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UPDATE: Gokhan Saki and Others Possibly Also Leaving Golden Glory

  • Published in K-1

UPDATE 9/22: Saki tweets: "I haven't left golden glory at all. I'm still fighting for GG guys!!!" Sources still claiming that Saki and two others have left/are leaving, take that for what it is.
Gokhan Saki

UPDATE 21:04 Eastern Time: Bas Boon spoke with LiverKick.com, when prompted on Saki leaving, "Not that I am aware of..." Other sources still insist that Saki has left.

UPDATE 19:51 Eastern Time: Received independent confirmation from a source close to both Saki and Golden Glory that Saki is indeed out of Golden Glory. Glory has not finalized talks with K-1 yet and is apparently not working well with It's Showtime, so look carefully and put two and two together for other possible departures.

When it rains it pours. Earlier today it was announced that Alistair Overeem was leaving his home management and team of Golden Glory. Overeem has been a part of the Golden Glory umbrella for about twelve years now, since the formation of the team. Overeem has been described by Bas Boon as like "family" to him and the team, and Golden Glory trainer Martijn de Jong has been known to be very good friends with Alistair.

There has been a rumor that some of us have been sitting on for a while as it wasn't clear if it was ever going to come to fruition, but apparently it has. The latest rumor is that Gokhan Saki has also left team Golden Glory, but this has not been confirmed. LiverKick.com has reached out to Bas Boon for comment on this but have not heard back from him of yet. Generally speaking, we do not like to post rumors like this, but it has been a longstanding rumor, persisting for the better part of this year and with it coming out into the public's eye, now is as good of a time as any to talk about it.

Gokhan Saki had apparently been unhappy with Team Golden Glory for quite a while now, going as far back as last year's K-1 World Grand Prix. We had heard from multiple sources that Saki was aggressively looking for a way out of his contract with Golden Glory and looking to relocate and enter the world of MMA. While he could easily make a transition to MMA within the Golden Glory camp, he has been looking for new representation and for a new home to train, apparently sick of working with Golden Glory. This afternoon Percy Crawford of FightHype.com confirmed that he was indeed bringing Gokhan Saki stateside and helping him find a trainer. According to everyone's favorite MMA personality Bloodstain Lane, a "BIG TIME" boxing trainer.

The rumor doesn't stop with Gokhan Saki, though. There has been rumblings that Bas Boon's sick leave over the summer caused some massive internal problems at Golden Glory. Problems with Strikeforce and other big business deals that fell through had caused some friction between fighters, trainers and management with talks of some big names within the camp possibly leaving to pursue other options.

We'll give you more information when we have it.

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Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mighty Mo on May 28 in Russia

  • Published in Kickboxing

Sergei KharitonovThe GLORY World Series event on May 28 in Moscow just keeps getting bigger and bigger, as yet another big name kickboxing bout was added to the event yesterday. The promotion announced that two K-1 veterans, Mighty Mo Siliga and Sergei Kharitonov will meet in the ring under K-1 rules. Mighty Mo had a bit of a career resurgence last year when Andrei Arlovski had to pull out of his scheduled appearance at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 due to a broken nose and Mighty Mo happened to be in Seoul, South Korea to attend the show. The right place, right time worked out for Mighty Mo, who was able to defeat Raul Catinas via decision and move on to the Final 8.

Sergei Kharitonov was a late fill-in to start his K-1 career, when Chalid Arrab got injured and Kharitonov stepped in to fight Daniel Ghita at the tail end of 2009, only to be outclassed. Kharitonov didn't give up on K-1, making a return to the K-1 ring in 2010. Kharitonov scored a first round knockout over Takumi Sato at the Final 16, which secured him a spot in the Final 8 show in a reserve bout where Singh Jaideep utterly outclassed Kharitonov, knocking him out in the first round.

Kharitonov enters into his fourth professional kickboxing bout against Mighty Mo with the fight being a tossup. Mo is coming off of a loss to Peter Aerts in the Final 8, while Kharitonov is coming off of a win over Andrei Arlovski in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP. Kharitonov scored a first round knockout of Arlovski, backing Arlovski up and putting him down with a barrage of punches, proving that he has dynamite in his fists. Kharitonov is eagerly awaiting the next few bouts from the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, where he'll find out who his next opponent is. It comes as no surprise that Kharitonov will appear on the Golden Glory card, as many of the members of the Golden Glory gym tend to fill up the bigger Ultimate Glory/Glory World series cards.

