As we always say, a picture says a thousand words, and for Daniel Ghita, he has reached the top of the mountain for the current Heavyweight Kickboxing landscape. The hope now is that Glory get their tournaments underway and get the biggest names in Kickboxing like they promised and that we can see Daniel Ghita involved in that. It wouldn't make sense to exclude him at this point.
Our fight of the year march through the Grand Prix continues today with a pair of bouts from the Heavyweight GP. Up first...
Gokhan Saki v. Daniel Ghita (K-1 Grand Prix Finals, December 11)
Heading into the GP finals, this was the fight many were most looking forward to. Post event, it kind of got lost in the hype of a certain other fight that we'll discuss later today, which is a shame as this is a great fight. What you have here are two of K-1's new guard competing in one of the year's finest technical battles. In particular, the kicks thrown by both are simply phenomenal - this whole thing could be an instructional video on how to throw kicks effectively in kickboxing. Ghita and Saki mix it up, attacking the legs, the body, the head, and they do it all with accuracy, set-ups, and beautiful timing. There's so much skill on display here that you can watch this fight again and again and pick up more.
Rewatching it now, I am reminded of Ernesto Hoost v. Peter Aerts from the 1993 Grand Prix - two young fighters with the future standing ahead of them ready to take the next big leap forward. I suspect this fight will age well with time, and will go down as a classic early encounter between two men who will be major players for some years to come. Be happy to be here when they first met.
There will be 10 fights total posted. Fights 7 & 8 on Tuesday, and 9 & 10 conclude on Wednesday. Fights are featured in chronological order moving through the year. Voting will be open Wednesday night to determine the winner.
The It's Showtime card on June 30th has been a victim to the summer injury bug that MMA fans know all too well, especially Canadian UFC fans looking forward to UFC 149 (like Rian Scalia). A number of fighters on the It's Showtime event have had to drop out due to injuries or recent knockouts and being unable to receive medical clearance to fight. Then there is the case of Jerome Le Banner, who has been removed from the event completely due to some contractual situations, rumored to be his exclusive contract with Glory Sports International.
Rustemi Kreshnik will be filling in for Le Banner against Mourad Bouzidi, in a rematch where Bouzidi got the better of Kreshnik last time. We've already reported that Daniel Ghita's new opponent is Dzevad Poturak, in another series of unfortunate replacements for Ghita over the past few months. They have met twice before, with Poturak getting the better of a younger Ghita years ago, but many are sure that Poturak will not have that same luck again. Harut Grigorian was unable to receive medical clearance to fight, so he will be replaced by Hafid el Boustati against Robin van Roosmalen.
Last week we asked who would win the It's Showtime main event between Daniel Ghita and Hesdy Gerges. Your response...
66% - Ghita
34% - Gerges
Sorry LiverKick.com readers - you know we love you, but 66% of you were stumped this time. Of course, the fight was not without a bit of controversy as Ghita was considered knocked down after a low blow. So...
This Week's Question: How did you score the fight?
With only one more sleep remaining until the biggest kickboxing card since the K-1 WGP days, I find myself looking for every hype video I can possibly find to kill time until Glory 17.
This video shows us some short clips of some of the fighters doing an open workout and the best parts of the press conference. Seeing the different ways and contrast between the way fighters train is always interesting to watch (especially for me considering sometimes i can use some of their tricks). For example watching Simon Marcus, a more Thai style fighter hit pads is very different from watching Jarrell Miller, more of a boxer, or even Rico Verhoeven who is a Dutch kickboxer. Each fighter's skills are looking world class and they are looking in top condition.
Now on to the press conference, I'd just like to say how happy I am to finally see Daniel Ghita come out of his shell and and say more than two words. Its great to see how bitter he is about his last fight with Rico and we will see tomorrow how hard he has trained to show us that he believes he is the real champion. Its also nice to see no matter how confident they are everyone is still respectful and realizes how dangerous every other fighter is.
As if I wasn't excited enough, this video really pumped me up. I have really missed 8 man kickboxing tournaments and I feel that most of the new American kickboxing fans are going to watch this and realize what a real fight card is.
On June 21st Daniel Ghita and Rico Verhoeven will meet in the ring for the second time, this time with the GLORY Heavyweight Championship on the line, making it an even bigger deal. Ghita vs. Verhoeven II will headline the GLORY Last Man Standing PPV event -- immediately following GLORY 17 on Spike TV -- which could be GLORY's biggest event to date.
So here is a look at GLORY's preview of Ghita vs. Verhoeven II, which I'd consider a good way to kick off your day.
Glory World Series has unlocked the video of the four man heavyweight tournament final from October 12th last year, between Rico Verhoeven and Daniel Ghita to get us ready for the rematch. This is one of the highest paced and exciting heavyweight fights I have seen for a long time. After watching this fight multiple times I still have a hard time choosing a winner. Ghita and Verhoeven used to be sparring partners, which explains why they seem to know each other so well and neither of them could land their signature techniques. Ghita is definitely the harder hitting fighter with more knockouts to his name, but his power seemed to fade early on in this fight due to Verhoeven pulling him into his technical and grinding style.
Will Ghita be able to get the knockout this time, or will Verhoeven grind out a 5 round decision, What do you think?