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Yokkao-Sponsored Nieky Holzken Successful in Boxing Ring

  • Published in Europe

Nieky Holzken, sporting Yokkao trunks, made his successful return to the boxing ring yesterday after about a year away. Holzken stepped into the ring in the Netherlands at Golden Glory Helmond against Ismael Altintas, whom he made short work of in round two. Holzken was proudly sporting his Yokkao trunks in the ring as he moved on to 5-0 as a professional with Yokkao promoter Stefania Picelli and BeNeLux Yokkao distributor Peter Wetzer at ringside to provide support. 

It looks like Holzken is over that injury from the car accident and might be back in kickboxing action in the very near future as well, with us knowing that he has his eyes on Joseph Valtellini and that GLORY Welterweight Championship. Yokkao's next event is a double-header, Yokkao 10 and 11 on October 11th. Expect to see Liam Harrison, Kongsak, Pakorm, Jordan Watson, Piscitello, Crice and more in action on October 11th.

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Glory 19: A New Way Forward?

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

What I love most about the kickboxing community—and what I think redeems us regardless of what happens in the industry—is that we are all diehard fans of the sport who share a strong sense of ownership of it as well as a desire to see it succeed. This comes across very clearly in Joe Schilling’s recent appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast as well as Glory bigwig Ivan Farneti’s tweets and interviews—and hopefully, our work here at LiverKick. As writers, we’ve seen the sport go through challenging times and make many a false comeback, which poses great difficulty from an editorial standpoint. On the one hand, we feel obligated and committed to supporting the sport especially when it’s struggling to survive, which in the past—speaking for myself—has led me to cheerlead at the expense of my own personal doubts. 2011 was a particularly tumultuous year; I remember arguing passionately on the dark corners of the Internet that It’s Showtime would save kickboxing even when it became increasingly clear that the Dutch organization didn’t have the resources to do so. To this day I’m not entirely sure if I really believed it could, but at the time, when kickboxing seemed to be losing its last hope for legitimacy, it seemed like the right thing to believe. On the other hand, I think that willfully overlooking blatant problems and trying to paint a falsely optimistic picture of reality is dishonest. If these seem like conflicting motives, it’s because they are, and it’s why I support Glory today while still joining in the fandom’s shared confusion and doubt when it breaks its promises and disappears for three months.

Having said all of that, I believe Glory deserves all the credit in the world for what it accomplished in Virginia Beach at Glory 19. Something just felt right this time. The product finally showed signs of maturity, of beginning to break through its veil of obscurity into the peripheral consciousness of mainstream sports. For once, there was talk of Glory on combat sports blogs that was spontaneous and organic rather than forced—and genuine interest in fighters like Joe Schilling, Raymond Daniels, and Nieky Holzken. Glory turned in its second-highest ratings of all time—coming off of a 3 month hiatus! The Virginia Beach audience seemed energized and alive as if they actually knew what they had come to see. The fights and fighters delivered on every level, showcasing the intensity and technique of kickboxing to viewers tuning in for the first time. Even Mike Tyson seemed genuinely impressed, more so than he was probably paid to be.

Glory 19 set the tone of how it should conduct itself in 2015. If excess was the fault of Glory in its first two years of operations, then new CEO Jon Franklin is to be commended for making strategic and calculated decision-making Glory’s new credo. First, let’s talk Glory’s choice of venues. Since its return in October of 2014, Glory has targeted smaller, affordable venues in cheaper domestic markets over more prestigious venues in expensive locales such as Madison Square Garden. In addition to the cost of the venues themselves, touring through smaller communities has likely saved on lodging expenses and is likely a boon from a promotional standpoint through low cost grassroots partnerships with local gyms and media outlets. This is the model that regional pro wrestling has followed for decades and seems like the appropriate strategy for Glory at this point.

Next, let’s talk about the match-ups. What started out as a decent fight card with Rico Verhoeven, Errol Zimmerman, and Nieky Holzken turned into an event that was stacked from top to bottom, with later additions Joe Schilling and Andy Ristie considerably elevating the profile of Glory’s return to SpikeTV. Adding Schilling in particular was a smart move, capitalizing on his highly publicized knockout of Melvin Manhoef in MMA. It seems that Glory has finally realized the value of keeping its exciting fighters in the limelight and that it can put together a stacked fight card and deliver top tier entertainment without having to shell out for big ticket fighters like Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong, something which Jon Franklin indicated as a shift in strategy last year. The new approach is more economical and still effective, and while it may indicate an end to huge fighter paydays for now, it will help provide Glory with the staying power to find prosperity in the future.

