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Enfusion Aims for 2017 Expansion With Buakaw, Yodsanklai and More

Today at their latest live event, Enfusion Live announced massive plans for 2017. After running a number of successful shows in 2016, they will be expanding to 20 shows in 2017, including three leagues at 67kg, 72.5kg and 85kg. On top of that, they announced a set of new signings for the promotion that are sure to entice fans, the biggest of which is former K-1 World MAX Champion Buakaw Banchamek. Buakaw has mainly been fighting in China, including a series of fights with Chinese legend Yi Long that has set the world on fire. 

Buakaw has been a draw anywhere he's gone since the dissolving of FEG's K-1, making worldwide headlines for his many (and I do mean many) problems with management, business partners, promotions and more, including a scandal with K-1 in Pattaya where Banchamek and his team claimed K-1 was fixing fights, changing the rules late and a plethora of other claims. This came hot-off-the-heels of his departures from Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai before moving on temporarily to Topking, then to Kunlun Fight and WLF in China where he's currently been competing. 

They've also added Thai legend Yodsanklai Fairtex who has carved out a name for himself all over the world, although things have been quiet for Yod over the past year thanks to a nagging injury. On top of that they've snagged Superbon and Jomhod. If Enfusion somehow isn't planning on running a show or two in Thailand they'd be nuts.

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Card for Enfusion Live #44 Featuring the Return of Andrew Tate

Enfusion returns on Saturday, December 3rd with Enfusion #44, featuring the return of "The Cobra" Andrew Tate challenging for the Enfusion -90kg world title against Ibrahim El Boustati. Tate is perhaps one of the most colorful fighters in the UK scene who has been calling out Joe Schilling for the better part of a year. If he wanted to get Schilling's attention, this would a good way to get that ball rolling a bit further. Tate is returning from some down time after pursuing some business ventures and coping with the loss of his father. 

Kickboxing Talents #26, The Hague, The Netherlands, Saturday

03.12.2016

18.30 local start time (17.30 GMT)

1. 3X3 Tournament  -67Kg

Lofogo Sarour (South Sudan)  Vs Tarik Lyachat (Morocco) 

2. 3X3 Tournament  -67Kg

Samir Lopes (Cape Verde)  Vs Tony Jas (The Netherlands) 

3. 3X3 Tournament  -67Kg  

Wail Karroumi (Morocco)  Vs Juan Javier Barragan (Spain) 

4.   3X3 Tournament  -67Kg

Walid Hamid (Morocco)  Vs Richaymond Lopez (The Netherlands) 

5.   3X3 -63Kg    

Reda Narain (Surinam)  Vs   Mohammed Dadda (Morocco)

6.  3X3 Heavyweight

Ashraf Houssini (Morocco) Vs Balhor Nasim (Belgium)

7.  3X3 -70KG

Jassem Al Djilawi (Egypt)  Vs Romano Bakboord (The Netherlands) 

The winners from the tournament will face one another in 2017. The winner will secure their spot in the -67kg Enfusion League.

Enfusion Live #44, The Hague, The Netherlands, Saturday 3.12.2016

21.00 local start time  (20.00 GMT) 

1. 3X3    -54Kg FEMALE

Fadma Basrir (France)  Vs Sanne Strabbing (The Netherlands)

2. 3X3  -72.5Kg

Patrick van Rees (The Netherlands)  Vs Reda Zaidi (Morocco)

3. 3X3   -70Kg 

Bilal Kasrioui (Morocco)  Vs William Diender (The Netherlands)

4.  3X3   -72.5Kg

Yassin Baitar (Morocco) Vs Redouan Laarkoubi (Morocco)

5.  3X3    -72.5Kg    

Aziz Kallah (Morocco)  Vs   Marcel Verhaar (The Netherlands)

6.  3X3      Heavyweight

Hicham Achalhi (Morocco) Vs Vladimir Tok (Germany)

7.  5X3            ENFUSION WORLD TITLE               -90Kg

Andrew Tate (USA)  Vs Ibrahim El Boustati (Morocco)

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Remembering Former GLORY Champion Marc de Bonte

There's no easy way to talk about the sudden and untimely passing of someone young who had a bright future ahead of them, especially when the individual had already shown flashes of brilliance in a short life. The sport of kickboxing is one of the most thrilling in the world, with action that keeps fans on the edge of their seats and enough intrigue, flash and politics in play to enrapt even the least sport-minded of fans. 

