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Bob Sapp Speaks Out About FEG; "K-1 is extremely broke. So is DREAM."

  • Published in K-1

Bob SappWhen it rains it pours, and right now it will pour for FEG. Amid reports of FEG's financial woes and possible bankruptcy and morbid fate, Bob Sapp decided to speak out about FEG after the Dynamite!! 2010 disaster where his fight with Wakakirin never happened. Tanikawa told fans and the press that Bob Sapp attempted to renegotiate before the fight and that his "fighting spirit" was low. Seeing as though Bob Sapp made himself a millionaire in Japan, he couldn't let that sit. He spoke with MMAJunkie and some of what he said was known, some was rather shocking, like FEG not even having its own office anymore. Sapp was contracted to fight for $30,000.

Instead, he claims FEG executive Sadaharu Tanikawa offered him $15,000 shortly after he arrived in the country the week prior to the event. He refused and made a counter-offer of $25,000, a sum which he claims is half of what the promotion owed him for previous services.

...
Sapp claims he has a contract with FEG that verifies the rate of pay he was expected to receive for the Dec. 31 fight, as well as other fights, though he said the promotion has yet to honor the terms of that deal. During the promotion's heyday in the mid-2000s, he said he was routinely paid between $350,000 and $400,000 to fight.

Sapp went on to explain that K-1 and DREAM are "extremely broke" and that he has no expectations for them. Could this be the last we see of Bob Sapp in K-1 or DREAM? [source]

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Watch DREAM.18/GLORY 4 on LiverKick Dec. 31st

  • Published in Glory

Glory

It truly is that time of year, isn't it? It is the time of year for high level Kickboxing to take the center stage at the GLORY 4 TOKYO Grand Slam Tournament, which features 16 of the best Heavyweights in the world in a one-night tournament unlike we've ever seen before. Of course, a lot of you out there are also looking forward to a New Year's Eve event with some DREAM.18 action, and GLORY's partnership with DREAM is making that happen this year.

So I've heard from a bunch of people who want to know how they can watch this supershow or when it even starts, well, as always, LiverKick has you covered unlike anyone else. Just like for past GLORY events you will be able to stream DREAM.18/GLORY 4 TOKYO live on LiverKick. Check the video below to order the PPV now, which will cost $20 USD for this huge, huge event. It begins at 16:00 Tokyo time, which is 2:00am Eastern and 11:00PM Pacific time with the DREAM.18 card, which is scheduled for four hours, and then the GLORY event begins.

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Let's Kill that Bobby Lashley vs. Overeem Rumor

  • Published in K-1

As with anything FEG-related, it is best to approach anything you hear like a one night stand; carefully, with protection, and to do your best to forget about it the next morning. Our friends at NightmareOfBattle learned that the Lashley vs. Overeem bout is indeed "off" -- as if it was ever truly on.

From what we are hearing currently, Lashley's management turned down the fight due to not having enough time to prepare for a bout of that magnitude, which all-in-all is a very smart move. Liver Kick is still waiting to hear back from Alistair Overeem's management as to what the future plans are, but we do know that Bobby Lashley will not be the opponent, nor will Satoshi Ishii, who is fighting Jerome Le Banner instead.

The current rumor is that Golden Glory fighters will clash in the fight that fans across the world were waiting for at this year's World Grand Prix; Alistair Overeem vs. Semmy Schilt. No word on the validity of this rumor, or if it would be DREAM or K-1 rules, but we should have more details within the next few days.

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Todd Duffee vs. Alistair Overeem is Off, Finally?

  • Published in K-1

I feel like we've been crushing dreams lately when it comes to Alistair Overeem. LiverKick.com has barely been up a week and we've been able to assure you that Bobby Lashley would not fight Alistair Overeem, Satoshi Ishii and were pretty skeptical of Todd Duffee happening. Overeem's people seemed less-than-confident of the fight happening after all of the nonsense, and apparently as of today, the fight is officially off. We haven't been able to officially confirm what happened this morning, but all signs are indeed pointing to Todd Duffee turning down the contract at the last minute.

Around the Octogon has decided to pit their credibility for this story (note the one comment from "Monte Cox"). As always, grains, salt, use them.

