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New Fight Announcements

  • Published in Kickboxing

Explosion Fight Night 3There has been an onslaught of fight announcements in the past few days.  To keep you up to speed, we're putting them together here in one story, so let's get to it.

Feb. 19 - Shootboxing act.1: We previously announced that UFC veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka would be on this card against an opponent TBA.  His opponent is now set, and it's Satoru Suzuki.  The Japanese ex-boxer had a good year in Shootboxing in 2010, but ended the year breaking his arm and being forced out of the S-Cup.  This is his first fight back from the injury.

Feb. 26 - Golden Glory Eindhoven: Top 10 fighter Nieky Holzken is in action, facing Thilo Schneider in a Golden Glory sponsored event.  Holzken is moving back and forth between the 70 and 77kg limits these days - hopefully he can settle down and find where he fights best this year.

Feb. 27 - RISE 74: A few good fights set for the latest edition of Japan's RISE promotion.  The show will feature two title fights: 60kg champion Kan Itabashi faces Kousuke Komiyama, while 63kg champion Koji Yoshimoto meets Yusuke Sugawara.  The show will also include the retirement of former K-1 MAX fighter Tatsuji.  Full card at HeadKickLegend.

March 6 - It's Showtime Amsterdam: IS added a pair of interesting fights to their first show of 2011.  First, Wendell Roche fights Danyo Ilunga for the vacant IS 95kg title.  We'll have more on this fight in the coming weeks.  Plus, Chahid Oulad El Hadj vs. Robin van Roosmalen in what should be an exciting match up.

March 12 - Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow: Top 5 MW Albert Kraus headlines this show against Batu Khasikov.  Kraus is a busy fighter who takes a fair number of these smaller fights, typically knocking his opponents out.  But as Souwer showed us this weekend - anything can happen.

April 2 - Explosion Fight Night 3: This French Muay Thai event is notable for a 4 man K-1 rules tournament that will feature Sudsakorn.  The Thai fighter is popping up everywhere these days, already having turned in two high profile fights in 2011 against Khem Sitsongpeenong and Giorgio Petrosyan.  He's also entering a lot of tournaments, which is a smart move for the experience.  The other participants are Michael Piskitello, Michale Lallemand, and Mohammed Rahoui.

April 24 - REBELS 7: Former K-1 MAX Korea GP champion Chi Bin Lim meets Daiki Watabe.  Good to see Chi Bin Lim here, as he looked very good at the K-1 MAX Final 16 last year, but has seemingly been passed in the MAX pecking order by his countryman Su Hwan Lee.

May - Local Kombat: This one is not 100% confirmed yet, but Local Kombat revealed that their May event will likely be headlined by Daniel Ghita vs. Alexey Ignashov.  Ignashov is notoriously hard to stop or even knockdown, but he's not looked good lately, and I have to think Ghita may be the man to finally stop him here.

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About That GLORY 18 Poster Being Passed Around

  • Published in Glory

Over the past few days we've seen the leaked GLORY 18 poster being passed around quite a lot and gotten a few questions about it. We were going to ignore it and just let it disappear, but, it wasn't about to do that. That's a good thing, though, because fans are hungry and want to know more about the next GLORY event. So anyway, this poster for GLORY 18 has been floating around with a date of August 9th listed as the date, featuring Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen on it.

We've spoken to a few people at GLORY and can confirm that you can indeed be excited, but that the poster was leaked out with a projected date, not the final date. We don't have a final date for GLORY 18 yet, but we know for sure that it's not August 9th. So hold your horses, for now.

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It's Showtime Announces New May Show

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeMore news from the ever-busy It's Showtime - this time it's a new show added to their 2011 schedule.  On May 21, the company returns to The Sand in Amsterdam for It's Showtime 48, and there is already a solid partial line-up announced.

In a Heavyweight fight, It's Showtime HW champion and top 10 ranked Hesdy Gerges will face Chris Knowles.  Knowles is a well regarded English Muay Thai stylist.  He was originally set to face Rico Verhoeven for IS late last year, but was forced off the card due to travel difficulties.  He's a good pick up for It's Showtime, and will make a strong addition to their Heavyweight ranks, although he definitely has a tough task ahead of him here.  Gerges will be coming in off his career high win over Daniel Ghita, and will look to continue his rise through the ranks.

