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GLORY 22 Card and Information Leaked

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 21 might be a week away but that doesn't mean that GLORY isn't preparing well into the future. Earlier today images began circulating for GLORY 22, including an almost complete fight card and location. It looks like GLORY will return to Europe in June and that it'll be in France. The event will be headlined by GLORY Heavyweight Champion defending against a still-unnamed challenger and a huge Lightweight tournament to top things off.

Interesting additions like Freddy Kemayo, Verlinden fighting back at Light Heavyweight and that awesome tournament definitely stand out.

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Glory 21 Full Fight Card and Breakdown

  • Published in Glory

Glory 21 will be taking place in just 2 weeks time and the full card including super fights has now been announced. So what better time is there to breakdown some of fights?

Apart from the middleweight title fight it seems that Glory has brought in lots of new fighters for this show to test themselves in the Glory ring and hope a new North American star will emerge. Its really great they are giving opportunities for people to fight on a big promotion and on Live TV considering how hard it is to get noticed in Kickboxing.

Anyway on to the fights, lets start with the middleweight title fight between the champ Artem Levin and the challenger Simon Marcus. They have already fought each other once in 2009 at Lion Fight 9 with Muay Thai rules and Marcus won a very close fight with I'd say at least 70% of the fight taking in the clinch. After watching this fight again recently I really felt that Artem did not look himself at all, now this could very well be due to Simon's style in which case he will give him just as much trouble again. The Glory rules will not allow clinching for such extended periods of time but in their first fight Levin was initiating the clinch just as much as Marcus was and was even winning the clinch early in the fight, but what Artem stopped doing was moving. Simon Marcus is always going to move forward and if Levin moves straight back and doesn't fight like his usual self where he uses lots of angles he will risk losing a decision again. I am certain that Artem Levin has wanted this rematch with Kickboxing rules for some time, he has probably watched the first fight 100 times and knows exactly where he went wrong, now if he can overcome Simon's pressure and fight like he has been recently I am fairly confident he will remain the champion... But Simon Marcus ALWAYS seems to prove me wrong.

On to the Co-main event Ramond Daniels vs Justin Baesman, we won't spend too much time on this fight. Baesman has an MMA record of 16 wins and 7 losses with 4 wins by KO, according to the Glory site he is 17-6-1 in kickboxing but I can't seem to find any of his kickboxing fights. Pretty sure we can expect another wicked highlight reel KO from Mr. Daniels.

Now the heavyweight tournament which was supposed to be an all American affair with Xavier Vigney, Maurice Jackson, and Everett Sims but it seems that the big Englishman "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry has infiltrated the tournament after his 15 second KO at Glory 20.

Xavier Vigney vs. Maurice Jackson is a bit of a strange situation, at this point most kickboxing fans have seen or at least head of Vigney especially in America, he has solid boxing basics and of course he is a big dude so has KO power in both hands. Maurice Jackson also is a huge man at 6"9 and 275lbs his record on the Glory site is 31-0 with 23 ko's but once again I can only find one of his MMA fights online so they must be amateur. His MMA record is 2 wins 1 loss and 3 no contests, which leads me to believe we may see something strange during this fight. I'm going to go with Vigney by KO or DQ for this one.

Everett Sims vs "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry is interesting since we have a fresh image of both fighters from 2 previous Glory events. Sims who fought Vigney on Glory 19 didn't look too bad until Vigney started to swarm him and then he just started to turtle up. As for Chopper he just swarmed his opponent instantly and KO'd him in 15 seconds at Glory 20, just looking at these two variables it seems like a pretty rough match up for Sims, I'm going to predict an Xavier Vigney vs Chi Lewis-Parry final.

As for the super fights, Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva could easily be the fight of the night. Both guys always bring everything they have to the ring, and never have boring fights. I'm pretty sure a win for Adegbuyi should put him very close if not inline for a shot at Rico Verhoeven's belt. Both of these guys are very technical heavyweights with knockout power and great combos, I would personally lean towards a decision win for Benny just because he is the younger, Hungrier fighter.

Full card

Main Card on Spike TV

Middleweight Title Fight: Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus

Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Raymond Daniels vs. Justin Baesman

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Everett Sims

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final: Xavier Vigney vs. Maurice Jackson

Middleweight Armed Forces Bout: Devin Goodale vs. Kyle Stewart

Super Fights

Heavyweight: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva

Welterweight: Omari Boyd vs. James Steelesmith

Lightweight: Luis Castaneda vs. Ken Tran

Middleweight: Mike Lemaire vs. Armin Mrkanovic

 

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Artur Kyshenko vs. Jonatan Oliveira Squaring Off at Kunlun Fight 23 This Weekend

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kunlun Fight returns on Sunday with Kunlun Fight 23, airing on JiangSu TV at 15:30 Beijing time on April 26th. It's another packed card including some familiar names from across the world, including Lerdsilla and Nongsai in action. The big bout of the evening is between two of the world's best Welterweights in Jonatan Oliveira squaring off against Artur Kyshenko. 

Gao Xuchao (CHN) vs Dong Jian (CHN)  62kg
Zhang Dongbin (CHN) vs Abdolmaleki Masuod (IRI) 67kg
Wang Hesong (CHN) vs KRIT (THA) 75kg
E Meidie (CHN) vs Valeriya Drozdova (RUS) 52kg
Zhao Yafei (CHN) vs Bonhyuk Koo 61.5kg (MMA)
Dzianis Zuev(BLR) vs Nongsai (THA) 71kg
Wang Sai (CHN) vs Vasiliy Fedorych (UKR) 80kg (MMA)
Xiong Jingnan (CHN) vs Hodymchuk Viktoria (UKR) 60kg (MMA)
Wei Ninghui (CHN) vs Lerdsila Chumpairtour (USA) 62kg
Jonatan Oliveira (BRA) vs Artur Kyshenko(UKR) 80kg
Nuerla (CHN) vs Arthit Hanchana(THA) 80kg
Asihati (CHN) vs Abbas (IRI) 100kg+
Zhang Meixuan(CHN) vs Kazybek Ashimov (KAZ) 57kg (MMA)
Kong Lingfeng (CHN) vs Miyakoshi Soichiro (JPN) 70kg
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Errol Zimmerman Taking Sabbatical From Kickboxing for Boxing

  • Published in Glory

It was perhaps a bit anticlimactic how the rematch between GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven and Errol Zimmerman ended at GLORY 20, but it's hard to ignore the impact that it'll have for the coming years in the Heavyweight division in kickboxing. The fight ended with Zimmerman down on the mat, grasping at his knee in what was a worst case scenario for a warrior like him. Zimmerman is a guy who prides himself as being tough and if he's going to lose a fight he's going to actually lose it, not go down to injury. Yet that is exactly what happened.

We knew that Zimmerman would be out for a while, but it looks like Zimmerman will be taking a year off from kickboxing and much like Tyrone Spong who suffered a horrific leg injury against Gokhan Saki last year, Zimmerman will be returning to the ring as soon as he's healthy but will be doing so in professional boxing instead of kickboxing. 

In an interview with Dutch FunX Zimmerman announced that he will need to take at least a year off from kickboxing to heal up his knee, but that he doesn't intend to just sit idly by and wait to return to the ring. Instead he'll focus on professional boxing much like we've seen from the likes of other GLORY stars like Marc de Bonte, Nieky Holzken and Tyrone Spong. Here's hoping that all goes well with his recovery and we get to see him in the ring again soon, even if it is a boxing ring.

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Catalin Morosanu Next for Badr Hari

  • Published in Kickboxing

While not exactly on Badr Hari's "hit list," the next fight announced for the Golden Boy is none other than Romania's favorite dancing politician with heavy hands, Catalin Morosanu. Morosanu is one of Romania's toughest exports and is pretty much physically incapable of having a boring fight, which is a good thing for fans. Chances are when they step into the ring together that there will be a lot of leather thrown and that Morosanu will be fearless against Hari, something that not many fighters can say. 

The fight was announced at the GFC event today and the implication is that the fight would go down in May. There is a SuperKombat event in May, which makes a lot of sense for such a big fight like this and would draw some eyes to SuperKombat. It looks like this might be pushed back to the Fall, though. Who really knows? It's Badr Hari and he doesn't really adhere to strict schedules.

According to Irimia it will happen in either Dubai or Bucharest.

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Card for FFC 18 Tomorrow

  • Published in Kickboxing

Tomorrow in Ljubljana FFC will present their 18th numbered event featuring a split MMA and Kickboxing card. The kickboxing card features some bigger names like Mladen Brestovac, Miran Fabjan and Samo Petje set to defend his FFC 70kg World Championship.

Eyevan Danenberg vs. Jasmin Bajrovic - 77kg

Fabio di Marco vs. Teo Mikelic - 72kg

Vasil Ducar vs. Denis Chorchyp - 91kg

Denis Marjonovic vs. Miran Fabjan - 85kg

Colin George vs. Mladen Brestovac - Heavyweight

Valentin Rybalko vs. Samo Petje - 70kg Title Fight

 

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GLORY Confirms That Phil Baroni Turned Down Schilling Fight at GLORY 21

  • Published in Glory

If you were looking forward to the Twitter clash of the titans turning into a kickboxing fight at GLORY 21 between Joe Schilling and Phil Baroni you'll be in for a bit of a disappointment today. As reported by our bud Michael Stets over at MMAMania, Phil Baroni has turned down the fight with Joe Schilling due to not feeling that there was enough time for him to prepare for the fight. 

