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LiverKick Podcast - Vol. 3

  • Published in LK Podcast

After a bit of a break for the holidays and other assorted nonsense the LiverKick Podcast makes it's [mildly] glorious return. As always, Rian Scalia (@rianscalia) joins myself (@LiverKickdotcom / @LocustStar) as we discuss the latest happenings in the world of Kickboxing. We take a look at some of the huge announcements from Golden Glory, including a card announcement for March 23rd as well as them announcing three huge tournaments and the whole saga of them and the K-1 name. Then we move on to look at the Yokkao Extreme card that went down yesterday before bringing it all back to It's Showtime which goes down next week.

Fight the good fight and listen to the LiverKick Podcast. Intro and outtro music provided by Night Terrain (@nightterrain).

{music}podcast{/music}

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December 2015 LiverKick Rankings Update: Badr Hari Returns to the Rankings

  • Published in Rankings

Yes, it's that time again. That time is for the official LiverKick Rankings to be updated. The last major show for the year has happened in GLORY 26 and while we prepare for 2016 Jay Jauncey and myself took a look at the rankings and spent hours hashing out who goes where. The LiverKick rankings date back to 2010 when Fraser Coffeen and myself began ranking fighters across multiple divisions, with the only way to move up the rankings (or being added to them) being defeating a ranked opponent. Therefore, these rankings are based upon who beats who, not talent, potential or anything else. They are also current, meaning that past wins or losses are not taken into account when ranking a fighter. 

Heavyweight is, for a lack of a better term, a mess. Rico Verhoeven is firmly at the top, but everything after that feels like an amorphous blob of traded wins, confusing losses and strange additions. The first thing is, yes, for the first time since his incarceration, Badr Hari returns to the LiverKick rankings. His recent victory over Ismael Londt secured his spot for the time being. Adegbuyi, after two unsuccessful title challenges, moves up to #2 without much of a hope of moving up for a while. Jahfarr Wilnis, after a tournament victory in Kunlun and a second place finish in a GLORY tournament jumps up to #3. Everything from there is an existential nightmare. Jamal Ben Saddik lost to Brian Douwes, who enters the rankings for the very first time in the unthinkable spot of #4 and, well, not much else changed, although I get the distinct impression that Gerges might go inactive at some point.

Gokhan Saki's stranglehold on the Light Heavyweight division continues with the announcement of his return to GLORY. The one fight he had this year kept him from being expunged due to inactivity and hopefully we'll have some order at the top of that division soon as the #1 and #2 are set to meet in early 2016. Artem Vakhitov and Mourad Bouzidi picked up wins over Danyo Ilunga, seeing both of them bump up and Jorge Loren's win over Andrei Stoica earned him a spot on the rankings.

Middleweight has seen very little movement of late, with Dustin Jacoby earning the #7 spot after a win over Wayne Barrett and Barrett dropping down to #10 with his future looking doubtful at the moment.

Welterweight sees Holzken hold onto the division via a controversial decision while Groenhart gets the coveted #2 spot. Yoann Kongolo made a splash on the division while Karapet faced a tough loss that sent him down.

Nothing changed at Lightweight. Seriously.

Featherweight saw the usual reshuffling that we tend to see, with Glunder rising in the face of a loss in muay thai and a few strange wins at way higher weight classes, but still doing well at his home weight of 65kg. Noiri moves up, Soda moves down and Serhiy Adamchuk earns that #7 spot by defeating Gabriel Varga for the GLORY Featherweight title, continuing the trend of the GLORY FW champion not being near the top of the division due to the depth of talent in Japan and the lack of depth in GLORY's division. Zouggari holds onto his spot on the rankings amidst all of the shifting by finally booting Suzuki out of the rankings and all is right with the world.

Heavyweight (Per 12/15)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Benjamin Adegbuyi
3 Jahfarr Wilnis
4 Brian Douwes
5 Jamal Ben Saddik
6 Anderson Silva
7 Hesdy Gerges
8 Andrei Gerasmichuk
9 Zabit Samedov
10 Badr Hari

Light

Heavyweight (Per 12/15)

1 Gokhan Saki
2 Saulo Cavalari
3 Artem Vakhitov
4 Mourad Bouzidi
5 Danyo Ilunga
6 Michael Duut
7 Jorge Loren
8 Andrei Stoica
9 Zack Mwekassa
10 Reduon Cairo
Middleweight (Per 12/15)

1 Artem Levin
2 Simon Marcus
3 Joe Schilling
4 Filip Verlinden
5 Jason Wilnis
6 Alex Pereira
7 Dustin Jacoby
8 Israel Adesanya
9 Fang Bian
10 Wayne Barrett
Welterweight (Per 12/15)

1 Nieky Holzken
2 Murthel Groenhart
3 Artur Kyshenko
4 Hicham El Gaoui
5 Raymond Daniels
6 Yoann Kongolo
7 Karim Ghajji
8 Karapet Karapetyan
9 Paul Daley
10 Bai Jinbin
Lightweight (Per 12/15)

1 Robin van Roosmalen
2 Sitthichai
3 Davit Kiria
4 Andy Ristie
5 Giorgio Petrosyan
6 Yodsanklai Fairtex
7 Marat Grigorian
8 Dzhabar Askerov
9 Enriko Kehl
10 Josh Jauncey
Featherweight (Per 12/15)

1 Kaew Fairtex
2 Minoru Kimura
3 Massaro Glunder
4 Masaaki Noiri
5 Yasuomi Soda
6 Yuta Kubo
7 Serhiy Adamchuk
8 Gabriel Varga
9 Mosab Amrani
10 Zakaria Zouggari
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LiverKick.com Podcast Episode 24 - GLORY 13 and Joseph Valtellini

  • Published in LK Podcast

Podcast

GLORY 13 Tokyo is this weekend, featuring the GLORY Welterweight tournament. The GLORY Welterweight tournament features some of the best and brightest in GLORY's Welterweight division,  including Nieky Holzken, Karapet Karapetyan, Raymond Daniels and Joseph Valtellini. I had the pleasure of speaking with Joe on Friday as he was preparing to leave for Japan where we discussed his upcoming fight(s) as well as how it feels to be fighting on yet another card with Kickboxing legends.