The fight that most has my attention is a 70kg bout between Mohamed Khamal and Robin van Roosmalen.  Khamal made the jump up to 70kg last year, and promptly made an impact, winning the K-1 West Europe GP, knocking Artur Kyshenko out of the MAX GP, and putting on one of the best fights of 2010 in his defeat of Mosab Amrani.  He has quickly established himself as both a dynamic fighter, and a real force in the Middleweight division.  van Roosmalen is in almost the exact same position as Khamal was not long ago.  The young fighter is currently on a five fight win streak, including defeats of William Diender and an impressive win over Chahid Oulad el Hadj.  Like Khamal, he is a rising fighter, and is poised to be one of the break out fighters of 2011.  This will be a rematch, as the two men met in the semi-finals of last year's 2010 K-1 MAX West Europe GP - Khamal took that fight via 2nd round KO en route to claiming the tournament crown.  With two exciting, young, hungry fighters, this has all the ingredients to not only steal the show, but be a highlight fight of 2011.

One other fight to note is Anderson "Braddock" Silva vs. Jamal Ben Saddik.  Saddik is the fighter who scored a surprise KO win over Rico Verhoeven at It's Showtime 46 last month.  If he can score back to back win over Verhoeven and Silva, he will have immediately established himself as a serious challenger, and a name to watch.  Silva is a tough challenge though, as he holds some big wins over the likes of Hesdy Gerges and Freddy Kemayo, who he KO'd with a spectacular head kick to close out 2010.

The full line-up announced so far:

HESDY GERGES vs. CHRIS KNOWLES

ROBIN VAN ROOSMALEN vs. MOHAMED KHAMAL

ANDERSON SILVA vs. JAMAL BEN SADDIK

MOHAMED MEDHAR vs. HAFID EL BOUSTATI

AMIR ZEYADA vs. SAHAK PARPARYAN

JASON WILNIS vs. LAURENT ATRIFFI

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Glory 18 Posters

  • Published in Glory

Today there have been two Glory 18 posters floating around the internet, neither of them have a location, and neither of them are on Glory's website, Twitter of Facebook. To me it still feels like we are one step closer to the next event, and by the match ups on the poster it seems to be a great one.

First if all it has Glory's lightweight champion Davit Kiria defending his belt against Robin Van Roosmalen also Wayne Barrett against Jason Wilnis for the single fights. There is also a light heavyweight contender tournament featuring Andre Stoica vs Saulo Cavalari and Brian Collette Vs Zak Mwekassa.

So far so good I'd say, now we just wait for the official announcement.

 

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Analyzing GLORY's Champions: Davit Kiria

  • Published in Glory

Man, if you are like me, you are kind of dying at this dry spell that we are going through with kickboxing right now. There is still stuff going down, but there is a decided lack of big events to get worked up over right now. So it’s time to start taking a long, hard look at the best fighters in the business today and if we think that they can hold onto their top spots. 

First up: Davit Kiria, GLORY Lightweight Champion

GLORY’s Lightweight division is probably one of the most stacked divisions in the world today. The 70kg range has always been talent-rich, thanks in part to K-1 relying upon the K-1 MAX division for years. But right now especially, it feels like as good as any one fighter is in the division, there is a line-up of guys that could probably defeat him. 

Davit Kiria was never a guy that we would have pegged to become GLORY’s Lightweight Champion. That’s not a knock against him as much as it is indicative of how deep the division really is. Kiria is a skilled guy, but his losses to both Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen led to many doubting him. So when he went into GLORY 14 against Andy Ristie, the guy who knocked both of those men out in one night, not many expected him to walk out as the champion.

Then kickboxing magic happened and Kiria shocked the world, knocking out Andy Ristie in the fifth round. It was insanity and we had an unlikely champion of a guy who was considered “fourth best” to RvR, Petrosyan and Ristie. That is how stacked this division is. We have a good feeling that Robin van Roosmalen will get a shot at Kiria’s title soon (it was originally slated for August, actually), so the question is: Can Davit Kiria hold onto the GLORY Lightweight Championship.

