LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

LiverKick - LiverKick

Only in Japan: Jerome Le Banner vs. Josh Barnett Set for August

  • Published in Kickboxing

I'm not joking, Josh Barnett and Jerome Le Banner will square off on August 27th at the Ryogoku Kokugikan -- Japan's Sumo Hall, and this bout between the titans will be for a world championship. Who is promoting this bout? None other than Antonio Inoki, the grandfather of MMA in Japan and a pro wrestling celebrity. It is hard to believe that the MMA world and the Kickboxing world will be colliding like this, until you realize that it is under Inoki's IGF banner, which is professional wrestling.

Yes, Josh Barnett of Strikeforce fame will take on Jerome Le Banner of K-1 fame to declare the first IGF World Champion in August. IGF ran a tournament on the 10th in Japan that involved some pretty big names, including Ray Sefo, Eric Hammer, Josh Barnett, Jerome Le Banner and Bobby Lashley. Eric Hammer tapped Ray Sefo out in the qualifying round with an armbar, Josh Barnett tapped Bobby Lashley out with an armbar as well in the semi-finals. Hammer met Jerome Le Banner in the semi-finals by knocking him down five times, which sets up Barnett vs. Le Banner in the finals.

Something about this just reeks of awesomeness.

Barnett, Inoki, JLB

Read more...

Rumblings of a RINGS Revival in Japan

  • Published in Kickboxing

This isn't purely kickboxing, but more a general look at the world of MMA in Japan. Sure, FEG has rounded up some of their benefactors to help them with their latest venture, which means that we have at least one DREAM show planned and rumors of something going on with K-1. Outside of that, things in Japan are bleak at best. The sad truth is, for something to be popular in Japan there is a need for a figurehead, a public figure to help generate interest. If you look at someone like Antonio Inoki, he is still able to put on shows using his name alone to get TV contracts, advertising deals, sponsorships, top fighters and professional wrestlers to work with him.

In the same vein as Inoki is Akira Maeda. Akira Maeda was a huge professional wrestling star in the 80's and 90's, and one of the first to really push for martial arts to thrive on its own, outside of wrestling. Names like Akira Maeda, Nobuhiko Takada, Antonio Inoki, Satoru Sayama and Masa Funaki should roll off of the tongue for anyone who fancies themselves a MMA historian, and the irony in that is that each man made a name for themselves in the pre-scripted world of professional wrestling. Each man can be traced to a certain branch of the MMA lineage; Pancrase for Funaki, SHOOTO for Sayama, RINGS for Maeda and PRIDE for Takada. Inoki is in his own world, as he was the one that inspired everyone else and has had his nose stuck into every MMA and kickboxing venture to make it big in Japan.

Takada was the figurehead for PRIDE, and many will remember Takada as the guy with his ass hanging out, banging on the big drum to open up events. Takada can also be remembered from his early "fights" in PRIDE where ridiculous things happened under the guise of being a fight while it was a professional wrestling bout made to look realistic. Maeda worked closely with Takada for Maeda's UWF vision in the late 80's and early 90's before Takada went off to form UWF-i, when Maeda branched off to form RINGS. RINGS was the more serious endeavor than what Takada did, as it quickly branched off into real fights and left a lot of the Japanese pageantry out. Takada made a public challenge to the Gracies by way of sending Yoji Anjoh to the Gracie dojo to get publicly made a fool of, which sparked the first PRIDE card and one of Takada's many career losses. Regardless, PRIDE was huge and only got bigger.

The thing is, while all of that was happening in PRIDE, RINGS was doing something very real and a lot more serious. A lot of the fighters who fought in RINGS went on to be the absolute, undisputed best fighters in the world. If you are wondering who, here is a partial list of RINGS fighters who went on to bigger, better things; Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Yvel, Valentijn Overeem, Alistair Overeem, Elvis Sinosic, Fedor Emelianenko, Renzo Gracie, Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira, Dan Henderson, Matt Hughes and Randy Couture.

