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RIP Andy Hug 15 Years Ago Today

  • Published in K-1

So much has changed in the past 15 years in the world and in kickboxing that it's almost impossible to think of how different both would be if Andy Hug were still around. Hug was a rare ambassador for a sport that likes to kick itself when its down continually. While we only had a brief amount of time with Andy Hug he provided us with some of the most memorable moments in kickboxing history and taught us all that hard work, dedication, belief and spirit can get you very far in the world.

RIP Andy Hug. 

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K-1 World Amateur Championships in November, Plus K-1 Japan 70kg in July is Amazing

  • Published in K-1

After a bit of radio silence from K-1 over the past few months K-1 has announced that they will be holding a world amateur championship this November in Italy. It will run on November 13-15th in Tuscany and if you are an amateur fighter interested in testing your mettle and being crowned as an amateur world champion you can contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

On the K-1 Japan front they are still gearing up for the K-1 Japan 70kg Championship tournament on July 4th. It features a one-night tournament featuring eight 70kg fighters, one could even argue some of the best in the world, while the rest of the card is up to the usual K-1 Japan standards of excellence. Seriously, I dare you to find a better card than this from this year. You won't.

70kg Tournament

Reserve: Sergey Adamchuk vs. Kazuya Akimoto

Quarterfinal: Marat Grigorian vs. Yoichi Yamazaki

Quarterfinal: Dylan Salvador vs. Makahira Keita

Quarterfinal: Hiroki Nakajima vs. Sanny Dahlbeck

Quarterfinal: Daiki Watanabe vs. Jordan Pikeur

Super Fights

Hirotaka Urabe vs. Toshi

Minoru Kimura vs. Massaro Glunder

Takeru vs. Hakim Hamech

Koya Urabe vs. Konstantin Trishin

Kaew Fairtex vs. Yasuomi Soda

 

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Peter Aerts Officially Retires

  • Published in K-1

After perhaps one of the most legendary careers in the sport of kickboxing, the trailblazing Peter Aerts has finally hung up the gloves. Aerts, originally promoted to be retiring at GLORY 13 wasn't too pleased with being pushed into retirement when he didn't quite feel ready for it just yet. Aerts has been aware of father time since at least 2012 when he first started planning his retirement, with the bout against Tyrone Spong being his "BeNeLux retirement."

Since then it has all been about winding down and while Aerts was scheduled to participate in the BLADE.2 event in Japan on August 1st, yesterday at a press conference in Japan he instead sent along a video announcing his retirement. He had sustained a few injuries after his last fight with Ernesto Hoost and has had difficulties getting back into fighting shape and recovering, which has pushed him to finally retire. He will now focus on training fighters and building up the next generation of kickboxers.

For me, personally, it is tough to see the end of the Aerts era considering he was the first fighter that really caught my eye as a kid. After watching Aerts' first K-1 World Grand Prix victory I was hooked for life. That being said, it is all about safety and health. Aerts has a family and a gym right now and leaves behind a legacy as one of the all-time greats of the sport. My favorite memory of the past few years will still be Aerts making it to the finals of the 2010 World Grand Prix against Alistair Overeem and having that feeling that anything could happen, that Aerts could win it one last time. That was the kind of magic that Peter Aerts brought to the ring with him.

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Video: Noiri vs Glunder and Hiroya vs Minoru

  • Published in K-1

During the 55kg tournament K-1 held on April 19th in Japan there were a few big upsets in the super fights and K-1 has just released the videos. 

First of all Kimura "Phillip" Minoru vs Hiroya, since I didn't get to watch this event live I have to say it was pretty surprising to read that Minoru KO'd Hiroya in 1 round even though Hiroya can be hot and cold sometimes. Now after watching the fight, honestly Minoru looks really damn good. He has improved leaps and bounds, his timing, speed and power all looked amazing, very impressive.

Next we have Massaki Noiri vs Massaro Glunder, Glunder looks so much like a mini Andy Ristie its crazy and even has a similar style but i think hes a little bit less awkward. When I read that Noiri had lost by cut the first thing I thought was that it must have been lucky but after watching the fight Glunder not only beat Noiri but he did it in Japan, and on short notice, I definitely do not think Glunder was losing the fight. Great breakthrough win for a young up and comer in Massaro Glunder.

