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Ten Questions with Lion Fight 21's Kevin Ross

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll get the pleasure of watching one of the biggest rematches in Lion Fight history at Lion Fight 21. Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamato had a knock down, drag out brawl at Lion Fight 11 and on Friday evening they will have a rematch that has the muay thai world buzzing. We asked Kevin Ross ten questions before his big fight and got his opinion on time off, the rematch and how Joe Schilling is doing.

LK: The first fight with Tetsuya Yamato saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and both of you looking fantastic regardless of who won or lost. Since the last fight you’ve both been on a winning streak, Yamato defeating Sagetdao and Masaaki Noiri, you Embree, Mauceri and Thompson. The big difference is that his fights were in kickboxing, do you think that gives you an edge?

Yamato has more of a kickboxing style anyway so it's not really that big a deal to go back and forth, although he does like to fling those elbows hahaha

LK: The Yamato loss ended 2013 for you as 2-2, but 2014 saw you go 3-0, was that important for you to have such a streak before fighting Yamato again?

KR: Not really, I don't dwell on wins/losses, I'm more concerned with the improvements I've made and the performances I've put on

LK: Who had the idea to fight again, was it you, Yamato or Lion Fight who pushed for it?

KR: I'm sure it was a bit of all 3. It was a great fight and good for everyone so we all want to do it again 

LK: Is it possible for this rematch to live up to the hype, or are you kind of hoping to have an easier time with this fight and less of a knock-down, drag-out, grueling affair?

KR: I want all my fights to be ones that go down in history as great, I always want people to be entertained and as long as they are than I'm happy. I don't think you can ever really compare fights, as they are so unique and different in their own ways 

LK: You’ve had some time off since your last fight, was it important for you to get some rest after being as busy as you were after you returned from your injury?

KR: No, I hate time off and never want it, it was out of my hands unfortunately. I'm sure that my body and brain were happy to have a break but I always want to be as active as possible 

LK: How does it feel to see one of your good friends in Joe Schilling having the level of success that he’s had both in the kickboxing world and MMA arena over the past few years?

KR: I couldn't be happier for him! I'm a Muay Thai purist and will always prefer it but seeing him active and doing so well is wonderful 

LK: Do you still have the itch to try out kickboxing now that it is taking off a bit more in the United States or are you focused on muay thai for now?

KR: I've been focused on Muay Thai since day one, it's my true love, it's my passion and will always prefer it to any other type of fighting but as long as I'm in there than that's good enough for me

LK: What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned fighting over the past few years since your return from your knee injury and your profile being on the rise like it is?

KR: I'd say that no matter what struggles lay in front of you they can either be set backs or set ups for further progression, it's just a matter of how you look at them. When bad things happen I view them as tests to see if I really want something. You either overcome them or quit. They show you who people truly are. That's something I've always known, these last few years just instilled those things in me further. 

 

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Five Questions With Lion Fight 21's Tiffany Van Soest

This Friday evening on AXS TV Lion Fight 21 will be airing live from Los Angeles. The event is set to feature some of Lion Fight's top talents including a co-main event bout between Tiffany Van Soest and Chajma Bellekhal. We spoke with Tiffany during her busy week and got to ask her a few of the burning questions, from talk about the fight this weekend to her last fight in Enfusion.

LK: Women’s fighting has really taken off in a big way over the past few years thanks to the UFC, Invicta and even yourself in Lion Fight, how does it feel to be one of the more-talked about women in combat sports? 

VS: I really don’t feel that Muay Thai gets as much recognition as it deserves. MMA is HUGE and only getting bigger so it tends to cast a shadow over Muay Thai, however it is an honor to be considered one of the best at what I do. I don’t really think that I am talked about that much since I am a Muay Thai fighter and if I am talked about, it is usually about my transition to MMA. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating because although I have poured my heart and soul into Muay Thai. I appreciate that my skills are respected, but I wish people would appreciate Muay Thai for Muay Thai instead of thinking about how I would do in MMA.

LK: How important is it to you to get your rematch down the line for a shot to get your Lion Fight championship back? 

VS: I’m just taking it one fight at a time for now. I know Scott and Christine at Lion Fight will give me my title shot back when they feel the time is right. I know I have already earned it with 4 (soon to be 5) not only wins, but dominant performances since losing my title. It’s only a matter of time.

LK: How was your experience fighting Denise Kielholtz in Enfusion? They use really interesting and different rules compared to most Dutch kickboxing with there being a focus on throws, did it throw you off at all? 

It was a great experience. I got to kickbox in the mecca of kickboxing. And being of Dutch descent, it was really cool to see Holland and meet some of my extended family. The rules of Enfusion totally favored Denise’s style and judo background, but it made no difference to me. I went to her home country and fought under her rules. The throws did throw me off a little (no pun intended). I was hesitant to close the gap because I knew she would try to grab me and throw me when I got close enough. No losses though, just lessons. Of course i’m disappointed I walked away without the title or the win, but overall it was still a great experience. Denise is an amazing fighter.