I also run down the GLORY 13 and SuperFight Series cards for you because, well, you really care what I think, right? Maybe?

{enclose lk_ep24.mp3}

Also, for those who have phones, etc. that don't support flash, here it is on SoundCloud.

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LiverKick.com Rankings - July 2012

  • Published in Rankings
As of July 2012 As of July 2012 As of July 2012

Heavyweight

1. Semmy Schilt
2. Daniel Ghita
3. Badr Hari
4. Gokhan Saki
5. Errol Zimmerman
6. Sergei Laschenko up
7. Rico Verhoeven up
8. Tyrone Spong up
9. Peter Aerts down
10. Hesdy Gerges down
Light Heavyweight
1. Artem Levin
2. Hicham el Gaoui
3. Alexander Oleynik
4. Dmitry Shakuta
5. Alexander Stretsurenko
6. Simon Marcus
7. Artem Vakhitov
8. Constantin Tutu
9. Yordan Yankov
10. Yoann Kongolo
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Robin van Roosmalen
3. Artur Kyshenko
4. Andy Souwer
5. Jury Bessmertny
6. Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee
7. Frank Giorgi
8. Andy Ristie
9. Abraham Roqueni
10. Shemsi Beqiri

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective.

Once again it is that time, where the LiverKick.com Rankings have been updated. So far in July there has only really been movement in Heavyweight, but as the month moves along we are sure there will be movement elsewhere. The It's Showtime event this weekend was not only historic, but helped to clear up some rankings issues as well. Sergei Laschenko and Rico Verhoeven move up a spot apiece due to sheer force of will. In Rico's case, his second win over Hesdy Gerges solidifies his spot in the top ten, but also puts Hesdy's spot in jeopardy. Peter Aerts dropped from his #6 spot and into #9 after a tough loss to Tyrone Spong, who also moves up two spots to #8.

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Watch GLORY World Series LIVE on LiverKick Oct. 6th

  • Published in Glory

GloryThe next GLORY World Series event will go down this Saturday, October 6th live from Brussels, Belgium starting at 1PM Eastern time. The event will be streaming live on the GLORY home page for $15.00 USD, but why purchase the event from them when you can watch it live on LiverKick.com? You can stay right here on LiverKick to watch this event, just like the last one. The entire event will be streamed in full HD quality and purchasing the event through LiverKick helps keep your favorite Kickboxing news source online and bringing you the latest and greatest from the world of Kickboxing.

Click through for the video player and to watch an awesome preview of the event. Check out the entire fight card here.

 

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LiverKick.com Middleweight Rankings: May 2011

  • Published in Rankings
Middleweight
1. Giorgio Petrosyan
2. Andy Souwer
3. Buakaw Por. Pramuk
4. Mike Zambidis
5. Artur Kyshenko
6. Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee
7. Yoshihiro Sato
8. Chris Ngimbi
9. Albert Kraus
10. HINATA

Welcome back to the LiverKick.com rankings. These rankings are an attempt to break down the top 10 fighters in three different weight classes - Heavyweight, for fighters above the 85kg limit, Middleweight, for fighters at the 70-72.5kg limit, and Light Heavyweight, for fighters at the 77-84kg limit. Our rankings are based on in-ring accomplishments and recent wins and loses. We hope they reflect where these fighters currently stand, although we recognize that all rankings are inherently subjective.

May 2011

We've decided to take a different approach to the rankings, in the past Fraser Coffeen handled them, but as many are aware, Fraser has since had to step down from his responsibilities at LiverKick.com and has since moved on to other ventures. Our Top 10 list a while back moved on to being a top 25 to reflect a uniformity with our then home of SBNation. We've decided to move back to only including the Top 10 and to opt for the inclusion of Light Heavyweight (77kg - 84kg) to reflect the depth of talent in that weight class.

PetroThat means there were some very pronounced changes to the 70-72.5kg rankings. Part of the move to adding a 77kg ranking is certain fighters, Nieky Holzken in particular, will be absent from the 70kg rankings, and others will be moving up to reflect the changes. Of course no one will usurp #1 Giorgio Petrosyan, as he has earned his spot as the top Middleweight in the world. He'll have to prove his mettle once again in his third big tournament this year with It's Showtime running a huge 70kg tournament later this year. Petrosyan's next challenge is #10 HINATA. HINATA has been fighting for REBELS in Japan, who has just announced will become a part of It's Showtime Japan, and the first bout to promote the name will be Petro vs. HINATA.

The #2 spot was a lot tougher to choose, as #3 Buakaw Por Pramuk does hold his victory in the 2010 S-Cup, but he also has no major kickboxing bouts on his plate as of right now. He has re-focused on Muay Thai, mainly in the Thai Fight promotion. #2 Andy Souwer has stayed active in the thick of the action, and while there are some head-scratchers of losses on his record, he has solid wins over top competition in 70kg as well as over fighters from the 77kg division. #4 Mike Zambidis has had an incredible career resurgence of late. Last year he made it to the Finals of the K-1 World MAX tournament and has continued in his winning ways this year, including a 4-man tournament recently.

