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Andrei Stoica vs. Horace Martin Set for SuperKombat's June 21st Show

  • Published in Kickboxing

June 21st will be a big day for the sport of Kickboxing with a few huge events and SuperKombat is looking to make their stick out more with Andrei Stoica defending his Super Cruiserweight Title against Horace Martin. This will be Andrei Stoica's first defense of the SuperKombat Super Cruiserweight Championship since he won the title back in December against Ondrej Hutnik.

Stoica's last fight was in the GLORY ring in March where he lost via first round knockout to Danyo Ilunga, although there is no shame in losing to a fighter the caliber of Danyo Ilunga. If anything it should inspire him to push harder and to want to prove that he does belong in the ring with the likes of Ilunga.

Expect more announcements on the SuperKombat June 21st show shortly.

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A Look at K-1's Rising Talents From the Los Angeles GP

  • Published in K-1

K-1

For the first time since 2008, K-1 will return to US soil with the K-1 World Grand Prix Los Angeles event, focusing on cultivating US talent. This is the first time in a very long time where K-1 is actually looking to build up new stars in the United States and make a real, honest-to-goodness effort to push into the mainstream in the United States. If you are a Kickboxing fan, you know that the Heavyweight division has a certain lack of depth to it, so the fact that there will be what can be considered a new generation of fighters presented this weekend is exciting to many.

LiverKick is going to run you through the up-and-comers in the Heavyweight division that will be competing on Saturday at the K-1 World Grand Prix Los Angeles, just so that you'll be prepared.

Jarrell Miller - Jarrell is probably the fighter with the most upside at the moment. He is a known commodity in that he has competed in Kickboxing and Muay Thai for years now, and has recently ventured into the realm of Heavyweight Boxing with nothing but success. We’ve already seen Jarrell in “big fight situations” when he competed in the WCL when he was just 19 years old, including a big win over UFC Heavyweight Pat Barry. Be looking out for Jarrell to hit hard and to try to end it early and make a big statement.

Randy Blake - Blake, another WCL veteran, has a lot of hype surrounding him as he competes in the Southeast a lot, mainly in Oklahoma City. Blake went 1-1 in his WCL career and since then has been taking on all comers, but at Heavyweight, Blake will be undersized against most fighters. As we’ve seen in the past though, that doesn’t always mean a death sentence in K-1, as many undersized fighters have had great Heavyweight careers.

Xavier Vigney - Xavier Vigney is still very much a wildcard when it comes to what his potential is. He had a promising future in American Football, being a standout at De La Salle in California before hanging up the shoulder pads and began kicking thai pads. He has fought a number of amateur bouts, but has yet to step into the ring as a professional. What he does have going for him is size and athleticism, which is very important for a fighter. From the amateur bouts of his that are online he looks a bit rough around the edges, but there is definitely something there. If we’ll see that this weekend against tough veteran Seth Petruzelli is another thing entirely.

Jack May - Jack May is a 4-1 MMA fighter who stands at a towering 6’8” who has yet to really make a dent on the Kickboxing world. All of his victories in MMA come by way of Knockout, so it is safe to say that he should feel at home in a stand-up only environment. He trains at CSW in California and works extensively with Josh Barnett, who of course is known for his grappling. There won’t be much grappling for him to do this weekend, so it still remains to be seen how he handles K-1 rules.

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Final Card for K-1 Japan on January 18th

  • Published in K-1

K-1’s Japan contingent have promised us what looks to be a pretty amazing card on January 18th. The event features a classic K-1 one night tournament, this time at 60kg. It features a mix of names that we know from the Japanese scene to some heavy hitters from around the world including Javier Hernandez, Karim Bennoui and Denis Puric.

The rest of the card is an awesome, eclectic mix of styles with some really fascinating fights on the card. Kaew Fairtex vs. Minoru Kimura is an awesome, awesome fight and I’m very happy to see Sanny Dahlbeck back in the mix against the very awesome Yoshihiro Sato. This event will be broadcast on NicoNico on the 18th.

HW: Manabu vs Fujita Tomoya
60kg: Yuma vs Kanbe Shota
65kg: Goto Masanobu vs Saito Yuta
65kg: Hiramoto Ren vs Ishikawa Yuki
60kg GP Reserve Fight: TOSHI vs Kim Hun Jae
60kg GP: Shimano Kotaro vs Javier Hernandez
60kg GP: Urabe Hirotaka vs Karim Bennoui
60kg GP: Yamamoto Masahiro vs Gagny Baradji
60kg GP: Urabe Koya vs Denis Puric
65kg: Kaew Fairtex vs Kimura Minoru
70kg: Sato Yoshihiro vs Sanny Dahlbeck
55kg: Takiya Shota vs Shou Rong
55kg: Tobe Ryuma vs Horio Ryuji
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Full Card for Lion Fight 20 on Feb. 20th

  • Published in Muay Thai

February 20th on AXS TV Lion Fight returns with Lion Fight 20. The headliner for Lion Fight 20 features Women's Welterweight Champion Jorina Baars taking on the accomplished Chantal Ughi. The co-main of the night features Chris Mauceri against Sittisak and fan favorite Jason Andrada will take on John Nofer as well. 