It's a contrast from the words that Baroni was slinging over the past few days, but it looks like Baroni is asking for a full fight camp heading into a fight with Schilling. If we are honest with ourselves here, it's not asking too much to want a full camp before fighting Schilling in what would be considered his home turf of the GLORY ring, but then again, the beef was started by Baroni. Baroni does want this fight to happen in the future, but if we take a long, hard look at this fight it is more of a marketable fight for this moment in history, not in a few months when the heat will have died down and people will be asking the serious question as to why Joe Schilling, in his prime, is fighting a 38 year old man who has nothing left to prove.

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Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai Makes Successful Comeback With KO Win over Armin Pumpanmuang

  • Published in Muay Thai

Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai was one of the fastest rising stars on the Muay Thai scene but after a run of bad results the 21 year old decided to put his fighting career on the backburner and focus on his studies. On Tuesday night in Bang Saphan he returned to the ring and scored an extremely impressive KO win against veteran light middleweight Armin Pumpanmuang.

It was Yodkhunpon’s first fight under Muay Thai rules since 2013 and his first time fighting at 154 lbs and he looked noticeably slimmer than his opponent. Their matchup was the main event of an outdoor show to celebrate the Songkran festival which also featured Lakhai ‘The Alien' Or Boonchuay on the card.

Yodkhunpon’s last fight was for Glory last June and he dropped a decision to Gabriel Varga but he displayed no signs of ring rust in the opening round. The Sitmonchai star knocked Armin to the ground with a right push kick to the face in the first 30 seconds and seemed to have a clear advantage in terms of speed and skill.

Armin came back strongly in the second stanza and landed a hard head kick which Yodkhunpon to his credit just walked through. The 27 year old from Songkhla suddenly became the aggressor as his younger opponent resorted to attempting wild left hooks which were telegraphed and inevitably missed.

It seemed the tide had turned in Armin’s favour but by round three Yodkhunpon had regained his composure and was starting to control the fight again, albeit in more measured style than the first three minutes. It was developing into an intriguing contest but the end came suddenly after the older fighter leaned back to evade a right body kick.

Armin succeeded in making Yodkhunpon miss completely with the kick, not for the first time in the fight, but he misjudged his proximity to the ropes and ended up bouncing back towards his opponent only to be met with a devastating right uppercut elbow which connected just beneath the left eye.

Armin dropped like a stone and was unconscious for several seconds while there was elation among the contingent in Yodkhunpon’s corner who had travelled down from Kanchanaburi to witness the comeback of the former child prodigy. It was an extremely impressive performance, particularly given the amount of time he has been away from competitive Muay Thai.

Earlier in the evening Lakhai Or Boonchuay went up against a local opponent called Monsawan Tesabanbangsaphannoi who was returning to competitive action after an absence of ten years. Despite the massive disparity in height and reach ‘Alien’ came on strong in the fourth round to win the fight and take the 100,000 Baht side bet.

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Muaythai Mania 8 is coming on April 18th

  • Published in Muay Thai

After it's successful 7th event on Valentine's Day WMC Hungary returns with another show to the location at Szentendre, Hungary well known to the fans. The previous show brough some intense fights in five weight classes and Hungary's first professional female WMC bout!

Muaythai Mania 8 will be the fourth under the WMC umbrella with a more than likely sold out venue. The organizers (Róbert Skrobár of SzVSE) recently managed to sign a contract with one of the leading sports channels of  Hungary the fights will be recorded and a highlight will air soon after the live event.

As we mentioned in an earlier article regarding another show some promotions already started to get a foothold on national sports channels and coverage in general just seems to be increasing in Hungary. A window of opportunity seems to be opening up for bigger and better things. Fight fans might expect a bright future for kickboxing and muay thai in Hungary and we have do have some reasons to be optimistic when looking ahead into the future.

Fight card:
1. Kovács Alexandra (Tong Thai) vs Vaida Masiokaite (Kaunas) 61.24 kg
2. Kisfalvi Milán (SzVSE) vs Ovidijus Jurginas (Kaunas) 82.55 kg
3. Bereczki Dominik (Perfect Fight Club) vs Martynas Jasiunas (Vilnius) 72.58 kg
4. Bakacs Dezső (RFC) vs Ernestas Dapkus (Vilnius) 76.2 kg
5. Lapusnyik László (SzVSE) vs Mantas Rimdeika (Kaunas) 95+ kg
WMC Pro
6. Albrecht Péter (SzVSE) vs Radics Róbert (Simon Gym Fertőszentmiklós) 66.68 kg

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Andy Souwer Returns to the Enfusion Ring This Weekend

  • Published in Kickboxing

In what looks to be one of the better Enfusion Live cards of this year Enfusion presents Enfusion Live 27 this weekend on April 18th from Tenerife, Spain. The main event sees the -95kg Enfusion World title on the line between Moises Baute and champion Mohamed Boubkari and the co-main event sees K-1 legend Andy Souwer square off against Spanish star Jonay Risco.

Spanish living legend Maximo Suarez will take on Frenchman Rafael Llodra and in a pretty huge 70kg bout Amansio Parasciv will take on K-1 vet Elam Ngor.

1.  3X3                                                             - 70 KG 
Ricardo Costa (Portugal) Vs Maikel Garcia (Spain)
2.  3X3                                                             - 54 KG
Anissa Meksen (France) Vs Eva Naranjo (Spain)
3.  3X3                                                             - 70 KG
Amansio Paraschiv (Romania) Vs   Elam Ngor (Senegal)
4.  3X3                                                             - 75 KG
Rafael Llodra (France) Vs Maximo Suarez (Spain)
5.  3X3                                                             - 70 KG
Andy Souwer (The Netherlands) Vs Jonay Risco (Spain)
6.  5X3             Enfusion World Title          - 95 KG
Mohamed Boubkari (Morocco) Vs Moises Baute (Spain)

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Exclusive "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry Liverkick Interview

  • Published in Interviews

 

We had the pleasure to interview none other than Mr. "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry today. Definitely one of the best interviews I've ever had the opportunity to do, his charisma and humor really makes our job easy. We spoke about everything from how he got his nickname to, wedgies, to what he likes to eat and I just had to add some of his voice notes because writing it out just doesn't do it justice. **sorry but audio won't play on mobile devices**

LK: Lets Start with Fight Stats. Height, Weight, Fight Record, Nicknames Etc?

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: How did you get your nickname or many names? 

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: When did you start martial arts/kickboxing and why?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: Was that when you stopped basketball then and what made you stop and start knocking people out?

Chopper: 
Audio and voice recording >>

LK: So, you used to bounce at nightclubs? Give us one of your best stories from those days.

Chopper: 
Audio recording >>

LK: How was the experience with Glory in Dubai?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: What about the upcoming tournament? What do you think of your first opponent Everett Sims and also who you will face in the final?

Chopper: I'm stoked about the tournament! Really looking forward to showing what I have to offer & to get 2 more scalps to my name! Wooha! Everett looks the part but he ain't the part! There's only enough cash in the budget for 1 leading man in this epic motion picture and that's me! Whoever I face in the final is fine with me but I'd prefer to face Vigney so I can show him who's the boss man!

LK: What do you think of Maurice Jackson he says he's also 6 foot 9 but his record on the glory site is 31-0?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: What do you like to do other than training and fighting? Like on your free time?

Chopper: 
Record and upload voice >>

LK: Food you say? What's your favourite food? How about before fights anything specific to eat?

Chopper
Record and upload voice >>

LK: How about after a fight once you win, what does the rest of the night look like?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: I forgot to ask you about ethnicity, I've had probably 10 people ask me what your background was, so I figured this was a good time to ask.

Chopper: I'm like Perseus, the son of a beautiful mortal & a god, haha. My mother is Welsh/Israeli/English. My father is straight up Guyanese. So that makes me some kinda super shit!

LK: One last question and we are done but its 4 questions in one.

1. Hardest puncher you've fought? 

2. Hardest kicker?

3. Hardest fight?

4. Favourite fighter (can be anyone real or fake)

Chopper: 1. Alistair Overeem (technically it was sparring but it may aswell have been a fight lol he goes hard)

2. Alain Ngalani. The guy had rhino legs attached to a gorilla lol.

3. Probably my debut. I completely snapped my 1st & 2nd metacarpal in my hand in the first exchange so I had to fight with a completely fucked hand (haha still won tho)

4. Favourite fighter has gotta be "The Rock". It's fake and all but we all know it's fake yet we STILL watch it. The Rock just has that wow factor.

LK: HAHA perfect anything else you would like to add for fans, sponsors, other fighters etc?

Chopper: Shout out to you guys for having me! My very loyal supporters, nothing but love back at ya. My newly aquired haters, hahaha get used to me, I'm just getting started! My loving family & friends for unrivaled support. My sponsors Golds Gym, Hooligans United & I'm a beast apparel. If you hadn't heard.... "Chopper's Coming!"

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A Look at "The Machine" Andy Ristie Heading Into GLORY 20

  • Published in News

GLORY 20 might already be in the books, but if you are waiting to watch it tonight on Spike TV check out this feature that Shar Williams did on Ristie before GLORY 20.

Is he man, machine or a little of both? To fans around the world, Andy Ristie is "The Machine", a man with a fighter's heart and who is guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat while watching one of his match-ups. Beginning with his Glory debut in 2012, Ristie has blazed up the lightweight ranks leaving a path of destruction in his wake.

