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Ten Questions With GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria

  • Published in Interviews

Georgian born kickboxer, Davit Kiria has wowed spectators in the sport since his debut. Kiria is well known for his speed and his aggressiveness in the ring as well as his ability to combine traditional kickboxing styles with Ashihara karate, a discipline in which he holds a black belt.

Looking ahead to Glory 18 where Kiria is expected to face off for the third time against Robin van Roosmalen, I had an opportunity to ask Davit some questions about his past, present and future as well as to find out whether the third time will be a charm for him..

SW: Once again, I would like to thank you Davit for the opportunity for the interview. Since your debut as a fighter with Glory you have shown yourself to be a very exciting fighter and one who the fans love to watch. I last saw you fight against Andy Ristie in Zagreb. It initially seemed that you might be down in points until your eventual KO. Did you have any difficulty adjusting to Ristie's fighting style?

DK; Ristie has just perfect parameters for lightweight, he is tall and he has very long hands and legs which makes for me more difficulty. But, I'm professional and I have professional trainers and we can learn any opponent and their fighting style.

SW: Glory 18 will mark your third meeting with Robin van Roosmalen. In the two prior bouts van Roosmalen won via decision. What, if anything, have you done differently in this training camp to prepare for this fight?

DK: This fight is very important for me, two times I've fought already with no success, but now it's the third time so it has to finish with my success. I have done very hard preparation and I am very happy, everything went very well and without any injuries or stress. I'm in very good shape and I will show more than in Zagreb because I have improved a lot because of hard working.

SW: You are the current Glory lightweight champion with a record of 5-3-0. What is your overall professional record?

DK: I have 23 Wins 8 losses and 0 draws.

SW: You have a black belt in Karate. At what age did you begin training? Also can you speak about how your interest in combat sports developed.

DK: I was 9 when I started to train in Karate. Before that I was playing soccer, but I really didn't like it. I don't like group games, I like individual sports and I chose to train karate because it's also courageous.

SW: You have been training in Holland for some time with Dave Jonkers and Semmy Schilit. What was it about their style of training/fighting that attracted you?

DK: Till today I train here in Holland. I come here for preparation, I get very good experience here. Semmy is a great fighter and person. Dave is a good trainer, I'm working till this day with Dave and my Georgian Trainer Bachuki they are a very good combination together, and they know best how to work with me.

SW: Both you and van Roosmalen are viewed as very fast and aggressive in your styles. What other assets do you see yourself bringing to the ring?

DK: I am better I think it from inside, I also have better technique, I know and I will show it next week. I will not only use my physical skills I will use my technical skills too and I will be better. I will do my best to show to the kickboxing world that I'm better than him and that I'm the best.

SW: Looking beyond Glory 18, are there any other fighters in your division that you are interested in fighting?

DK: Yes I already said Georgio Petrsosyan, I want to fight him next, but we will see how my management can work it out with Glory.

SW: What are some of your hobbies outside the ring?

DK: I have some hobbies but unfortunately I haven't enough time to enjoy them. I like to go to nature (mountains), I also like fishing, and I like to take nice photos, but I have less time for all this :):)

SW: If you were not fighting, what kind of career do you think you would have chosen?

DK: Maybe a businessman or farmer. I don't have any idea :):):) I never think about that, but I know what I'd like to do in future.

SW: Any special message to your fans?

DK: Yes of course. I love my fans, I don't like to ignore them, any reaction or message. Thank you my fans for this all love, I promise I always will do my best! If I win or lose it will always be my maximum. Till today I never make you upset and I do my best to keep it like that. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also visit my website, davitkiria.com and don't hesitate to ask me any questions via blog or mail.

We at Liverkick.com wish Davit the best in this bout with Robin. Glory 18 will be one of the most exciting events of the year and the headliner Kiria vs. van Roosmalen is guaranteed to keep us all on the edge of our seats!

