petrosyan slowed him down by the 3rd landing so many big counter shots, but Kem's will wasn't broken. Petrosyan won every round, but Kem, while never threatening & looking ordinary due to the opposition, certainly made him work, which given the amazing opposition is actually an accomplishment. Good match.

4/17/10

Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Tihamer Brunner 3R. Brunner is a very unorthodox southpaw who fights out of a side stance with his hands at his waist & looks to flick the jab. The hands low boxing style can work for guys that are super quick, but that doesn't describe Brunner. Silva started slow trying to figure him out, but in the 2nd round he was able to back him into the ropes, & then he could pun Brunner in the head because Brunner didn't have room to evade with his feet & obviously wasn't going to block from his waist. Brunner slowed down dramatically in the 2nd, which didn't bode well given he's looking to win on points. Silva began using the left low kick, which normally would be a risky move given Brunner can counter with his power hand, but Brunner was so heavy on the front foot & wasn't showing much speed in any department. Silva put Brunner down with one of these low kicks just before the fight ended. Silva was winning every round, but it was a very ugly fight against an awkward opponent who doesn't give you any rhythm. Vinny Shoreman's conclusion was "If we don't see Tihamer Brunner again, it'll be too soon!" Poor match.

Arafat Iallouchen vs. Barnabas Szucs 3R. Szucs is big & strong. He came forward, but wasn't that quick & fluid. Iallouchen is a much better athlete, but he's pretty wild. There's a lot of holes in his defense & he took the fight on a days notice. It seemed like Szucs should have been working the body since his opponent didn't have a training camp, but he did too much simply coming forward & not enough throwing to any quadrant. It was looking like Arafat was going down 2 rounds, but he hurt Szucs with a left hook with a little over a minute left in the 2nd then landed another good left hook & a flying knee for the knockdown. Szucs got up, but his legs were shot & Arafat blasted him with right hooks against the ropes for a 2nd knockdown. I was surprised Szucs got up, and to be honest the only reason he survived the round is Arafat stopped when he knocked Szucs mouthpiece out rather than landing a couple more shots in the flurry & getting the 3rd knockdown. Szucs recovered pretty well & landed a few good punches to start the 3rd, which kept Iallouchen from blitzing him. Iallouchen was also getting tired, & just didn't seem to have the experience to know when & how to finish. He got another knockdown in the 3rd, but let Szucs off the hook again. In the end, Szucs didn't look that good & wasn't fighting happily or confidently, and it was Arafat's natural athletic ability that made up for his inexperience & lack of training & carried the day. There was quite a bit of action in the 2nd half, but it wasn't very technical. Average match.

Murthel Groenhart vs. Daniel Geczi R1. Massive mismatch. Groenhart was way too fast. He'd just charge in & land bombs & Geczi couldn't do anything to slow him down or keep him off. Even when Groenhart ran from the corner to the center after a knockdown, Geczi was still standing right there for the flying knee. You felt bad for Geczi because Groenhart was in beast mode & Geczi was unarmed.

It's Showtime 40 It's Showtime 2010 Budapest 4/17/10 Budapest, HU Syma Sport and Events Centre
& It's Showtime 41 It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam 5/29/10 Amsterdam, NL Amsterdam Arena
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

4/17/10

It's Showtime 77MAX World Title Match: Cosmo Alexandre vs. Csaba Gyorfy R1. Cosmo won the title cutting Shakuta out of nowhere, and now in his first defense, he sliced Gyorfy badly with a knee less than a minute in for another stoppage.

Bjorn Bregy vs. Wendell Roche 3R. Roche might have come up to Bregy's neck, & Bregy fought a very smart & proficient fight taking advantage of that huge size advantage. Bregy may not be nimble, but he took the right steps to take advantage of his reach advantage, & mixed his attacks well. Bregy was solid with the jab & the step knee, and a variety of kicks when he used them. Roche just couldn't get inside, and when he did he had to deal with Bregy's knee. Bregy won the 1st 2 round easily. Roche tried to go all out in the 3rd needing the knockdown, but was picked apart & mostly just dispirited. Average match.

Adnan Redzovic vs. Attila Karacs 4R. Karacs was winning the 1st half of the fight with his low kicks & jab, but kind of eased off & became too complacent in the 2nd half. Once Karacs was less active, Redzovic was able to get inside more consistently & score with his short, clubbing punches. I thought Karacs would step it up in the extra round, and fight hard to maintain distance, but he seemed to just be tired, as Redzovic was able to back him into the ropes pretty much at will. Karacs was content to fight off his back foot & just try to counter in the 4th, but Redzovic ran out of gas after his initial push & began to stand around too much. The fourth round wasn't a big one for either fighter, but I was surprised they gave it to Karacs, despite being the hometown fighter, as he was on the defensive most of the round & didn't land much beyond a couple crisp jabs. Average match.

