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Sem Schilt Retires

  • Published in Glory

Semmy Schilt Retired

Over the last few months there have been various reports that four-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, 2012 Glory Grand Slam and Glory Heavyweight Champion Semmy Schilt will no longer be fighting. The rumors were first centered around his participation in future tournaments, as after his victory on New Year's Eve in 2012 he stated that he would not participate in future tournaments, although it was quickly brushed off. Since then there has been talk about him fighting Gokhan Saki with the Heavyweight title on the line, but there has also been talk of Schilt no longer fighting at all.

Since last night LiverKick has received numerous reports from reliable sources that Semmy Schilt is retired, effective immediately. The decision was apparently not an easy one for the Hightower, who was instructed to retire from his medical team due to a heart condition that was discovered. This marks the retirement of what may be the greatest Heavyweight Kickboxer of all time, with five big tournament victories under his belt and numerous world championships. Schilt was also a pioneer in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, making his debut in Pancrase in 1996, fighting in both the UFC and PRIDE over the course of his career.

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Simon Rutz Interview Part 2

  • Published in Interviews

Simon RutzAmidst all the bad K-1 news, Europe’s top fighting organization, It’s Showtime, has been a hot topic of conversation lately. As plans for 2011 come together, we’re seeing more and more events announced by the company, who find themselves constantly expanding their product throughout the world. But in the middle of all the positive news came an unfortunate announcement last week – due to a planned co-promotion with K-1 falling through, It’s Showtime would not run their big annual show at the Amsterdam Arena in 2011.

Between this latest news, all the rumors swirling around K-1, Badr Hari’s return, and various other stories, now seemed like a good time to speak to the always forthcoming It’s Showtime president Simon Rutz. As always, Mr. Rutz offered plenty of insight into their dealings with K-1 and so much more.

If you missed part 1 yesterday, click here for the story on exactly what happened with the canceled Amsterdam Arena event and the state of affairs for K-1 and It’s Showtime.

LiverKick.com Exclusive Interview with Simon Rutz Part 2

LiverKick.com: It’s very exciting to hear Badr Hari will return in May in Lyon. Is that fight confirmed?

Simon Rutz: It is not confirmed yet because the contract is not signed, but I think we will have the contract signed in 2 weeks.

LK: Any news on his return opponent?

SR: At this moment we are talking with possible opponents.

LK: Where do his legal troubles stand?

SR: Nobody knows what will happen in the future with this case! This case was big in the news in The Netherlands, but from what I understand, the police still don’t have any witnesses.

LK: So do you have concerns about Hari’s reputation considering the trouble kickboxing recently had with the government in Amsterdam?

SR: Of course it doesn’t help! But these are two totally different cases. Amsterdam wants to have big sports events in their city, but with one of the biggest events (It’s Showtime), they make it difficult. When we don’t run show in the future in Amsterdam, it will be a shame for the city, but not for It’s Showtime. We will survive with or without Amsterdam.

LK: Remy Bonjasky is working with It’s Showtime now. Have you discussed him having a retirement fight with you?

SR: Yes, I discussed a retirement fight for him, but the money he asked for I don’t want to pay! Of course he can ask, but believe me, nobody will pay him that much money!

LK: How did you feel about K-1’s response to the protest regarding the Hesdy Gerges vs. Semmy Schilt fight?

SR: What they said and did was bullshit. They say that the corner for Schilt was wrong, and they punished the judges? I understand why K-1 did this, because last year they didn’t get Badr Hari and Remy Bonjasky, so they needed the 4 time K-1 winner Semmy Schilt in the final. I think if Hesdy Gerges was in the final, it would have been a totally different final.

LK: You had an unfortunate falling out with Cosmo Alexandre last year. Why couldn’t that situation be worked out?

SR: Because it was the second time he did something wrong. But for me there’s no problem. He is a nice guy and a good fighter, but I don’t use him anymore.

LK: I understand your clause regarding fighters taking fights before It’s Showtime shows – is that written in to their contracts?

SR: It’s always written in their contract, but with Cosmo, we didn’t write the contract because, stupid as I am sometime, a word from me is more important than a contract. But don’t misunderstand me, in 99% of the cases we have a contract!

LK: Tyrone Spong is no longer the 95kg champ. Any idea when there will be a fight for that title, and who might fight for it?

SR: Yes, I am working on that and I think that 2 fighters are fighting for this title on March 6 in Amsterdam. Soon I will let everybody know.

LK: Melvin Manhoef said on twitter that he likely won’t fight for It’s Showtime this year. Might he be stripped of the 85kg belt?

SR: If he doesn’t fight for his title, yes I will strip him of the belt because those are the rules! But Melvin is Melvin, one day he says that and the other day he thinks differently. Also, if he doesn’t fight this year for It’s Showtime and K-1 is broke, who else can pay him? Last time Melvin was disappointed because K-1 didn’t treat him well and that’s the case.

LK: What are your personal favorite fights in It’s Showtime history?

