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LiverKick Best of 2013: Fighter of the Year

  • Published in News

Photo (C) Bauzen

The year 2013 was a tremendous year for the sport of Kickboxing as we saw GLORY take aim at America as one of its home bases and really made some strides that I honestly thought we’d never see for the sport here. GLORY not only ran shows, but they ran a bunch of shows and those shows were attended by a good number of paying customers. Then, to top it off, GLORY moved from CBS Sports Network and internet PPVs to Spike TV, picking up steam and viewers with every show. That was a big deal.

GLORY wasn’t the only organization to make moves, either, as we saw another season of the SuperKombat World Grand Prix, the birth of LEGEND in Russia and K-1 starting to get the gears in motion by running both a Heavyweight World Grand Prix and a World MAX tournament within the same year. But which company did what doesn’t really matter, what matters are the fights and the fighters.

Throughout the coming week we’ll be looking at the best of 2013 throughout multiple categories, but first we kick things off with LiverKick’s 2013 Fighter of the Year, which was probably the most competitive category of them all. Just about every GLORY tournament winner deserved a spot as Fighter of the Year and the decision between the last two was incredibly difficult, but a decision was rendered. First, let’s look at the runner-up.

LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year - Runner Up: Andy Ristie

Man, what a year for Andy Ristie. The man was a wrecking machine with a five-fight win streak in 2013, including two wins that eclipsed the rest. Ristie’s wins were over Alessandro Campagna, Albert Kraus, Niclas Larsen, Giorgio Petrosyan and Robin van Roosmalen. The last two were by knockout to claim the spot of #1 in the 70kg division across the world, which is a herculean feat.

If it wasn’t for the guy who claimed the top spot having as great of a year as he did, Andy Ristie would have been a shoo-in for Fighter of the Year.

LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year: Tyrone Spong

Andy Ristie’s 2013 was incredibly impressive, but Tyrone Spong’s 2013 started off with a complete annihilation of a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion in Remy Bonjasky before heading into the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament. GLORY 9 was unique in that it was an 8-man tournament, not a 4-man tournament, meaning that Spong had to win three fights in one night, which saw him knock out Michael Duut, pummel Filip Verlinden for three rounds and then stop the reigning king of the Light Heavyweight division, Danyo Ilunga, in just one round.

What followed after that was Tyrone Spong making up for one of the few strange points of contention on his record with a rematch against the legendary Nathan “Carnage” Corbett. Carnage has been the king of 95kg Muay Thai for what seems like forever now, remaining unchallenged. Carnage was on a seven-year win streak (with a random No Contest to Spong in the mix, even though he had knocked Spong out) before he met Tyrone Spong and not only did Spong look good against Carnage, but he looked incredible. No one has been able to make Carnage look that lost in the ring, which is what set Tyrone Spong apart and made him the LiverKick 2013 Fighter of the Year.

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Check Out LiverKick's Post Fight Interviews with Verhoeven, Ristie, Jauncey, Holzken and More

  • Published in Video

(C) Glory Sports International

On Friday night GLORY 19 went down, where we saw Nieky Holzken run the gauntlet and walk away as the number one contender for the GLORY Welterweight Championship and Rico Verhoeven retained his GLORY Heavyweight Championship after Errol Zimmerman went down to a knee injury in the second round. It was one of the more exciting kickboxing events that we've had recently and will stick in people's memories for a while, that's for sure.

Our bud Carlo was there with his camera and he caught up with some of the fighters post-fight to get their thoughts.

Nieky Holzken

Rico Verhoeven

Josh Jauncey

Andy Ristie

Brian Collette

Francois Ambang

Xavier Vigney

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2014: The Emergence of Kickboxing World Titles

  • Published in Kickboxing

GLORY 9

There is going to be some big changes in the Kickboxing world come this year, a change that has been a long-time coming and will see a good deal of pushback from hardcore fans, with that change being that both GLORY and K-1 are going to be pushing individual Championships over tournament champions this year. That isn’t to say that there won’t still be tournaments, as GLORY will be holding Contendership tournaments and K-1 has made mention of still running some tournaments, just not annual World Grand Prix and World MAX tournaments. For a sport that became popular for one-night tournaments this is a huge change.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen World Titles in Kickboxing, not by a long shot. In fact, there are a lot of fighters out there in the wild right now who hold one, if not multiple, World Titles through different sanctioning bodies. The ISKA, PKA, WKA, WAKO and many more still sanction World Championships much in the way that we see Boxing with fragmented titles not belonging to any one promoter. The truth of the matter is, though, that those “World Championships” are only as valuable as the promotion, the fighters competing for it and the Champion who holds it.