Without a doubt, Marc de Bonte was a special fighter and person who left an indelible mark in his short time in the limelight. Fighting inside of a division that has been ruled over by Nieky Holzken for as long as there have been championships in major organizations, de Bonte rose up to prominence within the GLORY ranks and after a few cancellations, the trigger was pulled for Marc to fight for the title at GLORY 16. The fight was supposed to be against Holzken, but injury had plagued him throughout the year, meaning the clash wouldn't happen just yet. This set the stage for de Bonte to fight Karapet Karapetyan at GLORY 16 Denver where he won the world championship. He was just 24-years-old at the time.

As a writer (sometimes even a journalist) a part of my job is to remain impartial, which includes not publicly claiming favorites and avoiding discouraging fighters I'm not quite fond of. That night I was there live for what was Marc de Bonte's crowning achievement of his professional career, I got to see him emotional over winning the world title, to see the look in his eyes, the relief and the determination and it felt special. While I only briefly spoke with him that night, congratulating him and seeing how proud he was has taken on new meaning in the light of his passing. It was difficult not to feel his passion and get swept up in it, to feel like we had all witnessed something important from someone special.

He was only a few years into his professional career and was so ready to take on Nieky Holzken, a man that was almost ten years his elder and who had fought the best in the world in multiple weight classes before paving the way for a welterweight division, but he wasn't afraid, he was ready to prove himself. Even though he knew that people were expecting Holzken to take his title, he was still there and he was still proud of his accomplishments. 

What struck me about Marc was that he was soft-spoken and respectful, even in the face of the biggest victory of his entire career. Even when he spoke about Nieky Holzken -- and I can remember the thick accent that he pronounced the name "Holzken" in like it was yesterday -- it was almost in reverence. That fight never materialized, as de Bonte lost the title just over a month later to Joseph Valtellini and shifted his focus towards professional boxing. Much like the rest of us, he faced his share of setbacks in his career.

The few times that I spoke with him afterwards he was always exactly as I had remembered him; kind, respectful and down-to-Earth. Perhaps that is what makes his passing all-the-more difficult to comprehend and process. Marc de Bonte wasn't a guy with a long rap sheet, a guy snatching headlines for assaulting anyone or smuggling drugs. There weren't hushed rumors about what sort of people he ran with or how he played gangster when the lights were off him. He had a girlfriend that he'd post photos with on Instagram regularly, his family thinks the world of him and he didn't even drink. This wasn't one of those "bad seeds" that we regularly have to talk about.

Instead he had returned to kickboxing and was chasing his second world title. The sport had genuinely missed him and his return was something that caught everyone's attention. In fact, he was scheduled to fight in just a matter of weeks from now in China, where he was involved in a tournament for a world title. So when he was reported missing on November 4th there was a lot of speculation, but the reality was that Marc was on the upswing again and everyone was pulling for him. He'd turn up eventually, right? 

The weeks dragged on without word, his family and friends became increasingly desperate and finally, on November 24th, a body was found near his car, twenty days after his disappearance, with police confirming his identity days later. There will be speculation, investigations, allegations and everything in between in the coming weeks, months and years about what happened to Marc. Hopefully his family and close friends will get the closure that they need while the rest of us remember Marc for the brief, fleeting impact that he had on the sport and just how brightly his light burned for someone as young as he was. 

Marc was a glowing reminder that these larger-than-life characters in the sports world are just as vulnerable and fallible as the rest of us are. They feel the same range of emotions that we do, face the same daily struggles and have to fight for inspiration not only in their careers, but themselves as well. Marc came back to kickboxing and was going to leave his mark on the sport, his friends and family have spoken about how excited he was to fight again, to entertain us and to prove himself to the world. 