5/29/10

Tomas Hron vs. Rustemi Kreshnik 3R. Usually I have to try to make myself forget it's a heavyweight fight so I maintain some enthusiasm, but with this crazy fight I had to keep reminding myself it was a heavyweight fight because I don't know where Hron found the energy to push this kind of pace in the 2nd & 3rd rounds. Kreshnik appeared poised to make it a short night. He had a knockdown with a distance overhand right followed by a second and another with a right to the body countering a knee. I thought Hron was going to be done. Kreshnik was so confident he'd done his job he climbed the corner & posed for the fans after the 2nd knockdown. I'm pretty sure everyone in the arena thought the result was academic, but Hron had other ideas. He managed to get back to his feet & just put up a block, letting Kreshnik punch himself out going all out for the finish while he got his wind back. Hron not only survived the 1st, he came out strong in the 2nd, pushing the pace & taking over against a punched out Kreshnik. It was crazy seeing Hron fight such an energetic 2nd & the 3rd, just on a mission, stalking his opponent & refusing to be denied. Win or lose, he had to win your respect on sheer determination, but all those knees to the midsection were pretty impressive as well. Kreshnik never got his 2nd win, and Hron pretty much walked all over him in the final 2 rounds. He didn't get any knockdowns though, and you felt bad because he deserved to win the fight, but a 10-7 round 1 is virtually impossible to overcome without putting your opponent to the canvas. It obviously would have been great to see these two actually at their best at the same time, but the fact that they weren't is part of what made it so fascinating. Excellent match.

Chris Ngimbi vs. Anthony Nekrui R3 1:33. Good back & forth technical match that got super flashy toward the end. Usually these random guys who show up on one show obviously aren't that impressive because otherwise you'd have heard of them & they'd be regulars, but Nekrui seemed genuinely skilled & disciplined. He showed no fear & did a good job of mixing low & body kicks. Nekrui finally tried to go high with the kick, but Ngimbi slipped it & rocked him with a left hand & followed with a right hook for the knockdown. Ngimbi was on fire now, and there was no stopping him, as he quickly put Nekrui down 2 more times with big right hooks. Nekrui was still determined in the 3rd, & kept coming forward, but Ngimbi backed him with a missed jab then did a jaw dropping super fast flying knee, right straight, left low kick combo for another knockdown. The speed, precision, athleticism, & balance to pull that combo off were just amazing. Nekrui still got up, only to immediately eat another flying knee that finally resulted in the mercy stoppage. Nekrui was right with Ngimbi for more than a round & a half then Ngimbi got the train rolling & there was no stopping him. Definitely one of Ngimbi's most impressive performances, and it set him up for a title shot against Murat Direkci on 9/24/10 that he won, although I thought that was a bad decision. Good match.

It's Showtime 41 It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam 5/29/10 Amsterdam, NL Amsterdam Arena
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

Rico Verhoeven vs. Dzevad Poturak 3R. Rico was much too accurate & too technical for Poturak. Poturak tried to pressure, but was getting picked apart. Without the pressure though, Rico just worked his own combos & evaded everything Poturak threw, so it was a no win situation for Poturak. Rico was doing a particularly good job of following the low kick with a straight to the face. Rico was showing beautiful footwork, making Poturak miss almost everything, and had brilliant timing on his low kick counters, which were quickly accruing. Poturak was moving in slow motion in the third, mostly from all the low kicks he took. Rico never really hurt Poturak, but every round was a total whitewash. Still entertaining because Rico was putting on a clinic. Above average match.

Dzhaear Askerov vs. William Diender 4R. Insane back & forth war. These two wouldn't back down, standing toe to toe & throwing one super fast, hard combo after another. Askerov throws amazingly fast punches given he's literally putting all his might into each one, though this tends to make it difficult for him to ever follow with a kick. You felt Diender should have been able to catch Askerov off balance & really rock him with a counter, but there wasn't a lot of interaction here, it was the proverbial Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots & Diender was more interested in his own combos than in timing Askerov's. Askerov hits harder & was the one who was backing the opponent up at points, though it was mostly a wild phone booth affair. Diender was cut around the right eye, & was generally getting the worst of the exchanges, though neither were really rocked, which was shocking given the speed & impact of everything they threw. Or more accurately, they were getting nailed repeatedly, but somehow that simply didn't slow them down. Diender was the faster & more accurate of the two, and perhaps because he didn't throw everything full power, his stamina held up better, though the ridiculous paced never even remotely wavered. If I had to score the rounds I'd give Askerov the 1st 2 & Diender the 3rd, but certainly neither deserved to lose, & I was thrilled to see another frenzied round of mayhem. They didn't finally slow down in the 4th, but this paved the way for Askerov to finally land some big knees late, and these blows really took the wind out of Diender & secured Askerov the decision. Match of the year candidate. Great match.

Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Mohamed Khamal. Another amazing toe to toe war. I'd say the strategy here was to trade bombs, but technically Khamal had the advantage in the center of the ring because he had more diversity, while El Hadj was good at cutting off the ring & throwing blazing fast punch combos with Khamal stuck against the ropes. El Hadj was the bigger & stronger of the two, and even Khamal's biggest strikes weren't moving him backwards. El Hadj wobbled Khamal early in the 2nd with an overhand left counter, but Khamal was firing right back. Chahid was clearly the better puncher, and man are his hands fast, but Khamal landed good kicks & knees and was staying more than competitive. This was one of the least defensive oriented fights you'll see on the surface, but both men dodged well, with Chadid doing a particularly good job of evading punches despite the close proximety they were always fighting at. These two weren't as amazingly fast as Askerov & Diender, but this was a flashier fight with more big shots landing cleanly. Chadid really began to find his rhythm in the 3rd, showing better movement & timing to either hit Khamal before he threw his combo or avoid then connect with the counters. Chadid's defense was actually pretty fantastic in the 3rd, and by being more defensive oriented he began to run away with the match by evading then nailing Khamal with big counters. Askerov vs. Diender was clearly the more competitive match, as Khamal may not have won a round, but both were non-stop out of this world action. Great match.