Since 2007, Ristie has faced Hinata Watanabe, Gago Drago, Albert Kraus, Niclas Larsen and of course, "The Doctor" Giorgio Petrosyan. His match-up against Petrosyan left crowds stunned in New York's Madison Square Garden in 2013, as Ristie dethroned Petrosyan during the lightweight world championship tournament and gifted Petrosyan with his first knock out ever. This defense again Kiria in Zagreb ended his reign. Risitie however takes this loss in stride, indicating that there were some problems in his corner and with his coaching. What Ristie, however, does not make is excuses. By Glory 19 in Virginia, Ristie was renewed. Having meticulously examined his loss and preparing for the future, Ristie was ready to begin his ascension again. And begin again he did with a decisive TKO victor in the first round again Steve Moxon.

But who is Andy Ristie, some of you might ask? Who is the man, who in such a short time has taken the kickboxing world by storm and endeared fan to him across the globe? After sitting down with Ristie and his team, I'm not sure if I can even answer that question. Sitting down with Andy, he exudes a warmth but also a sense of determination. He easily states that he's not afraid to fight anyone and will address the matches as they are presented to him. He's reflective when speaking of his loss to Davit Kiria, but in that reflection is also an analysis of how that fight went wrong for him and what he can do better in the future. Ristie states that he normally walks around at approximately 75kg, so cutting weight is not an issue for him and finally he expresses a willingness to try to things and take on new opponents irreguardless of their styles and exprerience. One tidbit of infomation I was able to glean from my converstaion with Ristie was that he came into kickboxing far later than most. Goes to show you that whether you start at age four or age twenty-two, if it's meant to be so it shall be. And this is Andy Ristie.

On pure stylistic terms, Ristie is a force to be reckoned with. In addtion to being taller than most of his opponents he has extremely long legs and arms often giving him an advantage to him against his opponents. Ristie's style is unorthodox and while he mgiht face the same opponent more than once I have to wonder if even they know what to expect. Last, but not least, Ristie likes to go for the knockout and his play between offensive and defensive maneuvers is something that has frequently led to that end.

Now onward to Glory 20 in Dubai where he is set for his second meeting with Robin van Roosmalen. Who will be the victor? Some say van Roosmalen, some say Ristie. Of what I am certain is that both men will get in that ring and give the fans everything they have!

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Dave Walsh's Second Novel -- Terminus Cycle -- Available Now

  • Published in News

I'll keep this short because I always feel terrible posting about my own stuff on here (even though I own the site, weird, right?), but my second novel is available now.

It's called Terminus Cycle and is a grand departure from my first. The first was about a professional fighter but I've kind of moved away from that in a big way to start a science fiction series. If you are interested it is available now via Kindle or Paperback.

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Ten Questions with Lion Fight 21's Kevin Ross

  • Published in Interviews

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll get the pleasure of watching one of the biggest rematches in Lion Fight history at Lion Fight 21. Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamato had a knock down, drag out brawl at Lion Fight 11 and on Friday evening they will have a rematch that has the muay thai world buzzing. We asked Kevin Ross ten questions before his big fight and got his opinion on time off, the rematch and how Joe Schilling is doing.

LK: The first fight with Tetsuya Yamato saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and both of you looking fantastic regardless of who won or lost. Since the last fight you’ve both been on a winning streak, Yamato defeating Sagetdao and Masaaki Noiri, you Embree, Mauceri and Thompson. The big difference is that his fights were in kickboxing, do you think that gives you an edge?

Yamato has more of a kickboxing style anyway so it's not really that big a deal to go back and forth, although he does like to fling those elbows hahaha

LK: The Yamato loss ended 2013 for you as 2-2, but 2014 saw you go 3-0, was that important for you to have such a streak before fighting Yamato again?

KR: Not really, I don't dwell on wins/losses, I'm more concerned with the improvements I've made and the performances I've put on

LK: Who had the idea to fight again, was it you, Yamato or Lion Fight who pushed for it?

KR: I'm sure it was a bit of all 3. It was a great fight and good for everyone so we all want to do it again 

LK: Is it possible for this rematch to live up to the hype, or are you kind of hoping to have an easier time with this fight and less of a knock-down, drag-out, grueling affair?

KR: I want all my fights to be ones that go down in history as great, I always want people to be entertained and as long as they are than I'm happy. I don't think you can ever really compare fights, as they are so unique and different in their own ways 

LK: You’ve had some time off since your last fight, was it important for you to get some rest after being as busy as you were after you returned from your injury?

KR: No, I hate time off and never want it, it was out of my hands unfortunately. I'm sure that my body and brain were happy to have a break but I always want to be as active as possible 

LK: How does it feel to see one of your good friends in Joe Schilling having the level of success that he’s had both in the kickboxing world and MMA arena over the past few years?

KR: I couldn't be happier for him! I'm a Muay Thai purist and will always prefer it but seeing him active and doing so well is wonderful 

LK: Do you still have the itch to try out kickboxing now that it is taking off a bit more in the United States or are you focused on muay thai for now?

KR: I've been focused on Muay Thai since day one, it's my true love, it's my passion and will always prefer it to any other type of fighting but as long as I'm in there than that's good enough for me

LK: What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned fighting over the past few years since your return from your knee injury and your profile being on the rise like it is?

KR: I'd say that no matter what struggles lay in front of you they can either be set backs or set ups for further progression, it's just a matter of how you look at them. When bad things happen I view them as tests to see if I really want something. You either overcome them or quit. They show you who people truly are. That's something I've always known, these last few years just instilled those things in me further. 

 

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Five Questions With Lion Fight 21's Tiffany Van Soest

  • Published in Interviews

This Friday evening on AXS TV Lion Fight 21 will be airing live from Los Angeles. The event is set to feature some of Lion Fight's top talents including a co-main event bout between Tiffany Van Soest and Chajma Bellekhal. We spoke with Tiffany during her busy week and got to ask her a few of the burning questions, from talk about the fight this weekend to her last fight in Enfusion.

LK: Women’s fighting has really taken off in a big way over the past few years thanks to the UFC, Invicta and even yourself in Lion Fight, how does it feel to be one of the more-talked about women in combat sports? 

VS: I really don’t feel that Muay Thai gets as much recognition as it deserves. MMA is HUGE and only getting bigger so it tends to cast a shadow over Muay Thai, however it is an honor to be considered one of the best at what I do. I don’t really think that I am talked about that much since I am a Muay Thai fighter and if I am talked about, it is usually about my transition to MMA. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating because although I have poured my heart and soul into Muay Thai. I appreciate that my skills are respected, but I wish people would appreciate Muay Thai for Muay Thai instead of thinking about how I would do in MMA.

LK: How important is it to you to get your rematch down the line for a shot to get your Lion Fight championship back? 

VS: I’m just taking it one fight at a time for now. I know Scott and Christine at Lion Fight will give me my title shot back when they feel the time is right. I know I have already earned it with 4 (soon to be 5) not only wins, but dominant performances since losing my title. It’s only a matter of time.

LK: How was your experience fighting Denise Kielholtz in Enfusion? They use really interesting and different rules compared to most Dutch kickboxing with there being a focus on throws, did it throw you off at all? 

It was a great experience. I got to kickbox in the mecca of kickboxing. And being of Dutch descent, it was really cool to see Holland and meet some of my extended family. The rules of Enfusion totally favored Denise’s style and judo background, but it made no difference to me. I went to her home country and fought under her rules. The throws did throw me off a little (no pun intended). I was hesitant to close the gap because I knew she would try to grab me and throw me when I got close enough. No losses though, just lessons. Of course i’m disappointed I walked away without the title or the win, but overall it was still a great experience. Denise is an amazing fighter.

LK: Where would a win over Bellekhal place you in the division right now, you think? 

VS: I already know I’m at the top of the division. A win will just solidify that even more.

LK: After your experience with Enfusion are you looking to try fighting outside of muay thai again any time soon in kickboxing or MMA, or sticking to muay thai for now? 

VS: Muay Thai it is. My commitment and contractual obligations are with Lion Fight right now.

 

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New Japan on AXS TV Tonight Features Tanahashi vs. Nakamura

  • Published in News

Sure, it's not explicitly kickboxing but we'll always be riding the fact that K-1's roots were in Japanese professional wrestling to the grave.

Tonight on AXS TV they'll be airing another episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling, this time it'll be from the January 4th Tokyo Dome event back in 2014. The match? Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. If you watched this year's Dome show you were probably let down by a lack of pomp and ridiculous entrances, but last year's Dome show they went all out. 

Be prepared for huge entrances for both guys and for Tanahashi to have a reason to play air guitar for once. Of course it is a good match, not the best match of 2014, but one of the best spectacles for sure. It was also an important match considering the fans voted for it to be the main event over the IWGP Title match between Okada and Naito. Tanahashi and Nakamura are the two top guys in New Japan and while they've met a ton of times (Mauro gives the precise number during the call, including tags it is insanity), it is always a special occasion.

AXS does things right when it comes to the presentation. While we all hated those goofy ads that they initially ran for NJPW on AXS, the actual shows themselves are well-presented and the match is bookended by interviews, video packages and storyline context. Mauro and Barnett are as solid as ever and really help to make the match feel as big as it is. So tune in tonight and don't miss this one because it's a big one.

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Nieky Holzken

  • Published in Interviews

Nieky Holzken has not only been an unstoppable force in Glory lately but also was a big part in the two most viewed Glory cards to date. So it seemed only natural that we should sit down and have a little talk with him about all his recent success.

LK: Hello Nieky, thank you for taking the time for this interview. How has everything been since we saw you last in Virginia?

NH: hello yeah I'm fine training is going well.

LK: Lets start from the beginning, what age did you start Kickboxing, where did you start and what made you start?

NH: i start when i was 10 because of the movie Kickboxer in a gym called Yamaneko.

LK: What are your Current fight stats height, weight, record, etc?

NH: im 183cm 77 kg 103fights/92/11/53ko's

LK: How and who gave you the Nickname "The Natural"?