The #5, #6 and #7 spots were a lot more difficult to decide, as Artur Kyshenko, Sudsakorn and Yoshihiro Sato have all had their ups and downs within the division. Kyshenko is clearly the front-runner out of the three fighters, with Sudsakorn making a very calculated and successful approach on the international scene over the past few years. Sato has had a few tough losses, including one to Andy Souwer that keep him in the top 10 but make it a lot easier for him to slip.

#8 Chris Ngimbi will be a part of It's Showtime's upcoming tournament and many are outwardly calling for Ngimbi to fight Giorgio Petrosyan, just to see the It's Showtime 70kg MAX title around the waist of an undisputed champion. Ngimbi has successfully defended his title in an incredible fashion at It's Showtime Lyon with a flying knee KO on Willy Borrel. Many feel that Petrosyan is clearly the top fighter and to have a fighter like Ngimbi holding the title makes little sense, but Ngimbi has the skills, passion and power to make a run at the top, and all will be decided later this year in It's Showtime's tournament.

Both #9 Albert Kraus and #10 HINATA are top level fighters who have had some struggles of late, losing to some lower-ranked competition while holding their own against top competition. Both men are far from done and continue to prove in every fight that the 70kg division is a deep division with a lot of talent. HINATA challenges Petrosyan over the summer. Kraus should, without a doubt be a lot higher in the rankings, as his only losses over the past two years come by the way of Giorgio Petrosyan for top competition, then comes the head scratcher. His loss to Bhatu Khasikov hurts him immensely. Bhatu is still young and a relative unknown, plus the judging in the fight seemed less-than-fair. Regardless, it is a mark of shame on Kraus's record for the time being, which can be avenged with wins over some top 5 competition.

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Liverkick Exclusive Interview with Artem Levin

  • Published in Interviews

This week we had the pleasure of doing an Interview with Glory Middleweight Champion Artem "The Lion" Levin. Not only is he the best middleweight kickboxer in the world at the moment he is also a very humble, down to earth guy just like anyone of us. He's been doing martial arts from a young age and it shows in his fights by how confident he is and his ability to see attacks coming. We found it very interesting to hear what Artem had to say about certain topics. Here are both the English and the Russian version of the interview for everyone to enjoy.

LK: Hi Artem, just in case some people don't know can I ask your fight stats first? Height, Weight, Stance, Record and Titles (amateur and pro), and Age?

AL: hi. I’m glad to be interviewed. Height 190 cm, weight 85 kg, stance Orthodox, Professional kickboxing records : 50 Wins (33 (T) KO’s, 17 decisions), 5 Losses, 1 Draw Professional boxing record : 1 Win (1 (T) KO’s, 0 decisions), 0 Losses Professional.

TITLES - Pro: 2014 GLORY middleweight champion, Last Man Standing tournament winner (85 kg), 2011, 2010 current It’s Showtime World champion (77 kg), 2012, 2011 current WBC Muaythai World champion (79 kg), 2008 The Contender Asia Season 2 Russian qualifying tournament winner (72.6 kg), 2008 Battle of Champions tournament winner (72.6 kg), 2007 current WMC Intercontinental champion (76 kg), 2007 WMC EMF European champion (76 kg) * Amateur: 2014 Russian Muaythai champion (86 kg), 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games Muaythai champion (81 kg), 2012 IFMA World Amateur Muaythai champion (81 kg), 2012, 2011 IFMA European Amateur Muaythai champion (81 kg), 2010 SportAccord World Combat Games Muaythai champion (75kg), 2010, 2009 IFMA European Amateur Muaythai champion (75 kg), 2008 Busan TAFISA World Games IFMA Amateur Muaythai champion (75 kg) o 2007, 2006 IFMA Amateur Muaythai World champion (75kg), 2006 WMF Amateur Muaythai World champion (75 kg), 2005 WMF Amateur Muaythai World champion (67 kg), 2004 IFMA European Amateur Muaythai champion (67 kg), 2014, 2013, 2003-2011 Champion of Russia

LK: How did you get the nickname "The Lion" is there a good story about it? or did you just like it?

AL: Lev is a cognate word for lion in Russian. I was called that name since I’ve been a child. It has become a ringname when I’d got first professional titles. I’ve read and seen a lot of things about amazing lions. Now I am “The Lion”, at least I’ve got lion’s heart.

LK: What age did you start Martial arts, what did you start with, what got you into it, and did you ever imagine at 27 years old you would be Glory middleweight champion and have multiple world titles? Also I personally love your dancing entrances, they are one of my favorites, when did that start?

AL: I’ve started going in for muaythai since I was ten. My brothers always prepared me for boxing career, telling me that boxing is my fate. Thus I’ve always known I’ll become a champion. Even when first three years of practice I could win nothing. I appreciate my brothers’ work and talk raising me as a winner. I try to relax and enjoy the process. Movies with Van Damme led me to the gym. One of the best moments is his dancing in the bar from Kickboxer movie to sounds of Feeling So Good Today. I enter the ring with feeling so good and it will be a fine hunt for a lion. I’d be glad if somewhen Jean Claude will attend my fight.

LK: We have not heard too much from you since you won the last man standing tournament, what have you been up too?

AL: I won Russian National Championships in August. I’ve taken some rest after the great tournament. There were other things to get done. I’m in the game again, I’m hungry and I’m ready for the fights. And I’m excited to step in the ring. LK: Can you tell us the full Glory 17: Last Man Standing experience starting from arriving in LA to waking up next to your belt the next morning?

