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SuperKombat Kicks Off 2016 Season in Puerto Rico

SuperKombat pledged to take on the United States in 2016 and in their season opener they aren't exactly in America yet, but getting closer. Their first event of the year will happen on March 26th in Puerto Rico with a main event featuring Daniel Sam vs. Catalin Morosanu. 

"After months of negotiations, we are happy to announce that Superkombat events will be hosted also in the USA. For that, we have selected a strategic partner in our team, Mr. Richy Miranda – Cortese to support our efforts and who will develop the Superkombat concept in the whole American continent.”

“The first USA event will be in Puerto Rico, but we will continue also in other countries from the American continent and now we are thinking about Colombia, Mexico and Dominican Republic. As we did in Europe, we will discover new heroes in America through the Superkombat academy system which will be developed all around the world. The event for March 26 will be called USA vs Rest of the world," said Mr. Irimia.

There will be more information on this event in the coming weeks. [source]

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Kunlun Fight Sets Sights on Europe

China's Kunlun Fight has one of the best kickboxing products around right now, employing some of the very best fighters from around the world as well as top Chinese prospects. Their tournaments have made new champions and brought to light lesser-known talents who have turned out to be some of the very best in the world. The only problem is that much of their product appeals to a wider audience, just that this wider audience has no way of finding these shows.

That seems to be changing with Kunlun's expansion into Europe. A recent report has slated them as working out television deals in Europe with both Eurosport and Canal+ thanks to a working agreement with Amibo TV productions. 

There have also been talks of running events in Europe as well. Neither of those television deals are going to net big money, but they will make the product more accessible to fans outside of China, at least. This comes hot off of the heels of Kunlun announcing its "Superstar Fight" series that will take place monthly in China and be focused on MMA over kickboxing.

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Free Agent Alistair Overeem Could Revitalize Kickboxing's Heavyweight Division

(C) Dan Herbertson

Today Bellator announced the signing of former WEC and UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. Henderson was a free agent after his UFC contract expired and him moving to Bellator is yet another big deal in the wake of UFC's grasp on the industry starting to wane thanks to Viacom's hefty check book and moves by the UFC like the Reebok deal that made fighting in the UFC a lot less attractive to fighters. There is another free agent out there that has interest from many sides and that free agent also has our interest as well, that is Alistair Overeem. 

Overeem's UFC career has been solid, if not average at 5-3 with big wins over Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir and Junior Dos Santos. But now he finds himself as a free agent and it seemingly comes down to taking a lesser offer from the UFC in hopes of getting a run at the UFC Heavyweight Championship, or to look for greener pastures. 

The question on lots of fans' minds is this; will he end up in Bellator. My question is a bit different; will he kickbox again? 

In a way it seems impossible, right? With all due respect to GLORY, the chances of them paying Overeem what he wants seems slim-to-none at this point and no other big kickboxing organization would really benefit from adding Overeem to their roster at his high price point. That is, if you are looking at things in a traditional, binary way of a promotion having only this or that, or just being MMA or just kickboxing. What if a promotion could offer both?

We've known about Bellator's Scott Coker looking to expand into kickboxing for almost a year now, but the wheels seem to be in motion starting at the April Oktagon event (although Bellator has yet to comment on this yet), with Joe Schilling confirming in his recent Reddit AMA that Bellator was going to venture into kickboxing. All of a sudden Bellator seems not only like a logical destination for a fighter like Alistair Overeem's MMA career, but for the final K-1 World Grand Prix Champion (at least under the FEG banner, I guess, are we counting Cro Cop's win?) to return to kickboxing and shake things up in heavyweight kickboxing. 

A huge part of why heavyweight kickboxing has felt so hollow over the past few years has been not only the dissolution of K-1's legendary heavyweight division, but the retirement or fading away of the stars that made that division so great. Alistair Overeem was the man to win the last real K-1 World Grand Prix while K-1 still had its roster in tact. A big part of why the division hasn't felt as vibrant would have to be that for years the champion would continue fighting in tournaments and when a new champion was crowned there were no lingering doubts because the system was clear. The system was incredibly simple; the champion won a one-night, eight man tournament each year. Period. That's it. 

GLORY has held tournaments since then, and K-1 held a World Grand Prix in 2012 that Mirko Cro Cop won, but all of these tournaments felt like they were missing something. In that period of time Rico Verhoeven has risen up to the very top of the food chain, but finding someone to challenge him has been a chore for GLORY. On top of that, some fans still don't accept him as the "real" champion for god know's what reason. I'd argue that a big part of that feeling is that the chain was broken and the champion didn't go on to fight in another tournament. There was no passing of the torch, so to speak. 

