Big-name kickboxers have a spotty history when it comes to transitioning to MMA; for every Cro Cop demolishing everything in his way, you have a Stefan Leko getting outstruck by a grappler. Recently, Pat Barry has found success with a truly freakish combination of speed and power, but despite being Mirko's spiritual successor, he hasn't inherited his trademark sprawl.
As it turns out, there are a couple more tough guys who want to slip on the 4-oz. gloves and get into the cage.
Cosmo Alexandre, while not too big of a name, is a nasty Muay Thai specialist with a very respectable record of 39-12, including a win over fan-favorite John Wayne Parr. In 2009, he won the WMC King's Cup with three consecute (T)KOs, including two via low kick. Most recently, he dropped a highly-disputed decision to "Contender: Asia" winner Yodsanklai Fairtex in the finals of the 2010 incarnation of said tournament.
Cosmo, who turns 29 this year, boasts 19 knockouts and has fought everywhere from 72.5-77 gg (159.5-169.4 pounds). Currently, he holds the It's Showtime 77 kg title, which he has defended once. A couple of days ago, he spoke to Head Kick Legend about a possible move/dalliance into MMA. He told HKL that he was training with the likes of Gabriel Gonzaga at Team Link to ensure that he isn't completely hopeless on the ground
Unfortunately, Cosmo suffers from the same problem plaguing prospects like Ewerton Teixeira: he's extremely good, but isn't a big name. People just plain don't want to fight him.
If a lot of this sounds bland, it's because it is. I've endeavored to learn more about the K-1 MAX-sized fighters like Zambidis, Buakaw, Souwer, and Sato; I only discovered Cosmo recently and don't know too much about him.
I do know that he is one of the elite at his weight and has a fight lined up with Giorgio Petrosyan, the best pound-for-pound kickboxer on the planet (67-1 against the likes of Zambo, Kraus, and Souwer). It would be interesting to see him shake up the lightweight or welterweight divisions.
Cosmo Alexandre HL by OMT (via saeksan)
This guy I AM familiar with. If you don't know anything about Gokhan Saki, watch this and then come back. I'll wait.
Gökhan "The Rebel" Saki Highlight 2011 (SW) (via StillW1ll)
In a word, Saki is a freak. He's got crazy speed, solid power, and some of the sweetest combinations I've ever seen. While you may know him as "that guy Overeem beat in the semis", Saki was coming off a four-round war with leg-kick master Daniel Ghita, who doesn't so much "beat" opponents as disassemble them. The two traded so many leg and body kicks that any lesser man would have been crawling out of the ring and peeing blood halfway through the second.
Anyway, Saki survived that and faced Overeem with a broken right hand. He was even taking it to Alistair (despite being hideously outweighed), knocking him down with a mind-blowing spinning heel kick and backing him up with just his left before Overeem kicked his busted arm and beat up his ribs.
Saki, a Golden Glory fighter, has expressed considerable interest in joining Strikeforce as a light-heavyweight. While it wouldn't be his debut (he dropped a TKO to James Zikic in 2004), this excites me to no end; he's only 27, has 53 knockouts in every conceivable fashion (low kicks, high kicks, body shots), has beaten the likes of Melvin Manhoef, Tyrone Spong, and the aforementioned Ghita, and has a crazy overall record of 73-14.
In a word, kid can fight. Check out his WGP Final 16 fight with Freddy Kemayo:
Gökhan Saki Vs Freddy Kemayo 2010 (via alevihomeboy)
Check out the wicked uppercut-hook combos when he has Freddy hurt. At one point, you can even see him reach out, push Kemayo's left hand down with his left, then clock him with a right before he has time to get it back up. It is literally a joy to watch Gokhan fight.
While my enthusiasm is guarded (see Sefo vs. V. Overeem for why), the idea seeing either of these men on the big stage, throwing leather in puny little gloves, makes me a happy panda.
At least enough to take my mind off K-1 going down the financial toilet.