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Video: Watch Buakaw Banchamek Dismantle Zhang Chunyu

  • Published in Video

If I were to describe Buakaw Banchamek's 2014 it would probably be in one word; active. Buakaw fought for the fifth time this year yesterday in Belarus at the Top King World Series event in the first part of a huge 70kg tournament. He fought Chinese fighter Zhang Chunyu in the first round of this tournament and pretty much dominated him, as you'd probably expect. Check out the video below for all of your Buakaw squashing dudes needs.

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As Glory Content on Spike Expands, It’s Time to Start Thinking Bigger

  • Published in News

Glory has long accumulated enough content to provide regular programming on SpikeTV, but the extent of its presence has largely been limited to 2-hour live or tape delayed events as well as 30 minute countdown shows. Ratings, while stable overall, have varied the most between long hiatuses with Glory finding it difficult to sustain the momentum generated by a successful event. This is why we’ve maintained that having Spike air Glory content on a more regular basis would help keep the product on the radar of combat sports fans.

Well, it seems like this may be coming to fruition. On July 25, SpikeTV aired a one hour-long special consisting of some of the best Glory fights and highlights thus far. If you tuned in, you might have noticed a small caption reading that the Glory Last Man Standing tournament will be airing Friday, August 8, at 10/9c. In case you missed it before, Glory and Spike are going to bring you the greatest combat sports PPV event of the year for FREE on August 8, filling a relatively quiet night of programming (unless Cops and Jail is your idea of quality prime time entertainment) with must-see TV. While we’re waiting to hear more about Glory’s plans for the second half of 2014, airing the historic LMS event on free TV is more than enough to satisfy Kickboxing fans in the meantime. By the way, if you have friends or know someone who would be interested in Kickboxing, this is the event they need to see.

Could these programming changes possibly signal deepening ties between Glory and Spike? While we don’t know for sure, it is likely. Consider that the once-known “First Network for Men” has lately struggled with its identity as more original programming has been replaced by syndicated content. Its association with the UFC once provided hours of original daytime programming as well as an exclusive live sports entertainment product for primetime. However, it has yet to convincingly compete in this space again, with Bellator achieving only a fraction of the UFC’s former presence. TNA, while not considered a leading brand, has provided steady ratings for Spike with an average of 1-1.2 million viewers every week (as reported on wrestling sites). However, by ending its relationship with TNA, Spike will need to rededicate its efforts to making its original sports programming successful. Bellator and Glory have yet to perform strongly enough on their own, but with the combined strength of these two brands in a co-promotional arrangement, Spike may able to reestablish itself as an outlet for combat sports.

What would be the next step for Glory and Spike? I would personally like to see the 17 or so unaired Super Fight cards that Glory has taped make their way to cable TV. This is ready-made content that could fill any weekend or weekday with solid combat sports action. While The Ultimate Fighter was a breakout promotional vehicle for Spike and the UFC, I would argue that the afternoons full of UFC Unleashed were equally as important because it gave casual and incidental viewers the opportunity to discover the product. The possibility of doing a reality show depends on the viability of the format today; for Glory, I see greater value in developing a television platform for Eldar Gross’s excellent documentary filmmaking than I do for a game show with an uninspired gimmick (Enfusion Reality included). If you doubt this, just consider the star-making impact of Eldar’s documentaries on Alistair Overeem and Tyrone Spong and imagine this in the format of a serious multi-part series with AMC/HBO-style marketing--there’s a chance to reach a wider audience here. This would be the type of promotion that Glory has been looking for with a cast of excellent subjects who have already been chosen.

We’re at a point now where the Glory product itself is in need of no further major refinement. The challenge now is making a connection with a television audience, and while this is a daunting task, there are a few things that we might consider. Let’s think about a time in combat sports when big fights made big news and big names mattered to little people. We talk about combat sports legends like the often-named boxers of bygone generations--men who became icons not only because of their accomplishments (after all, what cultural value do these accomplishments have if no one knows about or appreciates them?) but because of how they were sold to the public. The legend of Muhammad Ali had as much to do with the man as the people who promoted him and publicized him. Television in the cable era is far more fragmented than it was in the broadcast network era, but every now and then, when talent, interest, and marketing come together at the right time, a figure is able to transcend the boundaries of their medium. Far less well-spoken people who compete in sports more obscure than kickboxing get made into national heroes every Olympics; what stops our champions? Is the story of some dopy middle class suburban kid who spent all of their free time swimming more compelling than that of Zack Mwekassa? NBC sells the hell out of stories like that. Maybe it’s time to stop waiting for the mainstream to find us--let’s go after their hearts. This product and the people who compete are just as compelling as anything that could get sold on TV; it’s time to market the product with inspiration and creativity. It’s time to think bigger.

