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Watch Cor Hemmers Talk About GLORY 23 as Well As Saki and Spong

Legendary Golden Glory trainer and GLORY matchmaker Cor Hemmers is a guy that knows kickboxing. That much we all know. He's in Las Vegas now preparing for GLORY 23, featuring the GLORY Welterweight Championship up for grabs between Nieky Holzken and Raymond Daniels. The guys behind Floyd Mayweather's YouTube channel caught up with Cor to talk about Saki, Spong and GLORY 23.

Cor, as always, has a lot of interesting things to say. He sees a lot in Xavier Vigney, which is interesting and seemingly upsetting a lot of fans. What do you think?

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Xu Yan Announced as Giorgio Petrosyan's Next Fight on August 28th

Originally slated to be Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Yodsanklai Fairtex on August 28th in China for Hero Legends that fight will no longer take place. Fairtex's camp has been telling people for a while now that it wouldn't happen thanks to an injury and it looks official now. Instead, Petrosyan will be fighting China's own Xu Yan. Xu Yan is one of China's most popular and decorated fighters and the current Hero Legends 70kg champion.

Xu Yan is one of the biggest stars of the promotion and a fight against Petrosyan should be a huge deal in China considering Petrosyan's immaculate reputation as one of the best fighters in the world and one of the greatest of all time. This will be an interesting bout for sure and we are still holding out hope that we see Yodsanklai vs. Petrosyan in the near future.

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Zack Mwekassa vs. Saulo Cavalari for GLORY Light Heavyweight Belt Added to Dynamite

After Gokhan Saki's talk about why things didn't work out with GLORY that included trashing GLORY's Light Heavyweight division on the way out as no-names that he'd destroy easily we move on and a new champion will be crowned at Bellator's Dynamite event on September 19th on Spike TV. The Spike/GLORY co-branded event is set to have at least three huge kickboxing fights, one of which will probably involve Paul Daley.

The feature attraction, though, will be for the vacant GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship between Zakk "The African Warrior" Mwekassa and Saulo "Cassius Clay" Cavalari. This is a huge rematch from GLORY 18 where Saulo Cavalari ended the storybook rise of Zack Mwekassa with a vicious headkick knockout in the third round. Both men will be fresh this time around and the biggest prize in the game will be on the line so I expect heightened levels of violence from these two.

Of course, what is interesting is that Zack Mwekassa seems to have taken Saki's comments personally and is going off on him via Twitter right now.

 

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Fight Card for Lion Fight 23

This Friday evening live on AXS TV we'll see the triumphant return of Lion Fight with Lion Fight 23. This is without a doubt one of the more stacked Lion Fight cards in quite a while featuring an amazing main event between Malaipet and Liam Harrison and the co-main event featuring Tiffany Van Soest against Martyne Krol for the vacant Women's Featherweight Championship. The rest of the card delivers as well with Kevin Ross vs. Rungrat Sasiprapa, Victor Saravia against Stan Mancebo, GLORY vet Mike Lemaire against Andrew Kapel and perhaps the best fight on the show, Romie Adanza vs. Andy Howson.

This is perhaps the can't miss Lion Fight card of the year.

LION FIGHT 23 FIGHT CARD

Malaipet vs. Liam Harrison

Lion Fight Women's Featherweight Championship: Tiffany Van Soest vs. Martyne Krol 

Kevin Ross vs. Rungrat Sasiprapa

Victor Saravia vs. Stan Mancebo

Mike Lemaire vs. Andrew Kapel

Romie Adanza vs. Andy Howson

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Updated Fight Card for SuperKombat's August 1st Event

On August 1st SuperKombat will be presenting one of their biggest cards of the year with the SuperKombat WGP IV. The event is headlined by Andrei Stoica vs. Fred Sikking for the SuperKombat Super Cruiserweight Championship. Some of the other big fights are Raul Catinas vs. Viktor Bugotzki, Bogdan Stoica vs. Fabio Kwasi and Atakan Arslan vs. Alex Filip (might be the best fight on the card). 

Romanian fans are very excited about the return of Raul Catinas who will hopefully deliver the goods for them.