LK: Where would a win over Bellekhal place you in the division right now, you think? 

VS: I already know I’m at the top of the division. A win will just solidify that even more.

LK: After your experience with Enfusion are you looking to try fighting outside of muay thai again any time soon in kickboxing or MMA, or sticking to muay thai for now? 

VS: Muay Thai it is. My commitment and contractual obligations are with Lion Fight right now.

 

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New Japan on AXS TV Tonight Features Tanahashi vs. Nakamura

Sure, it's not explicitly kickboxing but we'll always be riding the fact that K-1's roots were in Japanese professional wrestling to the grave.

Tonight on AXS TV they'll be airing another episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling, this time it'll be from the January 4th Tokyo Dome event back in 2014. The match? Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. If you watched this year's Dome show you were probably let down by a lack of pomp and ridiculous entrances, but last year's Dome show they went all out. 

Be prepared for huge entrances for both guys and for Tanahashi to have a reason to play air guitar for once. Of course it is a good match, not the best match of 2014, but one of the best spectacles for sure. It was also an important match considering the fans voted for it to be the main event over the IWGP Title match between Okada and Naito. Tanahashi and Nakamura are the two top guys in New Japan and while they've met a ton of times (Mauro gives the precise number during the call, including tags it is insanity), it is always a special occasion.

AXS does things right when it comes to the presentation. While we all hated those goofy ads that they initially ran for NJPW on AXS, the actual shows themselves are well-presented and the match is bookended by interviews, video packages and storyline context. Mauro and Barnett are as solid as ever and really help to make the match feel as big as it is. So tune in tonight and don't miss this one because it's a big one.

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Nieky Holzken

Nieky Holzken has not only been an unstoppable force in Glory lately but also was a big part in the two most viewed Glory cards to date. So it seemed only natural that we should sit down and have a little talk with him about all his recent success.

LK: Hello Nieky, thank you for taking the time for this interview. How has everything been since we saw you last in Virginia?

NH: hello yeah I'm fine training is going well.

LK: Lets start from the beginning, what age did you start Kickboxing, where did you start and what made you start?

NH: i start when i was 10 because of the movie Kickboxer in a gym called Yamaneko.

LK: What are your Current fight stats height, weight, record, etc?

NH: im 183cm 77 kg 103fights/92/11/53ko's

LK: How and who gave you the Nickname "The Natural"?

NH: Mike Passenier from Mike's Gym after a fight in England.

LK: What do you like to do during your time away from the gym?

NH: gaming, watching movies

LK: Even though you had a few Pro boxing fights last year, and a kickboxing fight in December, you said you still felt a bit rusty against Stetsurenko can you explain this?

NH: yeah he was a strong guy and i keep in mind that i have to fight a final

LK: How nice did it feel to get back in the Glory ring after one year, not only once but twice in one night so you could totally knock off the ring rust?

NH: yeah it feel great, I did what I had to do.

LK: Give me your honest opinion, did Raymond Daniels get up from your knockdowns more times than you expected? Also how did you feel about the ref giving you an 8 count in that fight?

NH: yeah he has good heart to come up every, time respect for him. But I don't deserve the 8 count I slipped and stand up very fast and it didn't hurt me.

LK: I'm sure you heard that both the #1 and #2 most viewed Glory events are Tokyo, and Virginia which both included you, what do you think about this?

NH: its luck i'm guessing haha

LK: One thing i've been wondering lately about your career is what is the difference between the Nieky Holzken at 70kgs as opposed to 77kgs, I've always noticed you are much more dominant at the heavier weight, is it the weight cut?

NH: yeah its the weight cut that was my biggest fights

LK: We all know that your next Glory fight will be against Valtellini, we just aren't sure when yet. Do you have any other fights planned in the meantime?

NH: yeah two fights in boxing april 19 and 24 may

LK: Valtellini has been very outspoken about fighting you on social media since his close victory over Mark De Bonte even though you have already knocked him out. I spoke to some of your family about this in Virginia, but I think you should tell all the fans how you feel about Valtellini, don't hold back.

NH: yeah Valtelinni says hes the champ and that he expects more from the next time we meet so he will get more much more.

LK: How was training in America with the Blackzillians compared to training in Holland?

NH: yeah the same because I train only with my trainer.

LK: What does the future hold for "The Natural"? Possible Pro boxing career? have there actually been talks with Showtime signing you?

NH: I concentrate a lot on boxing. I didn't hear anything about showtime I wish haha.

LK: Last question is 4 questions I ask everyone, Hardest Puncher you've fought? 

NH: I don't now really i fought so much 

LK: Hardest Kicker you've fought? 

NH: Buakaw

LK: Hardest Fight? 

