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Roufusport Under Fire In Light of Munson Death From March

Duke Roufus has been an integral part of the kickboxing community for the past two decades, initially competing as a heavyweight before diverting his attentions to coaching and commentating in more recent years. Widely regarded as one of the best coaches within combat sports, Roufus has come under fire over the past few days from both the media and by several of his former fighters.

The criticism began with the release of an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Saturday, highlighting some atrocities involved in the handling of former Roufusport fighter Dennis Munson Jr. On the 28th of March this year, the martial arts community received the tragic news that 24-year old kickboxer Dennis Munson had passed away after collapsing during his amateur debut, the Milwaukee Police Department's medical examiner concluded that Munson died because of head trauma. The article, titled 'Death in the Ring' went in depth regarding the mishandling and negligence that surrounded the fighters untimely passing. 

For those who haven't seen the video of Munson's fight, there were noticeable signs that something was apparently wrong. After a competitive first round Munson seemed noticeably slower in the second, stumbling at points and lowering his defense. Although this could easily be perceived as signs of a fatigued fighter, it was in-between the second and third round when it became obvious that there issues with Munson. 

Munson slumped to his chair and seemed to struggle holding his head up. His cornerman, Scott Cushman had to repeatedly push his head back as the fighter's condition was clearly deteriorating. As the third round begins, Munson attempts to stand but is incredibly unstable, needing to be propped up by coach Cushman.

The third round is very difficult to watch. Munson is completely out of it, he can barely hold up his hands whilst his opponent pummels him for the better part of two minutes. Despite obvious signs that Munson is unable to defend himself and clearly in no condition to be fighting, the cornerman fail to intervene and save Munson from more punishment. After the fight ends Munson struggles back to his corner before collapsing to the canvas.

So I'm sure you're wondering why the finger is being pointed at Duke Roufus regarding this tragic incident. The Wisconsin Athletic Commission does not regulate kickboxing events, so all doctors, physicians and officials for the event were provided by the NAFC promotion, which is run by Duke Roufus and Scott Joffe. There were also several other factors that contributed to the event which could have easily been avoided, were it not for the negligence of the promoters. 

The fighters were subject to same-day weigh-ins. So merely hours after the exhausting process of attempting to make weight before a contest, they only had several hours to replenish themselves before competing. This is uncommon in combat sports as fighters are usually required to weigh-in the day before, giving them ample time to recover. As the Milwaukee Journal pointed out the likely reason for this would be to save money, as officials wouldn't be required until the day of the event. It has also been reported that no pre-fight medical examinations took place.

The promotion has also come under heavy criticism for how they dealt with Munson once he collapsed. In usual circumstances it is the standard procedure for the doctor to enter the ring and attend to the fighter in trouble. In this instance, the doctor stood outside of the ring, looking on as Cushman knelt by the fighter. After a minute or so Munson was inexplicably rolled from the ring and seated him against the ring apron.

Munson was also sent to the wrong hospital by the doctor at the event. Despite clearly suffering from head trauma of some kind, the doctor suggested Munson was sent to the nearest hospital instead of Froedert hospital, the regions nearest trauma centre. Thirty minutes after collapsing Munson finally entered the hospital in a comatose state, passing away shortly after.

Highly-regarded kickboxing referee Al Wichgers has also been criticized. Wichgers was the referee in charge of Munson's bout and failed to stop the contest despite clear signs that Munson's was unfit to be competing. Fighter protection should always be at the forefront of any officials focus, however in between rounds Wichgers did not go over to check on Munson once, despite Munson stumbling around for the better part of two rounds. 

In addition to the release of the journal , several former members of Roufusport have spoken out against Duke Roufus and his coaching staffs handling of their fighters. Current Ultimate Fighter contestant and women's MMA competitor Rose Namajunas released numerous accounts on social media site Sqor, detailing different accounts reports of Roufus allegedly bullying some of his team.

The stories ranged from Roufus and his coaching staff forcing fighters to spar with people over double their weight, being told to continue training after being rocked, and even Roufus soccer kicking a pupil whom he regularly humiliated. 

Namajunas isn't the only fighter to speak out against her former trainer. Former UFC competitor and Roufusport grappling coach Eric 'Red' Schafer today released his own statement regarding the accusations, describing Roufus as 'a bully, a liar and one of the worst people I have ever met.'

The negligence in the unfortunate case of Dennis Munson combined with the reports of Roufus allegedly bullying his pupils does not put Roufus and his team in a good position at all. If the accusations put forward are indeed true, they will receive a massive backlash from the combat sports community and will likely lose their position as one of the top kickboxing and MMA camps in North America. It is also worth noting that Roufus has also been a color commentator for GLORY in the past, so it'll be interesting to see whether or not these recent accusations affect his position within their organisation.