AL: I’ve been glad to see sunny Los Angeles after a very long trip. LA gives a sustained energy. I’ve been boxing here several times. But for the first time I was here with a large crew from Russia. Thanks to all my team. And other guys from US came to support me, from The Boxing Club of San Diego particularly. I’m on training camp here currently. There are my friends, so I haven’t been alone. I’ve walked on the ocean beach. The energy it gives. Nothing compares. I’ve taken power, force, strength from it to win the tournament. There were organizing issues, shoots, interviews and work outs each day. It exhausted me, but my team have made everything to make me feel ready and charged to the fullest by the start of the show. I’ve got no any powers after the tournament. I’ve gone out at the arena with no emotions. And couldn’t believe in that it’s real, it happens to me for a month.

LK: Also, this is a question I had to ask, What is your opinion of your first fight with Joe Schilling, especially the extra round and what did you adjust for the second fight to make sure nothing like that could happen again? Would you like to fight him one more time to show people the first time was lucky?

AL: It’s become the main motivation to the next fight. Everybody has seen what’s happened there. I’ve made a mistake in the second round, thought I’d won the fight already. And Joe punished me. It lead to extra round. Judges took away the victory, but it’s my fault actually. Scoring in GLORY is an interesting story. I can give out a point before the bell, because I know they will find a way to take it somehow. And again about the fight against Joe, I’ve been ready to everything, to Joe’s tactical and technical suprises, to judges’s surprises, that’s my aim was to come out and win undoubtely. Joe is a really considerable fighter, brave with strong heart. I support him always in other fights.

LK: I've always noticed that you also fight in the IFMA or SportAccord Muay Thai championships with headgear, shinpads and full gear, what keeps such an accomplished fighter like yourself going back to these tournaments every year?

AL: I have certain responsibilities before Russian Muaythai Federation. And I am the captain of Russian national muaythai team. I’m honoured to lead the team and to contribute to development of muaythai in Russia.

LK: Tell us about where you do most of your training?

AL: it’s my homeland, Prokopyevsk is a small town in Siberia. My coach is a man who made my first victory on local amateur championship at age of 13 and who was in the corner when I won prestigious world pro titles, including GLORY. He’s like second farther to me. I’m on training camp in San Diego’s The Boxing Club now.

LK: You have a new young talent Artem Vakhitov that you train with he is rated #6 in Glory right now, do you think he will become Glory Light Heavyweight champion this year? Also what happened with him no longer being in the Glory 18 tournament on Nov 7?

AL: It all depends on Artem. He’s young, hungry, ambitious and he wants the title. So, he’s able to achieve it. As far as I know he concentrates on health and recreation, not to worsen latest injuries. He will perform much better on the next events.

LK: Any talks with Glory about who you will be defending your belt against next? Or is there anyone that you want to fight next if you could choose?

AL: it doesn’t matter who is the opponent. You should win the strongest to be the best. There we no negotiations on the point. I don’t know what does the pause in sequence of events means. But as soon as the belt I mine, I’m opened for discussion with ace in my glove.

LK: Last question is one I like to ask every fighter:

  • Hardest Puncher you've fought? AL: Yodsaenklai Fairtex
  • Hardest Kicker You've fought? AL: Yodsaenklai Fairtex
  • Hardest Fight? AL: it’s yet ahead
  • Favourite Fighter? AL: Ernesto Hoost

Artem Levin about Manhoef vs Schilling on Bellator 131:

AL: It will be an amazing event. The advantage in the bout will be on Melvin’s side. He is more experienced and proficient in mixed fight. He will do much better in parter. Joe’s strong points are longer reach, he should keep distance and use knees. He should be self-reliant: be focused and maintain fight plan. Both fighters have a knock-out punch and this can result an interesting bout. I will support Joe and I will attend the event. If he needs any help in preparation for the fight I’m totally in. He’s congenial soul, he’s been around the block. I do respect Melvin though, if he’s fought

LK: Thank you so much for your time Artem, would you like to say a few things to all your fans, sponsors, trainers etc?

AL: Watch my fights. Follow me in instagram and twitter. Ask me. Let’s communicate. I thank my team, I appreciate your support. I enclose gratitude to my coach Vitaly Miller, to my manager Sergey Busygin, therapist Evgeny Startsev and my family. And I appreciate the support of Stroyservice company, which contribute to my career and development of muaythai in Russia.

LK: Thanks again Artem, all of us at Liverkick are huge fans of you and your style in the ring and are looking forward to you watching you defend the Glory title this year.

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ЛК: привет, Артем. Для тех, кто незнаком с твоей биографией, немного обзорной информации. Рост, вес, стойка, счет боев и титулы (любительские и профессиональные), возраст.

АЛ: доброе время суток !)рад отвечать на ваши вопросs !) рост 190, вес 85, правша. Счет профессиональных боев : 50 Побед (33 (Тех) Нокаутом, 17 Решением), 5 Поражений, 1 Ничья

Счет любительских боев: не ведет

Счет боев по проф.боксу: 1 Победа (1 (Тех) Нокаутом, 0 Решением), 0 Поражений

Титулы

Профессиональные

        2014 действующий чемпион GLORY, победитель 8-ки Last Man Standing (85 кг)

        2011, 2010 действующий чемпион мира It’s Showtime (77 кг)

        2012, 2011 действующий чемпион мира WBC Muay Thai (79 кг)

        2008 победитель отборочного турнира The Contender Asia Season 2 (72,6 кг)

        2008 победитель турнира Битва Чемпионов (72,6 кг)

        2007 действующий интерконтинентальный чемпион WMC (76 кг)

