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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 | @dvewlsh

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

K-1 Japan Announces K-1's Return to Saitama Super Arena in 2018

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To say that kickboxing in Japan suffered a severe blow when FEG's K-1 went bankrupt would be an understatement. While the sport was already struggling in Japan from rounds of bad press, the dissolution of K-1 was effectively the end of kickboxing as we all came to know and love it. 

Since 2014 K-1 Japan -- under agreement with K-1 Global -- has been putting on some of the best kickboxing shows on the planet, highlighting lighter weight classes with fighters primarily from Japan, but also talent from all over the world. In those years they've made the best out of a bad situation and have been able to book stars like the Urabe brothers, HIROYA and Masaaki Noiri while building up new stars like TAKERU, Minoru Kimura and Kaew. At a press conference today in Saitama, K-1 gathered 56 of K-1's best fighters for an announcement that on March 21st, 2018 K-1 will return to the Saitama Super Arena.

The event, which will be held in the arena where many historic K-1 events took place, will be a triumphant return home for the sport of kickboxing and the K-1 brand in Japan. They believe that they will set the building up for 18,000 fans, although it should be noted that Saitama Super Arena can be configured to hold well over 20,000 fans. The organization wants the March 2018 event to serve as their big, yearly event much like the prior K-1 World Grand Prix for heavyweights in December or the K-1 World MAX tournaments became mainstays in both July and October. They will hold smaller events in Saitama Super Arena as well, but the March event will be the big one.

It's clearly too far away to predict who will be fighting, especially with K-1 Japan holding a ton of events this year, but it's safe to assume that they'll be putting their best foot forward on March 21st, 2018. In addition, K-1 Japan, KRUSH and Khaos will all be merged under the name "K-1 Japan Group" while keeping their individual show names moving forward, but talent-sharing will be across the board.

Badr Hari To Return to Dutch Jail For Assault Charges

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After Badr Hari's previous two-year sentence was partially suspended, Dutch Supreme Courts decided today that Badr Hari would need to return to jail to serve the remainder of his sentence. This comes as a blow to anyone hoping for a rematch between Badr Hari and Rico Verhoeven and also explains why the public talk shifted from that to Rico Verhoeven to Remy Bonjasky in recent weeks.

Badr Hari will now be forced to serve the remaining six months of his time in jail in a Dutch prison after his failed appeal. This should be the end of the long, sad tale of Koen Everink after the middle-aged business-man was assaulted at a Dutch dance party at the Amsterdam ArenA all the way back in 2012. Hari plead that he had only hit Everink once, but the evidence pointed towards a more sustained assault, including a plate in his skull and needing surgery on his ankle to hold him together. Everink was found murdered in March of last year in what looks to be an unrelated assault. 

With Everink deceased and Badr serving the remainder of his sentence this should all be behind us, for now. Of course, if Badr reports to prison. [source]

GLORY Announces GLORY 39 Featuring Doumbe vs. Kongolo 3 and More

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With GLORY 38 rapidly approaching GLORY has announced GLORY 39 Brussels, which takes place on March 25th featuring a headliner between GLORY Welterweight Champion Cedric Doumbe and career-adversary Yoann Kongolo. These two have a lot of history between the two of them, with Kongolo one of the few men to beat Doumbe, never mind twice. Kongolo earned his shot with a recent tournament victory, placing these two on a collision course.

Also featured will be a Featherweight tournament, entrants to be determined. The winner gets a shot at the champion, but if Robin was stripped it's unclear who that will be. Also on the card is Jahfarr Wilnis against Jamal Ben Saddik. One would have to think that someone is in line for a shot at Rico at some point and that somewhere along the line the division will sort itself out, but perhaps not yet. Jamal Ben Saddik beat contender Ismael Londt and Wilnis just lost in a tournament to Mladen Brestovac before Brestovac lost to Adegbuyi.

The SuperFight Series delivers, as always, with Sitthichai looking to defend his Lightweight Championship title against Dylan Salvador. What makes this more interesting? Dylan Salvador has a win over Sitthichai. Marat Grigorian fights Hysni Beqiri, Hesdy Gerges against Chi Lewis-Parry and Karim Benmansour fights Harut Grigorian to round out the card. 

GLORY 39 Brussels

Weltwerweight World Title Headline Bout: Cédric Doumbé vs. Yoann Kongolo

Featherweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B

Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Jahfarr Wilnis vs. Jamal Ben Saddik

Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: TBA vs. TBA

Featherweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: TBA vs. TBA

GLORY 39 SuperFight Series

Lightweight World Title Headline Bout: Sittichai vs. Dylan Salvador

Lightweight Co-Headline Bout: Marat Grigorian vs. Hysni Beqiri

Heavyweight Bout: Hesdy Gerges vs. Chi Lewis-Parry

Welterweight Bout: Karim Benmansour vs. Harut Grigorian

Rico Verhoeven and Remy Bonjasky Agree to Fight

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If you thought that it sounded crazy that Rico Verhoeven and Remy Bonjasky would fight in 2017, you weren't the only one. As it turns out, it is perhaps closer to reality than we all thought. After the impossible happened last year and Rico Verhoeven stood toe-to-toe with Badr Hari in a GLORY ring, it looks like Remy Bonjasky will once again fight against the best in the world. 

