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Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh

Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.

His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.

Dave (a) LiverKick dot com.

Website URL: http://www.dvewlsh.com

Joe Schilling Talks About The Technically Illegal Shot That Kato Won With

This past Friday at Bellator Kickboxing 2 Joe Schilling stepped into the ring against Hisaki Kato. Kato holds a victory over Schilling under MMA rules, but to many this was Joe's chance to shine and avenge the loss to Kato under his own rules. The fight was going Joe's way until a fateful blow landed and Joe was down on the mat. That blow was a spinning backfist, only many were quick to note that it looked more like the elbow or forearm connected, not the glove.

Technically under ISKA rules that was an illegal shot. Throughout the evening I heard talk about there being heated discussions backstage about the legality of the blow and even rumblings of it being overturned. Cooler heads prevailed and that talk has died down. Interestingly enough, Joe appeared on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience this week where both men talked about losing, talked about the kind of awful people who exist online and talk smack at fighters as well as the legality of the blow. 

At about 13:47 listen for the talk of the shot and how both seem to agree that shots like that should probably be legal anyway.

There's also just some solid talk about kickboxing and muay thai in the show as well.

VIDEO: Chingiz Allazov vs. Enriko Kehl From Monte Carlo

There was a lot of big kickboxing this past weekend, but perhaps one of the more overlooked fights was from Monte Carlo between Chingiz Allazov and Enriko Kehl. Both men are well-respected top lightweights and went to war in a bout that ultimately was won by Allazov via KO. Watch the fight below and weigh in on where either guy stands in the grand scheme of things right now.

Bellator MMA Dynamite and Bellator Kickboxing 2 See Bump In Numbers

(C) Bellator

On Friday evening Spike TV and Bellator presented Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2 as well as Bellator Kickboxing 2. Dynamite saw a number of kickboxing bouts, including Denise Kielholtz against Gloria Peritore and Kevin Ross against Justin Houghton. Bellator Kickboxing 2 started with a bang as Joe Schilling fought Hisaki Kato in a rematch and Raymond Daniels did what Raymond Daniels does best. 

After slightly disappointing numbers for the debut Bellator Kickboxing event, Bellator Kickboxing 2 with a strong Bellator Dynamite lead-in pulled in solid numbers. While Bellator itself did 601,000 viewers, Bellator Kickboxing 2 did 418,000. The Kimbo Slice special aired earlier in the evening did 416,000.

[source]

UPDATE: Spike TV have reached out with peak numbers and DVR figures. Rampage Jackson vs. Satoshi Ishii peaked at 1,140,000 viewers, with the show averaging 675,000 viewers. Joe Schilling vs. Hisaki Kato drew 624,000 viewers, the Kickboxing show pulling a 642,000 peak and average of 439,000.

GLORY 31 SuperFight Series and Main Card Results

GLORY returns to Amsterdam for GLORY 31, featuring the big rematch between Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen and challenger Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong. Also fighting will be Ismael Londt against Hesdy Gerges and a welterweight tournament. The SuperFight Series will see a new Light Heavyweight Champion crowned, another Women's Grand Prix bout as well as the debut of Saenchai and Josh Jauncey against Anatoly Moiseev.

GLORY 31 

Lightweight Title: Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (R5 - Split Decision) Robin van Roosmalen(C) -- Much like the first fight, this one was pretty close and the result left people wondering. Sitthichai very clearly won rounds 1 and 2. Robin clearly won 4 and 5. Round 3 everyone seems split. I'm not upset about this, because it was a closer fight than their last one, although I could have easily seen Robin getting the win here for sheer volume alone. Robin clearly disagreed with the decision and stormed out after the decision was announced. With him already talking about perhaps pursuing MMA full time I wouldn't be shocked if this is what sends me packing from kickboxing, although that would be a shame. 