 

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Hunt falls in title bout, Schilling flattens Manhoef

Unfortunately for Mark Hunt the fairytale ending wasn't to be. On less than a months notice, the K-1 2001 champion stepped in for an injured Cain Velasquez to fight Fabricio Werdum for the interim UFC heavyweight title at last nights UFC 180 event in Mexico City. Prior to the bout Hunt was listed as high as a 4/1 underdog, however during the opening seven minutes he looked anything but an underdog. 

Hunt started extremely well, landing with a grazing overhand right that put Werdum on the canvas inside the opening minute. The two giants continued to trade until midway through the round Hunt scored with a surprising takedown. Despite Werdum being a multiple time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion he was unable to get any offence going against Hunt, who seemed content to stay on top and score with occasional punches. With less than a minute remaining in the opening round they returned to their feet where Hunt stunned Werdum once again, sealing a decisive first round for the Kiwi. 

Werdum looked very hesitant at the start of the second round as Hunt continued to land with punches, momentarily flooring Werdum with a right as the Brazilian attempted a leg kick. Hunt seemed to be in control, he had found his range, he was easily stuffing Werdum’s takedown attempts and appeared to be en route to an upset victory. That was until halfway through the second stanza where a beautifully timed leaping knee from Werdum stopped Hunt in his tracks. Follow up shots on the mat caused referee Herb Dean to intervene as Werdum finished off Hunt by technical knockout and was crowned the new interim UFC Heavyweight champion.

Elsewhere in California, Bellator MMA hosted their 131st event from the Valley View Casino Centre in San Diego. Featuring on the card was a battle between Glory veterans Joe Schilling and Melvin Manhoef. Coming into the bout Manhoef had won his two previous MMA contests in 2014, stopping both Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos and Doug Marshall in the first round with punches. Schilling on the other hand hadn’t competed in MMA for over six years and was coming off a losing effort in the final of Glory’s Middleweight tournament back in June.

It was Manhoef who struck first in the opening round dropping Schilling with an overhand right. Manhoef swarmed frantically to finish however Schilling was able to move around just enough to avoid the referee stopping the bout. After brief period of inactivity on the mat, the referee stood the two up and they continued to exchange until the bell sounded. It was an electrifying opening round but one that definitely would have been scored in favour of Manhoef.

The second round started with Schilling being the aggressor, pushing Manhoef back against the cage with combinations. After a counter left-hook from Manhoef had Schilling reeling once again, Schilling was able to capitalise on Manhoef being overzealous  landing a swift one-two that instantly put the Dutchman to sleep a mere 32 seconds into the second round. 

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Fight Night Hungary - WKN European Title Fight

Fight Night Hungary will see a headliner where Antoine Habash (Hungary) will challenge current WKN European champion Tihomir MITEV (Bulgaria) for the belt. The undercard has various professional muay thai and k-1 fights.

Amongst other we will see Bianka Balajti (WAKO junior World Champion), Róbert Géczei and Norbert Spéth who we've written about in our earlier article and a rematch between two really well-accomplished and well known fighters Tamás Birics (ISKA Hungarian Champion, K-1 Serbian Open Champion, WFMC Muay Thai European Champion) and Gábor Görbics (2013 World Combat Games Champion, WAKO Senior European Championships Full-Contact champion).

Main Event

WKN Kickboxing European Championship / Oriental Rules / -60.300 kg / 5x3mn

Tihomir Mitev (Bulgaria / Champion) vs Antoine Habash (Hungary / Challenger)

 

Muay Thai fights

Tomi Cheng vs Erik Kasuba

Szebeni Attila vs. Erdős Attila

Balajti Bianka vs Krisztina Lindtnerova

Dicku Péter vs Szőke Tibor

 

K-1 fights

Géczei Róbert vs. Spéth Norbert

Pardavi Dávid vs. Vásony Ferenc

Mártha Zsolt vs Sallai Bence

Koczfán János vs Kozsák György

Attila Gilányi vs Bors Ádám

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Liverkick Throwback: Badr Hari Vs Errol Zimmerman K-1 WGP 2008