 

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Fight Card For K-1's China vs. Japan Feb. 1st Event

  • Published in K-1

K-1 is continuing to go full speed ahead with their Chinese home base with their second event of the year in Changsua, China. This time around the theme is China vs. Japan and will feature some of their Chinese standouts against a few Japanese fighters. Sadly a lot of the talent they wanted were already booked due to New Year's and early January events, but they still pulled together a pretty good card.

I assume there will be a free stream via Hunan TV like the last time as well. Stay tuned for that. Also Jungle Koki is the coolest name ever.

60kg Tomohiro Kiyai vs. Wu Ze
63kg Keisuke Nakamura vs. Wang Zhiwei
65kg Kuji Yoshimoto vs. Hanji
70kg Hideaki Kikkawa vs. Tien Xin
70kg K-Jee vs. Zang Lei
70kg Jungle Koki vs. Ba Te Er
53kg Syuri vs. E Meidie
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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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Gabriel Varga Out of K-1 USA vs. China Event

  • Published in K-1

GLORY fighter Gabriel Varga was set to compete at the K-1 USA vs. China event on January 1st in China but it looks like all of that has gone up in smoke over the past day. Varga is reporting on having visa issues. Upon entering China they found that he did not have the proper paperwork to enter the country, which meant that he had to turn around and go right back home to Canada. 

Definitely a bit of a bummer for those looking forward to seeing Varga fight. The good news is that there are no other issues as of press time with the event and it should go off without a hitch. We'll keep you posted on any further news for the K-1 China vs. USA event.

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K-1 Signs Yodsanklai Fairtex to Two-Year Contract

  • Published in K-1

In an interesting twist of fate considering the recent events that unfolded in Thailand with Buakaw Banchamek and K-1, K-1 has been able to secure a two-year, kickboxing-exclusive deal with one of the best muay thai fighters who ventures outside of Thailand in Yodsanklai Fairtex. They announced the deal yesterday, which comes as a bit of a shock considering the shock and outrage we saw coming from Thailand after the last event. 

Then again, Yodsanklai has been angling with a fight with Buakaw for ages now and it has simply not materialized. Yodsanklai will be competing at 70kg, which places him within the MAX division. A potential fight between Yodsanklai and K-1 MAX Champion Enriko Kehl would be nothing short of awesome, that's for sure. 

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K-1 Announces Deal in China and Three 2015 Events

  • Published in K-1

If you've been wondering why K-1 has been seemingly so focused on China over the past year or so, look no further than the announcement made today by K-1 that they have secured what looks to be a pretty hefty broadcast deal in China that will reach most of the country. We had the news on the next event in China, taking place on January 1st, last week. That will be the first of ten live events that will be produced inside of China next year by K-1 through this partnership.

That first event is a China vs. USA themed event. Originally they had announced Kevin Ross and Tiffany Van Soest from the USA as fighting for the event, but due to commitments to Lion Fight Van Soest is 100% out and Ross is still trying to clear things up, but it's up in the air right now. 

According to their statement today, K-1 will be aired live on nine major, commercial broadcast network in China. I'm not kidding. Those listed are; Hunan TV, Hebei TV, Hubei TV, JiangXi TV, Anhui TV,Chongqing TV, Guangdong TV, Hainan TV, Qinghai TV. This covers most of China's population, which is estimated at 1.357 billion people. I'm not sure how to compare this to the US because China has over four times the population that the US does, but this is basically like being on one of the major broadcast networks like CBS, ABC or NBC. This partnership will make K-1 one of the most widely-viewed combat sports in the world.

K-1 has also announced two other events;

February 1st; China vs. Japan
March 28th; China vs. Thailand
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Kevin Ross Captaining K-1's Upcoming USA vs. China Event on January 1st

  • Published in K-1

Since K-1's event last December in China there has been a lot of hushed talk about the future of K-1 in China. The year 2014 has been a lot better to K-1 than other years and there have been a lot of deals talked about that could possibly make K-1 not only a major player in China, but huge in China. From what we've seen, K-1 has been training referees, judges and other officials on top of lending a hand to train fighters in China over the last year and on January 1st K-1 will make their return to China with a huge USA vs. China event.