The answer is: yes, but not for long. That title is going to be a hot potato for a while unless Petrosyan can stop injuring his hand. I think that Kiria has the skills to defeat Robin van Roosmalen, but it also goes the other way just as easily. In a five round fight we’ve seen that Kiria’s slow-starting style is perhaps best-served under these conditions and he’ll potentially be able to shine against Robin van Roosmalen.

But then when you have to face down a murderer’s row in Lightweight, it seems inevitable that someone will defeat him at some point. Whomever that is will also face the same exact challenges that Kiria faces now, knowing that the title probably won’t be secure for long. That makes GLORY’s Lightweight division so exciting right now; you don’t know who will end up on top. 

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Glory 18 Officially Announced

  • Published in Glory

Finally the silence is over and the time that most of us Kickboxing fans have been waiting for has arrived. Glory have officially announced Glory 18 at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Oklahoma City on November 7th and will once again be Live on Spike TV. It's great to put all the rumors that have been circulating about Glory being finished to rest and now look forward and spread the word about their next event. 

The main card is pretty much the same as we posted yesterday with the exception of Artem Vakhitov taking Andre Stoica's place in the tournament. I would have to say that Vakhitov would be the favourite to win the tournament based on what he has shown us in Glory so far. There will still be undercard fights to announce that I'm sure Glory will announce throughout the next little while. Now that Glory has done their job, we need to do ours as Kickboxing and Combat sports fans and make sure this event is packed and the ratings are high.

Here is the main card once again and the Link to the event.

GLORY 18: RETURN TO GLORY

Tournament Final Bout: Semifinal Bout A Winner vs. Semifinal Bout B Winner

Headline Bout: Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen

Co-Headline Bout: Wayne Barrett vs. Jason Wilnis

Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Saulo Cavalari vs. Artem Vakhitov

Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Brian Collette vs. Zack Mwekassa

 

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Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen Have Lots to Prove at GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow night at GLORY 18 in Oklahoma there will be an epic showdown for the GLORY Lightweight Championship between two of the toughest fighters in the ultra-competitive 70kg division. Davit Kiria comes into the fight against Robin van Roosmalen as the GLORY Lightweight Champion, which should give him an edge, but in the eyes of many this is an uphill battle for the champion. Davit Kiria will be meeting van Roosmalen for the third time, with the previous two encounters ending in decision victories for van Roosmalen and leaving Kiria just out of reach of the top of the division. 

For Kiria he was the unlikely GLORY Lightweight Champion. When reflecting on GLORY's Lightweight division at GLORY 12 in New York, Kiria, out of the four men involved in the tournament, was the least likely to be wearing the GLORY Lightweight Championship any time soon. Why? Because Giorgio Petrosyan was unstoppable, being Robin van Roosmalen is a shrunken Gokhan Saki, because Andy Ristie is fast, powerful and technical. On that night everyone was right and van Roosmalen made it by Kiria for a second time before moving onto the finals against the unlikely opponent that was Andy Ristie, who had just knocked out the greatest 70kg fighter that has ever competed in kickboxing. 

Ristie walked away with his hand raised and when it was announced that Davit Kiria would be his first challenger, many groaned or called for a rematch with Petrosyan or van Roosmalen. Kiria was once again the fourth man in a three-man division. Kiria stepped into the ring at GLORY 14 as a serious underdog against Ristie. Ristie was the man who defeated Giorgio Petrosyan, how could he lose to the slow-starting Kiria? Ristie was doing what Ristie does throughout the early rounds, with Kiria just holding on, picking his spots and landing whatever he could in between the onslaughts by Ristie.

Then something happened; Kiria connected. All of a sudden it was a brand new fight and the last two rounds were not only competitive, but Kiria was making one of the craziest comebacks in kickboxing's history. Kiria then put the cherry on top with a knockout blow that sent Ristie crashed to the canvas and secured him the GLORY Lightweight Championship. He was not the fourth man anymore, he was the top fighter in one of the most competitive divisions in the world.

For Robin van Roosmalen the story is a bit different. Robin's career began slowly, showing lots of promise, but having problems when stepping up in competition. He was aggressive, hit hard, focusing on killer combinations, but he ran into fighters who were able to nullify his gifts and shut him down. He found a nemesis in Mootje Khamal, with many seeing Khamal as the man to take the 70kg kickboxing world by storm. Khamal earned his way into the K-1 World MAX tournament only to run into Gago Drago. But trouble was brewing within the K-1 system and It's Showtime decided to hold their own 70kg tournament -- 70kg Fast and Furious. 