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

With the announcement of Glory 19 this week where Errol "Bonecrusher" Zimmerman will face Rico Verhoeven, I just had to post one of my favourite Bonecrusher fights and really one of the best Heavyweight kickboxing fights as far as excitement goes. This was the semi-final of the 2008 K-1 WGP, Badr Hari had just TKO'd Peter Aerts, and Zimmerman had just won a decision against Ewerton Texeira, and now we had two young knockout artists  ready to smash each other to get tot he finals against Remy Bonjasky. The first round was back and forth, both men throwing big punches and hard low kicks but Zimmerman always has a tendency to get tired and sloppy later in the fight which we began to see in the second round. Out of nowhere The Bonecrusher does exactly as his name would imply and shows us all why you should never lean back when throwing a right uppercut, especially with in my opinion the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division at the moment. He landed a picture perfect right hand which arched Badr's back all the way to the floor and it is still one of my favourite knockdowns of all time. Hari played it smart and stayed down waiting out the count, getting up at 8 and recovering amazingly well. Hari started to our the pressure on Zimmerman after being knockdown which led to Badr scoring a knockdown and getting his points back for that round. In the 3rd round Zimmerman's Fatigue was showing and Badr was picking him apart until finally landing his trademark straight right underneath Errol's left hook to finish the fight.

This fight was the one that made me realize how good Badr Hari really is, it was this fight that really made me a fan, I'm not even going to mention the Final because we all know what happened and it just takes away from how good this fight was. Also it showed Zimmerman's potential at only 22 years old, when Errol trains hard and is motivated he is a very hard man to beat, he will always have crazy knockout power but when he has cardio to go with it he is a scary, scary man. I'm really hoping a motivated, in shape Bonecrusher shows up to fight for the belt on December 19th at Glory 19.

 

 

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S-Cup 2014 is Jam-Packed with Talent

The always-entertaining S-Cup has been announced for the 30th of November. For those who are new to shootboxing, the S-Cup features a hybrid rule system focusing primarily on striking, however also allowing specific takedowns and standing submissions. Notable previous competitors include Buakaw Banchamek (2010 winner), Albert Kraus and Hayato.

Headlining the card will be a 70 kg ‘special’ match between four-time S-Cup winner Andy Souwer and MMA veteran Kuniyoshi Hironaka. The bout is currently scheduled for 3x3 rounds with unlimited extension rounds if the rounds are scored a draw.

Three-time Girls S-Cup winner Rena is also scheduled to compete under shootboxing rules however her opponent has yet to be announced.

The obvious name that stands out in this years tournament field is the #1 ranked Glory featherweight Mosab Amrani. After taking the whole of 2012 off to recuperate from injuries, Amrani has gone 4-1 since, beating the likes of Yuta Kubo, Liam Harrison and Marcus Vinicius whilst losing a controversial decision to youngster Masaaki Noiri in the process.

American Muay Thai competitor Kevin Ross has also been announced. Ross has spent the last two years competing solely for the Las Vegas based Lion Fights promotion, recently claiming their Super Welterweight title in a ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate with Australian Michael Thompson.

WFC World Muay Thai champion Houcine Bennoui will make his shootboxing debut after competing only once in 2014, a decision loss to Liam Harrison back at Yokkao 8. Bennoui owns a stoppage victory over fellow tournament competitor Mosab Amrani back in 2011.

Glory veteran and K-1 Korea Max 2013 winner Lee-Sung Hyun will also compete. Hyun’s already had a busy 2014, competing five times with the only loss coming via decision to Buakaw Banchamek back at the K-1 World Max semi-finals in February.

Rounding out the rest of the tournament will be 2013 S-Cup winner Hiroaki Suzuki, MMA journeyman Michihiro Omigawa and Muay Thai veteran Ponsane Sitmonchai.

So far seven of the eight tournament competitors have been announced, with one still to be named.

No streaming information has been announced yet.

Main card is due to start at 2:00 local time.

Andy Souwer vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka- 70kg

Yojiro Uchimura vs. Yuki Sakamoto- 70kg

Fushimi Kazyuki vs. Taiki Naito- 55kg

Rena Kubota vs. TBA- 50kg

S-Cup 65kg Tournament Competitors:

Hiroaki Suzuki

Mosab Amrani

Michihiro Omigawa

Ponsane Sitmonchai

Houcine Bennoui

Lee Sung-Hyun

Kevin Ross

 

 

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SuperKombat World Grand Prix Final in Monza Card for Nov. 22nd

On November 22nd in Monza, Italy SuperKombat will present the finals of the SuperKombat Light Heavyweight GP, the winner walking away as the champion of this season of SuperKombat and bragging rights. Aristote Quitusisa, Dawid Kasperski, Michael Terril and Jorge Loren compete for the honors.

There are also some superfights on the show, including names familiar to SK fans like Andrei Stoica, Bogdan Stoica, Catalin Morosanu and Errol Koning. There is also a Middleweight title fight between Cedric Manhoef and Julian Imeri.