NH: Mike Passenier from Mike's Gym after a fight in England.

LK: What do you like to do during your time away from the gym?

NH: gaming, watching movies

LK: Even though you had a few Pro boxing fights last year, and a kickboxing fight in December, you said you still felt a bit rusty against Stetsurenko can you explain this?

NH: yeah he was a strong guy and i keep in mind that i have to fight a final

LK: How nice did it feel to get back in the Glory ring after one year, not only once but twice in one night so you could totally knock off the ring rust?

NH: yeah it feel great, I did what I had to do.

LK: Give me your honest opinion, did Raymond Daniels get up from your knockdowns more times than you expected? Also how did you feel about the ref giving you an 8 count in that fight?

NH: yeah he has good heart to come up every, time respect for him. But I don't deserve the 8 count I slipped and stand up very fast and it didn't hurt me.

LK: I'm sure you heard that both the #1 and #2 most viewed Glory events are Tokyo, and Virginia which both included you, what do you think about this?

NH: its luck i'm guessing haha

LK: One thing i've been wondering lately about your career is what is the difference between the Nieky Holzken at 70kgs as opposed to 77kgs, I've always noticed you are much more dominant at the heavier weight, is it the weight cut?

NH: yeah its the weight cut that was my biggest fights

LK: We all know that your next Glory fight will be against Valtellini, we just aren't sure when yet. Do you have any other fights planned in the meantime?

NH: yeah two fights in boxing april 19 and 24 may

LK: Valtellini has been very outspoken about fighting you on social media since his close victory over Mark De Bonte even though you have already knocked him out. I spoke to some of your family about this in Virginia, but I think you should tell all the fans how you feel about Valtellini, don't hold back.

NH: yeah Valtelinni says hes the champ and that he expects more from the next time we meet so he will get more much more.

LK: How was training in America with the Blackzillians compared to training in Holland?

NH: yeah the same because I train only with my trainer.

LK: What does the future hold for "The Natural"? Possible Pro boxing career? have there actually been talks with Showtime signing you?

NH: I concentrate a lot on boxing. I didn't hear anything about showtime I wish haha.

LK: Last question is 4 questions I ask everyone, Hardest Puncher you've fought? 

NH: I don't now really i fought so much 

LK: Hardest Kicker you've fought? 

NH: Buakaw

LK: Hardest Fight? 

NH: It was a B class amatuer fight against Ali Mogtagari I won by KO but got two eight counts myself haha

LK: Your favourite fighter? 

NH: Ramon Dekker/Mike Tyson

LK: Thank you so Much Nieky for this interview is there anything else you would like to say to your fans, sponsors, etc?

NH: I want to thank all the fans for support, love you all and my family and sponsor they will keep me going ush.

LK: Well I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to watch your next fight for the Glory title and I wish you all the best for the future.

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Gabriel Varga

  • Published in Interviews

We caught up with Glory's #3 ranked featherweight Gabriel Varga after a sparring session at WKX with fellow Glory fighter Josh Jauncey. He is deep into his training camp for his Glory featherweight title fight against Mosab Amrani at Glory 20 in Dubai and is feeling great. Gabriel is always a man of few words and attracts all his fans with his exciting style in the ring but it was great to hear him open up to us more than usual.

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VIDEO: Tyrone Spong Successful in Boxing Debut with Vicious KO

  • Published in Video

Well, that was quick.

Tyrone Spong made his professional Boxing debut today in Germany against, well, some guy. His opponent was Gabor Farkas who has had 41 professional boxing fights before tonight and had won seven of those. You do the math. He was no match for the King of the Ring, though, with the fight ending pretty quickly with a vicious knockout.

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Dave Walsh's Second Novel -- Terminus Cycle -- Launching on March 24th

  • Published in News

Terminus Cycle by Dave Walsh

So really, what's the point of owning and operating a site that gets a lot of traffic if I'm not allowed to advertise on it myself, right? I know how much I charge other people for it and I know that most of them walk away happy with it. So bear with me a minute because no, this is not about kickboxing. Instead it's about me. I know that your gut reaction is either, "ugh, fuck you" or "oh cool." I appreciate either one, at least you are thinking about me, right?

If you'll remember far back into the depths of history you'll remember that I released my first novel back in 2013. It was called "The Godslayer" and it was about a retired MMA fighter coping with life after his retirement when his legacy was beginning to fade and tarnish. I know that I'm kind of a nihilist and that a lot of you thought that it was a bleak outlook on MMA, but it's two years later and from the feedback that I've gotten I can gather that some actually agree now. "The Godslayer" was more of a test than anything else. I wanted to see how much interest that I could drum up and did things as low budget as I could.

This week the pre-order for my next novel went live on Amazon. It is called "Terminus Cycle" and it is entirely different from "The Godslayer." Nothing to do with professional fighting and is instead the beginning of a series of science fiction novels that I plan to release over the next few years. A lot of time and [my own] money went into this, but I'm excited about it. I know that the crossover for this is probably not that great, but still, I know that there are some nerds out there like myself so I urge you to check it out if it sounds like something you'd be interested in. 

It launched on March 24th on Amazon's Kindle, you can pre-order it here. You can also check out a sample chapter on my personal website if you are interested but unsure if its for you.

As always I thank you for your support and thank you for sticking with us over the years. 

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K-1

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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GLORY 22 Card and Information Leaked

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 21 might be a week away but that doesn't mean that GLORY isn't preparing well into the future. Earlier today images began circulating for GLORY 22, including an almost complete fight card and location. It looks like GLORY will return to Europe in June and that it'll be in France. The event will be headlined by GLORY Heavyweight Champion defending against a still-unnamed challenger and a huge Lightweight tournament to top things off.

Interesting additions like Freddy Kemayo, Verlinden fighting back at Light Heavyweight and that awesome tournament definitely stand out.

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Glory 21 Full Fight Card and Breakdown

  • Published in Glory

Glory 21 will be taking place in just 2 weeks time and the full card including super fights has now been announced. So what better time is there to breakdown some of fights?

Apart from the middleweight title fight it seems that Glory has brought in lots of new fighters for this show to test themselves in the Glory ring and hope a new North American star will emerge. Its really great they are giving opportunities for people to fight on a big promotion and on Live TV considering how hard it is to get noticed in Kickboxing.

Anyway on to the fights, lets start with the middleweight title fight between the champ Artem Levin and the challenger Simon Marcus. They have already fought each other once in 2009 at Lion Fight 9 with Muay Thai rules and Marcus won a very close fight with I'd say at least 70% of the fight taking in the clinch. After watching this fight again recently I really felt that Artem did not look himself at all, now this could very well be due to Simon's style in which case he will give him just as much trouble again. The Glory rules will not allow clinching for such extended periods of time but in their first fight Levin was initiating the clinch just as much as Marcus was and was even winning the clinch early in the fight, but what Artem stopped doing was moving. Simon Marcus is always going to move forward and if Levin moves straight back and doesn't fight like his usual self where he uses lots of angles he will risk losing a decision again. I am certain that Artem Levin has wanted this rematch with Kickboxing rules for some time, he has probably watched the first fight 100 times and knows exactly where he went wrong, now if he can overcome Simon's pressure and fight like he has been recently I am fairly confident he will remain the champion... But Simon Marcus ALWAYS seems to prove me wrong.

On to the Co-main event Ramond Daniels vs Justin Baesman, we won't spend too much time on this fight. Baesman has an MMA record of 16 wins and 7 losses with 4 wins by KO, according to the Glory site he is 17-6-1 in kickboxing but I can't seem to find any of his kickboxing fights. Pretty sure we can expect another wicked highlight reel KO from Mr. Daniels.

Now the heavyweight tournament which was supposed to be an all American affair with Xavier Vigney, Maurice Jackson, and Everett Sims but it seems that the big Englishman "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry has infiltrated the tournament after his 15 second KO at Glory 20.

Xavier Vigney vs. Maurice Jackson is a bit of a strange situation, at this point most kickboxing fans have seen or at least head of Vigney especially in America, he has solid boxing basics and of course he is a big dude so has KO power in both hands. Maurice Jackson also is a huge man at 6"9 and 275lbs his record on the Glory site is 31-0 with 23 ko's but once again I can only find one of his MMA fights online so they must be amateur. His MMA record is 2 wins 1 loss and 3 no contests, which leads me to believe we may see something strange during this fight. I'm going to go with Vigney by KO or DQ for this one.

Everett Sims vs "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry is interesting since we have a fresh image of both fighters from 2 previous Glory events. Sims who fought Vigney on Glory 19 didn't look too bad until Vigney started to swarm him and then he just started to turtle up. As for Chopper he just swarmed his opponent instantly and KO'd him in 15 seconds at Glory 20, just looking at these two variables it seems like a pretty rough match up for Sims, I'm going to predict an Xavier Vigney vs Chi Lewis-Parry final.

As for the super fights, Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva could easily be the fight of the night. Both guys always bring everything they have to the ring, and never have boring fights. I'm pretty sure a win for Adegbuyi should put him very close if not inline for a shot at Rico Verhoeven's belt. Both of these guys are very technical heavyweights with knockout power and great combos, I would personally lean towards a decision win for Benny just because he is the younger, Hungrier fighter.