So, reading this bit of news earlier today was mind-blowing. Akira Maeda was involved in FEG's "HERO*s" events as the figurehead before that fell apart due to FEG's seemingly constant stream of financial woes, then decided to create "The Outlaw" which serves as an amateur MMA breeding ground, kind of like SHOOTO. The Outsider shows tend to be a bit more gritty than your standard SHOOTO show and the fighters are a very different style from the international SHOOTO style. The thing is, Maeda is not wrong, someone needs to step up in Japan. Don Quijote, the company that was funding and then decided to pull out of Sengoku shows, leaving more uncertainty for fighters in Japan. No one is quite certain what will come of FEG and all of the affiliated promotions and SHOOTO is currently in disaster mode.

Akira Maeda has made a lot of solid, smart moves and is still surviving to this day, if not thriving. If there is anyone that I would trust to help nudge the fighting world in Japan back on the right path, it is Akira Maeda. Maybe he'll even pass on the Capture Suplex to someone other than Josh Barnett.

Read more...

Mirko Cro Cop Impresses at K-1 in Madrid

  • Published in Video

There were some extremely low expectations for Mirko Cro Cop going into today K-1 Rising in Madrid show against Loren Javier Jorge. It isn't even that Jorge is that good of a fighter as much as it was that Cro Cop has had an extremely tough time of late and has looked less-than-mobile. His fight against Ray Sefo from a few months ago was what it was, but Mirko looked incredibly slow and plodding during that bout, not putting on much of a showing before walking away with the victory. He was still the Cro Cop that we knew and barely tolerated from the UFC that was slow, tentative and relied too much on dirty boxing and less on his kicks that made him famous.

The Mirko Cro Cop that showed up against Loren Javier Jorge tonight in Madrid was like an entirely different fighter altogether. The Cro Cop of old, that we all loved to watch and cheer on seemed to be inside of the ring tonight. He was mixing up his strikes, using better angles, throwing his kicks without fear and moving a little bit more like he used to before his UFC career. When Loren crumbled into the corner in the second round after a few deadly left hands from Cro Cop, it didn't feel like a sad display from a down-and-out fighter as much as it felt like a return to form for the former PRIDE Openweight GP Champion and former K-1 fighter.

Read more...

Gary Goodridge Blames K-1 Fights for a Career's Worth of Brain Damage

  • Published in K-1

GoodridgeThere is something to be said for the risk that fighters put themselves under each time they enter a ring to fight as professionals. Many of us get caught up in a lot of the facts, statistics, the drama and the whole insular world of professional combat sports, sometimes putting aside the most important aspect of them all; combat sports are a form of entertainment. Professional fighters enter into unarmed combat with another fighter, with the purpose being defeating said opponent in combat. Period. This can lead to a lot of injuries, some worse than others, and some that can affect a fighter for the rest of their lives. If you need an example, Muhammad Ali is a prime example, if anything.

So there is no shock when former UFC, PRIDE and K-1 veteren Gary Goodridge comes out and says that he has suffered a lot of brain damage in his stint as a professional fighter. The effects of combat sports on the athletes is a topic which should be taken far more seriously and get the spotlight more often, as opposed to Dana White's latest twitter tirade or which esteemed member of the fraternity of Mixed Martial Arts media "broke" a story first. Sadly, the world that we live in tends to focus more on the immediate as opposed to the long term, and in MMA and K-1, we will finally see a generation of fighters nearing the age of retirement and how their careers have affected their bodies and minds. Goodridge recently released a tell-all book, and it turns out that he has been diagnosed with Pugilistic Dementia. He spoke with our good friend Jonathan Snowden, and he actually blames K-1 for most of the damage he received in his career.

Far be it from me to doubt the damage that fighters in the stand up world have received, especially under the K-1 banner where the rules are tailor-made for non-stop action, but to simply blame his Kickboxing career for his condition seems rather crass. If you were to analyze Goodridge's K-1 career, his record tells one story, that at 12-24 he did not belong in a K-1 ring. A whopping 14 of those losses were to Knockout, and quite frankly, it is a telling sign that there was something wrong, but on the other hand, Goodridge's MMA career spanned a longer time period and saw him in a similar state of a record of 23-22, with another whopping 10 knockouts to his detriment. It was a seven-loss streak in MMA and a twelve-loss streak in Kickboxing that finally shelved him.