Main Card:

1. Semifinal 1 – Light Heavyweight Bout (-86 kg)

Aristote Quitusisa (France) vs. Dawid Kasperski (Poland)

2. Semifinal 2 – Light Heavyweight Bout (-86 kg)

Michael Terrill (United Kingdom) vs. Jorge Loren (Spain)

3. Reserve Fight – Light Heavyweight Bout (-86 kg)

Alexandru Negrea (Italy) vs. Bogdan Stoica (Romania)

4. Super Fight – Middleweight Bout (-71 kg)

Riccardo Lecca (Italy) vs. Amansio Paraschiv (Romania)

5. Super Fight – Light Heavyweight Bout (-81 kg)

Errol Koning (Suriname) vs. Giuseppe De Domenico (Italy)

6. Title Fight – Middleweight Bout (-71 kg)

Julian Imeri (Italy) vs. Cedric Manhoef (Suriname)

7. Super Fight – Super Cruiserweight Bout (-95 kg)

Emilio Vallecillo (United States) vs. Andrei Stoica (Romania)

8. Super Fight – Heavyweight Bout (+96 kg)

Ron Sparks (United States) vs. Catalin Morosanu (Romania)

9. Final – Light Heavyweight Bout (-86 kg)

Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2

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Dutch Legend Hans Nijman Murdered in Drive-By Shooting

Dutch martial arts legend Hans Nijman might not be a household name to many. He wasn't a K-1 legend like countrymen Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost and company, but he was a pioneer in the world of MMA who worked for the Japanese promotion RINGS early on. RINGS was a hybrid professional wrestling and MMA promotion, meaning that the lines were sometimes blurred and there were times where these guys were involved in worked fights, while other times the fights were 100% legitimate. 

It was reported today that Hans Nijman was murdered outside of a gym in a drive-by shooting at the age of 55 and there are no suspects yet. There has been talk about Nijman's possible connections with a criminal element and Dick Vrij, another RINGS legend, recently checked himself into prison for protection after receiving a death threat. This is a sad time for the kickboxing and MMA community and Nijman was truly an early pioneer. 

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Enfusion Live #22 is a Stacked Card Featuring Tiffany Van Soest, Andy Souwer, Henri Van Opstal

Enfusion Live have quietly been promoting their brand of kickboxing over the past few years introducing some great new talents into the world and putting on solid, entertaining shows. On November 23rd in the Netherlands they are set to promote what might be their biggest show ever, featuring big names and big fights. The biggest fight to look out for is Denise Kielholtz defending her Enfusion -57kg World Title against American Tiffany Van Soest.

Let's run down the card.

Enfusion Live #22 Groningen, The Netherlands 23.11.2014 

Local Start Time 20.30

1.3X3

Marvin Sansaar  (Surinam)  Vs  Romar Quandt  (Aruba)    -70 KG

2. 3X3

William Diender  (The Netherlands)  Vs  Henri van Opstal  (The Netherlands)    -70 KG

3.3X3

Cedric Bacuna  (Curacao)  Vs  Andrei Ostrovanu  (Romania)    -70 KG

4. 3X3

Tom De Smet  (The Netherlands)   Vs Daniel Ciric (Serbia) -85 KG

5. 5X3

Denise Kielholtz (The Netherlands)  Vs  Tiffany van Soest  (USA)  -57KG  Enfusion World Title -57 KG

6. 5X3

Ardalan Sheikholeslami (Iran) Vs Andy Souwer (The Netherlands)     -70KG

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Michael Page Talking About Freestyle Kickboxing in MMA is Fascinating

When it comes to the realm of professional kickboxing not many people pay much credence to freestyle kickboxing anymore. Freestyle kickboxing is probably closest to what we call "full contact" kickboxing, which means that it is the long pants, point-fighting variant of kickboxing. Modern kickboxing in the GLORY/K-1 rules is Japanese in origin, coming from the idea of blending Kyokushin Karate with Muay Thai and deviates quite a bit from the days of point fighting, although point fighting and other variants of kickboxing still exist, but we don't hear much about them anymore. 

Bellator fighter Michael Page spoke with MMAFighting's Luke Thomas recently and talked a lot about freestyle kickboxing and how it helped to make his style so unique in MMA. It's interesting because we are so used to GLORY/K-1 style or muay thai style being the go-to for sport fighting and MMA that we've all kind of written off other styles of kickboxing or karate as useful in an environment of professional fighting, but apparently it can be useful. Hell, look at Lyoto Machida's success in the UFC. 

Fascinating stuff, that's for sure, especially considering that at GLORY 18 we'll see Kyokushin (technically Ashihara) stylist Davit Kiria look to defend his GLORY Lightweight Championship against Robin van Roosmalen in a classic Kyokushin vs. Dutch style fight. 

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