NH: It was a B class amatuer fight against Ali Mogtagari I won by KO but got two eight counts myself haha

LK: Your favourite fighter? 

NH: Ramon Dekker/Mike Tyson

LK: Thank you so Much Nieky for this interview is there anything else you would like to say to your fans, sponsors, etc?

NH: I want to thank all the fans for support, love you all and my family and sponsor they will keep me going ush.

LK: Well I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to watch your next fight for the Glory title and I wish you all the best for the future.

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Gabriel Varga

We caught up with Glory's #3 ranked featherweight Gabriel Varga after a sparring session at WKX with fellow Glory fighter Josh Jauncey. He is deep into his training camp for his Glory featherweight title fight against Mosab Amrani at Glory 20 in Dubai and is feeling great. Gabriel is always a man of few words and attracts all his fans with his exciting style in the ring but it was great to hear him open up to us more than usual.

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VIDEO: Tyrone Spong Successful in Boxing Debut with Vicious KO

Well, that was quick.

Tyrone Spong made his professional Boxing debut today in Germany against, well, some guy. His opponent was Gabor Farkas who has had 41 professional boxing fights before tonight and had won seven of those. You do the math. He was no match for the King of the Ring, though, with the fight ending pretty quickly with a vicious knockout.

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Dave Walsh's Second Novel -- Terminus Cycle -- Launching on March 24th

Terminus Cycle by Dave Walsh

So really, what's the point of owning and operating a site that gets a lot of traffic if I'm not allowed to advertise on it myself, right? I know how much I charge other people for it and I know that most of them walk away happy with it. So bear with me a minute because no, this is not about kickboxing. Instead it's about me. I know that your gut reaction is either, "ugh, fuck you" or "oh cool." I appreciate either one, at least you are thinking about me, right?

If you'll remember far back into the depths of history you'll remember that I released my first novel back in 2013. It was called "The Godslayer" and it was about a retired MMA fighter coping with life after his retirement when his legacy was beginning to fade and tarnish. I know that I'm kind of a nihilist and that a lot of you thought that it was a bleak outlook on MMA, but it's two years later and from the feedback that I've gotten I can gather that some actually agree now. "The Godslayer" was more of a test than anything else. I wanted to see how much interest that I could drum up and did things as low budget as I could.

This week the pre-order for my next novel went live on Amazon. It is called "Terminus Cycle" and it is entirely different from "The Godslayer." Nothing to do with professional fighting and is instead the beginning of a series of science fiction novels that I plan to release over the next few years. A lot of time and [my own] money went into this, but I'm excited about it. I know that the crossover for this is probably not that great, but still, I know that there are some nerds out there like myself so I urge you to check it out if it sounds like something you'd be interested in. 

It launched on March 24th on Amazon's Kindle, you can pre-order it here. You can also check out a sample chapter on my personal website if you are interested but unsure if its for you.

As always I thank you for your support and thank you for sticking with us over the years. 

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Video: Andy Souwer vs Hideya Tanaka

On February 11, 2015 Andy Souwer fought Hideya Tanaka on the No Kick No Life event in Japan.

It seems to me that Souwer doesn't age, in fact recently hes looking more like the Andy that won K-1 Max years ago. This head kick KO of Tanaka is so perfect it even surprised me watching, I can't imagine how Tanaka felt. Andy has a full schedule of fights for 2015, and he couldn't have asked for a better start than this.

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VIDEO: Enriko Kehl vs. Erkan Varol and Zabit Samedov vs. Merit Arkan

K-1 World MAX Champion Enriko Kehl has been keeping busy while he is set for a showdown with the legendary Giorgio Petrosyan in just a matter of weeks now. Earlier this year Petrosyan fought Erkan Varol, picking up a victory over Varol. Now Kehl has gone and done the same thing, this being a rematch between the two. They met this weekend in Turkey and Kehl looked confident in the fight. Of course, the test of Petrosyan is a big one for the young fighter, but hopefully he'll be ready come April 11th.

Also on the card was the man who knocked Badr Hari out, Zabit Samedov. Samedov fought Merit Arkan.

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Video: Israel Adesanya vs. Kim Loudon

Luckily the Knees of Fury promotion has most of their fights on to Youtube shortly after the event so we were able to watch Adesanya's last fight. Now I personally have not seen a full fight (only clips) of his since he fought Verlinden at Glory 15. I know he's been doing some professional Boxing with the Super 8 tournaments and feel it showed in this fight, his boxing and head movement looked amazing, but I felt he was actually looking too much like a boxer at some points. I'd like to see him back in Kickboxing or Muay Thai fights more often just to get that kicking groove back. Otherwise he demolished Kim Loudon and stopped him in the 3rd with some nasty looking elbows that looked as though they could have been stopped sooner. Israel standing in the middle of the ring instead of going to his corner between the 1st and 2nd round made me laugh pretty hard.

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