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Robin van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai Planned for GLORY 25

  • Published in Glory

The long-rumored for GLORY 25 battle for the GLORY Lightweight Championship has been confirmed today by none other than Cor Hemmers via his Facebook page. The GLORY matchmaker spilled the beans on one of the most hotly-anticipated GLORY title fights in a while pitting the Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen against the tough challenger in Sitthichai. 

This is a solid contrast to the news earlier today of van Roosmalen looking to make his MMA debut in early 2016 and the usual fan panic that comes about fighters leaving kickboxing for MMA. Van Roosmalen faces one of his toughest tests to date in the young Thai who will be looking to take his place as the #1 Lightweight kickboxer in the world, which many believe he will do with relative ease. 

Van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai adds to an already exciting card featuring a main event of Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Josh Jauncey and a welterweight contender tournament. GLORY's site also currently lists Danyo Ilunga vs. Artem Vakhitov, but as we've seen before that isn't always entirely accurate. 

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Liverkick Exclusive: Glory 18 Calm Before The Storm Video

  • Published in Video

So our one man camera crew (Carlo) managed to get all the pre and post fight interviews while taking behind the scenes footage which I like call the calm before the storm. I saw him running around like a maniac trying to get footage of everyone, but after watching this video, man was it worth it. It really captures the feeling of being back stage before these shows, the way everyone warms up differently, some super calm, some screaming and smashing the pads. There is always tension especially when everyone's change rooms were right beside each other and most people could hear their opponent warming up. It's great to see how the fighters that we love to watch fight their hearts out, prepare right before putting on an amazing show for us. 

This is just a sample of the videos that we will be making for the upcoming Glory shows, Enjoy!

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Glory 18: Kiria Vs Van Roosmalen and Saulo Cavalari Hype Videos

  • Published in Glory

We are 3 weeks away from Glory 18, which means its time for the hype videos to begin. First of all we have the title fight between Robin van Roosmalen and Davit Kiria. Glory has given us their version of a small 24/7 type video for these 2 fighters. I can't help but feel that Roosmalen is a big favourite in this fight considering he has already beaten Kiria twice, both times by unanimous decision. Then again I think most people including myself underestimated the Georgian fighter against Ristie and we all saw how that went. The difference is Ristie is known to get tired in fights, he used to even have a hard time with 3 round fights, but hes adapted to those, where as Roosmalen has never really had a problem with his cardio, so the whole weather the storm game plan won't work this time for Kiria. I'd say Kiria has to capitalize on Roosmalen standing flat footed in front of him, he will have to move in and out and not get sucked into standing and trading combos or else hes likely to have a bad night.

Secondly we have a pre fight interview with Brazilian Saulo "Cassius Clay" Cavalari. He has probably the hardest first fight of the tournament against the favourite Danyo Ilunga. If he can get past Ilunga in the first fight he has a good chance to win the whole thing, Unless Mwekassa's left uppercut puts a dent in those plans.

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Robin van Roosmalen, Benjamin Adegbuyi, Alex Pereira and More Reflect on 2015 and Look forward to 2016

  • Published in Kickboxing

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016! This article has to be one of my favorites to write each year. Every year I try to evaluate my progress towards my goals or lack thereof. It was hit and miss for me this year, but I'm always going to keep trying. But, should I subject only myself to this sometimes angst filled exercise? As usual I've invited some people from the combat sports community to share with the fans at Liverkick an assessment of the year that was and give us a sneak peek of what's to come in 2016.

Mike Lemaire:

2015 was a successful year for me going 4-0 and improving my record to 17-2. The last two fights were absolute wars and both fights of the night. My goal for 2016 is to get some big fights and go undefeated.