It's Showtime 65kg MAX World Title: Orono Vor Petchpoon vs. Atty Gol 5R. This was a rather ugly fight as Orono really wanted to fight the muay thai clinch style & was mostly grasping & grabbing then having to release then just grasping & grabbing again. They started out exchanging low kicks with southpaw Orono looking to set up the middle & high kick, but he kept closing the distance and they never came. Orono just kept coming forward & tying Gol up. Orono was landing knees, but generally just overpowering Gol with his clinch game. Gol was answering, but always stuck on his back foot. Orono wasn't really that impressive, but his aggression was winning him the rounds. Below average match.

It's Showtime 42 It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam 5/29/10 Amsterdam, NL Amsterdam Arena Part 1
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

Aschwin Balrak vs. Daniel Ghita 3R. Ghita had a big reach advantage against an opponent who wasn't a true heavyweight & was scoring from the outside with low, middle, & push kicks, but seemed overly patient here. Balrak was constantly pushing forward to close the distance, and when he was able to get inside he landed some good knees. Ghita won the 1st round, but you felt he could assert himself more & thus quell some of Balrak's pressure. Ghita instead just seemed increasingly shelled up. Balrak would take his kick to get the position he wanted (inside), & then Ghita wouldn't do enough to either win the fight on the inside or push Balrak back out. Balrak was the quicker of the two & had good head movement & some awkward fakes to keep Ghita from zoning in. You felt like Ghita should be using his size & moving Balrak back instead of fighting most of the fight with his back near the ropes, but he seemed confused by Balrak's feints where he dropped his head to one direction, & either wasn't throwing punches at all even though Balrak had a low block or was just putting out weak range keepers. Balrak's confidence kept growing, & Ghita seemed increasingly out of sorts. Balrak won the last 2 rounds just coming forward through Ghita's kick & using his speed & movement on the inside. Average match.

Murat Direkci vs. Artur Kyshenko 3R. Really high level fight where both brought their best stuff & were winning with it for lengthy periods. This speeded up an already high paced fight & added a great deal of intensity & urgency because someone always had to take their game to the next level to shift the advantage back in their favor. Direkci hunted Kyshenko down, but although he kept him against the ropes on his back foot, it was his ability to mix attacking & countering that made him so effective. Direkci would get his position & then effectively wait for a fraction of a second, either avoiding & landing back or just hitting his own combo. His timing was impeccable, & he was super accurate. Kyshenko came out energized in the 2nd, & was a different fighter, holding the center & scoring with kicks or timing Direkci coming in and landing punches. Kyshenko was throwing a bunch of high kicks, and even though most were blocked, blocking high kicks isn't fun for your arms & kept Direkci from firing back as often. Direkci kept pressing forward, figuring he'd weather the storm & pour it on once Kyshenko got tired. Kyshenko kept the high pace up in the 3rd though, throwing his high flexibility kicks. Direkci finally caught him in the corner with a minute left & busted Kyshenko open around the left eye with his punches. Direkci never lets up when he smells blood, certainly not in a fight like this where it was a round a piece, but Kyshenko got a break while they cleaned the cut & then another because Direkci caught him low, so Direkci never threatened to finish despite the all out effort. I thought this should absolute go a 4th round. Round 3 was 2/3 Kyshenko, but Direkci did the damage & had the strong finish so I would have given it to him if I had to, but Kyshenko won it 4-1. Very good match.

Leroy Kaestner vs. Gago Drago 3R. Comparatively inexperienced 21-year-old Kaestner was a big underdog in his Showtime debut, but apparently no one told him that. He did a nice of job backing away from Drago's strikes then coming right back in with his own kicks or combos. Drago was supposed to be the one countering, but it wasn't really happening. Drago was pressing too much trying to be fan friendly & pound Kaestner out, and just never seemed comfortable out there. Drago lost the 1st 2 rounds, but finally landed a brilliant spinning high kick midway through the 3rd. Drago also landed a nice spinning back kick in the 3rd. Drago won this round, but although he was clearly the harder hitter, I thought the aggression, activity, & accuracy of Kaestner was more impressive. I half expected Drago to get the decision because he's the name, but the judges had it 4-1 Kaestner. Above average match.

Rayen Simson Farewell Fight: Rayen Simson vs. Sahin Yakut 3R. Yakut relentlessly pressured the rangier Simson. Simson did well when he had space, but Yakut kept him backed against the ropes the majority of the fight & worked him over. Yakut was very consistent here, just wearing him out with combos against the ropes. It wasn't pretty, but Yakut was very effective. Below average match

It's Showtime 42 It's Showtime 2010 Amsterdam 5/29/10 Amsterdam, NL Amsterdam Arena Part 2
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

Yoshihiro Sato vs. Pajonsuk Superpro Samui 3R. Sato was at least a head taller, but wasn't using his reach. He kept plowing forward & backing Pajonsuk, but Pajonsuk was landing a lot of heavy kicks to the body & legs while Sato was basically just stalking. Even though Sato took Pajonsuk's space, Pajonsuk was quicker & avoided a lot of what Sato did actually throw. Pajonsuk was landing the majority of the blows, and he hits so much harder. Sato was completely poker faced, coming forward consistently & not reacting in the least to the big kicks that he took, but he needed to find a way to stop them or change things up because what he was doing was never working. Below average match.

