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Gokhan Saki Off Jan. 30 Card?

  • Published in Kickboxing

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

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

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

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

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

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May 28: Zimmerman vs. Bouzidi II

  • Published in Kickboxing

Bouzidi Zimmerman 2009New fight announcement for the United Glory finals on May 28: in an intriguing rematch, it will be #14 Errol Zimmerman vs. #19 Mourad Bouzidi.

These two men first met two years ago at the It's Showtime Amsterdam Arena 2009 event.  At that time, Zimmerman was a top 5 fighter, riding high off his 2008 K-1 Grand Prix final 4 appearance and Fight of the Year with Badr Hari.  He was expected to take the fight easily, but it was not to be.  Near the end of round 1, Bouzidi caught Zimmerman with a knee, opening up a large cut above the eye that stopped the fight.  At the time, the fight was viewed as not even an upset, but more of a freak stoppage, and not a true loss for the Bonecrusher.  Rewatching it now with some perspective, that's a very unfair way to look at it.  Bouzidi was turning in a strong performance, giving Zimmerman a lot of trouble, and the knee that opens the cut is beautifully executed.  Mourad Bouzidi won that fight.

For the rematch, Zimmerman is in quite a different place.  A series of underwhelming performances and out of shape appearances has cooled his momentum considerably.  He is coming off a powerful win at the United Glory semi-finals, but that was against an opponent far below Bouzidi's level.  Despite their rankings, I would actually consider Bouzidi the favorite here, as he is the kind of disciplined, solid fighter that will always turn in a game performance.  In the end, it's a very close fight, and one that Zimmerman needs to win.  A win here shows he he still can compete at this level, while a loss furthers his downward slide.  I'm greatly looking forward to seeing how this one goes down.

Zimmerman vs. Bouzidi is the 3rd fight set for this card.  Already announced are the World Series of Kickboxing and MMA finals: Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon on the kickboxing side, and Tommy Depret vs. Siyar Bahadurzada for MMA.

One final note - while I am excited about this fight, it must be mentioned that United Glory is notoriously unreliable for delivering fights as promised.  I really hope this one actually happens, but am prepared that it might not.

UPDATE: Two updates courtesy of Golden Glory trainer Martijn de Jong.  First, it appears the date is actually May 28, not the 21st as originally reported.  Second, de Jong announced a 4th featured bout: #4 Artur Kyshenko vs. #6 Nieky Holzken.  That right there is a GREAT match up, and if these four fights all go as planned, this is looking like a stacked show.

Watch Errol Zimmerman vs. Mourad Bouzidi from 2009 below:

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United Glory Make-Up Date: March 19, 2011

  • Published in Kickboxing

Just a few days ago Golden Glory announced that the United Glory Tournament's second round show, which was set to take place on January 30th was postponed, mainly due to Gokhan Saki's hand injury. Saki was one of the top-billed fighters on the card and had to bow out due to the injuries he sustained during the K-1 World Grand Prix. The second round of the tournament was set for the 30th in Charleroi, Belgium, but has now seemingly been pushed back to March 19th.

This hopefully gives time for Saki as well as John Alessio, who was also injured heading into the January 30th event, time to fully recover and appear on the March 19th show.

The MMA Welterweight tournament brackets are as follows:

John Alessio vs. Siyar Bahudurzada
Tommy Depret vs. Roan Carneiro

The Kickboxing Heavyweight tournament is as follows:

Gokhan Saki vs. Wendel Roche
Brice Guidon vs. Mourad Bouzidi

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Weekend Results: Saki, Guidon, More

  • Published in Europe

Gokhan Saki at United GloryTwo big kickboxing shows this weekend to report on:

United Glory hosted the semi-final rounds of their World Series of Kickboxing and MMA tournaments this weekend.  On the kickboxing side of things, in the first semi-final, JLB teammate Brice Guidon defeated Mourad Bouzidi via KO in the 2nd round.  I have not yet found any footage from this fight, but it's an impressive win as Bouzidi is both a solid fighter and very tough to stop.  In semi-final #2, tournament favorite Gokhan Saki (pictured) took a unanimous decision win over Wendell Roche.  Another powerful, leg kick heavy performance from Saki in this one, although Roche put up a game fight, particularly in the 3rd round.  With those wins, the final is set: Gokhan Saki vs. Brice Guidon.  That is scheduled from some time in May, though could very easily be delayed.  Saki will remain the favorite, but Guidon is a tough fighter, with a 2010 win over top 10 Hesdy Gerges.  He'll definitely make this a good final, and has it in him to pull off the upset.