Frank Mach:

2015: On a personal level, it was in some cases a disappointing year. I had to deal with a lot of setbacks like health issues, cancellation of K1 Royal and the workshop with Remy, Ernesto and Peter. On the other hand, I made a successful transition into the soccer business by accompanying approximately 15 young talents as well as continuing to manage known top fighters. I also look back on good points like the last Glory event in Amsterdam which was amazing. I don' t mean Danyo' s result, its more the atmosphere and to see that big events are back in Europe. All in all 2015 was a more than grateful year. I learned from my personal defeats and setbacks and will come out stronger in 2016. In 2016, I am really looking forward to placing my fighters at big events all over the world and soccer players into clubs in higher leagues. Especially I am looking forward to work with Danyo Ilunga, Janosch Nietlispach, Bilal Messoudi and my teammates Asmir Burgic and Remy Bonjasky. I personally have a good feeling about big events and challenges coming for the three fighters. I am very confident with Stefan Leko, and will be placing him in events in 2016. I am really proud of working with these people and look forward to the Glory events as well., but also other big promotions are in my focus. For our Rough Diamonds League it looks as though we have already fixed the first two dates of 2016. Besides the sports business I run a small consulting business specializing on small startups. I hope to help lots of people to realize their goals and dreams regarding entrepreneurship. My message for not only the readers of Liverkick is to follow your dreams, work hard and be patient when you fail. Always stand up one more time. Wishing all the fight sports fans a merry Christmas time and happy new year 2016.

Robin van Roosmalen:

2015 was a difficult year for me, in my personal life but also in sports. I fought 3 fights, won them all, but they didn't go how I wanted. I think my career has just started and there is still a lot to come. I'm not close to my prime yet. 2016 I will stay the champion , and I will make my name in MMA.

Birol Topuz:

In 2015 we at Topuz Sports Management mainly concentrated on Boxing and Kickboxing. In Kickboxing our athletes competed in Glory, W5 and SuperKombat. In Boxing we worked as a consultant and as a reporter for the Amateur Boxing Associations AIBA. We helped them organize the APB Pro Boxing organizations in Turkey with upmost effort and devotion. In 2016 we will organize our brand organization called Ring Masters Olympia in the International Boxing and the Kickboxing arena. We also decided to invest in Professional Boxing together with our Heavy weight and Middle weight boxers by finding the best possible sponsors in Turkey. Turkey is a very strategic area close to Europe, Asia and Middle East and we can use this to our advantage by being a fast acting mobile company. We feel that Topuz Sports Management Company is the best candidate in Turkey to contribute and fulfill the sports organizations plans and needs for 2016 due to the fact that we have the best local and international connections. Best regards, Birol Topuz and Topuz Sports Management

Alex Pereira:

Hi, I am Alex Pereira, currently 5th on Glory’s middleweight division. And current WGP (biggest kickboxing event on Latin America) champion. This year I’ve had good fights, here in Brazil everything went as expected, I’ve waged fierce battles and achieved satisfying results. In Glory I’ve had a chance to rematch against Jason Wilnis, unfortunately I couldn’t get the victory even having made a great fight. My expectation was to be able to have more fights on Glory, however I didn’t have the opportunity to display my work. A very important happening on 2015 was to have my first MMA fight and I intend to continue in those two modalities as other fighters have. My plans for 2016 is to chase Glory champion belt and honor my people and ancestors, even with the possibility to move to EUA and be nearer to my dream, which is to be the best middleweight in the world.

Tim Hughes:

As 2015 comes to a close we finally have a chance to catch our breath and look back on the year that was for Glory kickboxing. Virginia, Dubai, San Diego, Las Vegas, Lille France, San Jose, Denver, Milan and Amsterdam. It has been an extreme privilege to stand center ring for these great athletes and for all of these hard working and dedicated GSI staff and production members behind the scenes who do what they do every day to accomplish one goal, to shine a spotlight on the most exciting combat sport on the planet. After years of sitting ringside for MMA both in the ring and in the cage, there is no comparison to the speed, power and accuracy of top level kickboxing talent! All we can hope for in 2016 is that more fans will embrace the sport and that with the ESPN platform to showcase these talents, more fans will have the opportunity to see what Glory is all about! The return to kickboxing's spiritual home of Amsterdam was the icing on the 2015 cake and I know that the Glory staff and these amazing athletes have a real Sweet Tooth for what's to come in the New Year!