Lion Fight Welterweight Championship: Jorina Baars(C) vs Chantal Ughi 
Chris Mauceri vs Sittisak
Jason Andrada vs. John Nofer 
Tom Evans vs. Julio Pena 
Tim Amorim vs. Bryce Lawrence 
Gaston Bolanos vs. Caleb Archer
 

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Glory 17: Glory Prepares to Distinguish Itself As a Combat Sports Brand

  • Published in News

Glory 17 is a turning point for Glory in many ways, marking its entry into the American PPV market by staging the largest, most significant kickboxing tournament on American soil in decades. But even more noteworthy than that, this event signifies the opportunity for Glory to truly distinguish itself as a unique combat sports product that is capable of delivering where other brands may falter, particularly the UFC. The UFC’s present difficulties are well known: problems with a ballooning roster, complaints about “boring” fights, and problems marketing fighters have led to great inconsistency in the quality of UFC events. Glory, on the other hand, has experienced few to no difficulties in this regard--and for very interesting reasons. In this article, I will talk about some of the things that I think make Glory a fairly unique entity in the combat sports world.

1. Each Glory weight class has more elite fighters than a single card can accommodate.

The Last Man Standing tournament is essentially a display of the entire Middleweight division, and it is a scary division, featuring Artem Levin, Joe Schilling, Simon Marcus, Wayne Barrett, Filip Verlinden, and Melvin Manhoef as well as dangerous contenders like Alex Pereira--all of these men are either champions, former champions, or fighters who have distinguished themselves against championship-level competition. Whereas some promotions might struggle to fill fight cards with less accomplished talent, Glory has the unique problem of struggling to fill fight cards with overqualified talent, bumping the likes of Levin to the non-televised SuperFight Series. If you ever find yourself wondering why a fighter like Giorgio Petrosyan gets to occupy the fourth slot on the Glory main card, it’s frequently because any Glory card could offer you a choice of several main event fights.

2. Glory has complete control of the rules of the sport.

No matter how many three or four-letter-name sanctioning bodies Glory will claim accountability to, the fact remains that Glory, as an organization in today’s combat sports market, is unique because of the complete control that it has on the rules of the sport. By frequently changing its clinch rules, its knockdown rules, and its 8-count rules, Glory has crafted and refined a viewing experience that is more fast-paced and exciting, producing a high volume of memorable fights and highlight reel moments. This is an ability that neither the UFC nor any other MMA organization possess, and the end result for them is a perpetual struggle to reconcile the Unified Rules of MMA with the type of fights that UFC wants to sell. Glory, by contrast, can eliminate any rule that negatively affects the viewing experience.

The flipside is that we also don’t have to talk about drug testing in the sport of Kickboxing. Glory is in a peculiar position here as well, operating between the lines of an oversight structure that is very dated and arguably unequipped to handle a multimillion dollar professional sport. Indeed, WKA’s official rules, published in 2011, leave drug testing up to the discretion of the “WKA supervisor, tournament promoters, and the official doctor,” who “can and may perform tests” but don’t necessarily have to do so unless directed by local law, making WKA’s actual responsibility very unclear. The procedure, standards, and logistics of testing are either mentioned in vague terms or not outlined at all. Glory, for its part, hasn’t forced the issue, leaving us to enjoy the fruits of ambiguity. In other words: don’t ask, don’t tell, and Pride never die.

3. Glory is learning how to market its fighters.

This is an issue that we’ve discussed several times here on LiverKick and which Dave Walsh expounded on in his excellent piece comparing kickboxing to the history of regional pro wrestling promotion. Behind every fight is an evolving narrative with at least two central characters, and as viewers, we’re interested in not only the fight itself but also in how the fight will determine the next chapter of the story. The promoter’s job is to build anticipation and interest in the fight and to illustrate what it means in the grand scheme of the division. With Glory 17, Glory has been proactive in producing media which tells us the story, including an excellent video on the rivalry between Rico Verhoeven and Daniel Ghita. The authenticity of this rivalry (for the critics’ sake) is as irrelevant as the authenticity of the 2009 rivalry between Badr Hari and Alistair Overeem--it felt real at the time and it electrified the atmosphere at the Saitama Super Arena. As Glory gains screen time on television and PPV, promotional efforts like this will be increasingly vital to its success.