Todd Duffee and DREAM officials had a verbal agreement in place for him to face Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem at Dream Dynamite 2010 on New Years Eve. But when he received the contract this morning the money wasn’t right and Duffee decided to pass on the fight. ATO learned of the situation earlier today through a source close to Duffee

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So, Apparently "FEG Will Die" According to Tanikawa

  • Published in K-1

FEG Might be No More?That really isn't a sensationalist headline or anything, that is a quote from FEG President Tanikawa from Sports Graphic that was released the other day in Japan. This comes around the same time that Tanikawa posted on his twitter that he would "do something huge." Actually, this interview came before that tweet was pushed out to the public. Quote comes from NOB, as always.

“The current course is that FEG will die. There are probably staff members that will leave as well. The event name will be left but the promotion will change. If the current structure remains as it is it will be impossible to continue. If many investments from companies overseas do not come in we can’t survive.”

One can only really wonder what exactly will become of K-1 and DREAM. As we have been reporting from way back when we were HKL, part of the deal in place with PUJI was that FEG would need to do some serious restructuring to continue on into 2011. FEG was against major restructuring and the deal came to a standstill, when in the 11th hour PUJI and FEG came to an agreement and PUJI had found a few suitable investors for the restructured FEG.

So it looks like the FEG that we know and love will cease to exist, and in its place something new. K-1 and DREAM will continue on, and to the casual observer, there may not be too many differences. Now it is time to simply wait and see what else is announced in the coming days.

UPDATE: As always, if you use Twitter, you should follow @DanHerbertson, as he has some more quotes.

UPDATE 2: A sneaking suspicion was confirmed by Stuart Tomkin, that these quotes are indeed from the Dynamite!! post-press conference.

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Former K-1 Fighter Hong Man Choi Booked for Assaulting Woman in Korea

  • Published in K-1

Hong Man Choi and FedorFormer K-1 and DREAM fighter Hong Man Choi (Choi Hong-Man in Korea) has apparently found himself in some legal trouble this week after a report came out that he purportedly assaulted her in his bar on October 8th while arguing over a bill. The woman claims that Choi had overcharged her and began to argue with Choi over the sum on the bill, which then escalated into a heated argument and ended with Choi punching her in the head. She waited until the next day and posted the complaint against Choi on an internet police portal.

Police have questioned Choi, who admitted that there was an argument with the female customer. The customer then began hurling insults at the former K-1 fighter before he claimed he could not take the abuse anymore and that he "pushed her just a little bit."

Choi regrets pushing the woman, but insists that if she continues to claim that he punched her that he will pursue legal action of his own against the slander. He is so insistent that he only shoved her and didn't punch her that he has gone as far as to claim he'll retire from K-1 if he is lying. [source]

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Duffee Accepts Fight with Alistair Overeem; U.S. Media Stymied

  • Published in K-1

Apparently, being let in on contract negotiations as they happen is not a good thing, which explains this afternoon's debacle with Todd Duffee. A member of Todd Duffee's fight camp told a blog, AroundTheOctogon.com, that the money offered to Todd Duffee was not as verbally agreed upon, so Duffee was not taking the fight. Now the same site is reporting that Duffee has sorted out the issues and will indeed fight Alistair Overeem on New Year's Eve in Japan.

It is great to finally see Alistair Overeem's opponent for New Year's Eve ironed out, and that apparently Duffee can expect that $60k paycheck from FEG, of course, whenever FEG has the money.

There are a few issues that have arisen from this that should become crystal clear to the casual onlooker, the first and possibly most important is that Japanese MMA has become important in the United States. A few years ago something being passed around message boards, blogs and news sites would be written off as unimportant, but with how the media is now and how the average consumer receives their news, that is not the case. Japanese MMA might be a dying fad in Japan itself, but something new is happening here, and it should be noted. For all of the fatalism paperclipped to MMA's file, I'm not quite sure that anyone expected a fighter from Holland who became a name in the United States fighting in Japan would make such a splash on such an isolated, hard to read country as Japan.

This year's Dynamite!! card will appeal to the hardcore fan, but to the casual MMA fan who might not follow Japanese MMA, Alistair Overeem's name being attached to it has lent it some much-needed credibility and hype. The question that I ask is this; is Alistair Overeem what Japanese MMA needs to survive? Is a fighter becoming a huge name internationally while making Japan their de facto home going to help bring in attention to a sport dying on the vine there? Time will only tell.

The other issue is that, with this, comes a wealth of MMA bloggers and legitimate reporters (I mean this at no slight to bloggers anywhere) who have very little knowledge about just how insane the Japanese MMA world is. Where in the United States, a last minute fight like this would result in a rumor, closed contract negotiations and a resolution, Alistair Overeem's journey for a fight has led to endless rumors, assurances from some of the MMA world's top reporters that fell flat and people squabbling over whose sources are more legitimate than others.