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Mark "Fight Shark" Miller Returns to Action May 28th Against Nikolaj Falin

  • Published in Kickboxing

Mark MillerSometimes you work really hard for something and the payoff isn't immediate, other times you just get lucky and are in the right place at the right now. Other times you wait what feels like a lifetime and have to prove yourself and it can drive you mad. If you've been following K-1 religiously for the past 15 years, you'll know the name Mark Miller. No, I don't mean the IFL Middleweight MMA fighter that competed on UFC's The Ultimate Fighter, but instead the Heavyweight kickboxer who participated in a few of the K-1 Las Vegas Grand Prix tournaments at the turn of the century.

If you don't know Miller you are missing out, not only missing out on an incredible story of overcoming the odds and facing a lot of tough competition, you are missing out on an incredible talent and a great guy. Mark is the first fighter to ever stage a comeback after open heart surgery. I'm not kidding you. Check out the trailer to his upcoming documentary about his trials and tribulations as well as his comeback. After his comeback fight it will be a wrap on the film and it'll be released, telling his awesome story to the world.

His opponent is stiff competition in Nikolaj Falin, who many should know as the fighter who competed in the first round of the GLORY World Series against Gokhan Saki. If you saw that fight you know that he is no slouch at all and will absolutely be game competition for the man who was once talking with Kazuyoshi Ishii about being the American face of K-1 with both men in agreement that he was the future for American kickboxing.

This fight goes down May 28th at the Ultimate GLORY World Series final round as a K-1 Heavyweight Superfight. This fight will be huge for Miller and in the world of fighting this is absolutely a first as a fighter returns from open heart surgery and is doing so in tip-top shape.

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Gokhan Saki Off Jan. 30 Card?

  • Published in Kickboxing

Gokhan_SakiComing up on January 30 is the semi-final round of the United Glory World Series of Kickboxing and MMA - a pair of 8 man tournaments started last October and wrapping up this spring.  The current favorite to win the kickboxing side of the tournament is the #6 ranked Gokhan Saki, however the latest rumors indicate Saki may end up dropping out of the January 30 event.  Saki is still recovering from injuries suffered in his Grand Prix war with Daniel Ghita, and may not have time to get back in shape for this semi-final round.  If he does indeed drop out, Saki will likely be replaced by his Golden Glory stablemate Errol Zimmerman.  Zimmerman was originally scheduled to take part in the tournament, but had to drop out after being KO'd by Ghita at the K-1 Final 16.

The current semi-final matches have Saki vs. Wendel Roche and Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi, with the winners meeting in the finals on April 21.  Losing Saki would be unfortunate, but in all honesty would make the tournament more interesting.  As it stands right now, Saki is the prohibitive favorite - Roche, Guidon, and Bouzidi are all talented fighters, but Saki stands head and shoulders above them.  Zimmerman on the other hand is at a career low point, and more on a level with the other semi-finalists.  He has already faced both Roche (with Zimmerman pulling off a close extra round decision win) and Bouzidi (in a fight that Bouzidi won via cut stoppage).  Both opponents would make interesting rematches for The Bonecrusher, while the underrated Guidon would be a tough challenge for Zimmerman.  Entering this tournament would help give us a clear view of just where Zimmerman stands right now, so while I wish Saki the best recovery, I won't complain about this switch if it happens.

On the MMA side, the semi-finals are currently listed as Siyar Bahadurzada vs. John Alessio and Roan Carneiro vs. Tommy Depret, however there is some shuffling over here also, as Alessio posted on twitter that he has been forced to drop out due to an injury suffered in training.  No word yet on a possible replacement. Again, winners here will meet in the finals on April 21.

The rest of the January 30 card includes a number of kickboxing and MMA super fights.  Two fights of note for kickboxing fans: Robin van Roosmalen will be in action, though his opponent is not yet determined; and Frederic Sinistra faces Filip Verlinden.

The entire card will be streamed at UnitedGlory.tv.  For details, including the complete line-up, be sure to visit UnitedGlory.nl.

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Golden Glory's Cor Hemmers Calls Overeem Situation a "Setup"

  • Published in K-1

Cor HemmersGolden Glory fires yet another shot over the bow in the legal situation that is brewing between former Golden Glory team member Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory management. Overeem claims that Golden Glory was dishonest with him and were bad management to him, while Golden Glory is claiming that Alistair owes them quite a substantial amount of money as per part of his agreement with them. Now MixFight.nl has spoken with Cor Hemmers about the situation, and he feels like Overeem is way out of line.