The story that this tells is more a fighter's lack of discretion and needing to be surrounded with realistic people who care enough to tell you it is time to stop. I think it would be unfair to claim that K-1 or MMA fights alone did the damage, but it is a collection of a career of nothing but horrific knockouts that led Goodridge to his condition.

Read more...

Sergei Kharitonov Out of Cro Cop Bout at GLORY 17

  • Published in Glory

GLORY

GLORY 17's main event is having a few problems thus far. Originally the plan was for a rematch between Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Pat "HD" Barry, but Zack Mwekassa's fists had something to say about that. That left former PRIDE, K-1 and Strikeforce fighter Sergei Kharitonov for Cro Cop. Well, it looks like a finger injury has sidelined Kharitonov for the next few months, leaving Cro Cop again without an opponent.

June 21st is less than a month away now, meaning that GLORY has to scramble to find a new opponent. The rumored list of names right now is Zack Mwekassa, Jarrell Miller, Jerome Le Banner and Jamal Ben Saddik. There was a remote chance of Tim Sylvia, but that is definitely not happening, Ray Sefo and Ernesto Hoost have apparently also offered their services for the Cro Cop lottery as well. Out of all of these options, Mwekassa is probably the one with the most upside for GLORY. Mwekassa made short work of former UFC star Pat Barry earlier this month and will be fresh in the minds of fans, so he'd be a credible threat to Cro Cop. If Mwekassa wins you have a Heavyweight star that you can nurture, if he loses there isn't much for GLORY to lose at this point.

Read more...

More on Semmy Schilt's Future

  • Published in Glory

Semmy Schilt

Sometimes with Kickboxing timing is everything, and right now it is very clear to see why GLORY would feel it an inopportune time for one of their Heavyweight stars, Semmy Schilt, to no longer be an active fighter. While Semmy might not be the most fan-favorite fighter in the world, he is seen as one of the best Heavyweight Kickboxers of all time, with the credentials to match.

Yesterday we discussed the very real rumor of Semmy Schilt being retired, as we heard from sources very close to Schilt that he was having health issues and decided to no longer fight. This did not come as a surprise to us in the least, as Schilt had already been talking about no longer participating in tournaments and there was talk of him maybe fighting once or twice more before calling an end to his career.

GLORY's CEO discussed a few things with MMAMania's Brian Hemminger, one of the questions was about Schilt's retirement, to which he had this to say;

"As far as I know, he's on our active roster and that is certainly the case until he tells us. As far as we know, which is pretty close to the source, he hasn't announced anything at all that would prompt us to pick up the phone and give him a ring. As far as we can see, the press on the story has no primary sources whatsoever so until we hear it from Semmy, we're really excited to have him as a champion with us every since he came on board and signed with us."

While we respect Mr. Whittaker and his position, there were indeed primary, reliable sources on this. We've discussed the issue more with our sources, who've yet to actually be wrong in many years, and it was revealed that Schilt is indeed healthy now, but has still decided not to continue his fighting career. A statement from him has been expected, but possibly due to the Spike TV deal it will be delayed.

Read more...

LEGEND Fighting's Second Event Scheduled for November Featuring Cro Cop vs. Aleks Emelianenko

  • Published in Kickboxing

Cro Cop/Aleks

The first LEGEND Fighting event was a bit of a mixed bag, but a success in many regards as it featured a solid 72kg Kickboxing tournament on top of the now infamous battle between Badr Hari and Zabit Samedov, where Samedov was able to do the impossible and toppled Badr Hari. It also appealed with the freakshow factor by putting Aleksander Elemianenko up against Bob Sapp, with the local hero making short work of the sham of a fighter known as Bob Sapp.

The second LEGEND Fighting event is scheduled for November now and is set to feature the rematch that is almost ten years in the making between Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic against Aleksander Emelianenko in Russia. This will be contested under MMA rules, where Emelianenko is more comfortable and where Cro Cop has not ventured since his release from the UFC in October, 2011, save for the IGF New Year's Even event against professional wrestler/former sumo Wakakirin Shinichi.