        2007 чемпион Европы WMC-EMF (76 кг)

Любительские

        2014 чемпион России (86 кг)

        2013 чемпион Всемирных игр боевых искусств (81 кг)

        2012 чемпион мира среди любителей IFMA (81 кг)

        2012, 2011 чемпион Европы среди любителей IFMA (81 кг)

        2010 чемпион Всемирных игр боевых искусств (75 кг)

        2010, 2009 чемпион Европы среди любителей IFMA (75 кг)

        2008 чемпион мира среди любителей IFMA на всемирных играх TAFISA в Пусане (75 кг)

        2007, 2006 чемпион мира среди любителей IFMA (75 кг)

        2006 чемпион мира среди любителей WMF  (75 кг)

        2005 чемпион мира среди любителей WMF  (67 кг)

        2004 чемпион Европы среди любителей IFMA (67 кг)

        2014, 2013, 2003-2011 чемпион России IFMA

ЛК: откуда твое прозвище Лев? Какая-то история за ним стоит? Или просто нравится так?

АЛ: вообще, на русском языке «лев» - это корень моей фамилии. С детства старшие товарищи и друзья называли так. Со временем, когда появились первые титулы, и я вышел на профессиональный ринг это само перетекло в рингнейм, но с детства я много читал о львах, смотрел передачи и восхищался им и теперь моя задача соответствовать ему. Сейчас я и есть "лев" или как минимум с сердцем льва!))))

ЛК: Во сколько лет ты начал заниматься боевыми искусствами? С какого вида начал? Что привело тебя в спорт? Думал ли ты, что в 27 лет ты станешь чемпионом Глори в среднем весе и будет столько титулов чемпиона мира? Лично мне очень нравится выход с танцами. Один из тех, что мне очень нравятся, как это появилось?

АЛ: я начал заниматься муайтай в возрасте 10 лет, но до десяти лет мои старшие братья вели со мной так сказать психологическую работу, что бокс это мое все, что я вырасту и стану чемпионом, поэтому я никогда не сомневался, что буду чемпионом. Даже когда в первые три года я не мог выиграть не одних соревнований. Спасибо моим братьям, которые так глубоко посеяли семя победителя в моей голове! Во время выхода на ринг я пытаюсь расслабиться и получать удовольствие от процесса. В тайский бокс меня привели фильмы Ван Дамма! И, естественно, я помню его танец в баре в фильме «Кикбоксер» под песню Feeling So Good Today)! И когда я выхожу на ринг, я чувствую, что сегодня должен быть хороший день и славная охота для льва!) Моя мечта, что бы Жан Клод присутствовал на моих боях когда-нибудь)))

ЛК: не было ничего слышно о тебе с тех пор, как ты победил в восьмерке «оставшийся в живых». Что у тебя произошло за это время?

АЛ: В августе я выиграл чемпионат России. Я отдыхал психологически после такого турнира. Плюс есть дела по мимо спорта. Сейчас я опять в деле, я голоден, я жду боев и мне не терпится выйти на ринг.

ЛК: Расскажи поподробнее про участие в турнире восьмерке ГЛОРИ начиная с приезда в ЛА до того как ты проснулся на следующее утро после боев чемпионом.

АЛ: После долгой дороги я был рад видеть солнечный Лос Анджелес. Опять он меня заряжает. Я не первый раз боксировал здесь. Впервые со мной приехала большая группа поддержки из России. Спасибо им огромное! Плюс много ребят со Штатов, в частности из клуба "The Boxing Club" в Сан Диего. Сейчас я провожу здесь сборы, и у меня много друзей в этом зале, так что во время боя я был не один. В обязательную программу входила поездка на океан. Его энергетика это нечто. Сила, мощь, могущество - это все я пытался взять себе в помощь на турнир. Ежедневно были организационные вопросы, съемки, интервью и, конечно, тренировочный процесс. Это все изматывает, но моя команда сделала все, чтобы к моменту начала турнира я был готов и заряжен на все 100. После турнира я был обессилен в первую очередь психологически. У меня абсолютно не было эмоций после того как я вышел из арены. На протяжении месяца я не мог поверить, что это сделал.

ЛК: еще один вопрос, который я очень хотел задать. Твое мнение о первом поединке с Джо Шиллингом, особенно по поводу дополнительного раунда. Готовился ли ты ко второму бою так, чтобы ничего подобного больше не произошло? Хотел бы ты еще один поединок с ним, чтобы доказать, что его победа в первом бое была случайностью?

АЛ: само собой это было одним из главных мотиваторов к бою. Вы все видели, что было в первом бою. Я допустил ошибку во втором раунде, подумав, что победа у меня в кармане, и Джо меня наказал. Это послужило поводом к допраунду. Судьи забрали у меня эту победу, но по большому счету это моя вина в первую очередь. А по поводу судей в ГЛОРИ это отдельная история. Я могу еще перед боем отдавать им по баллу, зная, что они все равно найдут повод снять его с меня во время боя. Возвращаясь к Джо, хочу сказать, что я был готов ко всему, к реваншу и к сюрпризам от Джо как в технике, так и в тактике, так и к сюрпризам от судей, поэтому моя задача была выходить и выигрывать, так что бы ни у кого не возникало сомнений. Что касается его, то это действительно достойный боец, храбрый с сильным сердцем. В других боям я практически всегда теперь болею за него!

ЛК: я хотел бы подчеркнуть, что ты участвуешь так же в чемпионатах ИФМА и СпортАккорда, где приходится одевать шлем, налокотники и другую защитную эпипировку. Что заставляет состоявшегося успешного бойца как ты участвовать в этих соревнованиях каждый год?

