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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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It's Showtime 60 in Japan is Off, For Now

IS Japan

Chalk this one up to an unfortunate circumstance of the GLORY buyout of It's Showtime, as there are still a few It's Showtime events scheduled for this year and it looks like the first victim will be the It's Showtime event in Yokohama. To understand what kind of a blow this is, It's Showtime has been working with local promoters in Japan for well over a year now promoting "Countdown to It's Showtime" events, which were all supposed to lead to It's Showtime's big Japan debut. This was to take place in September, but it looks like it might not happen in September, or even at all. Statement from Simon Rutz and It's Showtime Japan's President Fujiawara below.

"As a result of the acquisition of IT'S SHOWTIME by GLORY Sports International and all necessary internal adjustments associated with this acquisition, we’ve both, GLORY Sports International and Showtime Japan concluded that the necessary period for the preparation is too short to ensure the desired quality for our show, which was scheduled for September 17, 2012, in the Pacifico National Convention Hall in Yokohama, Japan.

For this reason we decided to postpone this event until further notice.

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A Look at the Top Contenders in the K-1 MAX Japan -63kg Tournament

  • Published in K-1

Koya UrabeThe K-1 MAX Japan -63kg tournament is rapidly approaching, and luckily for all of us, we'll be able to watch it live streamed on the internet. As the talk about the top prospects starts to heat up online, the debate is to which fighter will come out victorious in the tournament. The Final 8 will meet each other and one man will be crowned the champion, and out of the field there is a lot of competition. KRUSH Champion Ryuji Kajiwara takes on youth sensation Masaaki Noiri, last year's finalist Yuta Kubo takes on Kizaemon Saiga, Koya Urabe takes on YUKI and HIROYA takes on last year's champion Tetsuya Yamato.

So the field in the Final 8 is stiff enough as it is, with all 8 men having their own impressive histories. But each fight will tell its own story, so we take a look at the possible outcomes of the Final 8 fights.

Ryuji Kajiawa vs. Masaaki Noiri: Noiri is young, like half as young as Kajiwara. Kajiwara's victory in the KRUSH -63kg tournament came as a shock to everyone, as he was able to usurp Koya Urabe to take the title. Noiri on the other hand is one of the brightest prospects to come out of the the K-1 Koshien system, who after his run in that tournament went on a rampage in the kickboxing world. Noiri is still lacking a little bit of polish that could make him the tournament champion, while Kajiwara has been around for years and has the skill and discipline to take the fight to Noiri.

Yuta Kubo vs. Kizaemon Saiga: Saiga is a frustrating fighter, as frustrating of a fighter as a pretty boy can be. Saiga has a few impressive wins to his credit, but after receiving a lot of attention his focus seemed to be shattered and a string of losses and disappointments ensued. Yuta Kubo on the other hand is young and has made it far in two major tournaments now. Kubo put on some of the most exciting kickboxing fights of 2010 and to his credit is powerful and pretty technical. I think it is clear that Kubo takes the wind out of Saiga's sails.

Koya Urabe vs. YUKI: YUKI is a solid fighter, with some really solid power and moderate skill, but in the realm of this fight against the fighter who has to be one of the absolute favorites, Koya Urabe should take this fight in his sleep.

HIROYA vs. Tetsuya Yamato: HIROYA is the first KOSHIEN Champion from 2008 and is known as K-1's golden boy for many reasons, he has taken a few decisions that many have credited as "gifts" in K-1 events and has put on some moderate displays of technique as well as look absolutely terrible. He was chosen to be the successor to Masato but it is clear that for him to live up to such high standards he would need years more of refinement or K-1 to pull as many strings as they could to raise him above the field. Yamato was the man who took the -63kg tournament last year in a surprise run, who has had little luck with Muay Thai fighters and can show flashes of brilliance as well as flashes of absolute disappointment. I think he wants to prove himself here and will be ready to fight with HIROYA and become the two-time champion.

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Bellator Kickboxing's Raymond Daniels Looks For Cosmic Immortality in Upcoming Fight

Every time that I talk to Raymond Daniels I walk away with different stuff to consider and let germinate. Because Bellator Kickboxing’s Raymond Daniels at his core isn’t like a lot of other fighters who step into the ring as a professional, instead he’s rather grounded and his world outside of the ring looks very different compared to most. His life doesn’t revolve around training for his next fight or chasing that next high, instead his life revolves around his time in the dojo and training the next generation of martial artist. A big part of that is instilling the core tenets of martial arts into their daily lives and showing that while martial arts can be violent, but that violence doesn’t define a martial artist.