Bonjasky, a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, will look to make his return after his retirement bout in 2014 with Mirko Cro Cop. Bonjasky had retired once prior after a recurring eye injury sidelined him in late 2009, only to return in 2013 with mixed results. Bonjasky challenged the winner of Rico/Badr and now it looks like he has his sights set on fighting Verhoeven. The video below if from Fight Stadium, as is the text below.

There has been no official confirmation from GLORY on the bout just yet.

Short translation:

Rico challenged Remy after Rico beat Badr in December. Remy said in december he would fight the winner of this fight (he expected Badr to win).

Remy told the Dutch tv-host Humberto Tan that he accepted Rico's challenge and that he needs 6 months to prepare himself. Despite his age (41) he is convinced he will beat Rico because he is still healthy. Remy also referred to George Foreman who was a boxing world champion at the age of 55.

Take a Look Back at GLORY 37 Los Angeles

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We're currently in the middle of a lull waiting for the bigger shows to start streaming in, but what better way to pass the time than revisiting GLORY's first event of the year?

Early Fight Card For K-1 Japan Super Bantamweight World Grand Prix

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K-1 Japan returns on April 22nd with the K-1 Japan Bantamweight World Grand Prix. The tournament brackets are set for the 55kg tournament, featuring recognizable names as well as a host of very interesting super fights. Takeru takes on Victor Saravia, Hiroya takes on Tetsuya Yamato and the main event is a Super Lightweight title fight between Kaew and Hideaki Yamazaki.

Credit to Rictor from Kakutougi.

55kg World Grand Prix Tournament

QuarterFinal #1

Ishida Keisuke VS Charles Bongiovanni

QuarterFinal #2

Takei Yoshiki VS Antonio Orden

QuarterFinal #3

Terado Nobuchika VS Jamie Whelan

QuarterFinal #4

Kubo Kenji VS Leung Pakyu

Tournament Reserve Fight

Izawa Namito VS Suzuki Yuya

SuperFights

Takeru VS Victor Saravia

Hiroya VS Yamato Tetsuya

Super Lightweight Title Fight

Kaew Weerasakreck VS Yamazaki Hideaki

Enfusion Live #46 Card For February 18th

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On February 18th Enfusion presents one of their best cards to date with Enfusion Live #46 from Eindhoven. The card, headlined by Ilias Bulaid looking to defend the Enfusion 67kg championship against Zakaria Zouggary, should be packed with action from top-to-bottom. A rematch of the 2016 LiverKick Fight of the Year between Nordin Ben Moh and Mohammed Jaraya takes place as the co-main event for the Enfusion League

Kickboxing Talents #28 Eindhoven The Netherlands Saturday 18.2.2017

Local start time 18.30

 1. 3X3 67Kg

Khalid El Moukadam (Morocco)     Vs Anass Aaras (Morocco)

 2. 3X3 72.5Kg

Marcel Verhaar (The Netherlands)            Vs Marvin Monteiro (Cape Verde)

 3. 3X3 85Kg

Boubaker El Bakouri (Morocco)      Vs Rinus Douma (The Netherlands)

 4. 3X3 63Kg

Soufiane Kaddouri (Morocco)         Vs Pascal Koster  (The Netherlands)

5. 3X3 85Kg

Khalid El Bakouri (Morocco)           Vs        Nick Morsink (Germany)

6. 3X3 72.5Kg

Aziz Kallah (Morocco)                       Vs        Endy Semeleer (The Netherlands)

7. 3X3 Heavyweight

Fikri Ameziane (Morocco)                Vs        Daniel Sam (England)

Enfusion Live #46 Eindhoven The Netherlands Saturday 18.2.2017

Local start time 21.00

 1. 3X3 54Kg

Samantha va Doorn (The Netherlands) Vs Georgina van der Linden (The Netherlands)

2. 3X3 Heavyweight

Ismael Lazaar (Morocco)                           Vs       Martin Pacas (Slovakia)

3. 3X3 85Kg

Ibrahim El Boustati (Morocco)                  Vs       Ulrik Bokeme (Congo)

4. 3X3 72.5Kg Enfusion League

Yassin Baitar (Belguim)                             Vs       Redouan Laarkoubi (The Netherlands)

5. 3X3 72.5Kg Enfusion League

Tayfun Ozcan (Turkey)                                Vs       Jonay Risco (Spain)