Full card

Main Card on Spike TV

Middleweight Title Fight: Artem Levin vs. Simon Marcus

Welterweight Co-Headline Bout: Raymond Daniels vs. Justin Baesman

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final: Chi Lewis-Parry vs. Everett Sims

Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final: Xavier Vigney vs. Maurice Jackson

Middleweight Armed Forces Bout: Devin Goodale vs. Kyle Stewart

Super Fights

Heavyweight: Benjamin Adegbuyi vs. Anderson "Braddock" Silva

Welterweight: Omari Boyd vs. James Steelesmith

Lightweight: Luis Castaneda vs. Ken Tran

Middleweight: Mike Lemaire vs. Armin Mrkanovic

 

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Errol Zimmerman Taking Sabbatical From Kickboxing for Boxing

  • Published in Glory

It was perhaps a bit anticlimactic how the rematch between GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven and Errol Zimmerman ended at GLORY 20, but it's hard to ignore the impact that it'll have for the coming years in the Heavyweight division in kickboxing. The fight ended with Zimmerman down on the mat, grasping at his knee in what was a worst case scenario for a warrior like him. Zimmerman is a guy who prides himself as being tough and if he's going to lose a fight he's going to actually lose it, not go down to injury. Yet that is exactly what happened.

We knew that Zimmerman would be out for a while, but it looks like Zimmerman will be taking a year off from kickboxing and much like Tyrone Spong who suffered a horrific leg injury against Gokhan Saki last year, Zimmerman will be returning to the ring as soon as he's healthy but will be doing so in professional boxing instead of kickboxing. 

In an interview with Dutch FunX Zimmerman announced that he will need to take at least a year off from kickboxing to heal up his knee, but that he doesn't intend to just sit idly by and wait to return to the ring. Instead he'll focus on professional boxing much like we've seen from the likes of other GLORY stars like Marc de Bonte, Nieky Holzken and Tyrone Spong. Here's hoping that all goes well with his recovery and we get to see him in the ring again soon, even if it is a boxing ring.

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GLORY Confirms That Phil Baroni Turned Down Schilling Fight at GLORY 21

  • Published in Glory

If you were looking forward to the Twitter clash of the titans turning into a kickboxing fight at GLORY 21 between Joe Schilling and Phil Baroni you'll be in for a bit of a disappointment today. As reported by our bud Michael Stets over at MMAMania, Phil Baroni has turned down the fight with Joe Schilling due to not feeling that there was enough time for him to prepare for the fight. 

It's a contrast from the words that Baroni was slinging over the past few days, but it looks like Baroni is asking for a full fight camp heading into a fight with Schilling. If we are honest with ourselves here, it's not asking too much to want a full camp before fighting Schilling in what would be considered his home turf of the GLORY ring, but then again, the beef was started by Baroni. Baroni does want this fight to happen in the future, but if we take a long, hard look at this fight it is more of a marketable fight for this moment in history, not in a few months when the heat will have died down and people will be asking the serious question as to why Joe Schilling, in his prime, is fighting a 38 year old man who has nothing left to prove.

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Phil Baroni and Joe Schilling Beef Leading to a Possible Grudge Match

  • Published in Glory

If you were looking for a major lure for GLORY 21 and hadn't found it just yet this might be right up your alley. Joe Schilling stepped into the Bellator cage for the second time on Friday evening and while he demonstrated just how diverse his MMA game has become, he dropped what many considered a controversial decision to Rafael Carvalho. Seemingly out of nowhere, Phil Baroni decided to kick Schilling while he was down via Twitter and things got ugly in a hurry.



Usually that would be the end of this, but GLORY is still looking to fill out the rest of their GLORY 21 card and has an open spot in the co-main event right now. GLORY's CEO Jon J. Franklin took to Twitter and confirmed that they would be happy to house a fight between Baroni and Schilling.

We know that GLORY has been looking for a big fight for this card and was looking to book Bill Goldberg against Alberto el Patron/Del Rio, only for Goldberg to turn it down. Phil Baroni is an experienced MMA fighter who has recently been making the transition to professional wrestling, rumored to be a part of WWE's upcoming Tough Enough reality series. Schilling has far more experience at a higher level when it comes to kickboxing, although it is hard to argue against the experience that Baroni has had throughout his career. Baroni is also 38 years old and is transitioning away from professional fighting. 

Essentially this is not the fight for either man in their respective careers right now, but professional fighting tends to lack these big grudge matches and GLORY is clearly seeing the dollar signs and media attention that this could garner for them and is ready to hop onto it.

What do you think? Is this the right move for GLORY or should they hold course and err on the side of caution when it comes to fights like this?

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GLORY 20 Ratings Falter But Show Signs of Hope

  • Published in Glory

In this modern age of the internet where live events are happening all around the world and being reported on in real-time it is often difficult to present an event on tape delay while retaining the excitement of a live sporting event. The magic of live sports is hard to recapture and many fight fans feel the same way when it comes to watching combat sports events on tape delay. Hell, Ariel Helwani on this week's episode of the MMA Hour even said that he didn't bother to watch because he doesn't like tape delay. 

So that's the kind of mindset that GLORY 20 had working against it. That being said, there was some good to take with the bad on the ratings for the event considering it being on an hour later than usual, airing via tape delay and losing the big draw of Pat Barry just a few weeks prior. According to Sports TV Ratings GLORY 20 averaged 359,000 viewers, which is down from GLORY 19's 528,000 considerably. While lower than usual, it was not the lowest ratings that GLORY have seen yet and actually beat out ESPN2's Friday Night Fights handily. 

The good to take away from this is that from what we've seen 350,000 viewers for GLORY on Spike seems to be the baseline, which for a sport that is relatively new to a major market like this is not a bad number at all. In the future, though, I would like to see GLORY veer away from these kinds of events that will end up on tape delay unless Spike TV is willing to air it live as well. While it's nice to claim to be a global promotion if the cost is running a show that didn't particularly draw much attention in the area and hurt ratings I don't think that it's worth the risk moving forward. 

While I'm sure that there were good reasons to run in Dubai (working with a local promoter, possible investment opportunities, etc.), it turned out to be a bit of a bust and if GLORY is truly dedicated to success in the United States market then they need to veer away from these prestige events in major international hubs unless they know that it will be a grand slam. 

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Glory 20 Live Results *SPOILERS*

  • Published in Glory

Glory 20 is live STREAM INFO HERE. It will be played on tape delay in about 10 hours on SPIKE TV so if you are going to watch it then avoid scrolling down to see results.

GLORY 20 MAIN CARD

Lightweight Title Bout:(C) Robin van Roosmalen def. Andy Ristie by Unanimous Dec

Middleweight Tournament Final: Simon Marcus def. Jason Wilnis by Unanimous Dec

Featherweight Title Bout: Gabriel Varga def. Mosab Amrani by Unanimous Dec

Middleweight Tournament semifinal: Jason Wilnis def Alex Pereira by Unanimous Dec

Middleweight Tournament semifinal: Simon Marcus def. Wayne Barrett by Unanimous Dec

GLORY SUPERFIGHT SERIES

Light heavyweight bout: Saulo Cavalari def. Artem Vakhitov by Split Dec

Light heavyweight bout: Mourad Bouzidi def. Dustin Jacoby by Unanimous Dec

Heavyweight bout: Chi Lewis Parry def. Yong-Su Park by KO Rd 1 (left uppercut)

Middleweight bout: Samir Boukhidous def. Mikhail Chalykh by TKO Rd 1 (right hand)

Welterweight bout: Chad Sugden def. Atakan Arslan by Unanimous Dec

Lightweight bout: Anatoly Moiseev def. Max Baumert by KO Rd 1 (right head kick)

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Check Out Kountermove's GLORY 20 Offerings

  • Published in Glory

On Friday in Duabi GLORY 20 is set to go down featuring two world title fights and a huge Middleweight contender's tournament. Seriously, two world title fights on Spike TV, that is a pretty big deal. Robin van Roosmalen will look to defend the GLORY Lightweight championship against Andy Ristie and Gabriel Varga will fight Mosab Amrani for the vacant GLORY Featherweight title. Oh yeah and there is a Middleweight contender's tournament featuring Wayne Barrett, Simon Marcus, Jason Wilnis and Alex Pereira. 

If you are looking to test your mettle against the field when it comes to GLORY 20 look no further than on Kountermove where they have a variety of games up right now, including a $.10 to win $10 game, $.50 to win $100 game and $10 to win $400 game if you are feeling lucky. The first two are relatively no-brainers, you just sign up, add a small bit of money into your account and you can win actual money with that. Not a bad way to spend a few bucks, I'd say.

So let's take a look at some solid bets here.

  • Easy Money
  • Andy Ristie ($4800) -- It's not that Robin van Roosmalen doesn't have a chance to defend his title, it is that Andy Ristie is that damned good. The way that he moves, the angles that he uses, the way he's able to figure out his opponent and throw them off of his game all mixed in with his raw power makes him a beast to contend with. These two are dead even on Kountermove right now and you'd be silly to pick Robin here.
  • The Underdog
  • Artem Vakhitov ($4400) -- I think that Saulo Cavalari is amazing, but sadly for him, Artem Vakhitov might be a little bit more amazing. The fact that he's the underdog going into this fight is kind of crazy to me because Vakhitov is really the complete package for somebody as young as he is. I'd pick Vakhitov no matter what in this, but as an underdog? My god.
  • Too Close to Call
  • The Entire Tournament -- Look, this tournament is close and the values reflect that. My instincts tell me that Alex Pereira at $5300 takes the whole thing but then again, that doesn't feel like a safe bet at all because it's a tournament and anything can happen. Anything can happen and probably will happen. 
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GLORY 20 Stream Information

  • Published in Glory

On Friday in Dubai GLORY 20 will take place on Friday. If you just can't wait then you can access the PPV streams for this event; one for the SuperFight Series and one for GLORY 20 proper.

The SuperFight Series begins at 10:30am Eastern time and GLORY 20 at 1pm Eastern. It is geo-blocked in the US and ex-Yugoslavia. So yeah, sorry.

