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UFC's Kenny Florian Works with Cosmo Alexandre for UFC 131, a Paradigm Shift

  • Published in Kickboxing

CosmoThis weekend former UFC Lightweight contender Kenny Florian will officially make the move to Featherweight. Florian’s move to Featherweight is the first of its kind since WEC’s Featherweight division was folded into the UFC, Jose Aldo being crowned as the first UFC Featherweight Champion. For fans, Florian almost immediately becomes a top contender for the Featherweight title, with Diego Nunes his first opponent.

If you are a kickboxing fan, the possibility of a Florian and Aldo clash is a bit different, as both fighters are known for their striking prowess. Aldo is known for his explosive power in his striking, while Florian is known for adding a solid in-tight Muay Thai game to his outstanding jiu-jitsu. What is truly interesting is that both men have incorporated some of the finest kickboxers in the world to their training camps.

Jose Aldo while preparing for his UFC debut went to the Netherlands to train with one of the finest competitors that 70kg has ever seen in Andy Souwer. Andy Souwer can bring an interesting perspective to Aldo’s striking, as Souwer not only has experience in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but he is also one of the best to ever compete in Japan’s strange hybrid sport of Shoot Boxing. Shoot Boxing incorporates the standard Kickboxing rules along with Judo elements of throws and standing submissions. To excel at Shoot Boxing, you not only need a solid stand up game, but you need to have a strong clinch game and grappling defense as well. Aldo went to war with Mark Hominick at UFC 129 to defend his title, with a possible title fight against Chad Mendes on the horizon once his injuries are healed. Aldo has expressed that he will work with Andy Souwer again, and Andy Souwer has also expressed that he’d love to train MMA with Aldo.

In the same vein, Kenny Florian has brought Cosmo Alexandre into his training camp for his Featherweight debut. Cosmo has made it clear that he is very much wanting to get into the world of MMA sometime soon, and aligning himself with Kenny Florian is a great place to start. Cosmo Alexandre is the former It’s Showtime 77MAX Champion, who only lost his title via politics when It’s Showtime was unhappy with him taking another fight close to his next title defense without their consent and he was unhappy with their contract situation. Cosmo has held multiple world Muay Thai titles and fought all over the world, generally considered one of the best Muay Thai fighters who Kickboxes in his weight class, he can provide Florian with a different approach to his Muay Thai. Florian, known for being a Mark DellaGrote Muay Thai student has learned a lot from Mark, but truth be told, training with fighters who not only currently compete, but are seen as some of the best in the world is vastly different.

What these two UFC fighters looking to some of the elite kickboxers of the world shows is that international kickboxing is gaining more respect in the United States, and elite fighters are realizing that not all stand up training is the same, to train and work with some of the most elite strikers in the world is a vastly different and rewarding experience from the same, cookie-cutter “Stand Up” training that you’ll see at your local MMA gyms across the country. I look forward to the days where more UFC fighters are talking about how incredible these fighters are that we already know are incredible.

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Gabriel Varga

  • Published in Interviews

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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K-1 World GP in Japan: Featherweight Championship Tournament Results

  • Published in K-1

K-1 crowned a Featherweight Champion in Japan last night and it was -- of course -- the ultra-violent Takeru who took the crown. Here are the quick results from the fights.

11.03.2016

Yoyogi National Gymnasium

Tokyo Japan

Live on AbemaTV (fight channel) 16:00 JP / 12AM PST / 3AM EST

~Prelims~

Yuki Egawa def Ryota (Punches, left to liver then head)

Ryuya Mineyama def Yuto Shinohara DEC (Unanimous)

Rukiya def Hisaki Hashimoto DEC (Unanimous)

~Opening Ceromony~

~K-1 Featherweight Championship Grand Prix~

reserve bout : Hirotaka Asahisa def Yuta Otaki DEC (Unanimous)

K-1 World GP Featherweight Quarter Final #1 : Ozawa Kaito def Josh Tonna KO 1R (Flying knee to the body)

K-1 World GP Featherweight Quarter Final #2 : Elias Mahmoudi def Ryuma Tobe DEC (Unanimous)

K-1 World GP Featherweight Quarter Final #3 : Yun Qi def Shota Kanbe KO 3R ( Two knockdowns, punches & flying knee )

K-1 World GP Featherweight Quarter Final #4 : Takeru def Jamie Whelan DEC (Unanimous)

K-1 Koshien 2016 -55kg Final : Taito Gunji def Ryuya Tsubakihara DEC (Unanimous)

K-1 Koshien 2016 -60kg Final : Yuma Saikyo def Takumi Yokoyama DEC (Unanimous)

K-1 Koshien 2016 -65kg Final : Kensei Kondo def Umi Honma DEC (Unanimous)

~intermission~

K-1 World GP Featherweight Semifinal #1 Kaito Ozawa def Elias Mohmoudi DEC (Unanimous)

K-1 World GP Featherweight Semifinal #2 Takeru def Yun Qi KO 2R (Punches)

Yasuomi Soda def Fawad Seddiqi DEC (Unanimous)

Yuta Kubo def Keita Makihira DEC (Unanimous)

Sanny Dahlbeck def Yashuhiro Kido KO 2R (Punches and Knee)

K-1 World GP Featherweight GP Championship Final Takeru def Kaito Ozawa Dec (Unanimous, Takeru dominated this rematch from the beginning and he dropped Kaito twice with flurries near the end of round one. Takeru didn't fight with caution as both slugged it out until the end)

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