"The management made a great deal for Alistair with the UFC. Alistair was very happy with this deal himself. During the negotiations the management spoke with Alistair about the changes being made to all of the agreements, and during the final stages of the negotiations both the management and UFC sent Alistair all of the documents for his comments and approval. Alistair went on his way to ZUFFA headquarters in Las Vegas where he would sign the contract himself. And that’s where Alistair decided to change course…”

“I feel it’s a setup” says Cor, “because Alistair wasn’t satisfied with the percentages for the trainers and the management . In fact, he tried to lower the percentages for the trainers when it became clear that his income would increase in the near future. Alistair wanted to discuss a new compensation system more in the form of a fixed fee and not based on percentages. Although we have no say in this – it’s a deal between the management and Alistair – he talked about this with Martijn de Jong and me after a training session. I am disappointed in the way he acts now and the financial proposal that he made to Martijn which was way below the regular percentage for trainers. I have always felt it’s a team effort to get these boys including Alistair to the highest level of the sport."

He ends the interview with "a contract is a contract," which seems to be the prevailing mindset within the camp. From what Cor says here, it appears that Overeem was looking to alter his contract with Golden Glory to make it look more like a management contract from the United States, including paying the trainers separately, based on a flat fee as opposed to the percentage of the management contracts that they are currently paid per fighter. We'll have more on this story when it is available. [source]

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Why Mark "Fight Shark" Miller's Return is Huge for American Kickboxing

  • Published in Kickboxing

Photo Credit: John Remus / johnremus.comI’ve had a few people ask me about the upcoming fight we just announced for Mark “Fight Shark” Miller against Nikolaj Falin in Ultimate GLORY on May 28. Lots of people are excited about Miller’s comeback, while others have asked me why exactly this fight is a big deal for American kickboxing. The truth of the matter is, the fight is a very big deal for the sport of kickboxing and combat sports in general because this has never been done before.

As someone who has been writing about kickboxing for a while now, I can honestly say that there is a lot of disappointment that comes with the territory. In the United States the kickboxing scene got wiped out by scandal in the early 90’s and then the rise of the UFC. All of the big names grew old or started training MMA fighters and gave up the kickboxing dream in the United States. The best we get is Joe Rogan’s commentary in the UFC where he’ll mention a fighter having experience in K-1 or international kickboxing experience.

Whenever I’d talk candidly with someone about kickboxing in the US and how to help it grow, it was always written off as a lost cause. “There are no US stars,” they’d say. When I’d talk to some of the big name fight promoters in Europe about bringing over US guys or promoting in the US, “they aren’t on the same level, my guys would kill them.”

As you can imagine, you hear that enough and you really get the impression that the market is just too tough right now and no one believes in it. There are some Muay Thai fighters, like Kevin Ross, who have made a name internationally, but Muay Thai and kickboxing are very different beasts. So imagine a break like the GLORY World Series inviting their first American kickboxer to a card and how big of a deal that is.

Miller brings with him a rather unique story, as he made it almost to the top of the mountain in the world of kickboxing, in K-1, when things started to go wrong. He had a heart condition from birth that he was able to work through, and for having that condition he made it very far, until he realized the only way to move forward with his career was open heart surgery. Not only will Miller be the first American kickboxer to compete for GLORY in May, but he’ll be the first fighter to ever return from open heart surgery and get put right into the fire.

For a comeback fight, Falin is no slouch. It will actually be stiff competition and just shows the level of commitment that Miller has for fighting. He wasn’t looking for anything to be handed to him, just to be able to prove himself again. There were talks once of Miller being “the guy” for K-1 in the United States, but for multiple reasons that never panned out. Now is a chance for kickboxing in the US to have a modern name attached to it and he will have truly overcome incredible odds to get there.

We’ll be bringing you more features on Mark Miller’s comeback over the next month and a half including photos, videos and interviews. If you'd like to contact Mark about doing interviews, sponsorships or to ask any questions, contact his team This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Fight Game to Broadcast the Glory World Series LIVE on YouTube PPV

  • Published in Kickboxing

We've entered a brave new world for kickboxing, as Fight Game has been doing a lot of hustling behind the scenes lately. This is another big piece of news that we've been sitting on out of respects for the companies and not wishing to do any potential harm to such huge news as this. Fight Game, a company run by Golden Glory's Bas Boon and Vale Tudo legend Frederico Lapenda have made some huge strides, not only will the Glory World Series be aired on HDnet on June 17th, but they have entered into a deal with Google's YouTube to produce YouTube's very first PPV broadcast. Here is the official press release. Our sources tell us to expect to pay ten dollars for the live event.

International mixed martial arts(MMA) and combat sports pay-per-view(PPV) pioneers Frederico Lapenda and Bas Boon have been breaking new ground around the world since 1994, they were the 4th producers to produce a MMA Pay Per View in then US, co-producers of the first MMA event in Holland and Japan, their event introduced PPV in Brazil, and now taking it to the next level with GLORY WORLD SERIES, this will the first PPV ever done by YouTube and it will feature MMA and kickboxing on the same card.