If Bellator is truly going to have their own kickboxing promotion this year who better to help build that promotion around than Alistair Overeem, former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion? And yes, he could do that while still fighting in MMA for them as well. Overeem's star power is undeniable at this point and while promotional logistics would make a potential clash between Overeem and Verhoeven difficult, never say never. 

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Opponent Announced for Robin van Roosmalen's MMA Debut and More at FFC 22

Robin van Roosmalen will be making his MMA debut at FFC 22 in Athens on February 19th, that much we knew, but his opponent was unknown still. Now we know that he'll be fighting 6-5 Greek fighter Theo Michailidis, currently fighting out of the UK at -66kg. This should be an interesting challenge for van Roosmalen as it'll involve weight cutting as well as fighting an opponent who is experienced in MMA, although not seemingly a world beater. 

Another fight to look forward to is at -95kg in kickboxing between Pavel Zhuravlev and Brian Douwes. Douwes has proven himself many times over after a few mediocre showings in It's Showtime early on in his career and this fight is a pretty big deal at -95kg.

FFC 22  Athens

19/2/2015, 8PM

 

MMA:

Robin Van Roosmalen (NED) vs. Theo Michailidis (GRE), -66kg

Darko Stošić (SER) vs. Emil Zahariev (BUL), HW

Pavel Doroftei (MOL) vs. TBA, -84kg

David Vasić (CRO) vs. Zauri Maisuradze (GE), -84kg

Alexander Papadimitriou (GRE) vs. Vladislav Genov (BUL), -70kg

TBA vs. TBA

KB:

Pavel Zhuravlev (UKR) vs. Brian Douwes (NED), -95kg

Samo Petje (SLO) vs. Meletis Kakaoubavas (GRE), -70kg

Antonio Plazibat (CRO) vs. Sergei Masloboev (LT), -95kg

Tomislav Čikotić (CRO) vs. Marius Munteanu (ROM), HW

Marko Adamović (SER) vs. Florian Marku (ALB), -70kg

JAsmin Bajrović (CRO) vs. Dimitris Chiotis (GRE), -77kg

 

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Full Card for Jan. 23 Wu Lin Feng Card Featuring Petrosyan and More

China, man, are they starting to get a vice grip on kickboxing or what? Wu Lin Feng's upcoming show on January 23rd is proof enough that they are doing some big things. That 67kg tournament is truly interesting, with names like Andrei Kubelin, Xie Lei, UMA and Nathan Robson. On top of that the legendary Yi Long is competing against Eyedisa Alamdarnezam and Pakorn is fighting Wei Rui.

The man that knocked out Simon Marcus, Fang Bian, is in action as well, taking on France's Cedric Doumbe. The big fight for most of us is Giorgio Petrosyan's first bout of the year against Jiao Fukai in what is looking to be an incredibly busy year for the Doctor early on.

Card is courtesy of our friends at Kiksie.

Wu Lin Feng

January 23, 2016

Shanghai, China

Broadcast on Henan TV

Tournament Quarterfinal #1 - 67kg

Qiu Jiangliang (China) vs. Nathan Robson (Australia)

Tournament Quarterfinal #2 - 67kg

Lu Jianbo (China) vs. Melsik Bagdasaryan (USA)

Tournament Quarterfinal #3 - 67kg

Xie Lei (China) vs. UMA (Japan)

Tournament Quarterfinal #4 - 67kg

Feng Jie (China) vs. Andrei Kulebin (Belarus)

65kg

Deng Zeqi (China) vs. Jomthong Chuwattana (Thailand)

67kg

Yang Zhuo (China) vs. Craig Dickson (United Kingdom)

73kg

Yi Long (China) vs. Seyedisa Alamdarnezam (Iran)

63kg

Wei Rui (China) vs. Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym (Thailand)

Tournament Semifinal #1 - 67kg

Quarterfinal #1 Winner vs. Quarterfinal #2 Winner

Tournament Semifinal #2 - 67kg

Quarterfinal #3 Winner  vs. Quarterfinal #4 Winner

81kg

Wang Honxiang (China) vs. TBA

71kg

Jiao Fukai (China) vs. Giorgio Petrosyan (Italy)

80kg

Fang Bian (China) vs. Cedric Doumbe (France)

Tournament Final - 67kg

Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner

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A Look at the Oktagon/Bellator/Victory World Series April 16th Card

While Giorgio Petrosyan will be fighting Enriko Gogokhia on April 16th, there are going to be a lot more fights going on that night. In fact, there are essentially three events featured during that show in Bellator, Victory World Series and a "Made in the USA" kickboxing portion of the card. 