It'll take place in Golden Eagle Culture City, Changsua, China and as I stated before, the theme will be USA vs. China. While we don't know all of the names just yet, we have heard that Kevin Ross has signed to be the Team Captain of Team USA and will be fighting, which is pretty big news considering that Ross was being courted by K-1 years ago and GLORY last year only for nothing to come of it. We've also been told that Canadian Gabriel Varga is scheduled to appear on the card, which is interesting considering there was talk of him competing for GLORY's Featherweight Championship soon. 

Tiffany Van Soest is also announced for the card.

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K-1 Japan 65kgs Tournament Results

  • Published in K-1

Last night the K-1 Japan 65kgs tournament took place including names like Yuta Kubo, Hiroya, and Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson. Overall I really enjoyed the fights, they all seemed well matched, with every fighter bringing their own unique style to the ring making the fights exciting.

We saw a wicked spinning back fist KO at the hands of Takeru in a fight that I thought he was losing. The return of Hiroya was great but once again he always seems to come up a bit short. There were two fighters that really stood out for me though, of course the tournament winner, southpaw from Thailand Kaew Fairtex, with his lightning fast head kicks, his huge upset over Kubo, and his ability to avoid punches even with the ref harassing him about clinching. Also we found out his father had passed away a week ago, he dedicated his win to him. It seemed to me that Fairtex hurt his left shin in his first fight, since he threw it a lot less in the 2nd and 3rd plus it all bandaged up, didn't seem to effect his performance too much though. Secondly a British fighter named Kerrith Bhella, I personally hadn't seen him fight before, and I half expected K-1 to give Yuya someone he could beat up in Japan. I was very wrong, Bhella's technique was some of the best I have seen, tight hands, fast powerful jab and combos followed by leg kicks, and an almost flawless defense. I really hope we get to see more of him after his defeat of Yamamoto last night.

Results

Tournament Reserve: Ilias Bulaid Defeats Taito (KO rd 3)

Tournament Quarter Final #1 - Hiroya Defeats Michael "Tomahawk" Thompson.

Tournament Quarter Final #2 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Kimura Minoru (KO rd 2)

Tournament Quarter Final #3 - Kaew Fairtex Defeats Yamazaki Hideaki (decision)

Tournament Quarter Final #4 - Yuta Kubo defeats Raz Sarkisjan (decision)

Superfight 70kgs - Matsukura Shintaro defeats Zhao Fukai (decision)

K-1 Koshien 2014 final - Hiramoto Ren defeats Sano Tenma (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #1 - Soda Yasuomi defeats Hiroya (decision)

Tournament Semi-Finals #2 - Kaew Fairtex defeats Yuta Kubo (KO Rd 2)

Superfight 55kgs - Takeru defeats Taiga(KO rd 2 wicked spinning backfist)

Superfight 70kgs - Kerrith Bhella defeats Yuya Yamamoto (decision)

 Tournament Finals - Kaew Fairtex defeats Soda Yasuomi (decision)

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Buakaw Holds Press Conference, Still No Real Answers to Tough Questions

  • Published in K-1

There is a shroud of mystery surrounding Buakaw Banchamek's actions at the K-1 World MAX Finals event from Saturday night. In the lead-up to the event Buakaw was in the press where he made multiple statements in regards to K-1 that all amounted to claims that he never substantiated. So it wasn't a surprise that something went down on Saturday, but no one expected Buakaw to just walk out before the decision was ever read, that's for sure. 

Yesterday K-1 held a press conference and issued a statement where they refuted Buakaw's claims against them and implied if Buakaw continued to talk in the press about the organization that they'd pursue legal action. Today in Bangkok Buakaw held his own press conference, which began with Superpro Samui's Robbie Timmers as a character witness. While it's not clear to us what he said, our best guess was that it was about Murthel Groenhart's prize money fiasco due to Timmers and his links with Black Label fighter management, which is now linked with GLORY. 