Van Roosmalen entered the tournament, a virtual "Murderer's Row" in the 70kg division, featuring Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko, Gago Drago, Chahid Oulad el Hadj, Murat Direcki, Harut Grigorian and Chris Ngimbi. Of course, missing from that lineup was 70kg ace Giorgio Petrosyan, who was forced to pull out due to the reoccurring injury to his right hand that seems to always gum up the works. Van Roosmalen wasn't expected to win the tournament, even with Petrosyan out. Instead, it was seen that Andy Souwer, Chris Ngimbi or Artur Kyshenko would walk away the victor in what was the "substitute" 2010 K-1 World MAX tournament. 

Van Roosmalen shocked the kickboxing world by knocking out Chahid, fending off Chris Ngimbi's ariel assault and then putting Artur Kyshenko down and out in one round. Robin van Roosmalen went from an interesting prospect to the default #2 fighter in the 70kg division, who was only #2 because of the elephant in the room that was Giorgio Petrosyan. Van Roosmalen wouldn't have to wait long, with GLORY buying out It's Showtime and a good portion of the kickboxing world and staging the GLORY 3 70kg Slam tournament. The fans got exactly what they wanted in a final of Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan for the official title of the #1 70kg fighter in the world. Van Roosmalen fought valiantly, but Petrosyan did as Petrosyan tends to do and walked away with a decisive, clean victory over the slugger.

Robin wasn't done yet, oh no. He ran through everyone that GLORY put in his path, fighting a smarter, more conservative style without as many defensive holes being opened up on his path to GLORY 12's Lightweight tournament. When Petrosyan was knocked out he saw opportunity against Ristie, but on that night Ristie was able to find a hole and put van Roosmalen down and out with a huge uppercut. 

For both men their claim to the throne of 70kg is clear. They've both achieved so much and share one frustrating similarity; they'd be easily considered the best in the world if it wasn't for Giorgio Petrosyan. After Petrosyan's loss to Andy Ristie his claim to the #1 spot has relented, leaving things wide open for either man. Right now Davit Kiria is that man, but many consider van Roosmalen's two prior victories as a Sword of Damocles dangling above his head by a thread, just waiting for it to snap and for van Roosmalen to claim the throne.

For van Roosmalen there is no Petrosyan in his way this time, just a man that he's beaten twice before. A victory here would cement his legacy, but does he have what it takes to dethrone the newly-crowned king in Kiria?

This is why we watch kickboxing and why it's so damned great.

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Glory 18: Kiria Vs Van Roosmalen and Saulo Cavalari Hype Videos

  • Published in Glory

We are 3 weeks away from Glory 18, which means its time for the hype videos to begin. First of all we have the title fight between Robin van Roosmalen and Davit Kiria. Glory has given us their version of a small 24/7 type video for these 2 fighters. I can't help but feel that Roosmalen is a big favourite in this fight considering he has already beaten Kiria twice, both times by unanimous decision. Then again I think most people including myself underestimated the Georgian fighter against Ristie and we all saw how that went. The difference is Ristie is known to get tired in fights, he used to even have a hard time with 3 round fights, but hes adapted to those, where as Roosmalen has never really had a problem with his cardio, so the whole weather the storm game plan won't work this time for Kiria. I'd say Kiria has to capitalize on Roosmalen standing flat footed in front of him, he will have to move in and out and not get sucked into standing and trading combos or else hes likely to have a bad night.

Secondly we have a pre fight interview with Brazilian Saulo "Cassius Clay" Cavalari. He has probably the hardest first fight of the tournament against the favourite Danyo Ilunga. If he can get past Ilunga in the first fight he has a good chance to win the whole thing, Unless Mwekassa's left uppercut puts a dent in those plans.

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Ten Questions With GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria

  • Published in Interviews

Georgian born kickboxer, Davit Kiria has wowed spectators in the sport since his debut. Kiria is well known for his speed and his aggressiveness in the ring as well as his ability to combine traditional kickboxing styles with Ashihara karate, a discipline in which he holds a black belt.