SuperFight Series
GLORY 20
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Bill Goldberg Presents GLORY's Top Ten Knockouts This Friday on Spike TV

  • Published in Glory

It didn't take long for GLORY to get Bill Goldberg involved with the organization now, did it? This Friday, March 27th on Spike TV, GLORY will air GLORY's Top Ten Knockouts and it will be hosted by none other than Bill Goldberg. This behind-the-scenes footage shows Goldberg in his gym, training as well as talking about kickboxing and his love for the sport, the GLORY product and how there is no way that a combat sports fan who gives GLORY a chance would be able to turn it off.

It's interesting to see GLORY embracing professional wrestling like this considering that the UFC would have never gotten huge if it wasn't for The Ultimate Fighter directly following Monday Night Raw on Spike TV. Lots of combat sports purists might hate wrestling, but if Bill Goldberg can draw eyes to GLORY we'll take it.

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Exclusive "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry Liverkick Interview

  • Published in Interviews

 

We had the pleasure to interview none other than Mr. "Chopper" Chi Lewis-Parry today. Definitely one of the best interviews I've ever had the opportunity to do, his charisma and humor really makes our job easy. We spoke about everything from how he got his nickname to, wedgies, to what he likes to eat and I just had to add some of his voice notes because writing it out just doesn't do it justice. **sorry but audio won't play on mobile devices**

LK: Lets Start with Fight Stats. Height, Weight, Fight Record, Nicknames Etc?

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: How did you get your nickname or many names? 

Chopper: 
Record audio or upload mp3 >>

LK: When did you start martial arts/kickboxing and why?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: Was that when you stopped basketball then and what made you stop and start knocking people out?

Chopper: 
Audio and voice recording >>

LK: So, you used to bounce at nightclubs? Give us one of your best stories from those days.

Chopper: 
Audio recording >>

LK: How was the experience with Glory in Dubai?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: What about the upcoming tournament? What do you think of your first opponent Everett Sims and also who you will face in the final?

Chopper: I'm stoked about the tournament! Really looking forward to showing what I have to offer & to get 2 more scalps to my name! Wooha! Everett looks the part but he ain't the part! There's only enough cash in the budget for 1 leading man in this epic motion picture and that's me! Whoever I face in the final is fine with me but I'd prefer to face Vigney so I can show him who's the boss man!

LK: What do you think of Maurice Jackson he says he's also 6 foot 9 but his record on the glory site is 31-0?

Chopper: 
Audio recording software >>

LK: What do you like to do other than training and fighting? Like on your free time?

Chopper: 
Record and upload voice >>

LK: Food you say? What's your favourite food? How about before fights anything specific to eat?

Chopper
Record and upload voice >>

LK: How about after a fight once you win, what does the rest of the night look like?

Chopper: 
Record music with Vocaroo >>

LK: I forgot to ask you about ethnicity, I've had probably 10 people ask me what your background was, so I figured this was a good time to ask.

Chopper: I'm like Perseus, the son of a beautiful mortal & a god, haha. My mother is Welsh/Israeli/English. My father is straight up Guyanese. So that makes me some kinda super shit!

LK: One last question and we are done but its 4 questions in one.

1. Hardest puncher you've fought? 

2. Hardest kicker?

3. Hardest fight?

4. Favourite fighter (can be anyone real or fake)

Chopper: 1. Alistair Overeem (technically it was sparring but it may aswell have been a fight lol he goes hard)

2. Alain Ngalani. The guy had rhino legs attached to a gorilla lol.

3. Probably my debut. I completely snapped my 1st & 2nd metacarpal in my hand in the first exchange so I had to fight with a completely fucked hand (haha still won tho)

4. Favourite fighter has gotta be "The Rock". It's fake and all but we all know it's fake yet we STILL watch it. The Rock just has that wow factor.

LK: HAHA perfect anything else you would like to add for fans, sponsors, other fighters etc?

Chopper: Shout out to you guys for having me! My very loyal supporters, nothing but love back at ya. My newly aquired haters, hahaha get used to me, I'm just getting started! My loving family & friends for unrivaled support. My sponsors Golds Gym, Hooligans United & I'm a beast apparel. If you hadn't heard.... "Chopper's Coming!"

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Five Questions With Lion Fight 21's Tiffany Van Soest

  • Published in Interviews

This Friday evening on AXS TV Lion Fight 21 will be airing live from Los Angeles. The event is set to feature some of Lion Fight's top talents including a co-main event bout between Tiffany Van Soest and Chajma Bellekhal. We spoke with Tiffany during her busy week and got to ask her a few of the burning questions, from talk about the fight this weekend to her last fight in Enfusion.

LK: Women’s fighting has really taken off in a big way over the past few years thanks to the UFC, Invicta and even yourself in Lion Fight, how does it feel to be one of the more-talked about women in combat sports? 

VS: I really don’t feel that Muay Thai gets as much recognition as it deserves. MMA is HUGE and only getting bigger so it tends to cast a shadow over Muay Thai, however it is an honor to be considered one of the best at what I do. I don’t really think that I am talked about that much since I am a Muay Thai fighter and if I am talked about, it is usually about my transition to MMA. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating because although I have poured my heart and soul into Muay Thai. I appreciate that my skills are respected, but I wish people would appreciate Muay Thai for Muay Thai instead of thinking about how I would do in MMA.

LK: How important is it to you to get your rematch down the line for a shot to get your Lion Fight championship back? 

VS: I’m just taking it one fight at a time for now. I know Scott and Christine at Lion Fight will give me my title shot back when they feel the time is right. I know I have already earned it with 4 (soon to be 5) not only wins, but dominant performances since losing my title. It’s only a matter of time.

LK: How was your experience fighting Denise Kielholtz in Enfusion? They use really interesting and different rules compared to most Dutch kickboxing with there being a focus on throws, did it throw you off at all? 

It was a great experience. I got to kickbox in the mecca of kickboxing. And being of Dutch descent, it was really cool to see Holland and meet some of my extended family. The rules of Enfusion totally favored Denise’s style and judo background, but it made no difference to me. I went to her home country and fought under her rules. The throws did throw me off a little (no pun intended). I was hesitant to close the gap because I knew she would try to grab me and throw me when I got close enough. No losses though, just lessons. Of course i’m disappointed I walked away without the title or the win, but overall it was still a great experience. Denise is an amazing fighter.

LK: Where would a win over Bellekhal place you in the division right now, you think? 

VS: I already know I’m at the top of the division. A win will just solidify that even more.

LK: After your experience with Enfusion are you looking to try fighting outside of muay thai again any time soon in kickboxing or MMA, or sticking to muay thai for now? 

VS: Muay Thai it is. My commitment and contractual obligations are with Lion Fight right now.

 

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Ten Questions with Lion Fight 21's Kevin Ross

  • Published in Interviews

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll get the pleasure of watching one of the biggest rematches in Lion Fight history at Lion Fight 21. Kevin Ross and Tetsuya Yamato had a knock down, drag out brawl at Lion Fight 11 and on Friday evening they will have a rematch that has the muay thai world buzzing. We asked Kevin Ross ten questions before his big fight and got his opinion on time off, the rematch and how Joe Schilling is doing.

LK: The first fight with Tetsuya Yamato saw a lot of action, a lot of blood and both of you looking fantastic regardless of who won or lost. Since the last fight you’ve both been on a winning streak, Yamato defeating Sagetdao and Masaaki Noiri, you Embree, Mauceri and Thompson. The big difference is that his fights were in kickboxing, do you think that gives you an edge?

Yamato has more of a kickboxing style anyway so it's not really that big a deal to go back and forth, although he does like to fling those elbows hahaha

LK: The Yamato loss ended 2013 for you as 2-2, but 2014 saw you go 3-0, was that important for you to have such a streak before fighting Yamato again?

KR: Not really, I don't dwell on wins/losses, I'm more concerned with the improvements I've made and the performances I've put on

LK: Who had the idea to fight again, was it you, Yamato or Lion Fight who pushed for it?

KR: I'm sure it was a bit of all 3. It was a great fight and good for everyone so we all want to do it again 

LK: Is it possible for this rematch to live up to the hype, or are you kind of hoping to have an easier time with this fight and less of a knock-down, drag-out, grueling affair?

KR: I want all my fights to be ones that go down in history as great, I always want people to be entertained and as long as they are than I'm happy. I don't think you can ever really compare fights, as they are so unique and different in their own ways 

LK: You’ve had some time off since your last fight, was it important for you to get some rest after being as busy as you were after you returned from your injury?

KR: No, I hate time off and never want it, it was out of my hands unfortunately. I'm sure that my body and brain were happy to have a break but I always want to be as active as possible 

LK: How does it feel to see one of your good friends in Joe Schilling having the level of success that he’s had both in the kickboxing world and MMA arena over the past few years?

KR: I couldn't be happier for him! I'm a Muay Thai purist and will always prefer it but seeing him active and doing so well is wonderful 

LK: Do you still have the itch to try out kickboxing now that it is taking off a bit more in the United States or are you focused on muay thai for now?

KR: I've been focused on Muay Thai since day one, it's my true love, it's my passion and will always prefer it to any other type of fighting but as long as I'm in there than that's good enough for me

LK: What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned fighting over the past few years since your return from your knee injury and your profile being on the rise like it is?

KR: I'd say that no matter what struggles lay in front of you they can either be set backs or set ups for further progression, it's just a matter of how you look at them. When bad things happen I view them as tests to see if I really want something. You either overcome them or quit. They show you who people truly are. That's something I've always known, these last few years just instilled those things in me further. 