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The Kickboxing World Reacts to the Loss of Marc de Bonte

While the kickboxing world is gearing up for a mega-fight between Badr Hari and Rico Verhoeven in December, things have taken a more somber tone over the past few days with officials in the Netherlands discovering the body of what is presumably Marc de Bonte. Police are working on an autopsy and final identification on the body that was discovered before giving the final confirmation, but his friends and family have accepted that the body was his. Already, Marc de Bonte's personal website bears messages about his passing, his parents have confirmed that the body was his, and while we are waiting for that final confirmation, most have accepted the news and have begun grieving the loss of the 26-year-old former world champion. 

These are just some of the public reactions from the kickboxing world over the past few days.

To younge to go Rip marc de bonte

A photo posted by nieky holzken (@niekyholzken) on

We'll have more on Marc de Bonte as it becomes public. For now, keep his friends and family in your thoughts during this rough time.

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Body Matching Marc de Bonte's Description Found Near His Vehicle

After being missing for almost three weeks, it appears that the disappearance of former GLORY Welterweight Champion has come to a somber conclusion. While police have not made a positive confirmation yet, reports have surfaced that on Thursday a man spotted a body floating in the river near where Marc de Bonte's car was found abandoned over two weeks ago.

De Bonte was said to have gone out with friends in the Belgian town of Turnhout on that Friday evening that he went missing, although his car was found in Best on Wilhelmina Canal Street. According to one of the gyms that Marc trained at, Training Unit, they were told that a body was found and that there was a "99% chance" of it being Marc.

The Eindhoven police twitter account provided two brief updates on the find, one of which claimed that due to similar clothing the body was believed to be de Bonte's, the other that they won't know for sure until Saturday when they do an official identification on the body.

While there has been no official word just yet, the kickboxing world seems somber and already in mourning for the young fighter who was preparing to participate in the Kunlun 80kg tournament as well as upcoming Enfusion Live events. It seems like it is only a matter of time before the body is identified as de Bonte's and there are so many questions left hanging in the air still. 

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Kunlun Fight 55 Fight Card: 80kg Tournament Finals

Kunlun Fight returns on December 10th with a huge card full of kickboxing with Kunlun Fight 55. The event sees the finals of the 80kg World Title tournament, sadly without Marc de Bonte, who has been missing for over two weeks now without a trace. The tournament will continue on without him, although there is a bit of a dark cloud cast over it. 

Kunlun continues to mix in MMA fights into their cards, although they are now rebranding their MMA events as Kunlun Fight MMA, with Kunlun Fight MMA 7 coming up on December 15th. As per usual, Kunlun doesn't pull any punches with their tournaments and we're looking at Stetcurenko vs. Sichtman and el Gaoui vs. Valent on December 10th.

Kunlun Fight 55

Dec. 10th

61kg: Lau Waicheuk vs. Lin Qiangbang

80kg Reserve: Salihov Muslim vs. Nuerla Mulali

60kg: Kodera Kohei vs. Gong Yuankun

85kg MMA: Koji Shikuwa vs. Wang Sai

75kg: Monsan Hanchana vs. Zhang Yang

80kg World Championship Semi-Final: Aleksandr Stetcurenko vs. Darryl Sichtman

80kg World Championship Semi-Final: Hicham El Gaoui vs. Dmitry Valent

72kg: LiZhuangzhuang vs. Kong Lingfeng

67kg: Kim Dongsu vs. Zhang Chunyu

75kg MMA: Juan Suarez vs. Zhang Lipeng

100kg+: Tofan Pirani vs. Asihati

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Marc de Bonte Still Missing, Friends Asking a Psychic For Clues

It's been two weeks since former GLORY Welterweight Champion Marc de Bonte went missing and there has been no further leads to his whereabouts outside of his car discovered by a canal. Police have been searching everywhere, including sending divers into the canal, still without any leads into his disappearance.

At this point it's difficult to remain hopeful, as two weeks without word from the boxer and kickboxer is a long, long time to be missing, especially without any word from anyone -- including ransom requests. Reports cite that the police are still looking for de Bonte, but also that his friends have not given up hope on finding him, even going as far as to enlist and psychic to aid in their search. While they understand that it's a longshot and that the police wouldn't usually work with a psychic, they are still holding out hope of getting some clues as to his whereabouts. 

His friends have even offered cash rewards, initially 2,500 euros and now 5,500 euros, for any information about the location of de Bonte.

