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Kickboxing (1088)

Full Card For Enfusion 24 on February 7th

Enfusion continues to march forward with Enfusion 24 on February 7th in Eindhoven, the Netherlands with another big event. This time around the Heavyweight sensation Ismail Lazaar fights Thomas Vanneste for the Enfusion World Heavyweight Championship in what should be a very interesting bout. The rest of the card sees an interesting mix of 70kg, 66kg, 80 and 95kg fights and it's Enfusion, so as always it should deliver. 

#24 Enfusion live Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Start 21.00
 1. 3X3      
Melvin Wassing (Indonesia) Vs Mohammed Hamicha (Morocco) - 70KG
2. 3X3      
Sheena Widdershoven(The Netherlands) Vs Marieke Post (The Netherlands)
Catch Weight -66Kg
3. 3X3      
Dennis Stolzenbach (The Netherlands) Vs Jegish Yegoian (Armenia) - 95 KG
4.  3X3     
Khalid El Bakouri (Morocco) Vs Kamil Jenel (Poland) - 80 KG
5. 3X3      
Mohammed Jaraya (Morocco) Vs Tayfun Ozcan (Turkey) - 70Kg
6. 5X3       
Ismael Lazaar (Morocco) Vs Thomas Vanneste (Belgium)
Heavyweight
Enfusion World Title
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Giorgio Petrosyan Returns This Weekend, Plus ANOTHER Fight in April Against Enriko Kehl

It's been a long time since we've seen Giorgio Petrosyan in the ring. In fact, I'd argue that it has been too long. The last time that we saw Petrosyan in the ring was December of 2013 when Andy Ristie was able to overcome the best fighter at 70kg via knockout. It was shocking at the time, but now we've all settled into this reality. This coming Saturday Petrosyan finally returns to the ring at Thai Boxe Mania 2015 against Erkan Varol in Turin, Italy.

The other big news is that Petrosyan's next fight is already lined up and it's going to be a big one. At Oktagon's 20th anniversary event on April 11th Petrosyan is set to face 2014 K-1 World MAX Champion Enriko Kehl in what should be an awesome bout. The young Kehl has proven himself as a worthy contender and a rising star of his own over the past few years and it will be quite the test for Petrosyan after such a long layoff.

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AXS is Ready to Showcase New Japan Pro Wrestling Like Never Before

 (C) NJPW/AXS TV/TV Asahi

On Friday evening AXS TV will not only be presenting Legacy FC’s first kickboxing event, Legacy Kickboxing 1, they will also be starting off their series of english broadcast New Japan Pro Wrestling events from 2013. This will mark the first time in the modern age of New Japan Pro Wrestling that an American network has not only taken interest in presenting their programming, but to do so in a respectful, exciting manner.

Sure, this isn’t kickboxing news, but the truth is that Japanese professional wrestling was at the roots of K-1 and modern kickboxing as a whole. Without Japanese pro wrestling there would be no GLORY or K-1 right now, there would have been no boom for kickboxing and we wouldn’t have grown to idolize Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Andy Hug and countless others. 

New Japan Pro Wrestling is probably the best professional wrestling organization around at the moment. If you ever had any interest in professional wrestling but found the offerings of WWE to be a bit too hokey or childlike for you and simply gravitated towards MMA and other “real” sports instead, I urge you to check out what AXS TV is going to be presenting this Friday. 

New Japan was not always the best that Japan had to offer, with All Japan being the king of the 90’s, NOAH being the king of the early 00’s but New Japan’s younger talent from the early 00’s matured into some of the best talents ever seen on this stage and the action is simply divine. New Japan Pro Wrestling is based on what they call “strong style.” Strong Style is basically whatever style of pro wrestling that New Japan is dabbling in, but its roots are based on martial arts due to the founder Antonio Inoki’s obsession with the concept of the “mixed fight.” It doesn’t hurt that Inoki is one of the fathers of modern MMA, either, with most of those early MMA fights taking place in a New Japan ring. 