GLORY aims to reach the widest possible audience by broadcasting its event through Youtube, the most popular video sharing broadcast company in the world..

The event will take place in Moscow, Russia and this 14th edition will crown the winners of two eight-man tournaments, one in kickboxing and one in MMA, which have been ongoing for the past two events. Drama will high and tempers will be short as the finalists clash for the winner's purse of $150,000 each, in addition to their appearance fee.

FIGHTGAMETV.COM see a great demand for GLORY worldwide based on the fact that On Demand in the U.S. has a universe of 100 million homes and MMA franchises have been able to pull a 1.5 percent viewership approximately U$50.00 a hit generating hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the US alone.

GLORY is one of the top three fight shows in the world in viewership, production quality, and fighter level. The shows are broadcast in the US by HD Net and in over 80 other countries and have been held in Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Moscow.

GLORY will feature fighters from over 11 different countries including MMA fighters Rasul Mirzaev (Russia), Dennis Stojnic (Bosnia), D. Staring (Holland), R. Savochka (Russia), Zabit Samedov (Belarus), Jason Jones (Holland), Houston Alexander (USA), and Kickboxers Gokhan Saki (Turkey) Artur Kyshenko (Uraine)I. Jurkovic (Croatia), Pavel Zuravliov (Ukraine), Nicolaj Filan (Germany), Mark "Fightshark" Miller (USA), Errol Zimmerman (Surinam), M. Bouzidi (Tunesia), Sergei Kharitonov (Russia), Mighty Mo (USA) N. Holzken (Holland).

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Photo of the Day: Golden Glory Team Photo

  • Published in K-1

As if you ever had any doubt as to how awesome Golden Glory was, here is the Golden Glory team photograph to celebrate new years. After the break is another image of team Golden Glory all suited up.

 

 

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K-1 Global Formally Announces World MAX Final 16

  • Published in K-1

K-1 Rising

The information regarding K-1 is really beginning to pour out and in a hurry. The show that we all knew was happening has finally been formally announced by the new owners of K-1. LiverKick took some time today to speak with Doug Kaplan, the head of K-1 Global, and were impressed with what we heard. A part of K-1's big push today involves this press announcement which was sent out to the media today. This announcement solidifies the names that we've seen kicked around for the MAX tournament, with a few spots still open.

To read the full press release, head here.

The big news are the participants in the K-1 World MAX Final 16 so far, which we have the names of twelve fighters, with four spots still being negotiated. Also there are a few Heavyweight Superfights being planned, with some absolutely huge names in talks to fight. Hopefully we'll have more on that next week.

Andy Souwer (Holland)

Mike Zambidis (Greece)

Drago (Armenia)

Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine)

Yasuhiro Kido (Japan)

Yuji Nashiro (Japan)

Su Hwan Lee (Korea)

Abraham Roqueni (Spain)

Chahid (Morocco)

Longern Superpro Samui (Thai)

Harut Grigorian (Belgium)

Chris Ngimbi (Congo)

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UPDATE: Alistair Overeem Returns to the Kickboxing Ring in October

  • Published in K-1

Glory World SeriesIf you are an Alistair Overeem fan and a kickboxing fan, there is some good news for you. Much like we speculated after Alistair Overeem had to pull out of the September date for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, Alistair Overeem will be returning to action with his fight team and management at the helm for the October Glory World Series. Alistair Overeem, Sergei Kharitonov, Siyar Bahadurzada and Dion Staring appear on the new poster released today for the October event in Moscow, Russia. The strong rumor that we are hearing is that Alistair Overeem is set to headline the event and that it should be in a kickboxing bout, but no final opponent is set yet and the rules could change for his bout.

This will kick off their second Glory World Series tournament, which will be much like the last one, where there will be a Heavyweight Kickboxing tournament and there will be a MMA tournament, although it is still not clear which weight class it would be in. If they want to feature Siyar again, expect Middleweight.

The return of Alistair Overeem to fighting in kickboxing shows a serious disconnect between Overeem and current Strikeforce management in Zuffa, and this reads like a shot across the bow. Hopefully we are able to see Alistair Overeem defend his Strikeforce title soon, or even compete in the UFC, but the news of him fighting for the Glory World Series is a big deal after the May 28th supercard that was offered online streaming view YouTube.

Glory has even gone as far to say if you were one of the fans that purchased the Glory World Series card on YouTube PPV, fill out a survey and they will refund your purchase. Glory is rewarding loyalty to their product and is looking to push forward and put on more big events in the near future. We eagerly await finding out more details on this event.

UPDATE: Martijn de Jong spoke with Ariel Helwani and said "probably a MMA match" but that there was no opponent set yet.

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