 

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Nieky Holzken

  • Published in Interviews

Nieky Holzken has not only been an unstoppable force in Glory lately but also was a big part in the two most viewed Glory cards to date. So it seemed only natural that we should sit down and have a little talk with him about all his recent success.

LK: Hello Nieky, thank you for taking the time for this interview. How has everything been since we saw you last in Virginia?

NH: hello yeah I'm fine training is going well.

LK: Lets start from the beginning, what age did you start Kickboxing, where did you start and what made you start?

NH: i start when i was 10 because of the movie Kickboxer in a gym called Yamaneko.

LK: What are your Current fight stats height, weight, record, etc?

NH: im 183cm 77 kg 103fights/92/11/53ko's

LK: How and who gave you the Nickname "The Natural"?

NH: Mike Passenier from Mike's Gym after a fight in England.

LK: What do you like to do during your time away from the gym?

NH: gaming, watching movies

LK: Even though you had a few Pro boxing fights last year, and a kickboxing fight in December, you said you still felt a bit rusty against Stetsurenko can you explain this?

NH: yeah he was a strong guy and i keep in mind that i have to fight a final

LK: How nice did it feel to get back in the Glory ring after one year, not only once but twice in one night so you could totally knock off the ring rust?

NH: yeah it feel great, I did what I had to do.

LK: Give me your honest opinion, did Raymond Daniels get up from your knockdowns more times than you expected? Also how did you feel about the ref giving you an 8 count in that fight?

NH: yeah he has good heart to come up every, time respect for him. But I don't deserve the 8 count I slipped and stand up very fast and it didn't hurt me.

LK: I'm sure you heard that both the #1 and #2 most viewed Glory events are Tokyo, and Virginia which both included you, what do you think about this?

NH: its luck i'm guessing haha

LK: One thing i've been wondering lately about your career is what is the difference between the Nieky Holzken at 70kgs as opposed to 77kgs, I've always noticed you are much more dominant at the heavier weight, is it the weight cut?

NH: yeah its the weight cut that was my biggest fights

LK: We all know that your next Glory fight will be against Valtellini, we just aren't sure when yet. Do you have any other fights planned in the meantime?

NH: yeah two fights in boxing april 19 and 24 may

LK: Valtellini has been very outspoken about fighting you on social media since his close victory over Mark De Bonte even though you have already knocked him out. I spoke to some of your family about this in Virginia, but I think you should tell all the fans how you feel about Valtellini, don't hold back.

NH: yeah Valtelinni says hes the champ and that he expects more from the next time we meet so he will get more much more.

LK: How was training in America with the Blackzillians compared to training in Holland?

NH: yeah the same because I train only with my trainer.

LK: What does the future hold for "The Natural"? Possible Pro boxing career? have there actually been talks with Showtime signing you?

NH: I concentrate a lot on boxing. I didn't hear anything about showtime I wish haha.

LK: Last question is 4 questions I ask everyone, Hardest Puncher you've fought? 

NH: I don't now really i fought so much 

LK: Hardest Kicker you've fought? 

NH: Buakaw

LK: Hardest Fight? 

NH: It was a B class amatuer fight against Ali Mogtagari I won by KO but got two eight counts myself haha

LK: Your favourite fighter? 

NH: Ramon Dekker/Mike Tyson

LK: Thank you so Much Nieky for this interview is there anything else you would like to say to your fans, sponsors, etc?

NH: I want to thank all the fans for support, love you all and my family and sponsor they will keep me going ush.

LK: Well I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to watch your next fight for the Glory title and I wish you all the best for the future.

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Exclusive Liver Kick Interview with Gabriel Varga

  • Published in Interviews

We caught up with Glory's #3 ranked featherweight Gabriel Varga after a sparring session at WKX with fellow Glory fighter Josh Jauncey. He is deep into his training camp for his Glory featherweight title fight against Mosab Amrani at Glory 20 in Dubai and is feeling great. Gabriel is always a man of few words and attracts all his fans with his exciting style in the ring but it was great to hear him open up to us more than usual.

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Lion Fight 20's Jorina Baars Talks Ughi Rematch and Life Post-Cyborg Win

  • Published in Interviews

(C) Lion Fight/Bernie Palmore

This Friday evening on AXS TV we'll see Lion Fight return to Connecticut with Lion Fight 20. While women headlining major fight cards is still a bit of a misnomer in combat sports Lion Fight is unafraid to place their Women's Welterweight Champion Jorina Baars as their headliner. Baars will be fighting the tough veteran that is Chantal Ughi in what is a rematch from a few years ago. Both women are world-renowned and have fought the best of the best, but for right now Jorina is the woman to beat. 

We briefly spoke with Jorina heading into the fight this Friday about the American media coverage that has come from the Cris Cyborg Justino victory as well as how she feels about the rematch with Ughi.

You’ve fought Chantal Ughi before and it was a close fight, how do you feel that you’ve evolved since then and how different of a fight will this be?

I have evolved in different ways, I developed and gained more experience in Muay Thai, have become stronger physically and mentally. I still train and fight for SportsArt Den Helder and started training with Andre Mannaart from Mejiro Gym to assist in coaching me, he has been the trainer of many champions such as Rob Kaman, Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Andy Souwer there is a lot of talent at both Mejiro Gym and SportsArt and all my trainings partners at both these gyms have helped me evolve. I've also been training a lot with Marieke Post, she's a professional fighter as well and a friend, we battle together in the gym each day and she has pushed me forward and I gain lots of strength from her knowledge and passion to fight.

Chantal Ughi is a tough opponent who has made a name for herself by fighting in Thailand, while you have made a name for yourself by fighting in Europe. Do you consider this a clash in styles or traditions?

No I do not think it is a clash of styles and/or traditions, in Muay Thai there are more possibilities than in K1, Glory or Kickboxing rules, that means that this will be a more exciting fight. 

The win over Cyborg Justino was a huge one, how did it feel knowing that many fans saw this as an easy fight for her only to see you outclass her throughout most of the fight?

There was a lot of talk about the Cyborg fight and most fight fans thought that she was going to beat me, they were unfamiliar with me, didn’t know who I am.  But the talk after the fight is that Cyborg only had 2 Muay Thai fights and Jorina has 36.  Cyborg proved to be a great Sport and was honest about it, she stated that she fights anybody, anytime, she accepted the fight and knew where she was up against. I respect Cyborg for that !

Did you feel that you were perhaps being looked over by many people going into the fight against Cyborg?

I am sure some people overlooked me going into the Cyborg fight.  I never underestimated Cyborg, never underestimate any opponent that is put in front of me.  I knew where I was up against as well, Cyborg was a very worthy opponent and she came to fight, we both fought hard and I enjoyed that fight very much. I am always coming to fight, no ifs ands or buts it is what the Fans and Lion Fight expect me to do and it is what I do best.

Have you gotten a lot more attention since the Cyborg win, or has it only been in the United States, really?

I get attention through the Social Media and some Dutch Newspapers after the last fight, now for the upcoming fight against Ughi the newspapers have shown interests again and published some articles.  My day to day life is still the same, I work at a nightclub in Amsterdam as a Bouncer, its happens every once in a while that a guest at our club comes to me and says; “You are Jorina, right ?” it flatters me and respond “Yes, that’s me !”

You’ve dabbled in mixed martial arts before, is that something that you’d like to try again some time, or are you content sticking with muay thai?

I switched to MMA as it was impossible to find anyone to fight me on Muay Thai rules, I like MMA but for now, or at least for the time I am under contract with Lion Fight Promotions I will stay and remain focused on Muay Thai.

Do you feel that there are any specific challenges or hurdles that you have to overcome as a woman in fighting sports?

Women have to train just as hard as their male colleagues, it is easier to get fights as a man, there are just a lot more men fighting then there are women, it’s supply and demand, plain and simple.  Women are underappreciated in the fight business, but there are lots of improvements happening and I am happy to see that and be on the first row of experiencing it.

Is there any one fight out there that you haven’t gotten yet that you’ve really wanted to happen?

Yes there is, I would love to fight Germaine de Randamie. She is a very good and strong fighter. Before she fought in the UFC, both our teams were looking for a promoter who could let us fight at their event, as of today that has not happened yet.  Maybe and hopefully Lion Fight can make that fight happen and I will happily accept that opportunity.

What kind of responsibility do you feel as a World Champion for a sport?

Yes we are an example to all fans, kids and adults alike.  There is a tremendous responsibility with that and I enjoy having to deal with that, in matter of fact it is an honor.  I always like to inspire kids to take on Muay Thai as it not only helps them physically but also mentally, it builds their confidence that they will able to benefit from the rest of their lives. I like to portray the fighting sports and muay thai in a positive light, always have. There are still some misunderstandings for this Sport, especially in the Netherlands and I like to set that record straight and continue to do be righteous– Osu !

 

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Joe Schilling Talks Success, Vinny Shoreman's Mind Coaching and Maturity Leading into GLORY 19

  • Published in Interviews

On February 6th Joe Schilling makes his return to the GLORY ring after successfully making his Bellator debut back in November. In the past few months Joe Schilling has been everywhere, not just endearing himself to the kickboxing world, but also making a huge impact on the MMA world as well. His knockout of Melvin Manhoef was one for the record books and quickly became one of the most talked-about knockouts of the year. From there he went on to train with Nick Diaz to help him prepare for his UFC 183 bout against Anderson Silva.

It’s safe to say that things are different for Joe Schilling now in 2015 than they ever have been, even if it just comes down to the sheer amount of activity. “I was always kind of jealous of these guys that would fight like five or six times a year when I was always struggling to scrape up three fights. I mean, tournaments, yeah, but that’s still one night. This year is really shaping up to be a lot different and between both GLORY and Bellator I plan on being extremely active and making a name for myself in both sports.”