Only partial results are available for the rest of the card, as United Glory is known to shuffle their line-ups considerably at the very last minute.  In more kickboxing action, Nieky Holzken, Errol Zimmerman, and Robin van Roosmalen were all victorious against unknown opponents.  Not much is known here, except that Zimmerman apparently broke the arm of his opponent - we'll have more details on that incident plus all these fights as soon as we can.  Finally, in the MMA tournament, both UFC veterans lost, as Siyar Bahadurzada defeated John Alessio, and Tommy Depret defeated Roan Carneiro.  Siyar and Depret will meet in the MMA finals on that same May show.

The other big event was over in Romania, where SuperKombat and WAKO-Pro presented an event billed as Romania vs. Italy.  In a rematch from the 2010 K-1 Europe GP finals, Freddy Kemayo once again defeated Sebastian Ciobanu, this time via extra round decision.  Romanian site Kombat.ro is saying there was some controversy surrounding that decision, though take that with a grain of salt as they tend to really favor their local fighters.  Dzevad Poturak also took a decision win over Ionut Ifitmoaie, while Catalin Morosanu defeated Yuksel Ayadin, again via decision.  On the undercard, the hyped Stoica brothers were both triumphant, as Andrei Stoica defeated Alex Rossi, and Bogdan Stoica took out Levio Ramoni, both via decision.  Full results here.

Next weekend, the show to watch is It's Showtime Brussels with their 61kg title on the line.  There was a NJKF show also scheduled that was to feature Tetsuya Yamato, but that show has been postponed to May 21 in light of the disaster in Japan.

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United Glory Details and Videos

  • Published in Europe

United GloryWe've got more information coming in from United Glory from this past weekend. First up, if you are interested in the MMA portion of the card, Sherdog.com has full results from the MMA fights online.  Check those out here.  Video has also surfaced of both Nieky Holzken and Errol Zimmerman in their fights, so we have some details on those fights, plus those videos, below.  As for the rest of the card - your guess remains as good as mine.  Which, I have to say, is completely ridiculous.  It's a real shame that this company would put on a show featuring multiple top 25 fighters, then not even bother to tell anyone who was actually on the show.  In this day and age it's absurd not to put results up on your own site, or at the very least, visit a big message board such as Mixfight.nl and post full results.  I'd like to say I'm looking forward to the next United Glory show and Guidon vs. Saki, but I have so little faith that I'll actually see the show that it's hard to drum up much interest.

Up first is Nieky Holzken vs. an unknown fighter mis-labeled as Wendy Annonay.  To be clear, Holzken's opponent here is NOT Wendy Annonay, as the YouTube video states.  Mr. Annonay himself contacted us to clear this up.  Our sincere apologies to him, and our readers for the confusion - just more proof of the lack of information from UG. UPDATE: It appears Holzken's opponent is French fighter Carlos Tavares.

Anyway, not sure what weight class this was, as Holzken has been moving around the 70-77 range a bit lately.  His opponent looks pretty big, so I would guess something higher than just 70kg.  Very impressive performance from Holzken, who patiently waits for the right opening, then takes advantage once he gets it:

Next is Errol Zimmerman vs. Zinedine Hamer-Lain.  After hearing Zimmerman was on this card, I was interested to see this, as the Bonecrusher has not looked too good in his last few showings.  Here, we once again get the somewhat overweight looking Zimmerman - a fighter who looks distinctly different from the man who made the K-1 semi-finals 2 years ago.  On the plus side, he does show off his power and aggression here, putting a heavy beating on Hamer-Lain that ends up breaking the overmatched fighter's arm.  I'll call this one better than we've seen from Zimmerman lately, but still not the kind of shape I would like to see him in:

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United Glory's Jan. 30th Show Postponed Due to Gokhan Saki's Injury

  • Published in Kickboxing

United GloryWith Gokhan Saki and John Alessio injured entering into the January 30th United Glory card, held by the Golden Glory team, they've decided to postpone the show until March. They put up a notice on their website on the 21st and will announce a make-up date on the 25th.

UG has taken this decision in the light of the news that Gokhan Saki has not recovered sufficiently from his broken hand (an injury sustained during the K1 final held in Japan). As a result of the injury, Saki would have been unable to fight in the Glory World Series on 30 January 2011.
In view of his unique kickboxing skills and enormous public popularity, UG believes that the event cannot continue without him. UG aims to prevent the major disappointment among fans that would result if he was not given a fair chance to prove himself in the Glory World Series. The recommendation to postpone the event in order to ensure that the favourite Gokhan Saki can still take part was also made for the sake of the TV companies who broadcast the Glory World Series to countless fans. The move is also of major importance for the sponsors of the Glory World Series.

Read the entire release on the United Glory website. Keep your eyes glued to LiverKick.com for more information when we have it.

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