6. 3X3 72.5Kg Enfusion League

Nordin Ben Moh (Morocco)                                    Vs       Mohammed Jaraya (Morocco)

7. 5X3 Enfusion World Title 67KG

Ilias Bualid (Morocco)                                 Vs       Zakaria Zouggary (Morocco)

FFC Announces Card for FFC 28 Featuring Robin van Roosmalen

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FFC will continue with their mixed MMA and kickboxing cards on March 11th with FFC 28: Athens -- Greece vs. the Rest of the World (surely a mouthful). While usually we tend not to post MMA portions of cards, this one is particularly interesting as Robin van Roosmalen is scheduled for his second MMA bout against a to-be-determined opponent. 

The kickboxing portion sees two title matches, including -77kg and -85kg titles.

FFC 28: Athens: Greece vs. Rest of the World

MMA:

Robin Van Roosmalen (NED) vs. TBA, -66kg

Darko Stošić (SER) vs. Emil Zahariev (BUL), HW – title match

Filip Pejić (CRO) vs. Alexis Savvidis (GRE), -70kg

Andreas Michailidis (GRE) vs. Duško Todorović (SER), -84kg

Alexandros Papadimitriou (GRE) vs. Giannis Michalopoulos (GRE), -70kg

TBA  vs. TBA

KB:

Samo Petje (SLO) vs. Meletis Kakoubavas (GRE), -70kg

Eyevan Danenberg (NED) vs. Ivan Bilić (CRO), -77kg – title match

Denis Marjanović (CRO) vs. Andi Vrtačić (CRO), -85kg – title match

Stavros Grigorakakis (GRE) vs. Tomislav Čikotić (CRO), HW

Fionis Fotis (GRE) vs. Giannis Fezoulai (ALB), -77kg

TBA vs. TBA

Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain Rounds Out GLORY 38 Tournament

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The stage has been set for GLORY 38, now with the full card assembled in advance of the upcoming February 28th event. The one missing piece of the puzzle was in the show's Light Heavyweight Contender tournament, with rumors going around that it could be Stoica, or that it could be Duut. Instead we get a very-worthy Zinedine Hameur-Lain who holds a win over another tournament competitor in Ariel Machado. That means that Hameur-Lain will be taking on former Interim Light Heavyweight Champion Zack Mwekassa in what should be a slugfest.

Mwekass and Hameur-Lain is a rematch from GLORY 29, which saw Mwekassa score a decision victory over Hameur-Lain. Hameur-Lain would bounce back to win the GLORY 32 Contender's tournament, only to lose to Pavel Zhuravlev at GLORY 35. Both men want to be back in the hunt and a win here should be exactly that. 

GLORY 38 Chicago
Light Heavyweight World Title Headline Bout: Artem Vakhitov vs. Saulo Cavalari
Light Heavyweight Tournament Final Bout: Winner of Bout A vs. Winner of Bout B
Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Richard Abraham vs. Antoine Pinto
Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout B: Danyo Ilunga vs. Ariel Machado
Light Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal Bout A: Zack Mwekassa vs. Zinedine Hameur-Lain

GLORY 38 Chicago
Heavyweight Headline Bout: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson Silva
Heavyweight Co-Headline Bout: Cătălin Moroșanu vs. Maurice Greene
Welterweight Bout: Murthel Groenhart vs. Thongchai
Welterweight Bout: Paweł Jędrzejczyk vs. Daniel Morales
Lightweight Bout: Łukasz Pławecki vs. Niclas Larsen

LiverKick 2016 Awards: Event of the Year - GLORY Collision

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When it came to deciding which of the many events that happened in 2016 was the event of the year it wasn't an easy decision. What metrics do you weigh this by? Attendance? Hype? Quality on paper? How exciting the show was? In a lot of ways, there wasn't one show that embodied all of these things, or even a majority of them. Unlike in the past where a K-1 World Grand Prix show would easily be the event of the year, now kickboxing is fractured and spread across the world. China is putting on shows that millions of people are watching, each show an epic, day-long affair. K-1 Japan is putting on some of the most exciting shows in the world and KNOCK OUT burst onto the scene with a KO-heavy first event.

Yet, which event actually did the most for the sport of kickboxing? That answer was simple; GLORY Collision. The sold out event in Germany was a triple-header, featuring title fights, tournaments and the dream bout between Rico Verhoeven and Badr Hari. While the question can be asked if the event actually delivered the action promised, the reality was that it was a full arena, it had fans across the world interested in kickboxing and there was a big fight feel for the first time in a very long time. How GLORY is able to capitalize on that is up to them, but it has people in Europe reconsidering kickboxing as a big sport again and had more eyes than kickboxing has had in quite a while. 

 

The 2016 LiverKick Awards

For more, listen to our year-end podcast.

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