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Weekend Results: K1ngs of Glory

  • Published in Europe

K1ngs of Glory debut card went down this weekend from the Rainton Meadows arena in the North East of England. K1ngs of Glory is a sister promotion to the UK MMA promotion Made4theCage which was established by Steven Scott and Dale Percival. 

Glory competitor and top UK talent Reece McAllister headlined the event and showed why he’s one of the best up and coming talents at 67 kg. McCallister dominated Serbian-born Dragan Pesic from the opening bell before finishing him in the second round to claim the promotions inaugural 67kg world title. 

Former UFC competitors Colin Fletcher and Andre Winner met in the co-feature where Fletcher emerged victorious with a unanimous decision. ‘Freakshow’ controlled the bout largely with his kicks, which he utilized to help maintain his range as he consistently out-landed Winner throughout the bout.

Results:
Reece McAllister def. Dragan Pesic by TKO in Round 2
Colin Fletcher def. Andre Winner by Unanimous Decision
Danny Blankharn def. Shaun Lomas by Unanimous Decision
Duncan McLean def. Bradley Conway by TKO in Round 1
Garry Laws def. Javonne Morrison by Unanimous Decision
Ben Holdsworthy def. Craig Shadforth by KO in Round 2
Gary Head def. Andy Cona by TKO in Round 2

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The Last Chance at Glory for Melvin Manhoef?

  • Published in Glory

Knockout artist and perennial fan favourite Melvin Manhoef makes his long-awaited Glory debut this Saturday in Los Angeles, but is this weekend’s tournament the last straw for the Dutchman?

Melvin Manhoef has been competing in professional combat sports for nearly as long as I have been alive. At 38 years of age and with nearly 90 professional bouts to his name, Manhoef is no spring chicken. He enters this Saturday’s Glory event as the oldest competitor in the tournament field; coincidently the next oldest competitor is his quarterfinal opponent, the 31-year-old Belgian Filip Verlinden.  

Despite having a highly successful career in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts, Manhoef has never won a ‘major’ title. I use that term loosely, as Manhoef has held belts in both kickboxing and in MMA. Manhoef was at one time the light-heavyweight champion of former British MMA promotion Cage Rage; he recently won the Gringo Super Fight welterweight championship after finishing long time rival Evangelista Santos in less than a minute and once held the Showtime 85kg title back in 2009. Whilst these achievements should not be undermined, Manhoef has yet to taste gold in the upper echelons of both kickboxing and MMA. 

Manhoef’s best opportunities have come primarily within the sport of MMA. He was a finalist in the former Japanese promotion Hero’s light-heavyweight tournament and was also a semi-finalist in DREAM’s middleweight tournament, losing by submission in both instances to Yoshihiro Akiyama and Gegard Mousasi respectively. He unfortunately hasn’t been quite as lucky in kickboxing, as after having successful quarterfinals in both the 2006 K-1 Grand Prix in Amsterdam and the 2008 K-1 Grand Prix in Tokyo, he had to bow out early due to injury, however his tournament experience could definitely play a factor come Saturday night.

Manhoef enters this Saturday’s Glory middleweight tournament in a somewhat difficult position. Manhoef has lost his last four in kickboxing (albeit against Samedov, Spong, Saki and Bonjasky) and his hopes of finally earning a UFC contract went out the window with his losses to Brock Larson and Mamed Khalidov last year, meaning Glory 17 this weekend might provide the last chance Manhoef will ever have at winning a major title. It may also be the most ideal stage in which to do it on; Glory’s middleweight tournament presents a unique challenge in his more natural weight class of 185lbs and on fast-rising Glory’s biggest event to date, which will also be the first time the promotion has ventured into the PPV market. 

Whilst the challenge is most certainly enticing and one that I’m sure Manhoef is incredibly excited to start, it is also highly formidable, even for someone like Manhoef who has fought a who’s who of fighters throughout his career. Glory have forged a tournament that features arguably the eight best middleweight kickboxers on the planet and if Manhoef wants the gold at the end of the rainbow, he’s going to have to beat at least three of them all within the space of a few hours.  

Whilst a devastating loss this weekend might signal the end for Manhoef’s hopes of becoming a champion and perhaps one of the last times we see him step in to battle with the elite of either sport, it most certainly will not tarnish his legacy. From his electrifying walk-outs to his apocalyptic punching and devastating leg-kicks, Melvin Manhoef has wow’d endless audiences for nearly 20 years and even as he enters into the twilight stage of his career, he is still one of the most terrifying fighters on this planet and will without a doubt go down in kickboxing and MMA history as one of the most exciting fighters of our generation.