Buakaw really did not say much that we didn't already hear in the past few days. His claims were that he knew that the fight was fixed and left in protest, that he did not understand the K-1 rules due to a poor translation that was provided to him and that he was concerned with possible illegal gambling operations. What I've been explaining to people over the last few days that in cases like this the onus is on the accuser to present strong evidence and possibly even proof to validate the claims. This press conference was supposed to be the day that things were clarified and instead it was the same vague claims without a scrap of evidence or proof.

The court of public opinion has already spoken and firmly sided with Mr. Banchamek, regardless of this.

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K-1 Global Fires Back After Buakaw Banchamek's Confusing Claims

  • Published in K-1

My god, this whole Buakaw fiasco, right? 

If you are somehow blissfully unaware of what happened, on Saturday night at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Pattaya Buakaw Banchamek ran out of the building after the third round of the fight into an awaiting car, taking off without uttering a word to anyone in the arena. The only interaction that was documented was Buakaw walking over to his opponent, Enriko Kehl while his manager, Yim, shouted at the K-1 Thailand organizer from the ring before they were both ghosts. 

K-1 officials were prepared for something to go wrong in regards to Buakaw, considering that he spent the entire time after he was paid on September 22nd running the promotion down in the press, including making various claims against the company and attempting to link them to online gambling, but what happened was truly something that no one could have prepared for. The claims from Banchamek and his supporters have ranged from possible fight fixing, K-1 owning a gambling site being used to fix the fight, last minute rule changes and fear for lack of payment. 

Most of the claims have been unsubstantiated, including the fear of lack of payment considering that he was paid full and upfront weeks before the event. The gambling claims seemed like a misunderstanding, a straw man argument, if you will. K-1 was sponsored by a betting company based in Australia, but clearly had no ownership stake in the company and the site follows all regulations and will not accept bets from nations like Thailand where online gambling is illegal. 

If you were to objectively view the situation, you'd see Banchamek's shifting story, his association with a rival promoter who was upset with K-1's attempted advance into Thailand, you'd find it difficult to buy into it without any solid evidence. A press conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon in Thailand from Banchamek but never materialized, instead K-1's Ned Kuruc spoke with media where he denied claims of rule changes or links to illegal gambling at the event. Sadly this has become a game of he-said, she-said and the court of popular opinion online has already formed their opinions.

K-1 released a statement earlier today that hammered home the point that they are claiming to have not had any part in any sort of shady business dealings for this event and that if Banchamek chooses to continue with unsubstantiated claims against the company that they will pursue legal action. Messy, messy stuff.

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Buakaw Banchamek Walks Out, Enriko Kehl Claims K-1 World MAX Championship

  • Published in K-1

Truly fascinating night in Thailand tonight as K-1 held the K-1 World MAX Finals to crown the K-1 MAX Champion. That champion will hold the K-1 MAX/70kg Championship and go on to defend it against all comers. Many believed that Buakaw Banchamek couldn't lose against Enriko Kehl, especially after the showing last year that saw Buakaw dismantle Kehl and pick up a decision. What happened in the fight was much stranger than fiction, that is for sure.

Enriko Kehl came into the fight focused and was landing clean combinations and shots on Banchamek. Buakaw spent most of the fight catching Kehl's kicks or clinching him then dumping him to the mat. That led to Buakaw being in control in the ring, but not landing anything significant. Many believed that this would assure Buakaw an easy victory against Kehl, but in what is typical K-1 fashion when a fight is close, it was ruled a draw. Before anyone goes into conspiracy theory mode, those trips, dumps and clinches don't score points in K-1 rules. The official K-1 rules are that a clinch must be immediately broken or that a single knee can be thrown from a one-handed clinch. That is just the rules. 