АЛ: У меня есть определенные обязанности перед федерацией тайского бокса России, и являюсь капитаном сборной России. Для меня честь поддерживать сборную и вносить свой вклад в развитие муайтай в России. ЛК: расскажи, где ты чаще всего тренируешься?

АЛ: Это родина моя. Маленький провинциальный город в Сибири – Прокопьевск. Мой тренер- это тот человек, с которым пришла моя первая победа в возрасте 13 лет на чемпионате города, и он же, с кем я завоевал все главные титулы в своей карьере, включая ГЛОРИ. Это мой второй отец. Сейчас я часто провожу сборы и тренируюсь в Сан Диего в "The Boxing Club"

ЛК: у вас появился молодой перспективный боец Артем Вахитов, с которым ты вместе тренируешься. Он 6 номер рейтинга ГЛОРИ сейчас. Как думаешь, станет он чемпионом ГЛОРИ в тяжелом весе в этом году? И что случилось, почему его нет в 4-ке ГЛОРИ18 7 ноября?

АЛ: Все в руках Артема. Он голодный, молодой, амбициозный, и он хочет этот титул. Думаю, что это вполне ему по плечу. Насколько я знаю, он решил уделить внимание своему здоровью, что бы не усугубить старые травмы и на следующих турнирах быть уже только лучше.

ЛК: обсуждали ли с ГЛОРИ кто будет следующим соперником на защиту пояса? Или кого бы ты сам выбрал на защиту?

АЛ: Мне без разницы с кем боксировать. Чтобы быть лучшим, нужно бить лучших. С ГЛОРИ мы не обсуждали. Я не знаю, куда они пропали, и с чем связана их пауза в турнирах. Но теперь пояс у меня, и я с удовольствием выйду на переговоры, но уже с козырем в своей перчатке.

ЛК: последний вопрос я задаю всем бойцам Самый сильный панчер из твоих соперников? АЛ: Йодсенклай Фейртекс ЛК: кто сильнее всех из твоих соперников бьет ногами? АЛ: Йодсенклай Фейртекс ЛК: самый трудный бой? АЛ: самый трудный бой еще впереди! ЛК: любимый боец? АЛ: Эрнесто Хуст

Это будет потрясающее событие. И думаю, в данном бою преимущество будет у Мелвина. Он более опытен и искушен в смешанных боях, и чувствовать себя в партере он будет себя намного лучше, нежели Джо. Что касаемо Джо, он крупнее, его конечности длиннее, он должен держать дистанцию и не подпускать Мелвина к себе, должен использовать колени. Я думаю, что все в его руках. Он должен быть сконцентрирован и делать свою работу, выполняя план на бой. Оба бойца могут ударить так, что велика вероятность нокаута, и этим уже бой будет интересен! Я буду болеть за Джо и буду присутствовать в зале. Если ему понадобится какая-нибудь помощь в подготовке, я сделаю все возможное. Этот парень мне близок по духу, он через многое прошел. Мелвина я уважаю, он достойный боец, и если бы он встретился в клетке с кем-то другим, мои симпатии были бы на его стороне. Обожаю его стиль. Он словно маленький бульдог, желающий разодрать своих соперников.

ЛК: спасибо, Артем, за уделенное время. В завершении беседы пару слов для твоих болельщиков, спонсоров, тренеров и тд.

АЛ: Следите за моими боями. Подписывайтесь в инстаграм и твиттер. Задавайте вопросы. Будем общаться. Спасибо моей команде, что они со мной, моему тренеру Миллеу В.В., моему менеджеру Бусыгину С.Ю., массажисту Старцеву Е.В. и моей семье. И большое спасибо компании «Стройсервис» за огромную помощь мне и развитию тайского бокса в России.

ЛК: еше раз спасибо Артем. Все мы в ливеркик твои болельщики и фанаты твоей манеры в ринге. Ждем с нетерпением защиты титула в этом году.

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Shamil Zavurov vs Yasubey Enomoto: A Look at M-1 Challenge XXV and its delicious welterweight treat

  • Published in Kickboxing

By Daniel Fletcher

Yasubey Enomoto. Tremendous at his best, a mercurial talent, but both the three fight win streaks that represent his entire successful body of work in the sport were ended by extremely sub par performances, losing to opponents he was heavily expected to crush, and bludgeon early. The little known Tyler Stinson earned a surprise technical knockout over Enomoto in his fourth fight, and of course after Yasubey reached the Sengoku Welterweight Grand Prix final after three imperious displays, he choked against Keita Kakamura. Which Enomoto will show up – the dextrous striker who bitchslapped Taisuke Okuno at Sengoku 15 and then Saenchai-kicked him, or the man who turned in a dud in the final?

Yasubey Enomoto

Shamil Zavurov – yours truly wrote the hype feature of this prospect, a man with considerable pedigree in a variety of martial arts of both the grappling and striking variety. Please refer to: http://www.lowkick.com/Other/Shamil-Zavurov-The-Rising-Star-of-Russia-12275

As the piece notes, Zavurov suffered a “Fedor-esque” first defeat – with many putting that particular ‘loss’ in parentheses – which he bounced back from with a perfect 9-0-0 slate in 2010. That is quite an incredible achievement on the top European stage regardless of the quality of opposition, and even more so for the fact that his opponents just about all had winning records, with a total combined tally of 75 wins and 58 defeats. And he scored submissions, knockouts and decisions. He outgrappled them, outstruck them, and demolished them. They were supposed to help build up a star and give him rounds, yet for the most part they got dominated and swiftly dispatched.