Here's hoping that they once again feature some bigger Kickboxing bouts on this card as well, as the last event turned out to be quite entertaining.

Read more...

Former K-1 Head Kazuyoshi Ishii Making Headlines in Japan Again

  • Published in News

Ikumi Yoshimatsu

Former K-1 owner and founder Kazuyoshi Ishii is making waves in Japan again, only this time outside of the ring.

In December, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, the current Miss International, filed criminal and civil charges against one of Japan’s most powerful talent agencies’ executives for stalking her and attempting to ruin her career.

Yoshimatsu filed the complaint against Genichi Taniguchi, a powerful executive with the talent agency K-Dash and president of the firm Pearl Dash.

Ishii entered a meeting and demanded Yoshimatsu ride with him to the most powerful talent agency in Japan, Burning Productions. Ishii then introduced her to "the Don" of the Japanese entertainment industry, Ikuo Suho. Burning Productions has a tainted past and in 2007 was listed as a client company of the Yamaguchi-gumi.

Read more...

Watch Cro Cop vs. Jerome Le Banner From 1996

  • Published in Video

With the talk of a possible [fake] showdown between Jerome Le Banner and Mirko Cro Cop there is a reason why such a bout would be a big deal in Japan, even if it were simply professional wrestling. It would be a rematch, of sorts, from 1996 where the two younger men met in the K-1 ring. Both men would go on to be wildly successful in Japan and become gigantic stars. Cro Cop became one of the biggest names in PRIDE FC and JLB became a K-1 legend.

So while it is not official yet, the thought of both men in the ring together again, even if not real, is exciting and would be a great moment for fans across the world. So go ahead and check out their first fight.

Read more...

Hunt and Manhoef score epic face-plant KO’s

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kickboxing royalty Mark Hunt and Melvin Manhoef were both successful in MMA bouts as they finished off Roy Nelson and Doug Marshall respectively.

 

Mark Hunt’s unlikely career resurgence continues, as the 40-year old became only the second fighter to knockout the notoriously durable Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson. The bout headlined UFC’s third trip to Japan since the Zuffa takeover and was a seemingly logical match-up of fan favorites.

 

The bout was relatively even throughout the first round, as both battled to establish dominance over the other with both fighters scoring with occasional punches and a few thudding low kicks from the former K-1 champion Hunt. Nelson was unsuccessful in two attempts at bringing the fight to the mat in the first as he likely lost a very close first round to the New Zealand native.

 

At the start of the second round Nelson was finally able to secure a takedown and briefly took Hunt’s back however Hunt was able to escape back to his feet shortly after. The two continued to trade on the feet as the momentum began to swing in Hunt’s favor whilst Nelson began to show signs of fatigue. With two minutes left on the clock, Hunt crumbled Nelson with a monstrous uppercut followed by his typical walk-off celebration.

 

With the victory Hunt moves to (5-2-1) in the UFC and could see himself enter the UFC’s top 5 rankings for the very first time (currently ranked #6), whilst after being stopped for the first time in nearly six years, Nelson falls to (7-6) in the octagon.

 

Melvin Manhoef, who coincidently was the first man to knockout Mark Hunt, made quick work of former Bellator title challenger Doug ‘The Rhino” Marshall in the Bellator 125 main event from Fresno, California. After a brief feeling out period both fighters began swinging wildly before an inadvertent shot to the groin of Marshall halted the bout temporarily. After the restart the two went back at it, throwing an assortment of haymakers and kicks to no avail. However after stinging Marshall with several low-kicks, Manhoef flattened his foe with a quick overhand right that sent Marshall face-first into the mat in dramatic fashion.

 

Manhoef immediately moves into title contention with his successful Bellator debut and could be in line for a Middleweight title shot against the winner of Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey who clash next Friday in the main event of Bellator 126. Marshall meanwhile drops to 4-2 inside the Bellator cage as he fought for the first time since his unsuccessful title shot against the aforementioned Shlemenko last November, a bout in which he subsequently tested positive for a banned substance post-fight.

 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Copyright 2010 - 2014 LiverKick.com. All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version