Glory 19 also signaled a shift in Glory’s efforts to expand its fanbase, including new gimmicks like adding Mike Tyson as an “analyst” and featuring an amateur fight between two active military servicemen. While people may have mixed feelings about this, I interpret it as Glory seizing opportunities for self-promotion. The aggressiveness of these tactics is a welcome change, and as a fledgling promotion, it is precisely the style of marketing that it should have adopted from the start. Glory made a strong play to associate its brand with familiar things that people take seriously, from Iron Mike to the welfare of military veterans, and in both instances Glory put its fighters front and center. The veteran commercials in particular were a brilliant touch because they asserted that Glory exists in the real world rather than the void of late-night television. From this perspective, booking Goldberg could turn out to be a savvy move.

This is encouraging stuff from Glory, and the fact that Glory is still being talked about on the web demonstrates that its new strategies are working. The ratings are also encouraging, and with rumors circulating of SpikeTV planning a stronger push back into combat sports, the future may begin to look up for kickboxing. That said, it is up to Glory to keep the momentum going; it has had promising starts in the past only for long hiatuses to kill the hype. Dubai is an interesting destination for Glory in April, perhaps representing increased international interest and investment in the brand. That said, given Glory’s astute move to Friday nights, it will be interesting to see how the significant time zone difference between the United States and the Middle East will be negotiated.

 

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Nieky Holzken vs. Marc De Bonte Set for GLORY 16 Denver

  • Published in Glory

Holzken

On May 3rd in Denver, Colorado the stage has been set for GLORY 16 Denver. We already know that it will feature a Heavyweight contender tournament on the card, now we also know that there will be a GLORY World Championship fight on the card as well. Nikey Holzken vs. Marc de Bonte is set for May 3rd according to Holzken. This fight was originally slated for GLORY 14 Zagreb but was pulled and replaced by the GLORY Lightweight Championship fight.

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Best Of Glory On Spike TV, Tell Your Friends!

  • Published in Glory

Spike TV will be showing a one hour long segment on the best of Glory at 11pm ET/8pm PT right after Bellator's live show. For people who are already Glory Kickboxing fans this is a good time to watch some of the most exciting fights and hardest knockouts to excite you for their next event. It's also a good time to invite your die hard UFC fan boy friends to come and watch real excitement. There is no way that a fan of any combat sports will not enjoy one hour of Glory's best moments, from five round wars, to first round jumping, spinning heel kick knock outs Glory has it all.

This a perfect time for all the Kickboxing fans to support kickboxing and spread the word about Glory, it's free, one hour long and just enough time to get everyone hooked.

Check out Spike TV's Glory Page for extra information.

 

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Glory Releases Full Glory 2 Brussels Card

  • Published in Glory

Glory Sports International have given the fans full access to Glory 2 in Brussels, Belgium from October 6, 2012. This event had no tournament, but it was stacked with top name super fights like Remy Bonjasky, Gokhan Saki, and Nieky Holzken just to name a few. Remy Bonjasky came out of retirement to earn a hard fought victory over Anderson "Braddock" Silva by decision after an extra round. Murthel Groenhart showed everyone how vicious he can be with huge knee to the face of Marc de Bonte to put him out cold, and Mark Miller showed why he should no longer be in the kickboxing ring. Overall it was a great show, and now its free for everyone to watch and enjoy.

Here is the full playlist of the show.

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Aleksandr Stetcurenko Replaces Murthel Groenhart in GLORY 19 Tournament

  • Published in Glory

It looks like Nieky Holzken has a new opponent after Murthel Groenhart was stopped just this past weekend at the Kunlun event in China. That new opponent in the GLORY Welterweight Contender's tournament will be none other than Aleksandr Stetcurenko. Stetcurenko is 1-1 in GLORY, with a loss to Karapet Karapetyan and a win over Kharim Ghajji from GLORY 13 Tokyo. 

Stetcurenko remained active last year going 1-1 outside of GLORY, picking up a win over Sergey Parchinsky in Moscow back in September. 