Gohkan Saki vs. Melvin Manhoef. Saki throws such fast shots. He was keeping his range & mixing in a variety of single shots. His accuracy was very high, and Manhoef wasn't fast enough to defend or counter. Manhoef was seemingly starting to do a better job in the 2nd of backing Saki & setting up his punch combos, but Saki turned off the ropes & dropped him with a high kick. Saki continued with the high kicks, and even though Manhoef was blocking, he was still wobbled enough to go down again. Manhoef never really recovered, but was determined to keep blocking the high kick, so Saki stepped in and finished with a short left hook counter. Good action here, but Manhoef never got going. Saki was consistent picking him apart in the 1st and relentless once he hurt him in the 2nd. Above average match.

Lhoucine Ouzgni vs. Sem Braan 3R. Very aggressive toe to toe fight. Ouzgni had the faster, more direct, sharper, & powerful shots. Braan was throwing very fast, but fast in a rushed kinda way where his punches were more wild & loopy with too much arm & not enough core strength behind them. Braan came on in the 2nd half because Ouzgni tired & wasn't throwing enough anymore, while Braan maintained much of his early activity. Ouzgni was still landing the much heavier shots when he threw, but I thought Braan got a raw deal from the ref, as even though Ouzgni's right hand counter to Braan's step knee was crisp, in my opinion he went down because he was caught off balance & the fact he was up by 3 somewhat confirms that. Ouzgni was energized by the knockdown, but couldn't finish with his burst, & fought in spurts the rest of the round, but overall was much better in the 3rd than the 1st. Above average match.

Badr Hari vs. Hesdy Gerges R2 0:48. Hari's hand speed is amazing on it's own, but when you consider how hard he is throwing and how many punches he can chain together with regularity, it's just another level entirely. He was bombing on Gerges from the start, often with 5+ punch combos. Gerges did a good job just surviving the 1st round. Gerges wasn't conceding defeat though, he came forward in the 2nd, pressuring Hari with his kicks and trading punch combo for punch combo with him. Hari just has too much punching power though, and quickly dropped Gerges with an overhand right then classlessly kneed him when he was getting up. The crowd booed Hari's blatant cheap shot heavily & Gerges was down for a long time before being declared the winner by DQ. It's a shame Hari can't control himself. The fight was just getting good & either he was going to win quickly or Gerges was going to rise up & find a way to continue to stay in there with him. I'd lean toward the former, but I suppose it's even lamer to lose control & get yourself DQ'd for a cheap shot in a fight you are dominating.

It's Showtime 43 Fightingstars presents: It's Showtime 2010 9/12/10 Amsterdam, NL Sporthallen Zuid Part 1
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

Robin van Roosmalen vs. William Diender R3 2:30. Van Roosmalen made his It's Showtime debut in this classic war. The only thing better than having one fighter who is all out pressing forward aggression is having two of them! This was intense & brutal, as both had a very similar style they wanted to impose consistently, but they couldn't just keep throwing endlessly. The result is one fighter would come in with a great 3 or 4 strike combo then when they'd finished the other would step forward with their 3 or 4 strike combo. Van Roosmalen was quicker, more powerful, & 10 years younger, but the key difference was his ability to counter. He could either break up Diender's combo or respond with a shot or two as soon as Diender finished, catching Diender in the transition while Diender was backing away but before van Roosmalen started his actual 3-4 strike combo. This may not sound like much, but in essence, it meant van Roosmalen was probably landing 5 strikes for every 3 Diender landed. Van Roosmalen began to pull away in the 2nd by changing his combos up, now starting with the leg kick more often to drop Diender's hands so he could finish with a big hook. Diender came even harder in the 3rd because he had to being down 2 rounds, but nonetheless that was remarkable because he seemingly came all out in the 1st & 2nd and by now he'd taken so many crushing shots. Diender was walking into a lot of shots in this round because van Roosmalen knew he was coming straight in. Ultimately, it was van Roosmalen's ability to counter that finished it, as he answered Diender's jab attempt with a brutal left liver hook that bent Diender in half. Just a great debut from van Roosmalen in every way, outworking the attacking machine. Excellent match

Rachid Belaini vs. Kem Sitsongpeenong R2

Stefan Leko vs. Volkan Duzgun 3R

Rustemi Kreshnik vs. Hesdy Gerges. High paced heavyweight contest with consistent action, though ultimately somewhat one-sided. Gerges stalked Kreshnik the entire fight, keeping him backed against the ropes. For such a large man, it's extraordinary how consistently Gerges was able to score with low & middle kicks from this short range. Kresnik was active as well, but the lack of forward momentum limited the quality & even quantity of his attacks. Gerges' leg kicks increasingly took their toll, and by the final minute of round 2, Kreshnik took an 8 count just from the accumulation & was limping so badly he couldn't continue. Good match.