The action tends to be brutal, the storytelling takes place inside of the ring and while there is still big characters, elaborate costumes and other basics of pro wrestling, things tend to feel a bit more “real” and exciting. It won’t feel remarkably different to the average viewer as much as it will feel alien, but that is where Mauro Ranallo and Josh Barnett come into play. AXS TV’s series is set to span the epic saga of the IWGP Title in 2013, which saw struggles between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchida Okada. The first episode kicks off with Tanahashi vs. Okada from January 4th, 2013 this Friday evening before Legacy Kickboxing is set to kick off. So you’ll be there anyway, just show up an hour earlier for an awesome hour of pro wrestling.

AXS TV sent us the third episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV, which was the April 7th main event between Tanahashi and Okada, a rematch that saw Dave Meltzer of the WON praise it as a five-star classic, the match of the year. It’s truly the pinnacle of that style of pro wrestling and a tremendous match, so it speaks for itself, but Ranallo and Barnett were able to do it justice in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time.

On January 4th of this year Global Force Wrestling helped to distribute the annual NJPW Tokyo Dome event, Wrestle Kingdom 9, with Matt Striker and Jim Ross on commentary. Ross and Striker were good, but they were tossed together for the first time and some things simply didn’t mesh. The team of Ranallo and Barnett had none of these problems and were able to add historical context and personal insights without having to start relating to the WWE or other domestic products. 

There is a level of immersion that comes with this, which is aided by Ranallo’s wrestling knowledge and A+ research that goes into calling each show and Barnett’s personal history in Japan. Barnett competed in Japan for years in MMA and also spent time training in professional wrestling before wrestling under the New Japan Pro Wrestling banner for a while. So it’s safe to say that what Barnett adds is his own personal experiences in the grueling training that New Japan wrestlers go through and how they perform in the ring. Hell, he’s even been in the ring with a lot of these guys and knows them personally. 

We can -- for the most part -- ignore the pretty awful ad that was produced for the series and is airing on AXS TV, because the program itself is extremely well done. In this episode it began with interviews with the wrestlers, helping to set up the match a bit more, then the meat of the match (which was a long one, took up the entire program), followed by a post-match interview. It wasn’t the kind of thing that I’d expect for what is just an hour-long program that could have easily been slapped together for cheap and tossed on air.

Definitely tune in for this -- or at least set your DVR for it -- because it’s definitely worth watching.

 

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Mike Zambidis to Defend SuperKombat Title Plus More SK 2015 Details

Mike Zambidis captured the SuperKombat Middleweight Championship back in August of 2013 against Harun Kina in Romania and now in January he is set to defend that title for the very first time in a return match. At an Iron Challenge 2015 event in Greece Zambidis is set to defend that title against Kina. If you are wondering why it isn't on a SuperKombat card proper, that's because 2015 will be the year that SuperKombat begins licensing out their brand to interested partners.

Previously they would license out tryout events, but starting this year they will also license out Elimination and World Title fights. The SuperKombat season begins on March 7th with their first event of this season, but look for more events held around the world with fights that impact the world of SuperKombat throughout the year. We'll have more on SuperKombat and Mike Zambidis when it's available.

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Legacy Kickboxing 1 Fight Card for January 16th

In exactly one week Legacy Kickboxing 1 is set to go down live from Houston, Texas. The event will be airing live on AXS TV at 10pm Eastern time. The main event features muay thai and kickboxing veteran Cosmo Alexandre squaring off against Regian Eersel. The co-main is UFC and GLORY veteran Pat Barry taking on Demoreo Dennis with Barry looking to get back into the win column after a disappointing debut with GLORY in May. 

Miguel Torres, former WEC Champion and UFC veteran will take on Angel Huerta. The card also features Michael Corley vs. Marco Pique, Valentina Schleychenko vs. Lindsay Haycraft,  Alex Morono vs. Lucas Pimenta and Justin Reiswerg vs. Will Morris. 

Tune in next week and follow the live results here on LiverKick.com.

165 - Cosmo Alexandre 42-15 v. Regian Eersel  26-2  
HVY – Pat Barry 16-6  v. Demoreo Dennis 9-3
135 – Angel Huerta 4-1 v. Miguel Torres 0-0
155 – Michael Corley 18-11 v. Marco Pique 60-38
135 – Valentina Schlevchenko 54-1 v. Lindsay Haycraft - 25–12
170 -  Alex Morono 6-3 v. Lucas Pimenta - 8–2
155 - Justin Reiswerg  v. Will Morris 
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Mirko Cro Cop Finishes Satoshi Ishii in Japan

New Year's Eve in Japan has been a tradition in combat sports for years now. Sadly, after the fall of FEG we've seen very little in the way of what we used to get with the huge Dynamite!! events in Japan. The days of Kakutougi being king in Japan have come and gone, but that doesn't mean that people don't try. 