Superkombat New Heroes (19:00 CET - Live on Sport.ro)
1. Super Fight - Lightweight bout (-63,5 kg)
Wilmer Cruz (Angola) vs Iuliu Man (Romania)
2. Super Fight - Lightweight bout (-65 kg)
Jessica Puglisi (Italy) vs Cristiana Stancu (Romania)
3. Super Fight - Welterweight bout (-67 kg)
Sousa Razel (Angola) vs Mario Argento (Italy)
4. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Eduard Chelariu (Romania) vs Madalin Craciunica (Romania)
5. Super Fight - Welterweight bout (-67 kg)
Adrian Maxim (Romania) vs Serban Alexandru (Romania)
6. Super Fight - Lightweight bout (-63,5 kg)
Rahim Moutharrik (Switzerland) vs Cristian Spetcu (Romania)
7. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-71 kg)
Andrei Ostrovanu (Romania) vs Cristian Milea (Romania)
8. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus (-86 kg)
Alexandru Negrea (Romania) vs Dumitru Topai (Romania)
 
SUPERKOMBAT WORLD GRAND PRIX SERIES (22:00 CET - Live on Eurosport and Sport.ro)
1. Super Fight - Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)
Gokhan Gedik (Turkey) vs Robert Dorin (Romania)
2. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus (-86 kg)
Aristote Quitusisa (Angola) vs Alexandru Nedelcu (Romania)
3. Super Fight - Super Middleweight bout (-77 kg)
Atakan Arslan (Turkey) vs Alex Filip (Romania)
4. Super Fight - Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg)
Fabio Kwasi (Suriname) vs Bogdan Stoica (Romania)
5. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)
Viktor Bogutzki (Russia) vs Raul Catinas (Romania)
6. Superkombat title fight - Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)
Fred Sikking (Netherlands) vs Andrei Stoica (Romania)
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Gokhan Saki Issues Statement About GLORY Contract Negotiations

It didn't take long for Gokhan Saki to want to share with the world his side of the contract dispute that has been ongoing with GLORY for the better part of a year and a half now. Earlier this week GLORY announced that the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship was vacated due to Saki not defending it for well over a year, with them even extending that period to attempt to work out a deal between the two sides. They were unable to come to terms, which from what we've heard has mostly been about money. 

Saki was making in the range of $200,000 per fight before and GLORY simply didn't see the value in such a contract considering how their other stars are compensated. This isn't boxing and it isn't top level UFC, sadly. The money just isn't there to justify exorbitant contracts. Early on in GLORY many stars were signed to bloated contracts which simply don't reflect the current market for kickboxing. For Saki there is interest from GFC who is willing to pay him and has proven that they are willing to pay for name stars, as seen by Badr Hari's working agreement with them.

Saki released a statement through kickboxing blog Kickboxing Planet early this morning that attempts to explain his side of the story. What's clear is that Saki is very, very upset over this, but the statement itself is, well, a bit rough.

Bellator fans, the people in the USA are not going to see top quality kickboxing and this is bad for the sport. When you win the belt on Sept. 19 you can keep the price money but I expect the winner to hand the belt over to me and acknowledge that he didn’t beat the best. I mostly don’t talk like this and maybe there are a lot of emotions right now. But now that I offended anyone, I did that on purpose and I’m not sorry about it.

During this rant he describes his social media following as a point of value of him over the competition within the division, going as far as to make claims that the rest of the division are nobodies compared to him. This statement is... not a good look for a fighter in the public eye and chances are if there was an open dialogue between GLORY and Saki's camp that dialogue has most likely been shut down. 

It's easy to sympathize with Gokhan Saki as he is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world and has worked extremely hard to reach that level. Before the market imploded he was without a doubt one of the more valuable stars. Hopefully he is able to make the money that he believes that he deserves and will continue fighting for his fans across the world. 

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Gokhan Saki's GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship Vacated

When we spoke with GLORY CEO Jon Franklin he told us that 95% of their fights had kept with them through the lean times. There were, of course, outliers, though. The biggest of which was Gokhan Saki, the GLORY Light Heavyweight Champion. He won the championship in a battle against Tyrone Spong that saw Spong's leg break in a freak accident and has left him in boxing and MMA since then. Saki, on the other hand, was not about to take a pay cut.

Saki has not competed for GLORY since GLORY 15 back in April of 2014. Instead he has competed one time for the UAE's GFC back in April against an overmatched Sebastian Ciobanu. The word on the street was that Saki was not happy with GLORY and while he was open to negotiations he would not return until his demands were met. GLORY has been negotiating with him ever since, acting on good faith and not vacating the championship, even after a year of inactivity. 

The final straw for GLORY was trying to negotiate for Saki to fight on September 19th in the Bellator Dynamite event to defend the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. They were unable to come to terms in time and GLORY has been forced to vacate the championship for the time being. They haven't given up on Saki just yet, but for now the title is vacant.

With GLORY's Light Heavyweight division being one of their deeper divisions it made no sense to hold up the title any longer. Hopefully this means that Danyo Ilunga and Saulo Cavalari can clash again, this time with the title on the line. Make it happen, GLORY.