Chris Van Venrody vs. Mosab Amrani 3R

It's Showtime 61MAX World Title Decision Match: Sergio Wielzen vs. Michael Peynaud R2. It's weird that a fighter Vinny Shoreman has never seen comes in & gets a shot at becoming the 1st 61MAX champion, and watching the first minute & a half, you wondered what Reynaud was doing in a bout of this magnitude as everything Wielzen landed was jarring or wobbling Peynaud. It seemed Wielzen was too athletic & much too powerful, & was simply going to bully Peynaud until he crumbled. They fought a crazy pace in a hot arena, and Peynaud was able to get himself into the fight as Wielzen slowed down a little. Wielzen was gassed by the end of the 1st, and was a shell of himself in the 2nd, mostly just watching as Peynaud kept landing low kicks & hooks. Peynaud didn't have great technique, offensively he didn't really torque so there wasn't any core power in his shots, and defensively his chin was too high & his guard too low, but sometimes it's just a matter of outlasting the opposition. It looked like Peynaud was going to win this on cardio, but midway through the 2nd he got a nasty gash above his left eye from an accidental headbutt by Wielzen that caused a doctor stoppage. Personally, this should either be a no contest or you score the 2nd round based on what they had completed so then if it's a round each as it would have been it's a draw. However, they rendered a decision in a 5 round title fight based on a lone round, and thus Wielzen, who was looking dead in the water, was suddenly a clear victor. It was a fun fight while it lasted, a bit sloppy but a real high paced war in the 1st as Wielzen just went for broke.

It's Showtime 43 Fightingstars presents: It's Showtime 2010 9/12/10 Amsterdam, NL Sporthallen Zuid Part 2
& It's Showtime 44 Yiannis Evgenikos presents: It’s Showtime Athens 12/11/10 Athens, Greece Peace and Friendship Stadium
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

Gago Drago vs. Mohamed Medhar 3R. No one thought 19-year-old Medhar had much chance here, but he proved to be even more of a crazy brawler than Drago. Medhar really took it to Drago from the opening bell in this all out war. Medhar was winning the fight as long as he was attacking, as he was landing & Drago wasn't getting off. The problem is once he took a breath, Drago would begin to punish him with powerful kicks. Drago seemed a bit unsettled early on, but once he weathered the initial blitz his confidence rose because Medhar might be able to stifle him momentarily by keeping him on his back foot, but he wasn't going to be able to just keep blitzing him the whole fight, so Drago could wait him out & fill in the gaps with the more powerful shots. Drago was very accurate, and as his chopping low kicks & step knees began to add up, Medhar slowed down & was able to be pushed back. Drago was looking surgical for most of the 2nd round, really taking over after Medhar's initial push, but Medhar dropped him with a right hook with 15 seconds left in the round. Drago was lucky the round was essentially over by the time he got up because he was in trouble. Still, he was hurting on the scorecards because what was presumably going to be an even fight going into the third was now more likely 20-17 Medhar. The third round was tremendous as Medhar came out trying to finish Drago off & Drago came out going for broke because he needed a knockout. Medhar's conditioning was tremendous because his offense was all exhausting, pushing so hard all fight to keep Drago from coming forward, but also most of what Drago landed should have been taking Medhar's wind (body) or mobility (legs). Medhar was going to risk it with Drago rather than with the judges, not going to back off or let Drago get into his comfort zone, as that was already working poorly in the 2nd. Medhar's hand speed was also impressive, as he was kind of able to beat Drago to the punch to the point that Drago was, by his all out aggressive standards, waiting for the opening much too often. Medhar had a big flurry of punches in the corner 2 minutes into the 3rd & thought he knocked Drago down with a high kick, but it was questionably ruled a slip as Drago was backpedalling quickly against the ropes. Drago answered by pushing forward for most of the last minute, but his attrition wasn't enough & he wasn't landing the type of blows that would finish in an instant as Medhar was defending his high kicks. Medhar's 3rd round strategy proved warranted as although I had him winning every round, he still only got 4 of the 5 judges. Excellent match.

Rico Verhoeven vs. Ricardo van den Bos 3R.

Lhoucine Ouzoni vs. Nieky Holzken

12/11/10

Andy Souwer vs. Pajonsuk SuperPro Samui 3R

It's Showtime 70MAX World Title Match: Chris Ngimbi vs. Murat Direcki 5R

It's Showtime 44 Yiannis Evgenikos presents: It’s Showtime Athens 12/11/10 Athens, Greece Peace and Friendship Stadium
-1 1/2hr. Q=Perfect

