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Bellator Kickboxing 3 Spoilers and Interview

Bellator Kickboxing returned for its third event this Saturday in Budapest, Hungary. There wasn't a ton of press going into this show, but it will air on Friday on Spike TV, so if you want to wait for that, be warned, spoilers ahoy. Results from CombatPress.

Bellator middleweight title: Zoltán Laszák def. Karim Ghaji

Raymond Daniels (R3 - Decision) Zsolt Benedek 

Denise Kielholtz (R3 - Decision) Renáta Cseh-Lantos 

Alexandru Negrea (R3 - Decision) Ali El Ameri 

Mustapha Haida (Ext.R - Decision) Kike Bonnin 

On top of that, Adam Repa spoke with the new champion, Zoltan Laszak about his big win.

Q: - First of all, congrats on the win and your peformance! Based on what we talked about pre-fight it seemed you slightly differed from the original strategy. Did something happen pre-fight or during the bout that made you change?

A: - Thanks. Yeah, somewhere early in the fight I managed to catch him with a pretty good shot and honestly, this made me a bit wanting to go for the kill. Therefore it became more like a punch for punch, kick for kick fight if you know what I mean.

Q: - How do you feel, do you think that overall you still managed to keep yourself to what you planned before with coach István Gnyálin?

A: - Absolutely. Although as I mentioned I stood more in front of Ghajji, traded more punches with him I still managed to keep the strategic plan and come out on top of most of the exchanges.

Q: - What was it like from the inside? What and how do you remember of the fight?

A: - Actually I don't really remember much. There were some really high points and I've enjoyed it thoroughly. When they put the belt around my waist.. There are simply no words of how that felt. I know it's a cliché but it's really indescribable. It was a very emotional moment for all of us - my coach, teammates (Dávid Elszaszer, Vivien Wágner). Those long years of working hard had been crowned yesterdey evening.

Q: - What's next for you? Have you talked to Scott Coker, the management or someone about it?

A: - They really enjoyed my performance, loved the fight but we didn't talk about any specific plan or opponent for my first title defense so I cannot tell you much at the moment.

Q: - Did you suffer any injuries, any break in the fight?

A: - No, luckily not. I had a long night with the hospital visits but I came away from the fight with a few stitches on my eyebrow so that's it. My ribs hurt and my thighs show some beautiful patterns so it's the usual. That's the fight game.

Q: - Any closing words, shout outs?

A: - Yeah, hereby I'd love to thank my coach, my teammates Dávid and Vivien and all those people who have rooted for me - My family, all my teammates, friends, students and last but not least my partner!

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Joe Schilling on Kato: 'This Time It's In My Ring'

American kickboxing has been hurting for stars since the original rise and fall of the sport in the 70’s and 80’s. Names like Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Rick Roufus, Benny Urquidez and “Superfoot” Bill Wallace might ring a bell for purists, but the style of kickboxing from yesteryear went out of fashion, fell off of the map and very few made the transition to the K-1 style (out of those names only Roufus, really). Since then we’ve been hurting for stars to help to sell the sport to American audiences. 

Sure, there have been attempts and muay thai has gained cult popularity among fight fans, but there hasn’t really been anyone that has connected on a mass level yet. The one name that people will kick around who seems primed to break through on that level is Joe Schilling, though. Schilling had initially moved out to LA thanks to their booming interest in muay thai where he initially made a name for himself. When kickboxing came knocking he answered, though, and for the past few years Schilling has been one of the few Americans that promoters can feel confident putting on their banners without a show completely bombing. 

Over the span of multiple contract disputes with GLORY he found himself fighting in MMA for Bellator, with one of the biggest knockouts of 2014 under his belt against Melvin Manhoef before he waded deeper into the waters of MMA that involved bad decisions based upon grappling and then a showdown with karateka Hisaki Kato. Kato was still a virtual unknown at the time, all of his professional fights happening in one of Japan’s minor leagues called HEAT when he was called up to fight Schilling. Karate vs. kickboxing, what was there to lose?

It was a Joe Schilling fight through-and-through, with him being aggressive, but MMA always seems to hinger his aggression. “Yeah, I mean, people were saying all this stuff like ‘oh, you are a kickboxer and this guy knocked you out,’ well yeah, it happens. In kickboxing you don’t have to worry about someone shooting in for a takedown on you, keeping your hands up is a part of the game, in MMA there’s so much going on. It was a superman punch, he threw a hail mary and it caught me,” Schilling explained. 