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EM Legend 14 Fight Card For November 19th

EM Legend returns on November 19th with EM Legend 14, featuring a 65kg tournament and a wide range of competition from all over the world at a wide range of weight classes. 

1) Tournament: Senmanee (THA) vs Meng GuoDong (CHN) - 65 kg

2) Tournament: Rasul (RUS) vs Fu QingNan (CHN) - 65 kg

3) Ilhom Rustamov (UZB) vs Ji Duo Yi Bu (CHN) - 60 kg

4) Dzhamshed (TJK) vs Zhao ChuanLin (CHN) - 64 kg

5) Younes Smail (NED) vs Wang YuanLei (CHN) - 67 kg

6) Hemi (THA) vs Lang TingGui (CHN) - 70 kg

7) Yuma (JPN) vs Chen ChangLin (CHN) - 69 kg

8) Atik Askarzadeh (AFG) vs Su ZhiYong (CHN) - 70 kg

9) Andres (FRA) vs Zhao XiaoYu (CHN) - 70 kg

10) Firdaus (TJK) vs Pu DongDong (CHN) - 70 kg

11) Toofan (IRAN) vs Deng Lele (CHN) - 71 kg

12) Ibrahim El Bouni (NED) vs Lyapin Igor (UKR) - 75 kg

13) Ryan Briggs (UK) vs Han Zihao (CHN) - 63 kg

14) Waranat Ponnikom (THA) vs Magomedov (RUS) - 70 kg 

15) Dias (KAZ) vs Wang HuaiSheng (CHN) - 75 kg

16) Kim Gyeongwan (KOR) vs Gong YuanKun (CHN) - 60 kg

17) Kang Minsuk (KOR) vs Zhang ChengLong (CHN) - 65 kg

18) Son Jun Heok (KOR) vs Keivan Soleimani (IRAN) - 70 kg

19) Ruslan Salmanov (RUS) vs Li Shenshen (CHN) - 65 kg

20) Ramil (BLR) vs Liang YuanHao (CHN) - 68 kg

21) Evgenii (RUS) vs Liu Lei (CHN) - 70 kg

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Tragedy Strikes Double K Gym in London

Kieran Keddle's Double K Gym has gotten a lot of press over the past few months, not only due to his promotion, Muay Thai Grand Prix kicking into high gear, but because Keddle became Idris Elba's kickboxing trainer for a Discovery Channel reality series featuring Elba. 

Reports coming out of London from last night say that a 24-year-old member of the Double K Gym, George Barker, was attacked inside of the gym by men with knives. The men rushed in and stabbed him before fleeing the scene, leaving Barker bleeding out prior to a class at the gym. The police were called to the gym while bystanders in the gym tried to stop the bleeding. Barker died before help could arrive, though.

The gym will be shut down for a while and the only comment that Keddle has made publicly since the incident has been an announcement of the gym being close via Facebook. "Due to unforeseen circumstances that are not related to the gym or staff at Double K, we will be shut for the a while," he said in a Facebook post. "I will keep you all posted."

Our thoughts are with Keddle, the team at Double K and Barker's family.

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ACB Kickboxing Releases First Part of New Documentary, 'Homeland'

Right now is an interesting time for the world of kickboxing, with there being more promotions than ever before that are vying for the top fighters and for the worldwide kickboxing audience. There is a lot of talent out there, but there is also a lot of talent considering the more lucrative sport of MMA. ACB Kickboxing is one of those promotions vying for international renown and have decided to piece together a documentary series called Homeland on YouTube. The first episode is up now and is pretty interesting.

The doc features famous trainers Lucien Carbin and Dennis Krauweel talking about the sport, the fighters and the future. What I found most interesting was Lucien Carbin's section in the beginning, where he spoke about the sport and where it stands. Something that I've been harping on for years is that kickboxing should move away from the K-1 rules more. The whole three rounds thing was decided upon for tournament settings and somehow stuck, then you have rules like the clinch rule that was instated because of fighters like Buakaw and Sem Schilt winning fights that frankly, old K-1 didn't want them to win. Carbin talks about how these rules are ridiculous, as well as how many were opposed to women fighting, but that he's seen something special in a lot of the female fighters that have been coming up, including a drive unlike he's ever seen and technical acumen.

It's an interesting watch.

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