Benny Adegbuyi:

A week ago, after my loss I had the feeling that everything was bad. But looking back over the entire year I could say I had a good year, with some important wins, also with two title shots that I have lost but my motivation is bigger now. I learned from my mistakes and I know what to change for the next year! For 2016 I'm planning to win all the fights and even though I'm not sure if I will attack the title soon and I have a lack of experience comparing to the others top fighters, I still want to be ranked on the highest position possible.

Dan Black:

Where to begin? 2015 was so busy, it seemed to just fly by, honestly it seemed like one event after another. 2015 started off interestingly as we were a big part of Nick Diaz's camp for the Anderson Silva fight and the timeline was perfect for Xavier's Glory fight in Virginia with Everett Simms. Previously, they were supposed to have fought as amateurs, but the fight never happened for whatever reason. Going into the fight everything was going well up until a few days out when Xavier got injured breaking up a fight with his dogs. That was a bit of stress but luckily he was healed up in time and it didn't affect anything with the fight. Next we were supposed to fight Chi in Dubai, but they also wanted him to fight in San Diego, so we decided to pass on Dubai and just focus on the tournament in San Diego. Things were again a bit interesting going into the fights as we didn't know too much about the opponents other than they were really big guys so we couldn't take them lightly. Xavier, however, had been in tournaments before so I was confident he would be ok. Up next was the fight with Daniel Sam which was a true test for him as he had a lot of obstacles outside the ring going into that fight not to mention the fact Sam is a veteran with more than 3x the experience on an international level. Despite all the roadblocks Xavier was able to blast thru them and was able to pull off the fight with Sam despite him being considered the underdog by most of the international kickboxing community. On the same card I had Matt Baker make his Glory debut as a reserve in the middleweight tournament. He won on points. Matt competed recently on the Legacy kickboxing show as the 209 lbs reserve fighter but his opponent stopped the bout after an accidental head-butt in the first round. Nick Pica made his Bellator MMA debut on this historic Glory/Bellator Dynamite card with a convincing win over veteran fighter, Mauricio Alonso. Xavier won another boxing match bringing his record in boxing to 3-0 with 2 KOs and his kickboxing record to 9-1 with 8 KOs.

2016 I see a lot of big things coming up both on the kickboxing and MMA fronts. Xavier is only going to have harder fights so we are trying to stay busy and have been training hard, preparing the team for what's ahead. I also have Carl Sunamanutafa fighting on an upcoming Bellator show in Fresno and Roy Boughton fighting for the heavyweight title on Westcoast Fighting Championship. With fights booked thru half the year so far so 2016 looks like it will be very busy.

Xavier Vigney:

2015! What a year it has been. It all started in February in Virginia. I believe it was Glory 19. I was matched against American amateur national champion Everett Simms. He was not known on the international scene at all, but a big strong athletic guy like him is always dangerous and he had nothing to lose (except maybe his life) when it came to fighting me. We started the fight getting straight to business throwing punches, kicks, and knees. I tested his chin early dropping him with two right hands in the first round. He had enough after I crumbled him with another right hand and the fight was over. I think the most difficult thing about going into this fight was a fact that I had injured my left knee 10 days prior to the match.. I won't get into it too much on how I injured my knee, but my boxer and my pit bull got into a little scuffle and I had to break it up. Next was Glory in San Diego for the heavyweight qualification tournament. In this four man tournament I was matched up against Maurice Jackson. He was an interesting character. On the other end of the bracket was "Chopper" Lewis-Parry from England vs Demario Dennis. Chi had a mouth on him and he liked to run it a lot, whether it be in interviews, Twitter or Instagram he had something to say. It wasn't the first time I had to deal with something like this, my pro debut in 2012 against Seth Petruzelli was very similar. Petruzelli liked to talk and try to be funny. But it didn't work out so well for him. Really Chi was only making it worse for himself. The night of the tournament I made quick work of Maurice Jackson knocking him out in the first round. He came out throwing some pretty hard and athletic high kicks to my head which I defended and countered with hard punches. This caused him to shell up and turn his back. I managed to sneak in another hard right uppercut as he turned away and it landed right on his chin snapping his head back. He went down and the fight was over. Next was Chopper vs. Dennis. As I was backstage watching the fight I was expecting it to be a war. Demario landed a couple decent shots but when Chi returned fire it hurt him and the fight was over in the first round. Chopper Chi won. Now it was time to shut Chopper's mouth for good. When he entered the ring I didn't take my eyes off him. I could see through the man. We had a very entertaining competitive first round we both landed some good shots on each other, but towards the end of the round I could see and feel him starting to break. The second round came and I started just as strong and hard as I did in the first. He too, was still game but eventually he could not stand the pressure and pace. I got him in the corner and rained down hard shots to the head and body. When he bent over in the corner Big John McCarthy had seen enough and stopped the fight. And I won the tournament.