Kato went on to lose to Melvin Manhoef, clouding the waters of Bellator’s Middleweight division even further. So after Schilling had fulfilled his duties to GLORY, he was eager to step into the Bellator Kickboxing ring as soon as he could. “I really don’t know what happened with GLORY. Things were going great, I was their marquee guy for that pay-per-view that nobody bought, you know? That was just one of the many stupid decisions that they made, but anyway, I was their guy for it, then it was radio silence. I had to do something, so I went to Bellator. I thought that I was their guy, but apparently not. I re-signed with them and nothing got better, so when it came time for Bellator to launch their kickboxing I wanted in. 

“GLORY all of a sudden wouldn’t let me go, so I fought two more times for them without a contract in place and here I am now. I’m so happy to be with Bellator and Spike. I didn’t have an option before, it was just MMA, but now that I can fight kickboxing for Bellator? It’s just perfect.” 

So on June 24th he’ll be stepping into the ring with Hisaki Kato once again, but this time it’s under kickboxing rules and there is no cloud hanging over Joe’s head. He’s with Bellator, he doesn’t have to do MMA anymore and he gets to fight Kato under the rules that he’s not only good at, but he’s one of the best. “This time it’s in my ring, my realm. This is where I made a name for myself, this is what people know me from. I’m not gonna take anything away from him, but will he be comfortable in kickboxing? I doubt it. He gets to fight the best Joe Schilling, the one that can be aggressive without having to worry about takedowns. I feel bad for him.”

As for MMA, while he isn’t ruling it out, he also doesn’t seem to feel like there’s a reason to fight in MMA when kickboxing is right there. “Now that Bellator has kickboxing I can be their star. You know, they were all about being in the Joe Schilling business after that win over Melvin, then I had those two losses and I thought, ‘shit, that’s it for me.’ But it’s nothing like that, they are still very happy to be in the Joe Schilling business. Scott Coker, everyone at Bellator and Spike have been great to me and they still see me being a star for them, so I’m going to prove them right. Will I fight MMA again? Maybe, but kickboxing is where I want to be and I think where they want me to be.”

Bellator still haven’t exactly filled out their divisions just yet, though, so the question is for a guy like Schilling, is he comfortable just being the number one guy in Bellator while his career-long rivals in Simon Marcus and Artem Levin are still out there? “Let me tell you about Artem Levin, man. I respected that guy once, you know? We had some stuff go down before, but after the second fight we had a mutual respect and all of that is gone now. Cancelled fights and then that shit that he pulled against Simon? I have no desire to ever fight him again, he’s proven the kind of fighter that he is. As for Simon? Look, Simon’s a great guy and he deserves that championship, but I’ve proven that I can beat him. I’m fine with us not fighting again. He can do his thing, while I’ll do mine. I’m the number one kickboxer at Middleweight right now and he’ll have to live with that, not me.”

 

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Bellator Kickboxing 2 In Focus With Joe Schilling

This weekend Bellator puts forth their second kickboxing effort in Bellator Kickboxing 2, immediately following Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2. Joe Schilling vs. Hisaki Kato II will be kicking off Bellator Kickboxing 2 as the main event, this being a showdown a year to the day after Kato knocked Joe Schilling out in the Bellator MMA ring. This featurette takes an in depth look at Joe Schilling and why he's one of the biggest names in American kickboxing.

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Kickboxing Roundtable April 14th - GLORY 29 and Bellator Kickboxing Preview

  • Published in LK Podcast

This weekend is a big one for kickboxing and combat sports as GLORY 29 comes at you live on Saturday afternoon and Bellator Kickboxing makes its debut on Saturday in Italy. The Bellator event won't be airing until next week on Spike TV, but the MMA portion will be airing on Saturday. That doesn't mean that we can't talk about it, right?

MMAMania.com's Michael Stets and myself have been talking about putting together some sort of podcast thing for a while now, usually trying to include BloodyElbow's Fraser Coffeen and John O'Regan, but trying to organize four busy schedules has led to it never happening. Last night Stets decided to set things up and I was around, so this meeting of the minds is setting up this weekend's events with a lot of talk and insight into what to expect from GLORY 29 and Bellator Kickboxing.