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Long Watch: GLORY's Ivan Farneti Talks Business and Kickboxing

  • Published in Glory

Part of what makes GLORY such an interesting company is the guys who comprise said company. All of the people that we've spoken to which in the company are passionate and knowledgeable about the sport of kickboxing. They are fans, not just casual fans, but real fans. If you are looking for a fan, look no further than GLORY's Ivan Farneti. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook most of the time talking about combat sports -- and he's nowhere near just a casual fan -- he hangs with the most hardcore of us. In fact, I'd go as far as to call Ivan a kickboxing nerd. It's okay, he's in good company. 

Watch this uber-long interview with Ivan to learn more about him, his love for the sport, how he got started with the organization as well as some of the big picture, vision stuff for GLORY. For those that grow tired of hearing Dana White's brand of vitriol, listen to Ivan pretty much say everything you want to hear and really mean it. 

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‘Hope for the best and prepare for the worst’ - An exclusive interview with Hungary's 22 years old Patrik "Titan" Vidákovics

  • Published in Interviews

K-1, Muay Thai, kickboxing, Low-Kick, Light-Contact - whatever comes the -75kg Patrik takes it. And the results speak for themselves - Multiple times National and European cup winner, European champion,  World cup 3rd place, 2x world champion, Professional K-1 Hungarian Champion, Professional K-1 Intercontinental Champion. But how did the story beging for the young Titan?

As Patrik was walking down the streets of Baja, - a city in Bács-Kiskun County, southern Hungary -, in 2008, at age 16 he noticed a poster about upcoming kickboxing classes. He went to check out the training of renowned trainer András Mezőfi and fell in love with the sport immediately. Seven years have passed and Patrik is just as passionate as ever. Despite the success he remained a down to earth guy thankful to his coach, team and to the sport for everything it brought him.

He's grateful for the transformation the sport made him go through. To his own admission kickboxing has made him turn his life around as he was really shy and insecure as a boy.

"My mother has never would've thought that I'll ever try my hands at something like this" - said Patrik. Since he started he has not only managed to get two world titles, won pro championships but grew a lot physically and mentally, as a person.

Patrik is a total fanatic when it comes to training and he credits all his success to the hard work, perseverance he put in throughout the years at Kick-Thai-Boxing Team Baja. Due to this mentality and being ready all year round he managed to capture the K-1 Intercontinental belt last November in Berlin in a clash what started as an exhibition fight.

"I traveled to Berlin as a wingman really for the Hungarian team. The event had multiple championship, world championship and intercontinental championship fights and when I've arrived the organizers asked me if I could jump in for an exhibition fight. A few hours passed when it surfaced that the winner can bring the Intercontinental Championship belt  home. I was fighting a weight class above my natural -75kg (~165lbs) and after five rounds of war I managed to get the belt."

Q- How does your training look like nowadays?

A- We focus a lot on functional training with my coach András Mezőfi to get me in the best shape possible and I have a schedule for every day of the week. We train striking and the kicks separately and then we sync them and bring everything together. There's a lot of emphasis on cardio, S&C. In an actual training camp when I prepare for a fight I traing twice a day - in the a.m and late in the afternoon.

Q- Tell us about your next fight!

A- My next one will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15 Aug at an event called No Limit 7. my opponent will be a dangerous 27 year old local fighter, 86kg (~189lbs), 185cm (6'1") Mesud Selimovic. He has won several international cups, and became Balkan kickboxing vice-champion in 2011. We were studying some tape and found some weaknesses. He's a smart, disciplined fighter setting up his attacks nicely. I'll have to watch out and will put some extra time in when training cardio. I think it can be a deciding factor because of the weight difference.

Q- I know that fighters in general don't like to think ahead than their next fight but what are your plans for the remainder of the year and for the near future?

A- I'm not looking past my opponent by any means but I want to capture my 3rd K-1 world championship in October and after that get the European championship belt too at the event organized by Kick-Thai-Boxing Team Baja.

Thanks for the interview and best of luck Titan!

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K-1 Announces World MAX Final Card for Oct. 11th in Pattaya

  • Published in K-1

On October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand, K-1 will present their K-1 World MAX Finals event. The event will crown a K-1 World MAX Champion, who will serve as K-1's king of the 70kg division and defend the title in the coming years. The tournament began last year with a strong group of sixteen fighters from across the world before coming down to two-time K-1 World MAX Champion Buakaw Banchamek and German up-and-comer Enriko Kehl. Kehl will be facing Buakaw for a second time now, the first fight happening in December and Banchamek getting the better of him in Thai rules. 