In the frankly exciting signing of Yasubey Enomoto, M-1 have put together a really meaty matchup together, one that offers a range of possible conclusions. Enomoto is flashy standing, whereas Zavurov is more stolid; planting his feet and throwing power punches, often using them to close the range to get inside and throw his opponent. Enomoto kicks and clowns his foes, Zavurov has dropped some of his own with hard overhand rights and pounded them to the finish. What wins in this field; dexterity and style, and aesthetically pleasing attacks, or solid technique and uncompromising power?

In the grappling sense, Zavurov surely has the edge. The positional dominance he displays was recounted in loving detail in the aforementioned feature report (link above), and his world champion pedigree in Sambo adds a repertoire and fondness for both throws and submissions into his arsenal. His physical attributes help; stocky and powerful, a low centre of gravity for open-weight grappling competition at 5’10”, and athleticism as displayed when he reverses holds and scramble attempts. His physical package (no pun intended) suits his hybrid style.

Zavurov

One potential outcome could be the GSP/Koscheck scenario, only with Enomoto being more willing to take risks, and capable of throwing flashier strikes than Canada’s favourite son does in his now predictably dominant yet unexciting conveyor belt of title defences. If Zavurov cannot clinch up, or land a big shot on the feet, can he stop M-1 Global’s newest signing from taking the championship belt?

It should be noted that M-1 Global pulled off a major coup with this. Most big organisations would have pulled their champion from the card had the contender pulled out of the fight injured as Rashid Magomedov did, or found a replacement on short notice to carry out a glorified squash match. But in this case, M-1 found an extremely capable and dangerous opponent for Zavurov, and have pitted rising star vs rising star in a fight arguably much more intriguing than the bout originally booked for the card!

Also on the M-1 Challenge XXV card (streamed live on M-1 Global’s official website, http://m-1global.com) Vinny Magalhaes (7-5) and Viktor Nemkov (10-2) will compete for the vacant light heavyweight (205 Lbs) strap.

Magalhaes is one of the five best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in MMA today. That is no exaggeration; he is a special grappler. I’d advise readers to check his flying armbar victory over Pe De Pano in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission grappling world championships (the guy who smashed Frank Mir back in 2006). Magalhaes is up there with Jacare Souza, Fabricio Werdum, Roger Gracie and perhaps Shinya Aoki or Demian Maia in the pantheon of MMA elites who you’d really be best served avoiding entering the grappling realm with at all costs. He is a bad man.

The most noteworthy fight on a pretty solid card outside of the two main events is probably the scrap between middleweight veteran contenders Andrei Semenov (29-9-2) who is looking for his thirtieth career win, a significant landmark for most fighters, and Luigi Fioravanti (22-8). Both are well versed on the European scene, and a win would certainly help one of them take a step closer to a shot at middleweight gold with M-1.

The entire card after the break.

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Howson stopped on cuts; Retirement of the champ ends an otherwise great event in Leeds

  • Published in Europe

By Daniel Fletcher

Every champion falls, every great fighter declines, and every star burns out or fades away. It is the nature of the beast; as inherent and inexorable a fact as that the Earth orbits the Sun, that grass is green and that Michael Schiavello will scream "Goodnight Irene!" during a fight broadcast when a fighter gets sparked. To get proverbial, what goes up must come down, and as a promising young fighter embarks on his career, the ageing warrior must one day reach the point where the journey must end.

Andy Howson lost his ISKA world title last night, and subsequently announced his retirement. He was cheered by a raucous following, and hugged by the friend that had just relieved him of his championship belt. The show was over.

After 13yrs, he admitted that the young had usurped the (comparatively) old, and that his time was done. "After 13yrs, a lot of hard fights and a few world titles" was his own way of putting it, but he neglected to mention the respect of his peers, the support of his friends and his team, and the fact he went out being cheered. Hey, home town or not, even legends get booed at the end... just ask Nigel Benn. Going out to cheers and applause is a pinnacle.

As for the fight itself, it was a counter-striking technician against a shorter, more brawling orientated scrapper in Andy. Dean James used his range well, and though he initially showed Howson a great deal of respect in a cautious opening round, he turned it up a notch in the final minute of the second. A standing elbow landed precisely, arcing down onto Howson's head and cutting him open. The blitzkrieg was expected from the defending champion in the third, but it was this round that the downfall continuted; while Andy pressed, James began to pick him off and avoiding the inside work, landed another elbow from the clinch. Wobbled, Howson was forced back to the ropes, and a short elbow from the clinch dropped him. He survived the round.

(Photo courtesy of http://muaythaiphotos.com)

Howson cut

The fourth round spelled the end. As one fan put it, Howson "went crazy as only he can", and tried flurrying to turn the contest into an all out brawl. James complied to some extent, and should be credited for not playing an overly cautious technical game in his victory; this was an exciting contest. Alas, it had to end, and after allowing the bout to continue following a check up, the referee called another halt as the two head wounds spat blood, some of which was running down into Howson's eyes. An audible groan went round, as Dean James was declared the new ISKA World Bantamweight champion, and Howson's reign was ended.

Ultimate respect to Andy Howson, one of Leeds, Yorkshire and England's best Muay Thai fighters, and a very likeable guy.

Jordan Watson did not compete on the card, as his recent title defence over Cedric Mueller of France was still reminding his body about it. He did, however, speak very candidly with me about the 70kg MAX division he competes in, and there will be more on that in my next upload. Stay tuned.