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Giorgio Petrosyan Opens Up on His Time Off and Pressures of Being the GOAT

Few names in the realm of kickboxing are synonymous with greatness quite like Giorgio Petrosyan. Petrosyan, a former two-time K-1 World MAX Champion during the height of the tournament, as well as the 2012 GLORY 70kg Slam Champion, he's competed against the best in the world and proven himself many times over as not only one of the best, but perhaps the very best. 

On Saturday, December 10th Petrosyan returns to the ring to fight against a man that he's been aiming to take on headfirst for about a year now in the UK's Jordan Watson. Watson, a muay thai standout, is looking to make a name for himself against Petrosyan in what is essentially a no-lose situation for him; losing to Giorgio Petrosyan is so normal that there's nothing to be ashamed of at this point.

The fight has been postponed prior, but will now happen, as to if that'll affect Petrosyan heading into the fight, his answer was simple; "I don't think so," he said. It isn't that Petrosyan is taking Watson lightly, it's that he's at the level where regardless of the competition, he understands that he most likely has an advantage. When prompted on who of his recent opponents was his toughest test, he was unable to find someone who really gave him a challenge. "I have won against all, but there was no one in particular that has put me in trouble most of the other."

For Petrosyan, one fight does stand out, which was his loss to Andy Ristie in 2013 via knockout, which led to the Doctor taking time away from the ring to recuperate and prepare himself to return to the ring. "I needed to metabolise this defeat," he explained about the prolonged time away from the ring. As for if his hand injury was a factor or a concern, he didn't think so; "Unfortunately," he admitted to the injury, "although I did not think about it, my head always brought me [back]."

Of course, Petrosyan is considered to be one of, if not the greatest of all time in kickboxing, when asked what kind of pressure was on him when he returned, he didn't seem bothered by the hype. "I have always only fought for myself and for the fun, I never thought of having to prove something to someone." 

As for the pressures of being considered the best in the world? Nah. "I don’t feel any pressure and I cannot wait forward to December 10 to be able to see the result of all the effort I made to train at best."

Giorgio Petrosyan makes his Bellator Kickboxing debut on Saturday, December 10th in Firenze against Jordan Watson.

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Bellator Kickboxing Florence Spoilers

On Saturday, December 10th Bellator Kickboxing ran their final event of the year. The show, which is set to air on Friday evening here in the United States, featured the Bellator Kickboxing debut of Giorgio Petrosyan, arguably the pound-for-pound king of the kickboxing world. These are the results that have made themselves available until the show debuts.

The big news is obviously that Schilling, Ghajji and Kevin Ross picked up wins on the show, but that Giorgio Petrosyan was able to soundly defeat Jordan Watson via TKO in a fight that many saw as one of his toughest challenges in years. [source]

Bellator Kickboxing

Giorgio Petrosyan (R3 - TKO) Jordan Watson 

Bellator Kickboxing Flyweight Championship: Denise Kielholtz (R3 - Dec) Gloria Peritore

Joe Schilling (R? - TKO) Victorio Lermano 

Karim Ghajji (R3 - Dec) Luca Novello 

Kevin Ross (R2 - KO) Alessio Arduini 

Venum Victory World Series

ISKA 70kg Championship: Armen Petrosyan (R3 - Dec) Charles “Karlito” François 

ISKA 72.5kg Championship: Musta Haida (R3- Dec) Johane Beausejour 

Nando Calzetta (R2 - KO) Li Jun 

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Bellator Kickboxing 6 Results: Ghajji Reclaims Title While Varga Falters

On Friday in Budapest Bellator returned just under a week after their last kickboxing event with Bellator Kickboxing 6. Gabriel Varga, the former GLORY Featherweight Champion, made his debut for the promotion against the very tough Gabor Gorbics. Many were expecting an easy fight for Varga, but Gorbics came to fight and was applying pressure wherever he could to one of the best fighters in the world, taking a narrow split decision over Varga. Jorina Baars on the other hand put on a blistering performance against Irene Martens with a huge decision victory.

Raymond Daniels wowed international crowds yet again with a spinning back kick KO in the third round. Gyorfi proved game against Daniels, absorbing punishment and fighting back, but Daniels had a knockout in mind, as he is prone to doing, and executed it flawlessly in the third. Joe Schilling was back in action against the very tough Alexandru Negrea, picking up a win over the Romanian with a decision. Chalk that one up to Negrea's toughness. 