It's Showtime 61MAX World Title Match: Sergio Wielzen vs. Masahiro Yamamoto R3. Yamamoto was really quick & nimble. He dominated at range, able to land a fast inside leg kick from either stance & avoid counterfire. Wielzen was loading up for the big shot early, but Yamamoto's reactions were too sharp for that. Seeing this, Wielzen began to blitz Yamamoto late in the 1st round, and now Yamamoto's defensive skills were minimal because Wielzen was on him with one blow after another before he could step away or reestablish the distance to dodge. Wielzen put Yamamoto down with a step knee to the body with 20 seconds left in the round. Though Wielzen had the key to victory, he didn't have the energy to just keep charging & throwing combination after combination, and Yamamoto is also a good fighter who made adjustments to prevent that, employing even more movement & using front & side kicks to maintain distance. I felt Wielzen was giving Yamamoto too much respect. Yamamoto is has talent to be certain, but he's not going to finish you with one shot, and allowing him to operate at his distance was what in my opinion lost Wielzen the 2nd round. Wielzen was just too content to adjust to Yamamoto, throwing a mix of right low, middle, & high kicks, but again, from range Yamamoto was able to react in time to block most of what he needed to. Wielzen had a lot more power, & seemed confident in his ability to finish Yamamoto sooner or later. He was more active at distance in the 3rd, but again just wouldn't pull the trigger on the rush. Wielzen was winning a close round when Yamamoto was slashed across the eyelid. It was hard to tell which weather it was a toe, a knee, or the glove that cut him, but this isn't Rocky, so the fight was immediately stopped for bleeding into the eye. It was enjoyable seeing how these two different styles came together, and how each adjusted to what the other was doing. I think Wielzen would have won anyway if not for the dissapointing cut because he was a lot more powerful, but I felt he made it too much of a chess match for his own good. Good match.

Wendell Roche vs. Andonis Tzoros 3R

Tomas Hron vs. Alexey Ignashov 3R

Andy Souwer vs. Pajonsuk SuperPro Samui 3R

It's Showtime 70MAX World Title Match: Chris Ngimbi vs. Murat Direcki 5R

It's Showtime 44 Athens 12/11/10 Athens, Greece Peace and Friendship Stadium
-2 1/2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Rafal Dudek 3R

Yavuz Kayabasi vs. Gago Drago 3R

It's Showtime 61MAX World Title Match: Sergio Wielzen vs. Masahiro Yamamoto R3

Tomas Hron vs. Alexey Ignashov 3R

Andy Souwer vs. Pajonsuk SuperPro Samui 3R

It's Showtime 70MAX World Title Match: Chris Ngimbi vs. Murat Direcki 5R

It's Showtime 46 Fightingstars presents: It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid 3/6/11 Amsterdam, NL Sporthallen Zuid
-2hr. Q=Perfect

Robin van Roosmalen vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj

Rachid Belaini vs. William Diender

Danyo Ilunga vs. Wendell Roche

Artur Kyshenko vs. Gago Drago

Andy Souwer vs. L'houcine Ouzgni

Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges

It's Showtime 49 It's Showtime 2011 5/21/11 Amsterdam, NED
& It's Showtime 52 Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament 9/24/11 Brussels, Belgium Forest National
-2hr. Q=Perfect/Perfect/Ex

5/21/11

85kg World Title Decision Match: Sahak Parparyan vs. Amir Zeyada. Excellent

Hesdy Gerges vs. Chris Knowles. Average

9/24/11

Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament Quarterfinals: Murat Direkci vs. Chris Ngimbi. Very Good.

Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament Quarterfinals: Robin van Roosmalen vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj. Very Good.

Superfight: Yassin Baitar vs. Marat Grigorian. Above Average.

MPW 12/9/96: Sekigun vs. DX Elimination Match: The Great Sasuke & Gran Hamada & Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa & Tiger Mask IV vs. Dick Togo & Men's Teio & TAKA Michinoku & Shiryu & Shoichi Funaki

It's Showtime 50 BFN Group presents: It's Showtime Warsaw 6/11/11 Warsaw, PL Warszawskie Centrum EXPO XXI
-2hr. Q=Perfect

Errol Koning vs. Murthel Groenhart 3R

Revanho Blokland vs. Marco Vlieger 3R

Hafid El Boustati vs. Piotr Woznicki 3R

It's Showtime 95MAX World Title Match: Danyo Ilunga vs. Nenad Pagonis R4

Rafal Dudek vs. Michal Glogowski 3R

Erhan Deniz vs. Daniel Ghita R2

It's Showtime 51 It's Showtime Madrid 2011 6/18/11 Madrid, SP Palacio de Deportes
--1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

Murthel Groenhart vs. Rafi Zouheir R1 2:16. Murthel just overwhelmed Rafi with his relentless pressure. Rafi would be backed into the ropes in a few seconds, and then Groenhart would unload with huge shots until Zouheir was on the canvas. I thought he was done after both the first and second knockdowns, but Rafi wouldn't give up, even though he wanted to.

It's Showtime 61KG MAX World Title Match: Karim Bennoui vs. Javier Hernandez 5R. A truly high class title fight. Both fighters were very impressive, giving it their all and then some, and having their moments. Fierce leg kicking early, especially from Hernandez, mixing inside and outside kicks. The larger Bennoui had a bit more weight of shot, but Hernandez was the aggressor and kept getting off first. Bennoui threw and landed less, but countered accurately and effectively. Hernandez turned it on at the end of the first, and tried to continue to push the pace to start the 2nd, but got dropped with a right hook counter. The fight got really good from here, as Bennoui pressured for the finish, but Hernandez refused to give any ground, answering everything with his fists. Hernandez got into a groove with his fists, and wound up taking back over by the end of the round to arguably negate the extra point Bennoui earned for the knockdown. Round 3 was somewhat a reversal of round 2 with Hernandez getting the knockdown with the right, but Bennoui then firing up and refusing to give ground, but in the end, Hernandez owned this round. Bennoui was really under pressure in the 4th and 5th, as Hernandez had him against the ropes the majority of the time. Bennoui was taking more than he was giving, but considering he had nowhere to back away, he did quite a good job of circling off and landing a counter before Hernandez was right back on him. Very good match.

