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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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WGP #24 on December 20th Featuring Alex Pereira and Felipe Micheletti

WGP Kickboxing in Brazil plan to close out 2014 with a bang with WGP #24 on December 20th featuring some of their biggest stars competing at the highest level. WGP has taken to streaming their events of late on internet PPV for cheap, which means that you should be able to catch the event on LiverKick on December 20th.

The big fight is featuring GLORY standout Alex Pereira, who is set to square off against Ivan Galaz. Also on the card will be Felipe Micheletti against Toni Milanovic. There will also be a one-night Grand Prix for the 71.8kg title, featuring Bruno Gazani vs. Ravy Brunow and Weber Shrek vs. San Martino. 

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Top King World Series Final 8 Fight Card

Top King World Series will be holding their Final 8 event at the Asia World Expo in Hong Kong on December 20th at 23:30 (UTC +7 Thailand) and will be broadcast on Mordern 9 TV Thailand. So far the first two shows they have done to determine who the final 8 would be have been nothing short of amazing. Now we are down to all the top name guys and we get to see the fights that we have been waiting for. The tournament match ups have yet to be announced but the participants and super fights are here for you too look forward too. It's Great to see them bringing in more fighters from Thailand to introduce to the World.

TOPKING World Series Final 8 Full Fight Card.

Final 8 Tournament.

  • Buakaw Banchamek (THAI)
  • Andrei Kulebin (BEL)
  • Nicolas R. Larsen (DEN)
  • Reece MCallister UK)
  • Khayal Dzhaniev (RUS)
  • Dmytro Konstantynov (UKR)
  • Marat Grigorian (AMR)
  • Marcin Parcheta (POL)

SuperFights

  1. Pornsanae Sitmonchai vs. Denis Puric
  2. Sangmanee Sor Tiempoe vs. Ka Man Kwok
  3. Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym vs. Irshaad Sayed
  4. Peemai  Jitmuangnon vs. Mostafa Abdolahi
  5. Kaito Fukada VS. Chan Kai Tik
  6. Yusuke Otahara VS. Ming Tang
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Japan Gets Embarrassed By Shoot Boxing's S-Cup

There’s a belief in the fight community that when you go to Japan that you need to be prepared for anything. You could say that for any fighter going into another country where they are to fight local fighters they have their backs against the wall and fear the “hometown decision,” but in Japan it always seems amplified. A part of that is the marriage of professional wrestling and professional fighting that has existed for a very long time in the world of “kakutougi.”

In fact, if you were to look at Shoot Boxing’s S-Cup event there was a professional wrestling bout on the card featuring New Japan Pro Wrestling Junior Heavyweight sensation Kota Ibushi against former DDT Pro Wrestling colleague Michael Nakazawa. It was originally labeled as an “exhibition match” under Shoot Boxing rules and was scheduled to be against Kazushi Sakuraba, but that fell through thanks to Metamoris 5. 

That should set the tone for you.

This S-Cup was one of the few that I’ve seen more than the usual fans excited over, which was in part due to the card that they put together. Mosab Amrani, Pornasae, Hiroaki Suzuki, Michiko Omigawa, Hiroki Shishido and American Muay Thai fighter Kevin Ross were all a part of the tournament, while legend Andy Souwer and Shoot Boxing hero RENA were in Super Fights. 

It felt like one of the bigger shows that Shoot Boxing had put on in a very, very long time and then Shoot Boxing went and put on a shameful display for all of the world to see. 

The draw for American fans was muay thai standout Kevin Ross being in the tournament. Ross went into the tournament against his toughest test by the way of former Sengoku, DREAM and UFC alumnus Michihiro Omigawa. Omigawa was a champion Judoka who rose to prominence in the Japanese MMA scene and after his UFC stint gave a shot at Shoot Boxing. Much like Toby Imada in the past, his grappling skills were able to help him against seasoned kickboxers and 2014 was his second attempt at Shoot Boxing gold.

By all accounts Omigawa was winning the first round handily thanks to his throws, which score heavily under Shoot Boxing rules, but there was a clash of heads that led to a nasty cut on Omigawa's face. In the second round the cut was a major factor, leading the ref to stopping the bout. The referee awarded the fight in favor of Ross due to the stoppage, while backstage there was a different story and Shoot Boxing organizers informed Ross that the fight was being rendered a No Contest and that he would not continue on in the tournament. 

The rules are a bit unclear at a time like this, where it isn’t clear who was at fault, or if it was accidental. What the referee most likely saw and ruled was that the cut was due to Omigawa’s own “negligence” (section 10) and ruled it in favor of Ross. Shoot Boxing might have been arguing that it was due to both men, which would make things a lot muddier. The truth of the matter is, the referee awarded Ross the win in the ring and any time the decision is reversed backstage it will be a tough sell to anyone that it was on the up-and-up.

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, then there is the story of Zakaria Zouggari. Don’t know who Zakaria Zouggari is? Neither did we, but we sure as hell know now. Rob Emerson of MMA fame (fame?!) was scheduled to take part, but at the last minute was unable to secure a visa, which left Shoot Boxing in a bind and called up relative unknown Zakaria Zouggari to fill in for Emerson in a reserve bout. 

Zouggari defeated Shoot Boxing’s resident punching bag Bovy Sor. Udomson via cut stoppage in round two and, thanks to the Kevin Ross/Omigawa shenanigans, was called upon to fight in the tournament moving forward. 

That led to a fight with internationally-renowned Houcine Bennoui and for this amazing display.

Seriously. God damn.

So this unknown would move onto the finals. According to Andy Souwer after the event Zouggari literally got off of the plane, dropped his bag off in his hotel room then hopped on a bus and headed to the event without time to rest, eat or get acclimated. This was the man who went on to the finals against 2013 65kg S-Cup Champion Hiroaki Suzuki. This is where things went from bad to worse. Zouggari clearly had the fight won after three rounds, only for an extension round to be ordered. When that was too close a SECOND extension round happened where Suzuki was finally able to score a TKO over Zouggari and it looked like Shoot Boxing’s hand-picked champion had won again.

It was almost like they weren't trying to hide the favoritism and that they really, really wanted Suzuki vs. Omigawa in a rematch of last year's finals. 

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