The show also features the debut of Paul "Semtex" Daley, best known for his runs in UFC and Bellator, but who has made a huge impact on the kickboxing world this year with four huge KO wins over top competition. This is one of the better K-1 cards that we've seen in a while and should be pretty exciting.

K-1 World MAX Final: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl
Paul “Semtex” Daley vs. Mohammad Ghaedibardeh
Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Dennis Puric
Andrei Kubelin vs. Lee Sung Hyun
Maximo Suarez vs. Tural Bayramov
Andre “Dida” Amade vs. Li Yankun
Artem Pashporin vs. Petmongkol Thor. Thesputin
Xei Lei vs. Yoshimoto

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Catalin Morosanu vs. Giannis Stoforidis Headlining Aug. 2nd SuperKombat Event

  • Published in Kickboxing

On August 2nd SuperKombat will promote their fourth SuperKombat World Grand Prix event. The event is set to be headlined by Catalin Morosanu squaring off against SuperKombat's home-grown star in Giannis Stoforidis. Morosanu has been focused on his political career of late, but still loves to step into the ring to show his fans what he's all about. Morosanu is probably one of the biggest, mainstream stars that kickboxing has in Romania, with him regularly appearing on Romanian television.

Giannis doesn't seem phased by the challenge, though; “I’m hungry for the revange in Superkombat® after in my last fight where I wasn’t able to qualify for the final because of my hand injury. This time I have a big chance to establish myself as a star if I win against a living legend in kickboxing. Morosanu, be afraid! Hercules is coming for war.”, announced Giannis Stoforidis, one of the Superkombat New Heroes.

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Full SuperKombat Card for June 21st

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat's June 21st event is quickly-approaching and now we not only know that Andrei Stoica will be defending his SuperKombat Super Cruiserweight Championship, but we know the location and the rest of the card. Originally Horace Martin was supposed to challenge Stoica for the title, but he was forced to withdraw and has been replaced with perhaps the better known Ali Cenik. 

The event will take place in the Sports Hall in Constanta, Romania and will air on Sport.ro in Romania and on Eurosport throughout Europe. 

1. Super Fight – Light Heavyweight Bout (-81 kg)
Daniel Lazar (Romania) vs. Ciprian Schiopu (Romania)
2. Semifinal 1 – Cruiserweight Bout (-92 kg)
Michael Terrill (United Kingdom) vs. Patrick Van Rees (Netherlands)
3. Semifinal 2 – Cruiserweight Bout (-92 kg)
Moises Baute (Spain) vs. Cristian Ristea (Romania)
4. Super Fight – Lightweight Bout (-63.5 kg)
Cristian Spetcu (Romania) vs. TBA (To-be-announced)
5. Super Fight – Heavyweight Bout (+96 kg)
D’Angelo Marshall (Curacao) vs. Thomas Vaneste (Belgium)
6. Super Cruiserweight Title – Super Cruiserweight Bout (-95 kg)
Ali Cenik (Turkey) vs. Andrei Stoica (Romania)
7. Final – Cruiserweight Bout (-92 kg)
Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2

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Weekend Results: Shoot Boxing Girls' S-Cup

  • Published in Asia

This weekend in Japan Shoot Boxing held their 2014 Girls S-Cup tournaments, which saw both a 50kg and 48kg tournament, the 50kg one being an eight-girl tournament, the 48kg one being four. In the 50kg division RENA walked away with her fourth Girls S-Cup Championship, which is quite a feat for the face of Shoot Boxing. In the 48kg division Yukari Yamaguchi picked up big wins over V.V Mei and Momi to take home the gold. 

Full event results follow, courtesy of CJ's Report.

50kg Girls S-Cup
RENA (R3 - Dec.) Simone Dommelen
Christina Jurjevic (R3 - Dec.) Kill Bee
Ticha (R3 - Dec.) Eduarda Lima
Jiwaen Lee (R3 - Split Dec.) Lorena Klijn
Semi-Finals: RENA (R3 - Dec.) Christina Jurjevic
Semi-Finals: Ticha (R3 - Dec.) Jiwaen Lee
Finals: RENA (R2 - TKO) Ticha

48kg Girls S-cup
Semi-Finals:
Yukai Yamaguchi (R3 - Majority Dec.) V.V Mei Yamaguchi
Semi-Finals: Mio (R3 - Dec.) Momi
Finals: Yukari Yamaguchi (R3 - Split Dec.) Mio

Ai Takahashi (R2 - KO) Nong Em
Union Akari (R3 - Majority Dec.) Yuki Kira
Michi Nakamura (R3 - Dec.) Tomomi Souda
Arisa (R2 - TKO) Maki Goto
Mai Iwata (R3 - Dec.) Bovy Okada

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