The fight was to go to an extension round, the only problem was that Buakaw was nowhere to be seen. Buakaw, along with his trainers and manager Yim, left the ringside area when they found out that there would be an extension round. Buakaw, who has fought in extension rounds in K-1 numerous times now, knows how it works, so there really was no reason for him to storm out. If you were paying attention to Banchamek's social media and to the news leading into the fight, this behavior won't seem that odd to you, as Banchamek had gone to the press numerous times in the lead-up to this event with some interesting stories. Those stories include doubts as to K-1's legitimacy, him wondering if he'd be paid the money that he'd get from fighting in the event and even claiming that K-1 was involved in illegal gambling on the event. 

Curiously it was all done in front of a Top King banner, with Top King being the latest Thai promotion that Buakaw has signed with after falling out with Yokkao, Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai over the years. Buakaw was nowhere to be seen and the fight was ruled in favor of Enriko Kehl due to disqualification via forfeit. All of the credit in the world goes to Enriko Kehl who very clearly learned from their first encounter and made improvements and adjustments to meet the Thai legend on Thai soil in a fight that no one thought that he could win. 

Regardless of anyone's opinion on if the extra round was deserved or not, this was unprofessional behavior from Banchamek and not the first time that he had done something similar in K-1 (see the Zhou Zhi Peng fight in December 2013 in China).

UPDATE: If you watch the video above it is clear that Buakaw and his team left before the decision was even rendered. We received confirmation that Buakaw and his team left immediately after round three ended and jumped into a car without a word to anyone else. 

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Watch the K-1 World MAX Finals Here Live on October 11th

  • Published in K-1

On October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand the K-1 World MAX Finals is scheduled to happen between Buakaw Banchamek and Enriko Kehl. The show will also see the debut of Paul "Semtex" Daley in the K-1 ring. Join us live on October 11th to watch the event. The broadcast begins at 11:45am Eastern time on October 11th. 

K-1 World MAX Final: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl

Paul “Semtex” Daley vs. Mohammad Ghaedibardeh

Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Dennis Puric

Andrei Kubelin vs. Lee Sung Hyun

Maximo Suarez vs. Tural Bayramov

Andre “Dida” Amade vs. Li Yankun

Artem Pashporin vs. Petmongkol Thor. Thesputin

Xei Lei vs. Yoshimoto

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Liverkick Throwback: Buakaw Banchamek's K-1 MAX Debut Vs. Jordan Tai

  • Published in K-1

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.

Since Buakaw is fighting in another K-1 Final this weekend I figured it would be good time to look back at when it all started. In 2004 Buakaw Banchamek (Por Pramuk at that time) made his K-1 Max debut against New Zealand's Jordan Tai, who trained with Ray Sefo. It's hard to remember a day when Buakaw wasn't a name that every fight fan knew, but this video shows us it existed. First of all his name is spelled wrong, secondly his record says this is his pro debut, (there is a not chance that's true) and listening to the commentator calling him "the Thai fighter" felt strange to me. The commentator is also very bias against Buakaw but then again it doesn't seem like he has much idea of whats going on anyway. It's interesting to see that Buakaw's style really hasn't changed a lot over the years, his stamina has improved and he uses his hands a little more now, but otherwise not a big difference. He also lands the same liver punch he recently finished David Calvo off with but Jordan Tai toughs it out and stays on his feet even after getting hit with two more.

Enjoy the fight and allow it to prepare you for this weekends K-1 Final.

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K-1 World GP in Japan 2014 -65kg Tournament

  • Published in K-1

The Japanese entity formerly known as K-1 World League has changed things up a bit, confirming that they are indeed an official branch of K-1 Global running the K-1 World GP in Japan 2014 -65kg tournament. The event goes down on November 3rd in Japan and will crown a champion at -65kg, featuring some familiar names, including the best 65kg fighter in the world named Yuta Kubo. Former FEG K-1 sensation HIROYA is also in the tournament.