Next was Glory Las Vegas and here I was matched up against veteran fighter Daniel Sam . He is a massive man and has good experience fighting against a number of the best kick boxers in the world. This was a serious fight for me and also it was a test. Come fight night as I stood across the ring from Sam I felt comfortable, confident and ready to fight. We had a good competitive fight and went distance. I clearly landed more shots and had superior boxing but I will give Sam credit where it is due, the man kicks like a horse and he landed some good kicks on my body and legs. I felt those kicks for a few weeks. When it was all said and done I won the match and perhaps a little bit of respect because a lot of people didn't think I was going to win the fight against such an experienced and powerful guy like Daniel Sam. So after I let my leg heal up a little bit it was time to fight yet again this time pro boxing in a what I consider local match taking place at Cache Creek Casino and Resort in the Sacramento area. I was matched up against a guy named Derrick Williams who had experience in pro kickboxing, boxing and also MMA. When I first met him at the weigh ins I looked him in the eye and I could tell he knew he was in over his head. A guy like that is always dangerous though, because he has nothing to lose by losing to me. Come night of the fight as I stood across from Williams I could see that he would be in there fighting for his life. The fight started and he came out pressing forward trying to land something but I caught him with a few hard shots and he went down. He got back up and a few seconds later I caught him with a left hook that landed flush to his temple he went down the fight was over. That fight was October 24th 2015. Now as I sit back and reflect on 2015, I have to be thankful for going 5-0 and for making it out healthy. It was a good year full of good fights and good learning experiences that will prepare me for what is to come in 2016 and beyond. I am in no rush and I will continue to be patient and take it one day at a time, one training session at a time, and one fight at a time (maybe 2 or 3 if it's a tournament haha). I do have goals and one of them for 2016 is to go 6-0 between both kickboxing and boxing. But even without fighting 2016 will be one of the biggest years of my life this much I know.

Michael Duut:

Last year in 2015, I had a lot of injuries. I had a hamstring injury as well as an injury with my bicep which I tore completely. The latter injury occurred two weeks before a Glory event during a sparring session. So it was bad luck. For next year, 2016, my plan is first to recover, only having had surgery a few weeks ago and in January I plan to have physical therapy and also to start training a bit and then we have to see. Of course it is my goal to have the light heavyweight belt, but first I have to be fit. I think in September or October I will be ready to fight again.

Niclas Larson:

Unfortunately, I only had one fight on Danish ground in 2015. I was supposed to fight a four man tournament in Glory with Sittichai, Davit Kiria and Josh Jauncey. I became ill with staphylococcus aureus and needed an operation on my foot. Unfortunately this happened two weeks before the tournament. After three weeks of inactivity in the hospital and month of recovering, I am confident I will comeback at the end of February. This will be a fight on Danish ground and then I will be back fighting in all the big promotions for muay thai, including K-1 and Glory. I can't wait to be back !! Glory is an awesome promotion!