There were a handful of events in Japan today, with the bigger ones being run by DEEP and Inoki Genome Federation. IGF featured the bigger names like Cro Cop, Satoshi Ishii, Shinya Aoki, Josh Barnett (pro wrestling, not MMA) and even hosting Fedor Emelianenko and Wanderlei Silva as special guests. The story coming away from the event is that Mirko Cro Cop finished Satoshi Ishii with a left head kick to knock him off balance then following up with a flurry of punches to put him down and out. 

This means that Mirko Cro Cop begins 2015 by holding onto the IGF World Championship.

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China Making Big Plays for Kickboxing in 2015

If you've been paying attention to kickboxing, you'll probably recognize that 2014 has been a strange year for the sport. We started things off with GLORY as the clear #1 promotion in the world, with the top talents, biggest events and the most promise. As we enter into 2015 things are a bit more muddy and confusing. In fact, they are a lot more confusing. 

GLORY 19 is in February, featuring Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship, but to say that things seem to be in disarray in the GLORY camp is an understatement. The postponement of the show raised a lot of eyebrows and now we are seeing more and more GLORY contracted fighters taking fights somewhere else, or, like Joe Valtellini, petitioning for a shot at the UFC against CM Punk. I wouldn't count GLORY out just yet, but at the same time, if we look at the upcoming Kunlun and Wu Lei Feng cards in China, it's hard not to notice the sheer amount of GLORY talent on those cards

On January 3rd and 4th
#Kunlun Fight 15
– Rico Verhoeven vs Andrei Herasimchuk
– Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs Murthel Groenhart
– Jafharr Wilnis vs Alireza Karbasi
Other fights:
– Andy Souwer vs Jaio Fukai
– Steve Moxon vs Aikpracha Meenayothin
– Tomas Hron vs Roman Kryklia
– Victor Nagbe vs Mostafa Rajabi
 
On January 31 and February 1st
Kunlun Fight 16 and WLF
– Albert Kraus vs ??
– Simon Marcus vs ??
– Arthur Kyshenko vs Bai Jinbin
– Andy Ristie vs Aikpracha Meenayothin
– Robin van Roosmalen vs Dzianis Zuev
 
Other fights:
– Hesdy Gerges vs Alexy Ignashov
– Colin George vs Mighty Mo
– Cosmo Alexandre vs Li Yankun
 

This is kind of revealing. In addition to that, on K-1's USA vs. China event happening in China on January 1st the #1 contender for GLORY's Featherweight Championship, Gabriel Varga, will be fighting with GLORY's blessing. K-1 also announced a huge partnership with some of the biggest networks in China for ten live events in 2015. While it isn't clear if K-1 will be making big money from that just yet, the potential viewership for them is out-of-this-world. 

As of right now it is looking like China is making huge moves to be the new home of kickboxing and could potentially be the "new" Japan, possibly even ushering in a boom period. We'll just have to wait and see.

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VIDEO: Former NBA Player Darko Milicic Loses Kickboxing Debut

This is one of those weird, only-in-kickboxing types of stories. Darko Milicic, former NBA player, made his kickboxing debut in an exhibition on Wednesday in Serbia, fighting under the WKA banner. There was some fanfare and hype around it, considering his profile, but WKA's global presence isn't quite what it's cracked up to be.

Anyway, he made his debut and things didn't go so well for the awkwardly tall basketball player when the doctors stopped it after a cut opened up on his shin.

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Rico Verhoeven, Murthel Groenhart and Andy Souwer on KhunLun Fight 15

Rico Verhoeven is supposed to fight Errol Zimmerman at GLORY 19 in February, so we still don't have a time or date, but it is interesting to learn that he'll be fighting for another promotion in China on January 4th. Rico Verhoeven will be fighting on January 4th for Khunlun Fight 15, as well as Andy Souwer, Murthel Groenhart and many others. While we don't have a full card just yet, what we know thus far is exciting;

A 4-man 70kg tournament;

Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs Murthal Groenheart
Andy souwer vs Jaio Fukai
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