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Top King 4 Finals in Hong Kong Featuring Buakaw Banchamek on July 28th

On this forthcoming Tuesday, Muay Thai promotion Topking World Series will return to the Star Hall in Hong Kong with their fourth event to date, featuring the highly-anticipated conclusion of their 70kg tournament.

The event will host both the semi-finals and finals of the tournament, with only four men left standing from the original sixteen. Buakaw Banchamek will be taking on Reece McAllister in the first semi-final, whilst Khayal Dzhaniev will meet Marat Grigorian in the other bracket.

Buakaw Banchamek is a man that needs little introduction. The two-time K-1 Max World Champion brutalised Steve Moxon en-route to third round elbow-induced finish in the opening round of the tournament, before besting Dmytro Konstantynov via decision to earn his place in the final four. 

Since his last loss back in 2013, England's Reece McAllister has fought like a man possessed. The 23-year old has made it to the semi-finals after tearing through both Crice Boussoukou and Marcin Parcheta inside of a round. The bout with Buakaw will undoubtedly be the biggest fight of the young Englishman's career.

21-year old Khayal Dzhaniev was a relative unknown prior to the tournament, however he has since turned some heads after his upset decision win over Niclas Larsen in the tournament quarter finals. "The Russian Brutal" will once again be looking to spring the upset as he takes on our #7 ranked lightweight Marat Grigorian. 

Marat Grigorian, 24, is one of the most active competitors in kickboxing today. After consecutive points victories over Abraham Roqueni and Eisa Alamda Nezam earned him his place in the semi-finals, Grigorian has gone on to fight another eight times since. A little over three weeks ago Grigorian finished three straight foes en-route to winning the K-1 70kg Championship.

Topking World Series regulars Pakorn, Thongchai Sitsongpeenong and Rungravee Sasiprapa are also set to compete on the card. 

The two-hour fight card will begin at 19:30 local time.

Fight card:
70kg Final: Winner of Bracket A vs. Winner of Bracket B
70kg: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Reece McAllister- Bracket A
70kg: Marat Grigorian vs. Khayal Dhaniev- Bracket B
63kg: Pakorn P.K. Seanchai Muaythai Gym vs. Varats Dzmitry
70kg: Thongchai Sitsongpeenong vs. Colin Law
57kg: Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Wei Ning Hui
63kg: Sittisak Petchphayathai vs. Matt Embree
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Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Yodsanklai Possibly on Tap for August 28th

This is an interesting one, to say the least. We knew that Giorgio Petrosyan was fighting on August 28th for Hero Legend in China but his opponent was kept a secret. Part of the reason was that apparently while contracts have been signed and initial payments have been made there is some uncertainty about the main event. That main event is possibly the biggest fight imaginable at 70kg between the two greatest fighters in the weight class; Giorgio Petrosyan and Yodsanklai Fairtex.

According to the folks at Fairtex the fight won't be happening on August 28th due to an injury, but Hero Legend did hold off on announcing the fight and then went ahead and announced it anyway. There has been whispers of the show being canceled but we confirmed with Petrosyan's manager that the show will indeed go on with or without Yodsanklai. As for Petrosyan vs. Yodsanklai, well, if it doesn't happen in August expect it to happen at a later date. Everyone involved knows that it is just too good of a fight to not happen.

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Nieky Holzken issues challenge to Paul Daley

Glory Welterweight champion Nieky Holzken has today challenged to Paul "Semtex" Daley to a fight at 77kg on the Bellator: Dynamite card in September. 

Holzken, the consensus #1 welterweight on the planet, is currently scheduled to defend his strap in a rematch with karate extraordinaire Raymond Daniels at Glory 23 on August 7th, but that hasn't stopped him from looking for additional opponents. 

Paul Daley is recognised by most combat sports fans for his achievements in mixed martial arts, however Daley has also found success in kickboxing too. The 32-year old from Nottingham fought six times last year inside the ring, earning five stoppage victories including one over the ranked #8 Alexander Stetsurenko. 

Soon after the video was posted by Holzken, Daley was quick to respond via his Facebook page:

"The best 77kg kickboxer Nieky Holzken has called me out to fight him on glory/Bellator dynamite. Very surreal. I'm a massive fan of Holzken, but I am a fighter that won't back down. If he wants it, it's the motivation I need. Let's make it happen, and if he wins in Vegas for the GLORY, let's make it for the GLORY CHAMPIONSHIP BELT. Ok Nieky?......." 

Whilst it would be a huge step-up in competition for "Semtex", a championship bout between these two would gain some serious attention, as well as undoubtedly providing fireworks. 

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