Looking ahead to Glory 18 where Kiria is expected to face off for the third time against Robin van Roosmalen, I had an opportunity to ask Davit some questions about his past, present and future as well as to find out whether the third time will be a charm for him..

SW: Once again, I would like to thank you Davit for the opportunity for the interview. Since your debut as a fighter with Glory you have shown yourself to be a very exciting fighter and one who the fans love to watch. I last saw you fight against Andy Ristie in Zagreb. It initially seemed that you might be down in points until your eventual KO. Did you have any difficulty adjusting to Ristie's fighting style?

DK; Ristie has just perfect parameters for lightweight, he is tall and he has very long hands and legs which makes for me more difficulty. But, I'm professional and I have professional trainers and we can learn any opponent and their fighting style.

SW: Glory 18 will mark your third meeting with Robin van Roosmalen. In the two prior bouts van Roosmalen won via decision. What, if anything, have you done differently in this training camp to prepare for this fight?

DK: This fight is very important for me, two times I've fought already with no success, but now it's the third time so it has to finish with my success. I have done very hard preparation and I am very happy, everything went very well and without any injuries or stress. I'm in very good shape and I will show more than in Zagreb because I have improved a lot because of hard working.

SW: You are the current Glory lightweight champion with a record of 5-3-0. What is your overall professional record?

DK: I have 23 Wins 8 losses and 0 draws.

SW: You have a black belt in Karate. At what age did you begin training? Also can you speak about how your interest in combat sports developed.

DK: I was 9 when I started to train in Karate. Before that I was playing soccer, but I really didn't like it. I don't like group games, I like individual sports and I chose to train karate because it's also courageous.

SW: You have been training in Holland for some time with Dave Jonkers and Semmy Schilit. What was it about their style of training/fighting that attracted you?

DK: Till today I train here in Holland. I come here for preparation, I get very good experience here. Semmy is a great fighter and person. Dave is a good trainer, I'm working till this day with Dave and my Georgian Trainer Bachuki they are a very good combination together, and they know best how to work with me.

SW: Both you and van Roosmalen are viewed as very fast and aggressive in your styles. What other assets do you see yourself bringing to the ring?

DK: I am better I think it from inside, I also have better technique, I know and I will show it next week. I will not only use my physical skills I will use my technical skills too and I will be better. I will do my best to show to the kickboxing world that I'm better than him and that I'm the best.

SW: Looking beyond Glory 18, are there any other fighters in your division that you are interested in fighting?

DK: Yes I already said Georgio Petrsosyan, I want to fight him next, but we will see how my management can work it out with Glory.

SW: What are some of your hobbies outside the ring?

DK: I have some hobbies but unfortunately I haven't enough time to enjoy them. I like to go to nature (mountains), I also like fishing, and I like to take nice photos, but I have less time for all this :):)

SW: If you were not fighting, what kind of career do you think you would have chosen?

DK: Maybe a businessman or farmer. I don't have any idea :):):) I never think about that, but I know what I'd like to do in future.

SW: Any special message to your fans?

DK: Yes of course. I love my fans, I don't like to ignore them, any reaction or message. Thank you my fans for this all love, I promise I always will do my best! If I win or lose it will always be my maximum. Till today I never make you upset and I do my best to keep it like that. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also visit my website, davitkiria.com and don't hesitate to ask me any questions via blog or mail.

We at Liverkick.com wish Davit the best in this bout with Robin. Glory 18 will be one of the most exciting events of the year and the headliner Kiria vs. van Roosmalen is guaranteed to keep us all on the edge of our seats!

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Liverkick Exclusive: Glory 18 Calm Before The Storm Video

  • Published in Video

So our one man camera crew (Carlo) managed to get all the pre and post fight interviews while taking behind the scenes footage which I like call the calm before the storm. I saw him running around like a maniac trying to get footage of everyone, but after watching this video, man was it worth it. It really captures the feeling of being back stage before these shows, the way everyone warms up differently, some super calm, some screaming and smashing the pads. There is always tension especially when everyone's change rooms were right beside each other and most people could hear their opponent warming up. It's great to see how the fighters that we love to watch fight their hearts out, prepare right before putting on an amazing show for us. 

This is just a sample of the videos that we will be making for the upcoming Glory shows, Enjoy!

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