Here's a look at the tournament as it stands right now;

HIROYA (Japan) vs. Michael Thompson (Australia)
Soda Yasuomi (Japan) vs. Kimura Minoru (Brazil)
Yamazaki Hideaki (Japan) vs. Kaew Fairtex (Thailand)
Kubo Yuta (Japan) vs. Raz Sarkisjan (Armenia)

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Paul Daley Racks Up Another KO Win in MMA

  • Published in K-1

Former UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator fighter Paul Daley has made a name for himself in 2014 on the kickboxing circuit, picking up some super impressive wins over top competition. Daley caught the attention of K-1 and he is set to make his big K-1 debut in October at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Thailand event against Mohammad Ghaedibardeh. Paul Daley has been resigned by Bellator and is expected to fight for them some time in the coming months. 

Before either of those, though, he was scheduled to fight at BAMMA 16 in the UK where he made a huge impact when he scored a huge TKO victory in the second round over Marinho Moreira da Rocha with a crushing left to the liver. Paul Daley's left hand is really a thing of beauty, is it not?

Here's a look at the finishing blow thanks to Caposa.

 

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K-1 Announces World MAX Final Card for Oct. 11th in Pattaya

  • Published in K-1

On October 11th in Pattaya, Thailand, K-1 will present their K-1 World MAX Finals event. The event will crown a K-1 World MAX Champion, who will serve as K-1's king of the 70kg division and defend the title in the coming years. The tournament began last year with a strong group of sixteen fighters from across the world before coming down to two-time K-1 World MAX Champion Buakaw Banchamek and German up-and-comer Enriko Kehl. Kehl will be facing Buakaw for a second time now, the first fight happening in December and Banchamek getting the better of him in Thai rules. 

The show also features the debut of Paul "Semtex" Daley, best known for his runs in UFC and Bellator, but who has made a huge impact on the kickboxing world this year with four huge KO wins over top competition. This is one of the better K-1 cards that we've seen in a while and should be pretty exciting.

K-1 World MAX Final: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl
Paul “Semtex” Daley vs. Mohammad Ghaedibardeh
Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Dennis Puric
Andrei Kubelin vs. Lee Sung Hyun
Maximo Suarez vs. Tural Bayramov
Andre “Dida” Amade vs. Li Yankun
Artem Pashporin vs. Petmongkol Thor. Thesputin
Xei Lei vs. Yoshimoto

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Paul Daley's K-1 Debut Happening on October 4th

  • Published in K-1

UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Daley has been in the news this past week after it was announced that Scott Coker has resigned the British fighter to Bellator, hoping that he'll make his debut in the near future. K-1 fires back by announcing Paul Daley's K-1 debut fight will happen on October 4th at the K-1 World MAX Finals in Thailand. The event is headlined by the Buakaw vs. Kehl rematch for the K-1 MAX title (which we are told will be defended on its own, outside of tournaments in the future), but will also see the debut of Paul Daley.

Daley is 4-0 this year alone in kickboxing since he's returned, leading to there being a lot of hype behind his K-1 debut. His opponent has been announced as Mohammad Ghaedibardeh and the fight will be at 80kg. 

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LiverKick Throwback: Buakaw vs. Masato K-1 World MAX Finals 2004

  • Published in K-1

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.

Let's travel back in time now, all the way back to 2004. Yes, 2004, almost exactly ten years ago to the day, on July 7th, 2004. The K-1 World MAX Finals were the hottest ticket in town since Masato's win in the first ever tournament back in 2002 and Buakaw Banchamek (formerly Por. Pramuk) vs. Masato was the fight that everyone was clawing to see. They were the best of the best; Masato representing the Japanese bushido spirit and Buakaw the best that Thailand had to offer (regardless of your opinion, he was the best in kickboxing at the time). 

This fight was everything that K-1 was meant to embody; Japan vs. Thailand, the foreigner vs. the hometown hero and it delivered in spades. We can look back upon this fight and marvel at the display, the heart and fortitude shown and how K-1 saw Buakaw as a threat to their Japanese-centric MAX brand. This fight was the poor kid from Thailand against the groomed mega-star of Japan and it is beautiful. 

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K-1 World MAX Final Gets New October Date

  • Published in K-1

Legendary kickboxing promotion K-1 has announced a new date for their K-1 World MAX Final event in Pattaya, Thailand. Originally scheduled for July, K-1 ran into issues due to the recent political coup in Thailand. Part of the issue was being a foreign promoter looking to enter into a climate that is not usually friendly to outside promoters during a period of turmoil and so many internal changes. K-1 has worked with the local Thai government to acquire the proper licensing and the K-1 World MAX Finals will happen on October 4th, 2014 in Pattaya, Thailand.