SR: Badr Hari vs. Sem Schilt, Mootje Khamal vs. Chahid, Ivan Hipolyte vs. Rayen Simson, Rob Kaman vs. Alexei Ignashov, and almost all the fights from Gago Drago.

LK: Last year when I spoke to you and asked who we should watch for in 2010, you brought up Aussi Ouzgni, who then had a great year. So, who should we watch out for in 2011?

SR: Marat Grigorian is one of the biggest talents in the world. Watch him.

LK: Anything else our readers should know?

SR: A lot of people think that It’s Showtime is happy that K-1 is broke, but believe me we hope that K-1 survives. That’s really better for the sport. Also personally I like the people from FEG like Mr. Tanikawa, but in my opinion they do a lot of strange things. For many years I have said to them that they must do things differently but every time they do the opposite. I think that they were afraid of It’s Showtime, but that is totally not necessary. The world is big enough for two good and big kickboxing organizations. Also, I want to say that life is beautiful! Carpe Diem!

 

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Let's Kill that Bobby Lashley vs. Overeem Rumor

  • Published in K-1

As with anything FEG-related, it is best to approach anything you hear like a one night stand; carefully, with protection, and to do your best to forget about it the next morning. Our friends at NightmareOfBattle learned that the Lashley vs. Overeem bout is indeed "off" -- as if it was ever truly on.

From what we are hearing currently, Lashley's management turned down the fight due to not having enough time to prepare for a bout of that magnitude, which all-in-all is a very smart move. Liver Kick is still waiting to hear back from Alistair Overeem's management as to what the future plans are, but we do know that Bobby Lashley will not be the opponent, nor will Satoshi Ishii, who is fighting Jerome Le Banner instead.

The current rumor is that Golden Glory fighters will clash in the fight that fans across the world were waiting for at this year's World Grand Prix; Alistair Overeem vs. Semmy Schilt. No word on the validity of this rumor, or if it would be DREAM or K-1 rules, but we should have more details within the next few days.

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Photo of the Day: Golden Glory Team Photo

  • Published in K-1

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

 

 

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Building a Narrative: The Story of Daniel Ghita

  • Published in News

When fight fans think about a fighter, especially a rising star, I’m surprised how few think about the term narrative. To me, the narrative of a fighter’s career and of each fight is one of the most alluring parts of the fight game, and partially why Kickboxing has always aced Mixed Martial Arts for me. Sure, the kicks, the clinch game and the constant action helps, but K-1 especially did a great job in the 90’s and early 00’s of building up new stars and telling a story to the world, as opposed to simply pushing out fighters and booking them in competitive fights.

I’m not trashing competitive fights, just saying that simply booking them alone is not always enough in building a star. This line of thought crossed my mind when it became clear this week that K-1 had Daniel Ghita on the hook for the K-1 World Grand Prix, and instead of reeling him in and claiming the biggest star and most talented Heavyweight in Kickboxing today, they opted to let him go due to fears of him jumping to the competition after fighting for them and winning their tournament. I understand that line of reasoning, but the truth is, there is a good chance of Daniel Ghita, potentially the best Heavyweight alive in the world right now, might have to sit out the 2012 tournament season due to politics. This is all happening right when his star has been cemented and the narrative has been in place that Daniel Ghita is the best in the world, just ready to claim his throne.

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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals 2009

  • Published in K-1

Badr, DefeatedImagine having a chance to fulfill what many have called your destiny, and to do so in dominant fashion. The only thing in your path is an obstacle that you were able to easily overcome mere months before, imagine you are Badr Hari in the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009. In 2008 the insanity, the rage that came over Badr Hari cost him a chance to actually fight and possibly win the K-1 World Grand Prix when Remy Bonjasky just wouldn't go down or stop throwing those flying kicks. In 2009 Badr Hari did everything right; he kept his cool, he destroyed everything that lay in his path, he put down old rivalries, avenged past losses and showed the world that he can be a mature, composed fighter.

Then imagine stepping into the ring to face Semmy Schilt for a second time in the same year, a Semmy Schilt who within the confines of fighting in one night tournaments was just about unstoppable. Badr went inkto the fight with two first round knockouts under his belt for the night, as did Semmy Schilt. One man was going to emerge with a third first round knockout and the most prestigious title in Heavyweight kickboxing, and in the mind of Badr Hari, it had to be him.

It wasn't Badr Hari's night, and the look on his face after the fight said it all; that he had failed. That once again, he got to the top of the mountain, and just when he was about to plant that flag and declare victory it was snatched from him. That photograph was captured by Daniel Herbertson for us at the time, and a picture says a thousand words.

Badr Hari returns from a one year layoff on May 14th for It's Showtime in Lyon, where he will fight Gregory Tony. We will continue to run down Badr Hari's journey that led to his one year hiatus from the world of kickboxing and why fans are excited about his return.

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The Unappreciated Career of Semmy Schilt

  • Published in News

Sem Schilt

As the news of Semmy's career coming to an end due to a heart issue hits me, I immediately looked to his accomplishments and his place in kickboxing history. I quickly came to the overwhelming conclusion that he is unchallenged, the most unappreciated fighter in the history of kickboxing.