Welterweight Finals: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - Decision) Yoann Kongolo -- Close first round, close second round and then Murthel connected with a huge flying knee that put Kongolo down. He followed up with a flurry of strikes and continued after the bell, much to everyone's chagrin. Groenhart controlled the rest of the fight and got the win, then took the mic from Todd Grisham, climbed the turnbuckles and called out Nieky Holzken.

Ismael Londt (R3 - Split Decision) Hesdy Gerges -- This was a closely-contested bout, probably should have had an extra round, but Hesdy looked great. Londt was stumbling around a lot. Something about his fighting style is just really ugly and hard to enjoy. Stefano Valenti is a terrible, terrible referee. Every time he's in the ring there is a fear that he'll ruin the fight. In this fight he docked both fighters a point in the third round for clinching. What? Why is this man allowed to ruin fights?

Semifinal: Yoann Kongolo (R3 - Split Decision) Harut Grigorian -- Solid back-and-forth with both guys throwing heavy leather at each other. It really could have gone either way, but Kongolo picked up the victory.

Semifinal: Murthel Groenhart (R3 - TKO) Karim Benmansour -- Benmansour did his best against Murthel and survived some scary stuff, but Murthel threw everything at him before scoring the TKO in the third round.

SUPERFIGHT SERIES

Interim Light Heavyweight Title: Zack Mwekassa (R1 - TKO) Mourad Bouzidi -- Bouzidi has had problems getting knocked out in the past, but it was usually against heavyweights. At Light Heavyweight and even Middleweight he's shown a lot more resilience. But I doubt many in these weight classes hit like Zack Mwekassa. Zack Mwekassa just steamrolled through him with three big knockdowns.

Saenchai PKSaenchaiMuayThaiGym (R3 - Decision) Eddy Nait-Slimani -- The real story of this fight was Stefano Valenti making crap calls. Saenchai was kind of trolling the ref for a while there, but a crappy point deduction in the second made this closer than it had any right to be. Saenchai is a next level talent, a once-in-a-lifetime talent and he really was having fun out there.

Women’s Grand Prix: Isis Verbeek (R3 - Decision) Irina Mazepa -- If this wasn't a hometown decision, then the judges weren't watching the fight. Verbeek looked okay in the first round, but in the second round Mazepa was finding her chin with ease, had her backing up for the next two rounds and was just winning the fight.

Anatoly Moiseev (R3 - Decision) Josh Jauncey -- This is a fight that you absolutely need to see. This wasn't a crazy bout where guys were getting dropped left and right, this was a taught, technical battle between what is very clearly two of the most skilled Lightweights in the world. It was a round apiece going into the third and Moiseev snuck his right hook through Jauncey's defenses and stunned him, which pretty much won him the round. This was kickboxing at it's best. Both guys have a very high ceiling to their careers.

Eyevan Danenberg (R3 - Decision) Maximo Suarez -- Poor Maximo. He's just really undersized at Welterweight. Eyevan was towering over him, lording over him with his reach. Maximo got knocked down in R2, which more or less sealed the deal for Danenberg's victorious debut.

Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2 and Bellator Kickboxing 2 Results

Tonight Bellator and Spike TV present their big Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2 card, featuring Satoshi Ishii vs. Rampage Jackson as the MMA main event. While there will be a lot of MMA fights, there will also be two kickboxing bouts broadcast on Dynamite 2, Denise Kielholtz against Gloria Peritore and Kevin Ross against Justin Houghton.

Bellator Kickboxing 2 directly follows that, starting off with a bang with the big rematch between Joe Schilling and Hisaki Kato. Also fighting will be Raymond Daniels and Keri Melendez.

Prelims

Tara Walker (R3 - Decision) Mimi Kutzin

Darryl Cobb (R2 - TKO) Elmir Kulosmin

Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2

Gloria Peritore (R3 - Split Decision) Denise Keilholtz -- Weird decision. Denise was mostly in control of the fight, but she was doing as she does where she does a lot of foot sweeps and dumps. Those scored points in Enfusion, but nowhere else. Gloria looked pretty good in round one, was backpedaling during the second round and turned it up a bit in round three, but it was still a close fight. Not a great decision, not a total robbery, either.