“I keep those parts of me very separate,” he explained, “most of my students don’t know my other life at all, or that I fight professionally. To them I’m just sensei. A few of them have seen me fight on TV and they were surprised, or would say, ‘that’s not sensei, he doesn’t act like that.’ They are just very different parts of my life. Some of my students have come out to see me fight, like at my last fight in Las Vegas, but what I’m teaching them is entirely different.”

It’s this duality that has helped to define Raymond Daniels and set him apart from other fighters. He understands that being a professional fighter means being marketable both in and out of the ring. If you’ve heard Raymond Daniels talk when hyping up a fight you know that he doesn’t shy away from doing press and actually tends to enjoy himself. Not that he’s talking a lot of trash, but he’s more than willing to put himself out there and talk about his growth as a fighter, how people have overlooked him or expectations. 

As for expectations, to say that his are high heading into his fight with Francesco Morrica at Bellator Kickboxing’s inaugural event is an understatement. “You know, that first knockout that I got against Francois Ambang? They called that the ‘Knockout Heard Around the World,’ and while that’s good and all, I want to do more than that. I want it to be heard throughout the whole universe. I have some moves up my sleeve, stuff that nobody has seen before in kickboxing and I know how to land them. All respect to Morrica, he’s got great hands and fights that Dutch style, but it’s nothing that I haven’t dealt with before and I want this to be the ‘Knockout Heard Throughout the Universe.’ I want it to put Bellator Kickboxing on the map.”

Daniels remained respectful of his opponent, but throughout his short professional career he has fought some of the very best in the world already, including two tough fights against Nieky Holzken, the current GLORY Welterweight Champion. Twice Daniels had to watch Holzken celebrate, but the second time he was prepared for the fight and was up on the scorecards heading into the third before a cut from Holzken pushed officials to stop the fight. 

“That was my first ever cut, you know that?” He said. “I have never been cut in a fight like that before, and it just so happened to be in one of my biggest fights and be enough to stop the fight. I was winning those first two rounds and I would say that I was winning the third as well until that happened. But it’s just made me itch to get back in the ring all that much more now.”

On the topic of Holzken, when asked if he was upset that he wouldn’t get another crack at him, he seemed to be at peace with it. “You know, I’d love to fight Nieky again. I feel like I’ve come so far and that last fight showed so much, but what can you do? If it happens, it happens. You can never say never, situations change and maybe we’ll get to fight again. But regardless, I wish him the nothing but the best in his career. He just came off of a pretty controversial win, right? Over Groenhart. I think that he’s already got his hands full as it is.”

Daniels sets off on a new journey for himself, though, in this new chapter of his career in Bellator Kickboxing. Much like we’ve heard from other fighters who have made their way to the promotion, there were some important factors for him. “Spike TV is really a great platform,” he said, “it’s in just about every home that it can be here in the States and is available in other places as well. I think that we can really build an audience and build the sport here, especially with Scott Coker at the wheel. “

The subject of Coker seems to be one that comes up often with fighters who are fighting for him. Not because Coker is a commanding figure who demands respect or reverence, but because of his work ethic and history. “I’ve worked with Scott before, I know Scott and we’ve gotten to sit down a bunch and talk. We’ve both that that traditional martial arts background and I think that’s important. Scott has that Midas Touch, you know? Everything he touches turns to gold because he’s a leader and he’s not afraid to take control and lay out his vision for everyone. That’s important and he’s built up more champions and stars than people want to give him credit for. He was the guy that got me my first professional fight in K-1.”

Indeed back when Scott Coker was in charge of K-1 USA he was the first to book Raymond Daniels as a professional in a bout that saw Daniels walk away with a TKO victory. The allure of traditional martial arts is something that has mostly been forgotten in a lot of professional combat sports, but is something that Daniels hopes to help bring back in Bellator Kickboxing alongside Scott Coker.

“If you look at MMA,” he said, “you have guys fighting inside of a cage and while they took parts of martial arts, they cherry picked what they took and left out the peaceful parts of it. If you don’t know what it is and just tune in, it looks almost animalist and brutal. When the Gracies first introduced everyone to jiu-jitsu it opened some eyes and helped to at least change that view for a while, but that’s sorta been lost along the way. I’m hoping that kickboxing can sort of bridge that gap. If I have to take that weight onto my shoulders then so be it.”

We talked about the careful blend that it would take to help bolster the popularity of kickboxing in America. Kickboxing saw some popularity here in the 70’s and 80’s before scandal and disparate, confusing rule sets pushed it aside. While GLORY has made some strides towards making the sport more popular, their approach still feels a bit foreign and different to a lot of fans. “Right, like people don’t realize that kickboxing has a long history, that it was around before MMA. The sport has existed for a long time and has just changed a bit. This is a chance for a fresh start and to really push things forward.”

