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The Voice Versus Badr Hari Takes a Long, Hard Look a K-1's Bad Boy

BadrBadr Hari's public image has been dragged through the mud over the last few years, which has both earned him the ire of many fans but in the same vein made him larger than life and one of the biggest names in the kickboxing world, bar none. Some say that no attention is bad attention for the famous, and in Badr Hari's case the mythos surrounding him, his skill and him as a fighter has only grown. There have been a few interviews over the past few months which have painted Badr Hari in a very, very shades of grey light, with him looking like a sociopath at times. So when it was announced that Michael Schiavello would interview him for his Voice Versus series on HDnet, I wasn't sure how to feel. Then when Schiavello talked about how it was a rather "dark" episode for the usually light-hearted series I was expecting a lot more of the no-good Badr Hari.

Thankfully Schiavello, who is himself a huge Badr Hari and kickboxing fan knows how to walk the line really well in interviews such as this. Schiavello made sure to switch things up from the tough questions that Hari seemed to pause and really have to stop and think during and the questions that had Hari laughing and joking around. Some of the questions, such as how does he feel about knocking out opponents and what happened in those terrible DQ losses where his temper got the best of him show the darker side of Hari, and just how intense he really can be. Then he switches things up to talk about what kind of movies Badr Hari likes and plays the knock out, choke out, wedgie and bowl of fried shrimp game.

I think for Badr Hari this interview was important, as in the United States a lot of the interviews we've seen from Hari have been in Dutch and translated, sometimes a bit too literally and do not paint him in the best light. Hari showed some serious signs of growth when it came to talking about some of his criminal connections in the past, and he talks about him being an impressionable kid and that he has matured a lot and moved away from that. Badr Hari's career came into the limelight at the tender age of 20, where it is entirely possible to imagine a kid who worked hard to come up and become a name being offered things and not knowing how to say no.

Kudos to Schiavello and HDnet for taking the time to interview one of the most popular kickboxers in the world and actually taking the time to let him tell his side of the story as well as have some fun with him. Be sure to watch it on HDnet this Friday evening, June 24th at 10PM Eastern, followed by It's Showtime Amsterdam.

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Assessment of Alistar Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum

 

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Tonight in the main event of Strikeforce's show in Dallas, Alistair Overeem won a decision over Fabricio Werdum. The fight didn't go as anyone predicted it. It was drawn out over 3 rounds, with Overeem constantly stuffing Werdum's takedowns, spending little portions of time on the ground and battling it out on the feet. The thing that surprised many was that Werdum actually outlanded Overeem on the feet. I'm going to get into every aspect of this fight, the future and the backlash of the fight community.

Now you may notice that Werdum outlanded Overeem in the stand up. A lot of people who don't understand what's going on are jumping on this fact. People don't realize how much the threat of a takedown plays into the striking. Many are even going as far to discredit the whole sport of kickboxing just because Werdum outlanded Overeem. Go watch the fight and you can see Overeem is solely focusing on defending the takedown from Werdum. Overeem respected the ground game of Werdum so much that he didn't showcase a lot of his striking ability in fear of getting put on his back, where Werdum has the advantage. Now this can be seen as a flaw in itself and I acknowledge that Overeem needs some more time to readjust to MMA. Overeem's stints in K-1 have clearly pushed back his overall MMA mentality and he'll have to work on it.

But to discredit the whole sport of kickboxing for this is absurd. The threat of the takedown is an added element in MMA that can change the whole stand up realm. Reem didn't throw any kicks because of the threat of the takedown, and the one time he threw a kick he was taken down. Overeem was so focused on defending the takedown that he was willing to give up some defence in order to do so. It may look good for Werdum but let's be real. The shots had no effect in comparison to the strikes that Overeem landed. Overeem landed the more effective strikes while Werdum's were glancing blows and didn't even phase Overeem. Because of the takedown, Overeem didn't open up to throw strikes and had to hold back in order to not over commit himself. Whenever Overeem would set himself to defend a takedown, Werdum would come with strikes. Whenever Overeem would set himself to strike, Werdum would go for a takedown or flop to his back. Put any MMA fighter in a ring with Overeem under kickboxing rules without the threat of a takedown and he'll crush them. Read more...

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K-1 -World MAX -63kg Japan Tournament to Stream Live for Free



Today, much to the delight of kickboxing fans around the world, K-1 announced that their first event of 2011, the K-1 World MAX -63kg Japan Tournament would air live on Youtube and multiple other websites. K-1 has now joined United Glory and the UFC in what looks to be a growing group of combat sports outlets who will stream events on Youtube.

Here's what K-1 had to say:
FIGHT FOR JAPAN MAGES.presents "K-1 WORLD MAX 2011 -63kg Japan Tournament FINAL" (June 25, 2011) will be broadcasted live on the net in the whole world!