Kevin Ross (R3 - Decision) Justin Houghton -- This was exactly what you would expect from this fight, along with crappy reffing with a ref not calling a livershot down in the third round. 

Bellator Kickboxing 2

Hisaki Kato (R2 - KO) Joe Schilling  -- This fight was all Joe, up until that last moment. Kato was settling into his groove and landing shots, but Joe was aggressive like usual and landing some big shots. Joe had Kato hurt in the second round and off of a clinch break Kato went for a spinning backfist that connected and put Joe down and out. Crazy.

Raymond Daniels (R1 - KO) Stefano Bruno -- Raymond Daniels spinning back kick. That's all that you need to know.

Keri Melendez (R3 - Decision) Sarah Howell

K-1 World Grand Prix -65kg Results: Kaew the Killer

K-1 Japan held their K-1 World Grand Prix -65kg tournament last night in Japan in a night full of huge fights and a -65kg tournament that determined the best fighter in the weight class. Like a buzzsaw, Kaew Fairtex found himself holding steady as the king of the -65kg division, winning his second K-1 World Grand Prix in spectacular fashion. The night opened for him blasting through HIROYA, taking a hard-fought decision over Masaaki Noiri and then making mince-meat out of Ilias Bulaid's ribs in the second round of the finals with three blistering knee knockdowns.

Bulaid's path to the finals was impressive as well, with him taking out Chris Mauceri with body punches in the quarterfinals and taking a close extra round decision over Yamazaki to make it to the finals. Kaito Ozawa also learned that you just don't mess with Takeru. You just don't. 

Waki def Ueda DEC (UD = Unanimous 30-27 x3)

KJee def Sugimoto DEC (UD 29-28 x3)

Sakiyo def Asahisa ( MD = Majority? 30-29,30-29,29-29)

Reserve bout

Kimura def Noman (UD = 30-26,30-26,30-28)

Quarterfinals

Yamazaki def Renita (UD = 30-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Bulaid def Mauceri (KO body punch , 2 knockdowns in 2nd rnd)

Noiri def Glunder (UD , 30-28,30-26,30-26)

Kaew def Hiroya (KO punches, 2knockdowns , 1st rnd)

Superfight

Uehara def Takahagi (TKO, knee injury,1st rnd)

Qi def Komiyama (MD , 29-27,28-28,29-28)

Semi finals

Bulaid def Yamazaki (SD ,(Extra Rnd 1 split) 10-9,9-10,10-9

Kaew def Noiri (UD , 29-28,29-28,30-29)

Superfights

Kido def Daiki (UD, 30-27x3)

Takeru def Ozawa (UD, 30-28,29-28,30-28)

65kg Final

Kaew def Bulaid (KO 2nd round, Knees to body on all three Knockdowns)

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.”

 

Van Roosmalen vs. Sitthichai II: A King and His Potential Usurper

(C) GLORY Sports International

For many years the Lightweight (70kg/MAX) division was one of the most competitive in all of professional kickboxing. For good reason, too; K-1 was the world’s largest kickboxing organization and they opted to go with 70kg as their big, second weight class, built around a handsome young talent named Masato. For years fans got to watch as fighters like Masato, Andy Souwer, Buakaw Banchamek, Mike Zambidis and Giorgio Petrosyan wowed crowds with their amazing fights and dominated the landscape of the packed division. 

The division was richer than K-1’s heavyweight division, which tended to be the same 12 or so fighters competing each year with another four fighters swapping out periodically. When everything changed back in 2010 it was promotions like It’s Showtime that were the vanguards for a change in kickboxing by highlighting multiple weight classes and establishing champions across all of them. It was there that Robin van Roosmalen got his first chance to show the world what he was made of, all during a time when the climate was perfect for a new champion to rise.