The event will feature the K-1 World MAX Finals, crowning a new champion in their 70kg MAX division between Buakaw Banchamek and Enriko Kehl.

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Japan's Kickboxing Scene Reunites Under the K-1 World League Banner

  • Published in K-1

K-1 began in Japan, becoming the world standard for professional Kickboxing and the name, to this day, holds the most weight when it comes to Kickboxing. Of course, mismanagement and corruption led to the demise of FEG, who held the K-1 name at the time. Since then K-1 Global has taken over the K-1 name and have been working their way towards their own goals that exist outside of Japan. So consider the shock today when news comes out of Japan of a new promotion called K-1 World League using the K-1 logo and everything. 

There was a press conference in Japan today to announce the formation of K-1 World League, which will be managed by Good Loser, the company that produces KRUSH events in Japan, and produced by M-1 Sports Media. The first event is set to take place on July 21st at Shinjuku FACE and will be an amateur tournament akin to K-1 Koshien, the finals being held on November 3rd at Yoyogi National Stadium along with professional fights from some of Japan's top fighters. Announced names are Yuta Kubo, Yoshihiro Sato, Yasuhiro Kido, Hirotaka Urabe, Koya Urabe, HIROYA, Takeru and others. Takayuki Kohiruimaki is also listed as one of the K-1 Gym's official trainers, as this whole thing is in association with the K-1 Gym.

K-1 Global will continue to run events outside of Japan and K-1 World League will serve as K-1's re-entry point into the Japanese market beginning this year.

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K-1 Postpones World MAX Show in Thailand

  • Published in K-1

If the only news that you pay attention to is fighting sports you might not have known that there is currently a bit of political upheaval in Thailand right now. In fact, there was a military coup that went down just days ago, leaving some areas of Thailand under strict military presence. Not all, though, some areas are untouched. Pattaya, where K-1 is planning their K-1 World MAX Finals event, happens to be one of the places under strict curfew. 

K-1 has been monitoring the situation and along with their partners in Thailand have decided to postpone the event for the time being. It might not be until July, but two months for a nation to get itself in order after a government is overthrown is a bit quick and they will wait out the situation before booking another event there. Kind of a bummer, we know, but it seems like the right call for this one. 

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K-1 Brings in Andre Dida, World MAX Finals Gearing Up

  • Published in K-1

K-1 MAX

K-1 continues to chug along with plans for post-Japan Asian domination. On July 21st K-1 will present the K-1 World MAX Finals event, featuring Buakaw Banchamek vs. Enriko Kehl in the Finals. Some fans are expecting a repeat from December's fight between Banchamek and Kehl, but that was under Muay Thai rules, making this fight all the more interesting. Kehl is a solid up-and-comer and has a lot of upsides to him. Banchamek was the biggest signing for K-1, but Kehl has to be the best prospect that they currently have and he does possess the tools to possibly defeat Buakaw.

K-1 has added more fights to the card of late, including Lee Sung-Hyun squaring off against Andrei Kulebin. Kulebin has been a solid name throughout the world for the past few years and should make for a fine addition for K-1 on this event.

The other big news is that former K-1 MAX and K-1 HERO*s star Andre "Dida" Amade has signed a new deal with K-1. Dida is perhaps best known for his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil recently where he was involved in a pull-apart brawl between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen, with Dida throwing a few punches after Sonnen took Silva down in the middle of shooting. Dida landed in hot water with the UFC for that and was told that he was potentially banned from cornering fighters in the UFC, but things worked out for him in the end. He announced his return to the ring shortly afterwards and has now announced his intentions to fight for K-1.