Getting that “right blend” steered our conversation towards his time in WCL and how WCL was a great idea, but still had perhaps a bit too confusing of a rule set and that the presentation was left lacking in the face of modern sports like MMA. “I think that’s really where Bellator Kickboxing can shine. We can be different and help to push the sport forward, but it doesn’t have to be too different. I’m looking forward to making the sport more popular and to what I’m gonna do in Bellator Kickboxing with Spike TV. The first card has a little bit of everything, different styles and flavors, it brings it all together.”

Look for Raymond Daniels strive for his “Knockout Heard Throughout the Universe” on April 16th in Torino, Italy at Bellator Kickboxing: Torino, airing April 22nd at 11pm Eastern on Spike TV.

 

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Lion Fight 12 Results and Highlights

  • Published in Americas

Lion Fight

Well, just like we all predicted, Lion Fight 12 made a big impression on AXS TV with some really entertaining fights tonight. We saw a Welterweight Champion crowned, we got to see Tiffany Van Soest once again show why she's one of the best female fighters we've ever seen and hell, we even got to see an elbow KO. Elbow KOs are a thing of beauty and somewhat unique to the sport of Muay Thai, which makes it a thing of beauty when it happens.

So here are the quick and dirty results as well as a highlight from AXS TV.

  • Lion Fight Welterweight Title: Fabio Pinca (R5 - UD) Malaipet
  • Tiffany Van Soest (R3 - TKO) Magali Foroni
  • Jason Andrada (R5 - KO) Mohammed Lemjerdine
  • Nick Chasteen (R5 - UD) Chris Culley
  • Stephen Richards (R5 - UD) Glen Spencer Jr.
  • Anthony Castrejon (R1 - KO) Miguel Rosales

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Photo of the Day: Giorgio Petrosyan, Gago Drago and Melvin Manhoef Partying with Alexander Gustafsson

  • Published in Kickboxing

If the average picture if worth a thousand words then I'm not really sure what this one is worth. Ruslan Suleymanov, the owner of LEGEND, recently turned 35 years old. What better way to celebrate turning 35 than by having a huge birthday party featuring some of the best fighters of the world just hanging out, right? Benson Henderson, Alexander Gustafsson, Andy Souwer, Giorgio Petrosyan, Melvin Manhoef and Gago Drago were among the names of fighters that were in attendance, but there were more, a lot more. 

Ben Pontier was there snapping up photos of the whole thing, which is when he captured this moment above. I don't even know.

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Live Stream Information for GLORY 25 and SuperFight Series

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 25 will be going down this Friday live from Monza, Italy. Now, look, I know that everyone is waiting with baited breath over what GLORY's new television deal will be and how it will impact this event. For now, just like previous events, the GLORY SuperFight Series is available to purchase and view within the United States. GLORY 25 will not be. The same restrictions in ex-Yugoslavia nations as always, you know who you are. 

So take that as a sign, people.

The SuperFight Series begins at 1:30pm Eastern time. GLORY 25 is 4pm Eastern. The price is $9.99 USD per.

GLORY SuperFight Series

GLORY 25 Milan

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Watch Koya Urabe Prepare for the K-1 -63kg MAX Tournament Finals

  • Published in K-1

There really hasn't been much hype around the upcoming K-1 show, which features the -63kg MAX Japan tournament Finals for this year. The rest of the tournament played out in KRUSH earlier this year, with a lot of solid talent involved in the tournament. Sadly, K-1 is in a dark place right now and many have simply stopped treating K-1 in the same regards. But regardless of this, at the end of this month K-1 puts on a show involving Japan's best at 63kg and one of them is Koya Urabe. Watch Urabe's open workout video for the upcoming show here.

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Yokkao Announce Yokkao Extreme Selections Tournament at TaKe-On's Nov. 10th Show

  • Published in Muay Thai

Yokkao

Official Press Release from Yokkao

Yokkao Extreme 2013 selections will be held in collaboration with Stefania Picelli, MSG's Fight Sports and Take on Productions at Madison Square Garden (NYC) during Muay Thai at the Mecca II sponsored by Yokkao on 10th november 2012.

There will be a 4-man tournament and the winner will fight on 26th January 2013 in Milan (Forum d'Assago) at Yokkao Extreme 2013, the biggest Muay Thai and K-1 event in the world.

We are looking for 70kg fighters, if you are interested please e-mail us with your records and highlights video This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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