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Bellator Embraces Kickboxing by Signing Paul Daley and Melvin Manhoef

When we said that Scott Coker joining Bellator would be a good thing for the sport of kickboxing we weren't lying. In fact, Scott Coker's involvement with the sport of MMA again only opens the door to more good things down the line. Fans have already been clamoring for GLORY and Bellator crossovers, which might not happen just yet, but we know that there have been some very unofficial talks between the two parties. There has at least been a dialogue. 

So the start of it, in some form, has come. Today Bellator announced the signing of two Kickboxing talents who also have made their names in MMA by the way of Paul Daley and Melvin Manhoef. Paul Daley has been fighting in kickboxing throughout 2014 and the man is just an animal, with it being announced that he signed to K-1 a few months ago, although he has yet to fight for the promotion. The other signing in Melvin Manhoef doesn't have to be explained. Manhoef was just involved in GLORY's Last Man Standing Middleweight tournament and has a long, rich history from K-1 and MMA. 

Interestingly enough, in the original release from Bellator the name K-1 was mentioned in regards to Melvin, but not GLORY.

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It's Improbable That Tyrone Spong Can Fight for the UFC Any Time Soon

The news today out of UFC's event in Dublin was that Tyrone Spong was in attendance (we already knew that from his seminar schedule) and that he spoke with Dana White, asking for a one-fight deal to fight for the UFC in Dublin, Ireland. Dana White reported this during the post-fight press conference to illustrate the point of everyone wanting to fight for the UFC in Dublin thanks to what was a rather crazy, raucous crowd. This has the MMA world chattering about Tyrone Spong and fantasy booking him in the UFC already.

Well, hold on a minute. 

Tyrone Spong is signed by both GLORY Sports International and World Series of Fighting, GLORY for kickboxing and WSoF for MMA. The GLORY deal came first and while they are open to allowing fighters to work outside of GLORY, there are restrictions. I have seen some GLORY contracts from a while ago and heard about more recent ones. Most, not all, include clauses about taking outside bookings, such as they must be approved through GLORY's management prior to accepting them, with some restrictions. One of those restrictions? That the UFC was out of the question. 

It's not clear what Spong's contract status is with GLORY at the moment, but one would have to think that he's still under contract and since he's one of their better-paid athletes, that they have a long-term, binding contract in place with Spong. So, not to dash your hopes and dreams, but it's pretty unlikely at the moment. Sorry.

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Lion Fight 18: Yodsanklai Fairtex and Jorina Baars Defending Belts.

Lion Fight 18 will take place on September 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. They announced today here that it will include Yodsanklai Fairtex and Jorina Baars defending their Lion Fight World Titles.

Yodsanklai Fairtex won his World Title at Lion Fight 10 a year ago with a unanimous decision over Chike Lindsay. He hasn't lost a fight since November 2011 and has looked like a rejuvenated man since then. Yodsanklai has been showing up in the best shape he has ever been in, and his skills have looked very sharp. I have actually spoke with a few fighters that have fought Yod and they all have the same thing to say, "it's never a good time, and its the hardest left kick I have ever felt." In my opinion Yodsanklai is one of the most exciting and skilled fighters out of Thailand and I'm glad they are finally bringing him back to the US to defend his title, now I wonder who they will match him with. I can't think of anyone on the Lion Fight middleweight roster at the moment that is going to pose a threat to that title.

Jorina Baars shocked the world by beating Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino at Lion Fights 14 on March 28th of this year. Cyborg was the favourite and not only did Baars win, but she dropped her several times with perfect knees and kicks to show who was the better Muay Thai fighter. She fought a great fight against an opponent who was physically a lot stronger by keeping her away with her long kicks and dominating most of the fight for the unanimous decision win. Jorina is confident that no matter who Lion Fights puts in front of her on September 5th she will take care of them as she did Cyborg and retain her Welterweight title.

This is one Lion Fights card I am actually looking forward too, Yodsanklai is one of my favourite Muay Thai fighters, and Baars left a huge impression on me her last fight, I can't imagine a card with both these incredible fighters not being one of their best shows yet.

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Watch Today's TATNEFT Event in Its Entirety

It's Friday and it's been a slow week for kickboxing, so why not spend whatever is left of your sanity by sitting down and enjoying some dudes kicking and punching each other in the face, right? Right. There was a TATNEFT Cup event today and sure, we could just write out results, but they put the whole thing up on the internet, so we should just buckle down and all watch it together. 

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