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Watch K-1 The Battle for Spain on Saturday

  • Published in K-1

K-1

This Saturday at 19:00 GMT/3PM Eastern K-1 will present The Battle for Spain live and FREE online. You'll be able to watch K-1's Battle for Spain live on LiverKick this Saturday. I know, there are a lot of events to watch this weekend, but if you've got the time it'll definitely be worth it. The promotion also announced today that Elam Ngor was forced to pull out due to injury and will be replaced in the main event by Sergio Sanchez against Maximo Suarez.

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K-1 Announces April 12th Event in Spain

  • Published in K-1

K-1

K-1's next event will not be the K-1 World MAX Finals, but instead another trip to Spain featuring some of the Spanish talents that they've helped cultivate over the past year or so. It's a solid move seeing as though their events in Spain have drawn good crowds and gotten a good deal of local press. So K-1 will head to Mallorca, Spain on April 12th for "The Battle for Spain," featuring a headlining bout between Maximo Suarez and Elam Ngor.

Here is the fight card per the press release issued today.

 

  • 70kg: Maximo Suarez (Spain) VS Elam Negor (Spain)
  • 86kg: Denis Marjanivic (Serbia) VS Moises Ruibal (Spain)
  • +100kg: George Collin (Holland) VS Mario Jagatic (Croatia)
  • 63kg: Cristian Barrionueveo (Spain) VS Zakaria Zougarry (Morocco)
  • 70kg: Miodrag Olar (Romania) VS Alejandro Rodriguex (Spain)
  • 95kg: Adam Hart (England) VS Jose IIaneras (Spain)
  • More fights will be added in the coming weeks.

 

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K-1 World MAX Final Four This Sunday

  • Published in K-1

K-1

This Sunday, February 23rd, K-1 will host the K-1 World MAX Final Four in Azerbaijan event. This event will feature the Final Four for the 2013 K-1 World MAX tournament, with the winners moving onto the Finals in May. The event will be streamed for free, live on http://www.k-1.tv on Sunday starting at 16:00 GMT time (we'll let you guys do your own time conversion, we usually mess it up). In the top two fights we'll see two-time K-1 World MAX Champion Buakaw Banchamek vie for a spot in the Finals against tough-as-nails Korean Lee Sung-Hyun and two up-and-comers in Enriko Kehl and Shane Campbell battle for the other spot.

On top of that there are a bunch of tremendous bouts between some of the top future stars in the sport.

 

  • Amil Shakhmarzade vs. Zakaria Zougarry
  • Ruslan Kobzev vs. Dennis Ippema
  • Ziya Bayramov vs. Omar el Amrani
  • Ismat Agazade vs. Cedric Manhoef
  • George Colin vs. Agalar Sadikhzade
  • Alim Nabiev vs. Chad Sugden
  • Miodrag Olar vs. Babek Rustamov
  • Marco Groh vs. Tural Bayramov
  • Fabio Kwasi vs. Moises Ruibal Martinez
  • Moises Baute vs. Fabian Gondorf
  • K-1 World MAX Final Four: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Lee Sung-Hyun
  • K-1 World MAX Final Four: Enriko Kehl vs. Shane Campbell
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Sung-Hyun Lee Isn't Afraid of Buakaw Banchamek

  • Published in K-1

K-1

This weekend Buakaw Banchamek will square off against Korea's Sung-Hyun Lee in the K-1 World MAX Final Four event. This event is scheduled for February 23rd and will air on http://www.k-1.tv via a free stream. No doubt that this is a huge fight for Sung-Hyun Lee, who was competing at 65kg previously before deciding to move up to 70kg in 2013 and enter the K-1 World MAX tournament. Now he has reached the coveted Final Four and will fight the legendary Buakaw Banchamek, but don't color him scared, because he's not. [source]

"In a lot of ways Buakaw is a fighter with basic patterns. He has a lot of power but his combinations are easy to predict. He does not have the technical ability or combination punching of European fighters like Andy Souwer. I feel my style matches up better with Buakaw than those fighters.

I am not that worried about his power. In 2009 I fought a Thai fighter named Ping Poongkwa. I remember his body kicks felt like being hit by a steel pipe. I fought a lot of other Thais but none of them had that kind of serious power. I feel people are just afraid of Buakaw because of his “name”."

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