K-1 attempted to establish Championship titles in the past, with Badr Hari being the first K-1 Heavyweight Champion and Semmy Schilt being the first (and only) K-1 Super Heavyweight Champion. This was K-1’s attempt to move away from the traditional K-1 tournament format in 2007 only to see pushback from both fans and their television partners, keeping the K-1 World Grand Prix as the primary means of crowning a champion.

The announcement by GLORY that this year would see them crown champions across six weight classes is huge, as is K-1’s move under the K-1 Global banner to crown champions outside of the tournament format and to stick to it. While for fans the idea of big tournaments is still the most exciting way to crown champions, it is also a mess for promoters while we watch the established names from the original K-1 starting to retire or show signs of wear and tear. The truth is without huge backing like K-1 had in the 90’s and 00’s from major television networks, building stars in more regions than K-1 ever had to is a huge chore.

Fans will always love their hometown heroes, but with Japan no longer being the home of Kickboxing building stars is now a matter of a global struggle, where you have to do more than appear on Japanese game shows and talk show programs to build up a name. As we saw with GLORY’s Lightweight Tournament, no one is safe, even the unstoppable Giorgio Petrosyan. Establishing Champions makes for something consistent, something that you can sell to the world, a face and a name to go on a masthead. In the case of tournaments you can sell who you think will win, but being able to bill them as your Champion is very different.

Fans understand what a Champion is, will be able to latch onto a Champion and the promotion can market that Champion as the best in the world. I, for one, think that it’ll be a nice change of pace to see Champions established in Kickboxing and for those titles to mean something. The unpredictability of tournaments is exciting and all, but if Kickboxing really wants to grow as a sport it needs to be more inviting, it needs to be more stable, which is exactly what having Champions will do for it.

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Best Of Glory On Spike TV, Tell Your Friends!

  • Published in Glory

Spike TV will be showing a one hour long segment on the best of Glory at 11pm ET/8pm PT right after Bellator's live show. For people who are already Glory Kickboxing fans this is a good time to watch some of the most exciting fights and hardest knockouts to excite you for their next event. It's also a good time to invite your die hard UFC fan boy friends to come and watch real excitement. There is no way that a fan of any combat sports will not enjoy one hour of Glory's best moments, from five round wars, to first round jumping, spinning heel kick knock outs Glory has it all.

This a perfect time for all the Kickboxing fans to support kickboxing and spread the word about Glory, it's free, one hour long and just enough time to get everyone hooked.

Check out Spike TV's Glory Page for extra information.

 

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Free Fight: Davit Kiria vs. Andy Ristie From GLORY 14

  • Published in Video

GLORY

Oh man. This weekend GLORY unlocked the entire GLORY 14 event on their website, GloryWorldSeries.com for your viewing pleasure. But if that is too much of a hurdle for you and you have not seen Davit Kiria vs. Andy Ristie for the GLORY Lightweight Championship then you are in for a treat. You can just sit back and watch it here, on LiverKick, thanks to GLORY for uploading it to their YouTube channel. See, they really want you to see this fight and you really should want to see this fight.

Watch it in all of its glory here.

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Glory Releases Full Glory 2 Brussels Card

  • Published in Glory

Glory Sports International have given the fans full access to Glory 2 in Brussels, Belgium from October 6, 2012. This event had no tournament, but it was stacked with top name super fights like Remy Bonjasky, Gokhan Saki, and Nieky Holzken just to name a few. Remy Bonjasky came out of retirement to earn a hard fought victory over Anderson "Braddock" Silva by decision after an extra round. Murthel Groenhart showed everyone how vicious he can be with huge knee to the face of Marc de Bonte to put him out cold, and Mark Miller showed why he should no longer be in the kickboxing ring. Overall it was a great show, and now its free for everyone to watch and enjoy.

Here is the full playlist of the show.

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