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Full Cast Revealed for Reboot of The Kickboxer

  • Published in Kickboxing

So a few months ago we heard news about the classic Jean-Claude Van Damme flick, "The Kickboxer" being remade with the likes of GSP, Dave "Batista" Bautista and Alain Moussi. Now we finally have more news about the flick, including a few big casting announcements that are a big deal for the martial arts world. We already knew that Alain Moussi would take the lead role of Kurt Sloan, who heads to Thailand to learn how to fight and avenge the tragic beathdown of his brother by the evil Tong Po.

We now know for sure that Batista, who is currently starring in Guardians of the Galaxy, will play the role of Tong Po. The recent additions to the cast are Scott Atkins of the Undisputed films fame (or lack thereof) and, yes, this is the big one, Tony Jaa. Tony Jaa set the world on fire with Ong Bak back in 2003, using a modified muay thai style, muay boran. Since then he's gone on to make a number of films that martial arts fans have salivated over (although Ong Bak 2 and 3 are pretty terrible). [source]

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Joe Valtellini: GLORY's Own GSP in the Making

  • Published in Glory

When it comes to conventional wisdom how to make Kickboxing take off in the United States everyone always says the same thing; you need an American star. You need an American star, that is what everyone thinks, so therefore that is what it needs. That is sound logic, but the only thing is, when we look at the recent history of breakthrough stars in combat sports, we don’t see just Americans. Sure, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is American and Oscar De La Hoya is American (but he associates as Mexican for many), but Manny Pacquiao is definitely not American, nor were many of the big UFC Champions.

So of course, you can’t talk UFC champions without talking about Georges St-Pierre, the Canadian former Welterweight Champion who was one of the UFC’s few “big” stars. Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and a few others were important, sure, but GSP proved to be a real, tangible draw for the company and he wasn’t American. GSP was from Canada, he was also responsible for their biggest live gate in history.

GLORY continues its search for their breakthrough star and the feeling that I’ve been getting over the past few months is that as much as conventional wisdom tells me that it’ll be Joe Schilling or Wayne Barrett, the evidence has been pouring in that Canada’s Joseph Valtellini might indeed be that guy. Joe Valtellini might be the guy to break through and become a big star. 

It’s difficult not to make parallels to the UFC’s own Georges St-Pierre, the humble Canadian fighter who was educated, well-spoken, personable, marketable as well as incredibly talented. If you were to tick off boxes in favor of Valtellini you’d be able to tick off every single one of those boxes. It isn’t crazy to think that GLORY’s big breakthrough star could be a Canadian fighter who is marketable, talented, educated and everything that you’d want in a fighter.

While speaking to Valtellini this week we even discussed how he’s never fought in his home country of Canada as a professional, in part due to that the Toronto area has yet to legalize professional Kickboxing. They were late to the game with legalizing MMA, but when they did and promoted a GSP fight they found themselves packing 55,000 fans into the Roger’s Centre in the UFC’s biggest gate to date, with it looking like the record won’t be broken for a very long time. Valtellini wants to be not only important to the sport of Kickboxing, but to his home of Canada as well. One would have to think that Canada could potentially be for GLORY what it has been for MMA in creating stars and passionate fight fans.

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, but Joseph Valtellini is popping up everywhere. Interviews, television shows, all over social media and is being discussed by not only fans of Kickboxing, but fight fans everywhere. There is a general feeling that he’s going to take off and very soon. GLORY definitely needs that sharp, articulate fighter to present to the world and if Joseph Valtellini can do the work in the ring against Marc de Bonte on June 21st it’ll be interesting to see what the response is, because he hasn’t fought in a few months, but everyone is still talking about him already. If he becomes champion I only imagine it’ll be intensified. 

It’s not a far stretch to imagine that Joseph Valtellini could be for GLORY what GSP was for the UFC.

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GLORY and Hayabusa Unveil New Gloves at GLORY 23 Open Workout

  • Published in Glory

Hayabusa has officially become the glove brand for Glory kickboxing. Prior to open workouts on Wednesday August 5th, an impressive demonstration of the high tech gear took place at Drysdale BJJ in Las Vegas. On deck for this demonstration was Glory welterweight conteder Nieky Holzken and former UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. For those who might be wondering if GSP still has it, have no doubt he does. Both Georges and Nieky Holzken made Hayabusa's debut with Glory and open workout everything a fan would like to have seen. Each man alternately went four rounds displaying brutal kicks, knees and punches. Their finale was a round of light sparring between the two because, if you haven't heard, Holzken is set to take on Raymond Daniels Friday night at Glory 23 for the welterweight championship. So, the two took it easy on each other to prevent any injury.

For those who've never heard of Hayabusa, the company has been around several years offering participants in combat sports a host of products including clothing and equipment designed for maximum safety and comfort. In the industry, Hayabusa has developed a reputation for product superiority and definitely lives up to its name. Per their website, "The "spirit of the fighter" philosophy of honor, respect and tradition influences the design and construction of all Hayabusa products." On Friday, August, 7, 2005, the legion of combat sport fans around the world will be able to see whether the product can outlast the likes of Holzken, Daniels, Sam, Vigney and many others as they face off in the ring at Glory 23.

Following the product/skill demonstration of St. Pierre and Holzken, Daniel Sam and Xavier Vigney, the co-main event of Glory 23, gave the press and fans a taste of what they can expect to see. Daniel "The Warrior" Sam was first to hit the mats during open workout. As usual, the never nervous and massively built Sam put on a display of power that was definitely meant to convey to the crowd at Drysdale BJJ that he is ready to take on the up and coming Vigney who as of late has devastated his opponents and endeared himself to fans. Xavier "X-man" Vigney provided the afternoon's finale demonstrating the agility, strength and power that has made him a winner in several sports. As is the case with any fight, either opponent can potentially be the last man standing either through skill, luck or a combination of the two. The displays by Holzken, Sam and Vigney at open workouts, at the very least, were an enhancement of the storm to come at the Hard Rock Casino on Friday night. 

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