I hope that everyone has learned something.

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Alistair Overeem Makes a Cameo in Music Video

  • Published in Kickboxing

K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Heavyweight Champion and now former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem has a big fight coming up as he makes his UFC debut, squaring off against Brock Lesnar. Apparently in one of his past trips to California he ended up plopped down in the middle of a set for a music video for "electro-pop" group LMFAO. If you are like me and are an adult male who has not flicked on the radio in the past ten years, the fact that this music exists can be alarming, disturbing and mildly amusing, but to each their own. Alistair Overeem appears in this video, which at least makes it sort of manly. This is LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" music video which includes men in banana hammocks shaking their stuff. Thankfully Overeem refrains from, to quote Mrs. Bluth, "waggling his pickle."

If this isn't for you, see how it's done for fighters in music videos after the break.

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Nagashima vs. Aoki Rules Set

  • Published in K-1

Yuichiro NagashimaDynamite!! is just two days away, and in true FEG style, we're still getting the final details figured out.  One important piece of info just released is the rules for the Shinya Aoki v. Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima fight.  All that was known so far is that they would be alternating rounds of K-1 and MMA, but now we have the specifics.

The bout will start with a 3 minute K-1 rules round.  Round 2 will be 5 minutes under Dream rules.  If there is no winner after those 2 rounds, the fight will automatically be ruled a draw and will not be scored by judges.  And then there's this - regular MMA style gloves will be worn for both rounds.

That last rule adds a new wrinkle to things.  We're not accustomed to seeing a K-1 fighter like Jienotsu striking with smaller MMA gloves, nor is he used to using them.  This should increase the chances of a KO, but it also increases the chances of a broken hand. 

I'm glad they are starting with the K-1 round.  As I said when this was announced, I think Nagashima's chances of surviving 5 minutes under MMA rules with Aoki are almost nonexistent.  The intrigue of this fight comes from the standing portion.  Common sense says Aoki should use his reach and defensive skills to try and survive those 3 minutes.  But I have a suspicion that Aoki's emotions could get the best of him, leading the Dream champion to actively engage Jienotsu on the feet.  If that happens, it should spell doom for Aoki, but those MMA fighters have a pesky way of surprising their K-1 opponents.  Either way, this should be interesting, and is one of my personal Dynamite highlights this year.

Also announced were the rules for Bob Sapp v. Shinichi Suzukawa, which will be DREAM MMA rules with no gloves, closed fist strikes are not allowed, and you are permitted to throw open palm hand strikes.  Sounds like a throwback to the old Pancrase days to me.

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More Alistair Overeem Rumors: Todd Duffee

  • Published in K-1

If you haven't had enough Alistair Overeem rumors, prepare for a new one. Remember the opponent of the week last week? Last week, Bobby Lashley was all-but-confirmed according to multiple websites, with a Strikeforce employee tweeting that Lashley was going to be the man to step up and fight Alistair Overeem. The way that FEG has handled Alistair Overeem is really no different than the way that they handle any other fighter, the main difference is that Overeem holds a championship in a United States promotion, Strikeforce.

This immediately means that any Overeem news garners attention from the media and blogs in the US and the speculation goes through the roof. In a way, it is a severe shortcoming on the part of FEG. FEG has finally found a star that could help them truly break through to a United States audience, but they are treating him like business-as-usual.

Last night, Todd Duffee posted on his Facebook page that you can watch him vs. "Overeem" on HDnet on New Year's Eve. So now there is a post on Sherdog that the fight is "50-50." At this point, Duffee has signed his cotract and the money has been hammered out between his camp and FEG, he simply needs to attain a short-term visa and everything is a go, right?

I feel like a grandfather trying to talk to his teenage grandson about the time he got the clap in Korea while all the kid can think about is getting laid. Everyone is so excited for the prospect of Overeem finally having a fight that they are missing the fact that this feels familiar. Last week Dave Meltzer, the most reliable reporter in the business (I know, Helwani does cool backstage videos, I know) said he was certain of the Lashley fight happening. Last year Andrei Arlovski's camp applied for a temporary work visa and had signed a contract, too.

No matter who the source, how certain they are, until the ink is completely dry and FEG announces it, Overeem does not have an opponent.

UPDATE: According to sources close to the situation, Todd Duffee has agreed to be paid $60,000 to fight Overeem and has not been training for a fight at all, this was completely last minute. Official announcement expected the 27th.

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