Howson's retirement and Watson's non-participation didn't entirely cast ill-omen on Bad Company at the event, and they had their moments of triumph too. Lee Mundin outpointed Jo Boffey, thanks to a Herculean comeback in the final two rounds. Boffey had nudged ahead on the scorecards leading into the fourth, but Mundin earned a win for Bad Company in handsomely outlanding and outworking Boffey and taking the decision victory.

Also a victor was "Nice Guy" Eddie Long. The unassuming 78kg fighter has a peculiar hunched stance, his chin tucked and hands held outwards Remy style. It led me to ask his sparring partner, "The Myth" whether or not Long had a glass jaw that needed protecting at all costs. Not only the answer he gave, but the fight in question proved that he certainly didn't - Lee Keegan was unable to hurt him, and struggled to deal with the leg kicks dished out by the Bad Company man. At the end of the first round, his right leg was visibly wilting, with redness showing at the back of his thigh, and the expected finish came soon after. Despite his outward calm, Keegan backed into his corner and was more focused on blocking Long's leg kicks as opposed to dishing out his own offence, and after one too many right lowkicks, he buckled, and was unable to beat the count.

Off to a winning start for Long, who will look to compete at a forthcoming HGH Promotions or Bad Company promoted show. Who says nice guys finish last?

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May 2016 LiverKick Rankings Update: Ch-ch-ch-changes Galore

  • Published in Rankings

There has been a lot going on this year for both Jay and I, so we waited for the rankings to really need an update. The thing is, now that we got to tackle them, they needed a lot of changes. After a rather uneventful early part of the year we are seeing major changes in quite a few divisions. While at times we've been able to let entire divisions stand as they are, this time around each division has at least one big change.

The LiverKick rankings date back to 2010 when Fraser Coffeen and myself began ranking fighters across multiple divisions, with the only way to move up the rankings (or being added to them) being defeating a ranked opponent. Therefore, these rankings are based upon who beats who, not talent, potential or anything else. They are also current, meaning that past wins or losses are not taken into account when ranking a fighter. 

Heavyweight saw some changes, some were good, others were questionable. Brian Douwes had a win over Jamal Ben Saddik to earn his spot, then had an incredible slide that bumped him out. Easy come, easy go. New additions are in WFL tournament winner Fabio Kwasi and GLORY newcomer Guto Inocente. Both had ranked wins that put them on the map here and have taken hold of the middle of the division. Their addition means that Badr Hari once again slides out of the rankings, mirroring his lack of activity against, well, anyone. 

Light Heavyweight saw a big departure in the way of Gokhan Saki. In a way, that was a long time coming. Saki hasn't competed at this weight in a very long time and his last fight was now well over a year ago now, meaning that he has finally been dropped. This makes Artem Vakhitov the undisputed #1 Light Heavyweight in the world. There are two additions to the rankings at this point, one being Mladen Kujundzic thanks to his recent win over Andrei Stoica and Luis Tavares. Middleweight only saw movement really at the top with Marcus and Levin swapping, Wilnis and Schilling swapping and the addition of Cedric Doumbe who is a rare case of a fighter ranked in two divisions.

Welterweight is another division that has seen some shake-ups. While Holzken is still unmoving, Artur Kyshenko is on an incredible run and Cedric Doumbe hasn't tasted defeat in a while now. Mustapha Haida has made some big strides and makes his debut. Lightweight has seen only a few changes, notably the slide of Davit Kiria. Enriko Gogokhia's win over him earns him a rather high spot on the list. Tayfun Ozcan has quietly been making his way into the top ten for a while now and once again, Davit Kiria is welcoming new names into the rankings.

Featherweight is, well, Featherweight. That'll probably change again soon after the next K-1 Japan event. 

LiverKick Rankings Updated on 5/26/2016

Heavyweight (Per 5/16)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Benjamin Adegbuyi
3 Ismael Londt
4 Jahfarr Wilnis
5 Fabio Kwasi
6 Guto Inocente
7 Jamal Ben Saddik
8 Anderson Silva
9 Andrei Gerasmichuk
10 Zabit Samedov

Light

Heavyweight (Per 5/16)

1 Artem Vakhitov
2 Saulo Cavalari
3 Mourad Bouzidi
4 Danyo Ilunga
5 Mladen Kujundzic
6 Jorge Loren
7 Andrei Stoica
8 Zack Mwekassa
9 Luis Tavares
10 Reduon Cairo
Middleweight (Per 5/16)

1 Simon Marcus
2 Artem Levin
3 Jason Wilnis
4 Joe Schilling
5 Filip Verlinden
6 Alex Pereira
7 Dustin Jacoby
8 Israel Adesanya
9 Cedric Doumbe
10 Fang Bian
Welterweight (Per 5/16)

1 Nieky Holzken
2 Artur Kyshenko
3 Cedric Doumbe
4 Murthel Groenhart
5 Hicham El Gaoui
6 Raymond Daniels
7 Yoann Kongolo
8 Mustapha Haida
9 Karim Ghajji
10 Bai Jinbin
Lightweight (Per 5/16)

1 Robin van Roosmalen
2 Sitthichai
3 Enriko Gogokhia
4 Giorgio Petrosyan
5 Yodsanklai Fairtex
6 Marat Grigorian
7 Wu Xuesong
8 Tayfun Ozcan
9 Dzhabar Askerov
10 Josh Jauncey
Featherweight (Per 5/16)

1 Kaew Fairtex
2 Hidaeki Yamazaki
3 Masaaki Noiri
4 Minoru Kimura
5 Massaro Glunder
6 Yasuomi Soda
7 Yuta Kubo
8 Serhiy Adamchuk
9 Gabriel Varga
10 Qui Jian Liang
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