This is a tough break for Murthel, who took the fight in China to remain active, but was knocked out and became an issue for him moving forward with the GLORY event next month. It should be noted that headliner Rico Verhoeven was on the same card and did lose his fight, being dropped twice, but was not knocked out like Murthel was.

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Are We Too Confident Holzken Will Win?

  • Published in Glory

(C) Glory Sports International

There is no reason to doubt Holzken. Since 2010 he has been nearly unstoppable, punishing and brutalizing everyone placed in front of him like a well-groomed, excessively tattooed steamroller. The unfortunate wisdom awaiting his opponents on tape to prepare against him is not if he will knock you out but often when and whether it will arrive via left body hook or driving right cross. However, the surprise of an upset ensures that it will never die in our collective imagination and there have been a lot to relish inside and outside of kickboxing the last few years, and no doubt as they have a place in our memories for their defiance of our expectations, they should also be evoked to inform our interpretations of similarly considered mismatches.

No one, to my knowledge, has faithfully articulated a rationale argument for anyone other than Holzken to prevail tonight at Glory 19. Fraser Coffeen of Bloody Elbow, for example elevated the ability of Holzken’s first round opponent, Alexander Stetsurenko, to the standard of withstanding Holzken’s punishment for the full three rounds, yet did not forward the realistic possibility he would pull out the win.

Understandable.

Predictions are meant to be logical. It is the only way to survive.

And despite the proliferation of upsets recently and within the last few years, they do not become any more logical. Thus the only reasonable conclusion is that Holzken demolishes his opposition tonight per his superior craft and power, for once an expectation becomes reasonable it ceases to be an upset.

Chances are Holzken sends everyone out on stretchers, and then, to the salivating imaginations of fight fans everywhere, turns his attention to his assured rematch against Valtellini, but it should be considered far from a guarantee.

It might be wise for us to learn that by now, even if we’re destined to be wrong. 

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Nieky Holzken Forced Out of GLORY 16 Title Fight

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 16

One of the big bouts at GLORY 16 Denver was scheduled to be Nieky Holzken vs. Marc de Bonte, but it looks like Nieky Holzken will be forced to pull out of his fight with de Bonte yet again. It turns out that Holzken was involved in a car accident in January, which injured his shoulder. Holzken has been working through the injury, but upon a doctor's recommendation he will not compete in May at GLORY 16 Denver against de Bonte.

As they say, though, the show much go on. Marc de Bonte will still have a chance at being crowned the first ever GLORY Welterweight Champion as he will square off against Karapet Karapetyan with the winner walking away as the first ever GLORY Welterweight Champion. Both men are coming off of wins, Karapetyan against Artur Kyshenko and de Bonte against L'houcine Ouzgni last April.

Of course, GLORY 15 goes down on Saturday live from Istanbul if you are outside of America, in America it will air on Spike TV at 9pm Eastern.

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Video: Nieky Holzken Pre-Fight Interview for Glory 19

  • Published in Glory

Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia will include a 4 man Welterweight tournament where we will finally get to see the return of Nieky "The Natural" Holzken. Holzken believes he is already the champion considering he knocked out current champion Joseph Valtellini and has expressed the fact that he is surprised he still has to go through a tournament to fight for the belt again.

He was on the sidelines last year and couldn't compete in Glory due to a shoulder injury caused partly by his fight with Karapet Karapetyan and partly by a car accident. According to him Nieky's shoulder is not causing him pain anymore and he is prepared to win this tournament.

Nieky Holzken is the favourite in this tournament by far, he also has easily the best hair.

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Check Out LiverKick's Post Fight Interviews with Verhoeven, Ristie, Jauncey, Holzken and More

  • Published in Video

(C) Glory Sports International

On Friday night GLORY 19 went down, where we saw Nieky Holzken run the gauntlet and walk away as the number one contender for the GLORY Welterweight Championship and Rico Verhoeven retained his GLORY Heavyweight Championship after Errol Zimmerman went down to a knee injury in the second round. It was one of the more exciting kickboxing events that we've had recently and will stick in people's memories for a while, that's for sure.

Our bud Carlo was there with his camera and he caught up with some of the fighters post-fight to get their thoughts.

Nieky Holzken

Rico Verhoeven

Josh Jauncey

Andy Ristie

Brian Collette

Francois Ambang

Xavier Vigney

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