Giorgio Petrosyan was the undisputed king of the 70kg division at the time, with back-to-back K-1 World MAX championships and a nearly spotless record that went along with his slick style he looked unbeatable. The only thing that could stop Petrosyan was a recurring hand injury that left him sidelined. When It’s Showtime was planning their 70kg MAX Fast & Furious tournament it was going to highlight all of the best talent in the world, with Petrosyan as the showcase. Many had predicted an Andy Souwer vs. Giorgio Petrosyan showdown, with the winner settling the score once and for all as to who really was the king of the division.

Yet none of it worked out that way.

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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.

Raymond Daniels is Chasing Another World Title in Bellator Kickboxing

(C) Bellator

This weekend Bellator presents Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2, a hybrid MMA and kickboxing event followed by Bellator Kickboxing 2. At Bellator Kickboxing 2 Raymond Daniels will be one of the banner fighters, taking on Stefano Bruno during the telecast. Whenever Daniels is in the ring you can expect something spectacular and in his first Bellator bout Daniels delivered exactly that. In just 30 seconds he was able to finish Francisco Morrica with a spinning back kick, the move that has become a pro wrestling-like finisher of sorts for Daniels.

But the thing is, Daniels has been working incredibly hard on rounding out his kickboxing game and he’s rarely getting to show it. “Yeah, you know,” Daniels told us, “it’s funny because we do all of these things in training camp and have plans to try them out, but the openings are there, so I take them and I knock guys out.”

Raymond Daniels is acutely aware that he provides what nobody else in professional kickboxing currently can in spectacular knockouts. He’s even got a signature kick that is credited with many of his knockout victories. Does it bother Daniels, though? “Not really. I know what I’m capable of, I know what I train and people will get to see it eventually. We always plan on showing off what I’ve learned, but I’ve mastered certain techniques -- and when I say master I mean that I’ve been practicing them for years -- and it’s like what Bruce Lee said; ‘I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.’ There are just certain techniques that I know when to set up, I know how I’m going to land, what happens if I miss. So yeah, when I see that opening I’m going for it.”

As Daniels continues forward in Bellator and becomes more and more synonymous with crazy knockouts and one of the more recognizable names in kickboxing, the question comes of what does Daniels look to do with his future. Does he stay humble and teaching karate, or does he have to move on? “I’ll always find time to teach,” he explained. “It’s a part of me and it’s so important to me. I think about what it did for me growing up, how it helped to shape and mold me. You don’t have to go on to become a world champion for martial arts training to be important in your life. When I was a kid I thought that I had it all figured out, but now that I’m older I realize that while I’m in a better position, I’m still not perfect. I’ve got an 18 year old son that just graduated from high school and he’s trying to figure his life out, it’s funny because he has these plans and he thinks that he’s got it figured out, now it’s his time to learn that he can be wrong.”

When it comes to fighting, though, Daniels does have his eyes on the prize. While he’s not overlooking his opponent this weekend, he will be looking for another spectacular knockout. “That’s just what I do. Against that traditional kickboxing and muay thai style I’m able to really frustrate guys, to make them move like they aren’t comfortable, to be aware that I hit from different angles. It keeps them on edge.” 

But for the future? “Karim Ghajji won that title on the first show and I’m not that guy, I’m not gonna call out the champion before he has a chance to settle in. Let him have his moment, let him be happy with his accomplishments, but I’m coming for him. I’m a world champion, that’s what I do. I’m not looking beyond this next fight, but the way I see it, if I win this fight and get another big knockout I’ve got a pretty good claim to challenge for that title. Then I can make my way to another world title. That’s just what I do.”

Daniels does make a point, I can’t imagine anyone else challenging Karim Ghajji at this point. We’ll have to tune in this weekend to see what Daniels brings to the table and if we get another spectacular knockout. Bellator Kickboxing 2 airs directly after Bellator MMA: Dynamite 2 on Friday, June 24th.

 

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