Abraham Roqueni vs. Gago Drago 3R. Drago was much more physically imposing and was chasing Roqueni down relentlessly, but Roqueni moved so well, keeping out of range so Drago never actually fired. Roqueni would stop to land a combo and then get back on his horse before Drago could answer. I don't want to make it sound like Roqueni was running, rather this was a high quality good action fight where Drago doing everything in his power to be all over Roqueni, but it was Roqueni who had the fancy footwork and was controlling the distance to get his attacks in without getting smothered. Roqueni's left high kick is his weapon, but he mixes the left kicks and knees very well, and overall just kept overaggressive Drago off balance and guessing. Drago needed to either close the distance quicker and grab Roqueni or put out a jab or low kick from distance to try to create an opening because Roqueni just kept using his footwork and Drago's pressure against him to pick him apart. Drago made a little headway when he started throwing a body hook to get inside, but Roqueni still won the 2nd round. Drago fought with urgency in the 3rd, coming forward quicker and actually letting the big shots fly. Roqueni finally began to slow from the relentless pressure, but while Drago finally landed some quality shots, he didn't come close to the knockdown he needed to even the fight. Good match.

Tyrone Spong vs. Loren Javier Jorge 3R. Spong stood in the center of the ring and looked for the killer shot. Jorge came out moving well and showing flashy techniques, though also only single shots, but one huge liver punch from Spong slowed his output for the next minute. Spong began to move forward in the 2nd, closing the distance and working the body over with knees until he got the knockdown. Jorge still had his moments, but the weight of shot from Spong was just too much. Jorge went back to being the aggressor in the 3rd, and was trying anything and everything, even the jump spinning high kick. Spong slowed down considerably in the 3rd, and wasn't using his left hand, which he probably injured. Spong still had some good knees, but didn't have the same success because Jorge was the one controlling the distance. Jorge did enough to win the 3rd, but not the fight. Above average match.

It's Showtime 52 Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament 9/24/11 Brussels, Belgium Forest National
-1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament Semifinal: Artur Kyshenko vs. Andy Souwer

It’s Showtime 77kg World Title Match: Murthel Groenhart vs. Artem Levin

Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament Semifinal: Chris Ngimbi vs. Robin van Roosmalen

Superfight: Moises Baute vs. Rustemi Kreshnik

Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament Final: Artur Kyshenko vs. Robin van Roosmalen

It's Showtime 53 11/12/11 Tenerife, SPA Pabellon Santiago Martín
-2hr. Q=Perfect

Jonay Risco vs. Andy Ristie

Murthel Groenhart vs. Darryl Sichtman

Amir Zeyada vs. Moises Ruibal

Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Zeben Diaz

It's Showtime 95MAX World Title Match: Danyo Ilunga vs. Loren Javier Jorge 3R. Fast start, but before long they settled into Ilunga dominating at an average pace by scoring from the outside with jabs and low kicks then landing knees down the middle when he closed the distance. Ilunga must have thrown at least 3 times as many shots as Jorge, landing regularly. Jorge showed a good left hook counter early on, but was too content to stay on the outside, which with the reach disadvantage was close to mid-range for Ilunga but essentially too far for Jorge. Ilunga was bringing the knee to the body, and as the fight progressed to the head, and just as with everything else, Loren was too overmatched to know what to do, so his answer was to continue getting dismantled without changing anything. Jorge hurt his left upper arm or shoulder early in the 4th, going down more because of that than Ilunga's blow, but he was able to use it once he got back up. Jorge even had a good overhand right in the last minute of the round, but wasn't able to follow up. Above average match.

Sergio Wielzen vs. Carlos Reyes R1. Good action while it lasted. Reyes took a big overhand right amidst a flurry of action. Wielzen soon hurt Reyes with a knee, leaving Reyes kind of out on his feet when Wielzen clobbered him with a left to drop him before the ref did anything. Reyes was cut badly around the left eye from the punch, so the doctor put him out of his misery.

It's Showtime 53 11/12/11 Tenerife, SPA Pabellon Santiago Martín
& It's Showtime 55 1/28/12 Leeuwarden, NED WTC Expo
-1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

11/12/11

It's Showtime 95MAX World Title Match: Danyo Ilunga vs. Loren Javier Jorge 3R. Fast start, but before long they settled into Ilunga dominating at an average pace by scoring from the outside with jabs and low kicks then landing knees down the middle when he closed the distance. Ilunga must have thrown at least 3 times as many shots as Jorge, landing regularly. Jorge showed a good left hook counter early on, but was too content to stay on the outside, which with the reach disadvantage was close to mid-range for Ilunga but essentially too far for Jorge. Ilunga was bringing the knee to the body, and as the fight progressed to the head, and just as with everything else, Loren was too overmatched to know what to do, so his answer was to continue getting dismantled without changing anything. Jorge hurt his left upper arm or shoulder early in the 4th, going down more because of that than Ilunga's blow, but he was able to use it once he got back up. Jorge even had a good overhand right in the last minute of the round, but wasn't able to follow up. Above average match.

Sergio Wielzen vs. Carlos Reyes R1. Good action while it lasted. Reyes took a big overhand right amidst a flurry of action. Wielzen soon hurt Reyes with a knee, leaving Reyes kind of out on his feet when Wielzen clobbered him with a left to drop him before the ref did anything. Reyes was cut badly around the left eye from the punch, so the doctor put him out of his misery.