I know there is going to be a heavy dose of write ups were people call him the greatest, or one of the greatest heavyweight kickboxers of all time. Most will quote the easy, he was a four time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, matching the Legend Ernesto Hoost, the only other man to do it. Many will also credit him with a fifth major kickboxing tournament title, as he won the Glory Series Heavyweight tournament on NYE. Though I would be remised if I did not point out that some place an asterisk on the tournament, due to the first two rounds of the tournament not being full fights. Those like myself who value who you beat over what you've won will give a more in-depth line of logic in remembering Semmy's career. 3-0 verses Remy Bonjasky, the other great of the era. 1-0-1 verses Hoost, 4-0 over Jerome Lebanner, 1-1 with Badr Hari, 2-0 against Daniel Ghita, and an admirable 2-3 versus Peter Aerts. Yet these are just wins, they are not legacy.

 

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Ultimate Glory on March 23 -- Huge Kickboxing Event

We've been waiting and waiting it seems for an announcement in regards to K-1. We've known for a while now that Golden Glory has been working to try to get involved with the K-1 brand and that there was a show on March 23rd in Moscow, but the announcement was a long time coming and clearly there were complications involved. Golden Glory issued a press release this morning announcing the March 23rd Moscow event, and explains that the K-1 negotiations are still underway, but that they've decided to move forward with putting out an event featuring top Kickboxers in the meantime.

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Semmy Schilt and Alistair Overeem to Star in "Fight Game" For Windows Phone 7

  • Published in K-1

Alistair Overeem in FIGHT GAMEThe mobile gaming market is ever-growing, and with that should come a few more fighting games. As of right now, the market for mobile fighting games is wide open, as there are only a select few. Enter "Fight Game" -- a Bas Boon company that produces some of those really cool t-shirts that you've seen Golden Glory fighters wearing for the last year or so; Gokhan Saki, Alistair Overeem, Errol Zimmerman, Sem Schilt and more. There have been rumors mulling around that Fight Game will also become, well, a game and for a mobile platform.

It turns out that Fight Game is currently being developed and will be released for Windows Phone 7. As an avid fan of the mobile phone market, this move does confuse me, but makes sense as well. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 launched late last year and is an incredibly late entry into the smartphone market which is currently dominated by phones using Google's Android operating system or Apple's iPhone. Android and iPhone dominated the United States mobile phone market and make up a bulk of users in the world as well. As a former owner of a few Windows Mobile devices (up until 6.1, where I put Android on an SD card and booted off of that -- phone nerd, I know), I can honestly say that there would not be much incentive to switch from using Android to WP7.

Why WP7? Microsoft has been very aggressive trying to onboard game developers and offering interesting incentives to them. Games on WP7 are able to link up with Microsoft's XBox Live platform and some games are cross-platform as well. So, on that note, it makes perfect sense as to why they are working on WP7, but as owners of a different platform I can only hope we see the game make it's way to other phone platforms and to a wider audience.

The game will feature some sort of strange storyline involving Semmy Schilt and Alistair Overeem and a Mortal Kombat-ish martial arts tournament. Did we mention Ubereem has a giant hammer and is crushing rocks? Oh, and Semmy drives a chopper on the streets of Miami. This is literally all we know about the game.

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Semmy Schilt; Possibly Not Invited to the World Grand Prix

  • Published in K-1

Semmy SchiltWe are just two weeks away from the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 and are still without any definitive announcement from K-1, including fight card, participants and possible television deals. If FEG were known to conduct business in any other way this would be incredibly alarming, but K-1 has always been known to make major announcements at the last minute, leaving everyone from the media, fans, managers and even fighters hanging, waiting for word.

An article came out today about Semmy Schilt, the four-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and currently LiverKick.com's #1 Ranked Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight Kickboxer. Our choice of Semmy Schilt has raised some questions, but with Alistair Overeem under a Zuffa contract and the one year mark rapidly approaching for Kickboxing inactivity it seems only fair to not include him, and Peter Aerts had stated that 2010 would be his last World Grand Prix, while Sem Schilt has made no public announcement about even considering retirement. If Peter Aerts does indeed participate in the K-1 World Grand Prix and Semmy Schilt does not, then we will indeed need to re-evaluate the Heavyweight/Super Heavyweight field, but until then it is up in the air.

This article stated that the four-time champion was not invited by K-1 to participate in the World Grand Prix, which for a fighter of his value would be a first. This is not news after seeing the leaked list of possible participants in the event, and the article does insinuate that It's Showtime's assistance might be a cause for Sem Schilt not being involved, with Golden Glory being his management, but there have been reports that Bas Boon and Golden Glory have been in talks with FEG since the event was announced, although nothing between the two parties has yet to materialize.

Sem Schilt would add instant credibility to the tournament and be one of the favorites to win the entire tournament if included, but as of press time it is not clear if we'll see Sem fighting for K-1 again or not. Odds are Schilt is on the long list of fighters yet to be paid by FEG, which could be causing some problems. [source]

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