In the main event, Karim Ghajji won back the Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Championchip from Zoltan Laszak in a close fight that went to a decision, with the judges split, but awarding the win to Ghajji.

Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Championship: Karim Ghajji (R5 - Split Decision) Zoltan Laszak(C)

Joe Schilling (R3 - Decision) Alexandru Negrea 

Raymond Daniels (R3 - KO) Csaba Gyorfi 

Jorina Baars (R3 - Decision) Irene Martens 

Gabor Gorbics (R3 - Split Decision) Gabriel Varga 

 

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Complete Card For Bellator Kickboxing 6 Featuring Schilling, Daniels and More

This Friday from Budapest Bellator presents another double-header of events, featuring an MMA card followed by a kickboxing card. Bellator Kickboxing 6 will air Friday night at 11pm eastern on Spike TV via a few hours delay, featuring a rematch for the Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Championship between champion Zoltan Laszak and former champion Karim Ghajji.

Joe Schilling is in action against rough Romanian slugger Andexandru Negrea, Raymond Daniels goines uip against Gyorfi Csaba, Jorina Baars against Irene Martens and Gabriel Varga making his debut against Gabor Gorbics 

Complete Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card:

Welterweight World Title Bout: Zoltan Laszak (83-2-2, 1 NC) vs. Karim Ghajji (23-5-1)

Middleweight Feature Bout: Joe Schilling (20-9) vs. Alexandru Negrea (9-2)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Raymond Daniels (10-3) vs. Gyorfi Csaba (20-5)

Women’s Featherweight Feature Bout: Jorina Baars (40-0-3) vs. Irene Martens (20-9-2)

Featherweight Feature Bout: Gabriel Varga (13-4) vs. Gabor Gorbics (30-10)

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Bellator Announces Bellator Kickboxing 5 and 6 in April

Bellator will be returning to Europe on April 14th with Bellator 177 in Budapest, as well as Bellator Kickboxing 6. Bellator Kickboxing 6 will be headlined by the rematch between Bellator Welterweight World Champion Zoltan Laszak and former champion Karim Ghajji. Ghajji was the favorite going into the bout but Laszak put forth the performance of a lifetime to earn the Bellator gold in a fight that you can watch below.

Bellator Kickboxing 6 Main Card:

Welterweight World Title Bout: Zoltan Laszak (11-2) vs. Karim Ghajji (97-13-1)

But before that, Bellator will be returning to Italy for Bellator Kickboxing 5, piggybacking on Bellator 176. The card will be headlined by Giorgio Petrosyan against Amansio Paraschiv

Bellator Kickboxing 5 Main Card:

Flyweight World Title Bout: Denise Kielholtz (46-3) vs. Martine Michieletto (34-12-5)

Giorgio Petrosyan (83-2-2-1NC) vs. Amansio Paraschiv (23-5-1)

 

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Gabriel Varga Makes His Bellator Debut at Bellator Kickboxing 6

Hot off of the news that former two-time GLORY Featherweight Champion Gabriel Varga has signed with Bellator Kickboxing, the promotion has confirmed that his first fight will be happening in short order at Bellator Kickboxing 6. Bellator Kickboxing 6, set for Friday, April 14th in Budapest, Hungary, already features a Welterweight World Championship bout between champion Zoltan Laszak and former champion Karim Ghajji, but now Gabriel Varga will be making his Bellator debut on the card in a featherweight bout against Gabor Gorbics. 

Gabor Gorbics is a Hungarian native who has an extensive combat sports history, including an impressive 23-5 record in professional boxing, four professional MMA fights (1-3) and a kickboxing record of 30-10 with 18 KOs. He also has an extensive amateur record across boxing and kickboxing to boot, making him a solid veteran and one of Hungary's better known names internationally. It will be an interesting challenge for the well-rounded and technical-minded Gabriel Varga who took some big shots from heavy-puncher Robin van Roosmalen. Chances are he won't be looking to repeat that any time soon and will be looking to keep Gabor at bay with his kicks and speed.

Of course, the fight that fans want to see is Gabriel Varga vs. Kevin Ross and chances are that we'll see that. Kevin's coach, Kieran, Tweeted us over the weekend that we'd see that fight happen.

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