While Glory got off to a rough start, it seems like the organization has found its identity as a kickboxing promotion and major combat sports brand. It is undeniably a unique presence in today’s sports entertainment market. If this event is a success and the Glory audience continues to grow, I think that Glory could become a leading company. Until then, you will have to join me in keeping fingers tightly crossed.

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Quick Results: Yokkao 6

  • Published in Asia

Yokkao

Yokkao 6 went down today in Thailand, with Yokkao pushing forward with their sixth numbered event which will hopefully be appearing on their YouTube channel some time soon. Here are the quick results from Pattaya, Thailand courtesy of Yokkao.

  • Sittichai Sitsongpeenong wins by points vs Wanchalerm Udduonmuang
  • Thongchai Sitsongpeenong lost by points vs Toby Smith
  • Apidej Sitsongpeenong wins by points vs Yacine Darkrim
  • Sinsamut Sor Klinmee lost by points vs Suedam Kauanjai
  • Imwiset Pornnarai wins by points vs Behzad Rafigh Doust
  • Ekapop Sor Klinmee wins by KO (2nd round) vs Aussie Sam
  • Mathias Gallo Cassarino wins by KO (2nd round) vs Chokdee Lappet Ubon
  • Eddie Martinez wins by TKO (2nd round) vs Rachid Bantla
  • Kom Kop Pechthroungrang lost by points vs Martin Tomascik Sitpholek

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Kick Back and Watch Sagetdao vs. Pakon From Lumpini

  • Published in Video

There was a big event that went down at Lumpini Stadium today in Thailand, featuring a double header, the first being Penek Sitnumnoi vs Superbank Mor Ratanabandit (highlights here) and the second being Sagetdao Petpayathai vs Pakon Sakyothin. Thanks to Live Muay Thai Guy on YouTube, we have footage of Sagetdao vs. Pakon, which you should probably check out before you do anything else with your day.

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Superpro Samui TV Episode 2 Featuring Hesdy Gerges

  • Published in Kickboxing

Superpro Samui gym is a peculiar case of a gym in Thailand with heavy ties to the Netherlands, including Black Label Fighters and It's Showtime, two of the premier brands in Dutch Kickboxing. They are really taking to their youtube channel of late, posting videos from the team training at the gym. This is the second episode that they have posted and features Dutch Kickboxer and former It's Showtime Heavyweight Champion Hesdy Gerges.

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Liverkick Throwback: Kunimatsu Okao vs. Benny "The Jet" Urquidez

  • Published in Kickboxing

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

This week the throwback includes one of the best American Kickboxer's ever, Benny "The Jet" Urquidez. He held Six world titles in Five weight classes and only ever lost one fight(on paper). His record when he retired was 49 wins and 1 loss, 35 of those wins coming by knockout. Benny was known for his vicious hooks, throws and a spinning back kick that knocked out numerous opponents. Once people started calling him a world champion, he decided that to be called a world champ he better start travelling to fight considering all his fights up until then been in the U.S.A or Mexico. He ended up getting in contact with Antonio Inoki in 1977 and he was brought to Japan to fight Katsuyuki Suzuki whom he KO'd in the 6th round. The Japanese desperately wanted to beat Urquidez so they brought him back repeatedly, with different rules and weights but each time he would knockout their challenger just becoming a bigger star to the Japanese fans.

This fight is Benny's second fight in Japan against Kunimatsu Okao. Okao actually came out of retirement to fight Benny because he was upset about his training partner Katsuyuki Suzuki losing to him earlier in the year. Okao was pretty arrogant, being a retired, proclaimed master he figured he would just steam roll Urquidez. Benny was known for being a slow starter and he also got knocked down quite a few times in his career, but they always seemed like flash knockdowns, because he seemed to get up perfectly fine. 

Anyway this fight pretty much sums up Benny "The Jet" Urquidez's style of fight, he fights through adversity and shows the thunderous power he possessed in his hands. Enjoy!

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Danyo Ilunga Replaces Artem Vakhitov at GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

It's time to focus on something a bit more productive, don't you think? What could be more productive than GLORY 18's Light Heavyweight Contender tournament set to take place on November 7th in Oklahoma City? With less than a month to go there has been a major change to the event with Artem Vakhitov suffering a minor injury. While Vakhitov will be fine to compete in a few weeks this injury has made it difficult for him to prepare for the fight in November, with him having to pull out.

His replacement is none other than former It's Showtime 95kg Champion Danyo Ilunga of Germany. Ilunga was a finalist in the GLORY 9 Light Heavyweight tournament where he fought Tyrone Spong in a fight that saw Spong victorious. Since then Ilunga has had two first round stoppages within the GLORY ring and most than deserves this spot in the tournament. 

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