1/28/12

Anderson "Bradock" Silva vs. Michael Duut 3R. Whoever got off first was landing 2/3 of their combo, but Silva quickly realized this, and made sure he was the one stepping forward and attacking. All too often, Duut found himself in the mode of throwing just to try to keep Silva off him. Silva had a big 2nd round, firing up when Duut bloodied his nose and dropping Duut with a 4 punch combo then again with a left high kick. Silva didn't press for the finish, just staying cool and calm throughout, knowing that if he kept coming at Duut with high level combos he'd win one way or another. Good action throughout, but not really a competitive fight in the 2nd half. Above average match.

Errol Zimmerman vs. Rico Verhoeven 1R. Zimmerman just has too much power in his fists if he connects cleanly, which he did early on, finishing a 4 punch combo with a brutal left uppercut Rico didn't seem coming for the KO.

Robin van Roosmalen vs. Murat Direkci 3R. A high quality power vs. technique fight where both dominated when they were in their own element. Veteran Direkci was too intelligent and technical for Roosmalen when the fight was at a normal pace, giving him time to pick Robin apart with combos. Roosmalen had the huge power advantage, and landed the majority of the big damaging blows in the fight, but he had to apply major pressure and create chaos in order to score at all. Roosmalen was in good shape, but still was only able to have a couple of these explosive flurries per round, and the rest of the time Direkci picked him off coming in and used the push kick to knock him back and maintain his distance. Roosmalen caught Direkci with a big left hook midway through the 2nd, and though Murat quickly answered with a knee, it was slightly a Roosmalen round with Murat's eye cut & swollen. Direkci's tactics and ring smarts were again too much for Roosmalen for the majority of the 3rd. It seemed like Direcki won at least 4/5 of the fight, but Roosmalen's fists are so deadly that he was able to take away rounds with 30 seconds or a minute of crazy slugging. Direkci was a minute from taking the fight 2-1 when an accidental headbutt caused heavy bleeding from his cheek. Roosmalen got a final wind while the doctor was cleaning the cut up, and used this energy to blitz Murat for most of the last minute to edge the victory. Despite nearly defeating the phenom who made such a great impression winning the Fast & Furious 70kg Max Tournament on 9/24/11, Direkci's 3rd consecutive loss prompted a retirement announcement (though he's since fought in GLORY). Good match.

It's Showtime 54 1/28/12 Leeuwarden, NED WTC Expo
-1hr 30min. Q=Perfect

Andy Ristie vs. HINATA R1 1:58. Ristie's hand speed and general reaction time was just at a far higher level. It was like Ristie was in fast forward while seeing everything Watanabe was trying to do in slow motion. Ristie blitzed HINATA from the outset, blowing him back with a front kick at the bell and knocking him down in the corner 7 seconds into the fight. HINATA tried to get his low kicks going, but Ristie immediately timed him and dropped him. The ref finally stopped it after the 4th knockdown in 2 minutes.

It's Showitme 73 kg MAX Title Match: Yohan Lidon vs. L'houcine Ouzgni 5R. Surprisngly lackluster title match as the champ just didn't show up. Ouzgni had the reach and the speed, so he was able to land his kicks from distance, backing Lidon into the ropes where he'd pick him apart mixing knees with punches to the body and head. Lidon shouldn't have been this outclassed, but he was looking mighty sluggish after a tough weight cut. Lidon finally started defending himself and even coming forward in R3, but not enough to even get himself into the match, and he fated back into his shell down the stretch. Ouzgni won every round. Poor match.

Sahak Parparyan vs. Mourad Bouzidi 3R. Intense fight from the get go that just kept getting better with great combos back and forth throughout. Sahak was giving up 4kg having moved up from 85kg, but wasn't at all intimidated by Bouzidi's size and strength, coming forward as always. Sahak's hand speed was far superior, but he was a little too in love with the idea of landing the big KO punch to capitalize on his foot speed and movement advantages. That made for a great fire fight though, so I'm not going to complain. Bouzidi was holding his ground in R2 if not coming forward, and kept catching Sahak with powerful low kicks when he was backing out. Bouzidi seemed to be taking over through his aggression, but Sahak wobbled him with a right hand, earning him the 2nd round. Bouzidi went for the KO in R3 knowing he was down 2 rounds, and Sahak was more than happy to exchange bombs with him. Bouzidi got an 8 count when he stopped because his eye was injured, which appeared to be a good call as I couldn't see anything illegal from Sahak. I gave Sahak all 3 rounds, but this was a hell of fight for a shutout. 1 of the 5 judges did somehow give it to Bouzidi. Very good match.

Tyrone Spong vs. Melvin Manhoef 3R. Spong was the much bigger fighter, and was able to keep the pressure on all night. Manhoef blocked high, so Spong just picked him apart with low kicks. Manhoef answered with low kicks in the 2nd, and looked to set up the overhand right, particularly as a counter. However, Spong was just able to back him into the ropes too easily, and then he'd punch around or through the block, or bring a big knee down the middle. Manhoef was forced to open up, but he wasn't very accurate, and was never able to do more than momentarily keep Spong off him. Spong won a unanimous decision. Above average match.

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