Sheri Ellington:

This year has been has amazing. I've had the opportunity to travel to many new places, including several kickboxing events. I've continued to train in Atlanta with my Coach Manu Ntoh. In October, I fought at my 6th World Championship in Spain representing USA National team. This allowed me pick up my 6th World Championship medal. One of the most important events for me this year as a career change. I accepted a position at a dental practice in a different city. This will allow me to have more opportunities and has been a very positive change. 

2016, I will be very focused on my career. I really enjoy designing custom mouth guards for my friends that fight. So...I'm very excited about starting that again. As far as me fighting, I will continue to train with Coach Manu in Atlanta. If the right opportunity comes along and if Coach Manu agrees then I will. I'm interested in helping my teammates at Team Manu behind the scenes, like finding sponsorships, promotions, & training. I will also be helping my friend set up seminars here in the USA. Of course, I will be traveling as often as possible. I plan on visiting my old teammate George Hickman who is coaching at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket.

It is my hope that everyone has come at least one step closer to their dreams in 2015 and will acheive even more in 2016! Osu!

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Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Robert Thomas

  • Published in Interviews

Canadian middleweight Robert Thomas had a fantastic performance against Mike Lemaire this weekend on Glory 18's Super Fight Series. He started off a little slow due to his traditional Thai background, but in the 3rd when he finally let his hands go it was a thing of beauty. He had already softened Lemaire up with hard right knees to the body, then he came in with a hook to the body then hook to the head combo followed by a perfect right high kick to drop Lemaire. Once Lemaire was up Thomas followed up with a hand combination finishing with a short right that finished Lemaire off leaving him draped on the ropes.
We were lucky enough to get a quick chat with a happy Thomas after his 3rd round KO.

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Robin van Roosmalen's MMA Debut Gets Dated; FFC 22 on Feb. 19th

  • Published in Kickboxing

GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen is set to make his MMA debut this year at an FFC event, we knew this much, but today it was announced that van Roosmalen will headline FFC's 22nd event in Athens, Greece on February 19th. The card will also feature Pavel Zhuravlev, Samo Petje and Igor Pokrajac. 

His debut opponent has not been announced yet, but we assume that will be coming shortly. 

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Robin van Roosmalen Making MMA Debut in 2016

  • Published in Glory

GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen has been talking about dabbling in MMA for years now, to the extent of it being rumored that he'd make his MMA debut a few times without it ever coming to fruition. Now it looks like van Roosmalen is ready to make his MMA debut and that it will be in early 2016.

Van Roosmalen will absolutely be prepared for this debut, having trained in mixed martial arts and judo for most of his life, even having earned his black belt in judo recently. Who he'll be fighting for is still not clear yet, but it will sure be interesting to see how he fares in another sport.

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Robin van Roosmalen Reveals More on Upcoming MMA Debut

  • Published in Glory

Robin van Roosmalen recently revealed that he'd be dipping his toe into the MMA waters after two years of training in the sport, all with the blessings of GLORY. Today, thanks to an interview from the Blackzilians website, there are more details on his pending debut. 

Van Roosmalen will be making his MMA debut on January 16th in Italy for the promotion FFC. FFC, run out of Croatia, runs events that are a mix of MMA and kickboxing. This seems like an interesting promotion to fight for considering they do have a kickboxing connection, but this is apparently all done with GLORY's knowledge. He had an exclusive contract with GLORY, but the promotion gave him the go ahead to pursue MMA as long as it didn't interfere with his GLORY obligations. 

As for the weight class? Robin fights at Lightweight in kickboxing but due to how much weight-cutting happens in MMA he has decided to fight at Featherweight in MMA. When asked about a possible future in the UFC, which doesn't allow for their fighters to participate in other sports, he said that he'd like to reach the highest level at some point, but that would be far down the line for him. There was a push to get van Roosmalen involved with Bellator (which we've known for a while), most recently a push for him to fight on the Bellator MMA Dynamite 1 card but Bellator didn't seem keen on it and those talks went nowhere. 

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