Big news has arrived to all the K-1 fans. Today FEG announced that K-1 MAX -63kg Japan Tournament will be broadcasted live on the net in the whole world! In addition to that, it's free to watch for every body. You can watch every fight from the -63kg tourney and Sato-Kraus single fight.?

This live broadcasting is available with YouTube Live, Ustream, PPTV for China and so on. Don't miss this opportunity and enjoy this with your computers and smart phones!

The event will be broadcast on K-1's official site, K-1's Youtube channelK-1's Ustream channel, K-1's Facebook page and PP Live.

For the full fight card, click here.

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Alistair Overeem's March to the Top Continues; MMA Fans Show Their True Colors

Alistair Overeem proves to be the shades of grey that we as MMA fans do not often see anymore. In a world where the UFC lays claim to every top fighter in every weight class, very few fighters are seen as holdouts while still on the top of their game. The shine has worn off of Fedor Emelianenko with two back-to-back losses against non-UFC Heavyweights, Nick Diaz has decided to bite the bullet and return to the UFC to square off against UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. His teammate Gilbert Melendez, Strikeforce’s Lightweight Champion also appears to be on the same path as Diaz, heading to the UFC to prove who is really the best in their respective weight class.

Alistair Overeem is the Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, the DREAM Heavyweight Champion and the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Heavyweight Champion, making him one of the most decorated champions in all of the combat sports world, yet many still see him as a relative unknown quantity. To many fans, Alistair Overeem is still untested, with only one fight within the United States against a fringe top ten competitior in Brett Rogers to defend his Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship. Overeem has chosen to compete in other parts of the world, in Europe and Asia while waiting for a dream fight between Fedor Emelianenko before Fedor lost to Werdum. With those plans dashed, Overeem looked for a rematch with Werdum, whom he lost to in PRIDE back in 2006 during the Openweight GP. At the time, Overeem was cutting down to Light Heavyweight and not allowing himself and his naturally large frame to do any muscle-building exercises.

What that tells me is that Overeem is one of the only top fighters in his respective weight classes who has yet to be tested in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and fans refuse to accept that anyone outside of the UFC system can truly be the best. Overeem represents a sense of freedom and unknown, much like a horse out in the wild that has yet to be broken. Overeem has all of the skills, charisma and power to be one of the most legendary MMA Heavyweights to ever exist, he just needs to amass the wins over fighters that are considered to be the best of the division to placate the masses.

Overeem’s status to American fight fans is disputed, as some see him as the best and others see him as overrated and being measured for his merits outside of the familiar MMA world. Overeem has become one of the most spoken-about and disputed fighters of recent memory, which has only helped to build up the legend around him, to build up his aura of invincibility. There is no doubt that Overeem is beatable and has indeed been defeated in the past, sometimes worse than others. If anything this just proves one of the main fallacies of modern MMA fans and pundits alike -- they have a very narrow world view when it comes to greatness and there is a sense of reality missing from it. Everyone is held to the gold standard set by boxing great Rocky Marciano where he retired at 49-0, unscathed by the horror of defeat.

This indeed is an impossible standard to live up to for many professional fighters and shows just how narrow of a world view MMA fans have. Many mainstream sports stars could not live up to the impossible standards set by MMA fans, if they were held to those standards they would be written off as quickly as they rose and replaced with someone younger and with a still-untarnished record. The truth is, every legendary athlete has had setbacks and disappointments. There has yet to be a home run king in baseball who has yet to strike out or a basketball player who has never missed a shot. Every major sports team that has been to the top of the mountain has lost or choked when they got to the top at least once.

Part of what makes for a great, legendary athlete is the ability to overcome adversity, to taste defeat and have that only fuel the desire to come back, bigger, stronger, more skilled and better than ever. Talent is apparent, it is visible in sports, you can see talent and you can measure it. Do you knock a college basketball prospect with immense talent for being stuck in a weak conference where they can make the opposition look bad? Do you declare a MLB pitcher who throws a no-hitter against another team as overrated because the other team isn’t the best? No.

This weekend I eagerly await watching Alistair Overeem ply his trade against another incredible fighter in Fabricio Werdum, with the winner being the better man that night, both with bright futures. Talent is apparent in both, with Werdum being an incredible MMA BJJ practitioner who has worked to improve his stand up while Overeem is a decorated submission grappler in his own right and easily the most decorated kickboxer alive right now. Both men will go to war, looking to move on to the next round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. What is sad is that most MMA fans and pundits won’t be seeing this fight for what it is, but will instead see two non-UFC Heavyweights involved in a pointless exercise of tedium that might involve an entertaining fight.

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