Now, before you get overly excited about the prospects of seeing some of this kickboxing on Spike TV remember that absolutely none of that has been confirmed yet. It hasn't. There are also fighters that, last time that I checked, had exclusive deals for the United States in kickboxing or muay thai, making a show in Italy possible for them to fight on, but if it aired on US TV chances are that their contracts with their respective promotions have ended. We're looking into that right now. 

So here's what you can look forward to on April 16th. 

Made in the USA (5 kickboxing fights promised)

Melvin Manhoef (NL) cat - 86 Kg

Kevin Ross (USA) cat - 65 Kg    

Raymond Daniels (USA) cat - 77 kg 

Victory World Series (7 kickboxing fights promised)

Giorgio Petrosyan (ITA) vs Enrikho Gogokiia (Georgia) 

Chingis Allazov (AZ) WAKO PRO World Champion - 72.5 Kg

Haida Mustapha (MAR) Winner of Venum Victory World Series PRO ISKA World Champion - 72.5 Kg

More when it's available.

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Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Enriko Gogokhia Set for Bellator/Oktagon Event in Italy

A cursory glance at Giorgio Petrosyan's schedule for this year would make any sane person wonder if the Doctor has lost his mind. In just a matter of days Petrosyan will be competing in China for Hero Legend's and has at least one other fight that we've heard of, two more rumored. This all being said, the Doctor being back in full force is a welcome change after his relative inactivity and gradual return in 2015. 

At Oktagon's big April 16th event Petrosyan will fight Enriko Gogokhia. While there were rumors of a possible showdown with Yodsanklai for many months, his opponent is of a different flavor, Enriko Gogokhia. Gogokhia might not have a big name from competing in leagues like GLORY, but he is absolutely one of the best fighters in the world at this weight class and should prove to be an interesting challenge to the fighter that many consider one of the greatest of all time. 

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The April WFL Card is Amazing

Remember Melvin Manhoef's World Fighting League? Well they aren't going anywhere any time soon, that's for sure. They have announced their first card for this year in April and there isn't much to say about it other than this; wow. What they have scheduled thus far is a pretty big deal, and there are a lot of solid names without opponents yet as well, meaning that only more great fights will be added. Of course, unless you are in the Netherlands the chances of ever seeing this card are pretty close to nil, but hey.

The main attraction is Andy Souwer vs. Mohammed Khamal in what is an absolutely incredible bout. Khamal has been in some of the most exciting bouts of the last five years or so and Andy Souwer is just coming off of a big MMA debut win at Rizin FF against Jienotsu Nagashima, showing that he's still young and has a lot of years left in him. The other exciting fight is that Enfusion's Ilias Bulaid is about to get the test of a lifetime against Shoot Boxing star Zakari Zouggary.

Andy Souwer VS Mohammed Khamal

Heavyweight Tournament: Raul Catinas VS Brian Douwes

Heavyweight Tournament: Marcello Adriaansz VS Sam Tevette

Zakaria Zouggary VS Ilias Bulaid

Ibrahim El Bouni VS Fred Sikking

Chahid Oulad El Hadj VS Mohammed Messaoudi

Also on the card are Marco Pique, Kevin Hessling and Murthel Groenhart.

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Kunlun Fight 37 Fight Card

Kunlun Fight 37 will take place on January 23rd 2016 in Sanya, China. This card includes the semi finals of the Kunlun 70kg max tournament where Sittichai Sitsongpeenong will be matched against fellow countryman Superball Banchamek and Enriko Gogokhia will take on Victor Nagbe.

Full Card

70kg Max Semifinal - Superbon "Superball" Banchamek (THA) vs Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (THA)

70kg Max Semifinal - Enriko Gogokhia (UKR) vs Victor Nagbe (AUS)

Jonay Risco (SPA) vs Anatoly Moiseev (RUS)

Aikpracha Meenayothin (THA) vs Dzhabar Askerov (RUS)

Jason Wilnis (NLD) vs Wang Chongyang (CHN)

Nurla Mulali (CHN) vs Xu Zhen Guang (CHN)

Yang Yu (CHN) vs Ivan Bartek (SVK)

Sung Hyun Lee (KOR) vs Jlao Daobo (CHN)

Zhang Lipeng (CHN) vs Beibit Nazarov (HAK)

Martizandra Hersisia (NLD) vs. Liu Lingling (CHN)

 

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Robin van Roosmalen's MMA Debut Gets Dated; FFC 22 on Feb. 19th

GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen is set to make his MMA debut this year at an FFC event, we knew this much, but today it was announced that van Roosmalen will headline FFC's 22nd event in Athens, Greece on February 19th. The card will also feature Pavel Zhuravlev, Samo Petje and Igor Pokrajac. 

His debut opponent has not been announced yet, but we assume that will be coming shortly. 

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