It’s not hard to imagine, either, with Schilling already having two fights scheduled for 2015. The first is on February 6th where he’ll enter the GLORY ring against the tough Middleweight prospect Robert Thomas in the co-main event on Spike TV. The other was just announced today as a fight in Bellator with MMA slugger Rafael Carvalho. A lot has changed for Joe over the past few years and he’s learned a lot about both himself and how to handle himself in the ring. 

“Yeah,” he joked. “You know all of these years I’ve been just trying to punch someone’s head off, but now I’ve actually been aiming at their chins. I think that’s something new that you’ll see from me; I’m actually aiming for a knockout now, not just to hurt my opponents.” Joe’s maturity and not fighting with so much rage has helped him out immensely, though.

“I used to into fights just raging mad, just boiling over,” he explained. “I was just trying to smash people. I’d get super tired by throwing these huge shots and then have nothing left. Look at the Eddie Walker fight, I could have cruised through that fight and won a decision, but there was so much pressure for me to finish him so I pushed too hard and lost focus. If I’m angry it’s not like I’m going to punch any harder or any better. Emotion is kind of a bad thing in a fight. If you look at Last Man Standing that was the first time that I went into a fight really composed, I got into the ring that night and I was 100% calm. I just thought, ‘It’s me, it’s Joe Schilling, I’ve worked hard to be here, let’s see what I have.’ It worked out really well for me and the same thing with the Melvin fight.

“Both of these situations,” he continued. “They just really helped my confidence out. I’m not just getting lucky, I’m not catching people with lucky shots or anything. I’m performing and using my skills. It’s a really good feeling to know that I really am as good as I always thought that I could be. It’s not a fluke, it’s not luck anymore, I’ve worked really hard. I’ve been doing this for fifteen years.”

His success is starting to become real to him now, like he mentioned, he isn’t getting lucky anymore, he’s executing what he wants to do and finding success. “I find comfort now when things go wrong. When I used to get sick before a fight I’d get upset, ‘Oh my god I’m sick, what am I going to do? My dad died three weeks before the fight, what can I do?’ I’ve found comfort in this stuff now, this is just a part of preparing for a fight. Of course my weight isn’t where I want it to be a few weeks out from a fight, it never is, but it works out because I put the work in. Going into the Melvin fight my dad passed away a few weeks out and I’m crying my eyes out with my family and I get, I’m having some drinks with my brother, my sister. My uncle calls while we are doing that, and I thought ‘well that’s nice, he’s upset about my dad.’ He’s balling his eyes out and he’s like ‘Cody,’ his son, ‘just fell off a balcony and died.’ It was hard having all of this stuff going on especially that I had to be in the ring with a killer in two weeks, but Vinny helped me get back on track a little bit.

“I said, ‘well, I’ve got two weeks to get back in shape because I was just not training at all,’ I had some really good sessions with Lorenz Larkin and in one session he kicked me and he hit me right in the hip and I thought, ‘I bet that hurt, you fucker,’ then my whole side from my ribs to my quad seized on me and my hip was messed up. I spent the last week of my camp unable to run or kick, going to therapy everyday. Then I went and had one of my best performances.”

It wasn’t just in the gym where he got beaten up, though. Joe went on to explain one of his sessions with Vinny Shoreman and how Shoreman was able to help break him out of his funk. “He was talking to me and was just really being mean, I thought. ‘Oh, your dad died. I bet you feel like shit, huh? Your cousin died, that’s awful, isn’t it? I bet you feel terrible right now, don’t you?’ I was starting to get pissed off, just giving him one word answers and he knew that he was getting to me, then he told me ‘Well now what? Well you are still alive and you’ve worked hard to get where you are, are you just going to give up?’ It all just clicked for me at that moment.”

These are the kinds of setbacks that would make anyone reel, but Joe was able to find peace with his father, with whom he had a rocky relationship for most of his life with, which helped him to be more at peace with the situation. He was also able to work through a lot of his frustration and anger that he held due to his strained relationship with his father, which he attributes as one of the reasons why he feels so mentally clear now; he’s finally been able to release that anger and to move forward with his life. “We were doing timeline therapy and he really didn’t know what he was uncovering, but it was all moments about my dad. Afterwards I literally couldn’t tap into that hatred or anger about my dad, it just wasn’t there anymore. Shortly after that I was able to really 100% forgive him, like no need for an apology, it just was what it was. I was happy that I got to see him and that he got to meet his grandchildren.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Schilling is starting to be more well-known and respected. He talked about how this past weekend at UFC 183 how he was cornering Nick Diaz and he had well-known UFC fighters coming up to him to take photos with him and how they all knew who he was, which was a strange moment. That being said, his high-profile friendships and newfound fame haven’t changed his focus, he’s still ready for Robert Thomas on Friday.

“He’s a tough kid with nothing to lose,” he said. “He reminds me a lot of myself at that age, I mean, his first fight in GLORY was against Artem Levin and he was swinging for the fences. If Artem didn’t duck at the right moment there a few times he would have been laid out by him. It’s going to be a tough fight for me, I never look past an opponent. He’s got a muay thai style and starts slow, but he hits hard and stuff like his spinning backfist is no joke and he can hit that from anywhere at any time, like it almost doesn’t make sense when he does it. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and fighting.”

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Gabriel Varga Talks GLORY Featherweight Title and Upcoming K-1 China Fight

  • Published in Interviews

Canadian featherweight Gabriel Varga has turned some heads over the past few years with his appearances in K-1 and GLORY. In fact, Gabriel Varga is the man who is set to fight for the inaugural GLORY Featherweight Championship against Mosab Amrani. Sadly, that fight was pushed back but luckily enough he’ll be keeping busy as he fights on K-1’s China vs. USA event on January 1st.

We caught up with Varga while he prepares for his fight on January 1st.

Your weight class is incredibly competitive all around the world, where do you feel you stand in that weight class right now?

It depends in what style.  I haven't fought full Muay Thai, but in GLORY rules or modified Muay Thai I know I can be the best.  There was so much hype around Sitmonchai and many people where excited to see him fight outside Thailand, but Kickboxing is a different sport and I know I can win a fight against anybody.  I think with another 2-3 wins I will be recognized as the top kickboxer at –65kg.

Do you feel that Canada has finally gotten a chance to show the world how much talent comes from there over the past few years and are you proud of it?

Canadian fighters have had great opportunities over the past few years and Joesph Valentini, Simon Marcus, Josh Jauncey, Rob Thomas, Matt Embree and myself have risen to the challenge. I'm very happy with my accomplishments so far, but I still want to beat the top names and then Canada will be even more recognized in the Kickboxing world.

You've actually fought in China before, how does it feel to head back to China?

After another 6 months between fights I'm just happy to get a fight anywhere. But I'm looking forward to everything about this fight aside from the 12+ hour plane ride.

There isn't much out there about your opponent, does that bother you or will it not be a problem?

I've watched a few videos of him and I feel I know his style well enough now. I always prefer to learn about my opponents and train specifically for them. That's one of the reasons I dislike tournaments. You can only prepare for your first opponent and after that you just have to do the best you can.

Historically your weight class has been dominated by the Japanese, what kind of shift do you think happened over the past few years?

The Japanese are still great fighters but they haven't always had to fight the best foreigners. Japanese organizations often bring in foreign opponents who aren't necessarily amongst the best.  GLORY has been great for including the best fighters in the world.

I'm sure in the future we'll see more Japanese in the -65kg division, but with Kubo's recent loss and Noiri's absence I don't expect to fight a Japanese opponent in the near future. 

You are still going to be fighting for GLORY's Featherweight title soon, how did you go about taking this fight with K-1?

GLORY was kind enough to let me have a one fight deal with K-1 because of GLORY 19 being postponed.  I'd like to fight at least 3 times per year and in 2014 I only got to fight in June. I asked GLORY if they'd be willing to make a special exception this one time and they said yes. And K-1 was great to me as well. I called them up with a 4 weeks notice pleading for a fight and they put me on the first card they had.

Fighting on the first day of the year is a great way to start. I hope to fight at least 5 times next year and getting the GLORY Featherweight title should help me become a bigger draw.

Kickboxing has struggled in North America, what do you think will help it attract more fans?

Kickboxing simply won't become mainstream in North America in only 2 years. GLORY has been doing a great job and if they continue to hold 8+ events per year and air them on Spike, the audience will grow.  I hear so many people complaining about the UFC and I think within a couple of years, GLORY will capture the attention of those less enthusiastic MMA fans and help the popularity of kickboxing grow.

If GLORY can focus on creating a few more stars who are North American that will help as well. And if there's ever a chance to do some sort of reality show that would be very exciting. My management EPOK Agency recently announced a groundbreaking partnership with a major talent agency in New York, which will open new opportunities in mainstream media. So I think this will also help with growing my popularity as a North American fighter.

Is there anyone out there that you want to face down the line?

The only person I think I should fight for the GLORY belt is Mosab Amrani. He holds a win over Kubo and is ranked number 1. That's the fight I want.

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Getting to know Reece McAllister

  • Published in Interviews

Considered by many to be the UK's top fighter at 67kg, Reece McAllister enters this weekends Topking World Series 70kg tournament as the youngest competitor in the field. At only 22 years of age, McAllister is already extremely experienced with over 40 professional bouts to his credit. McAllister plans on making a statement with his performance against Vladimir Konsky this weekend and is ready to prove himself as one of the premier lightweights in the world.

McAllister will be looking to add to an already excellent year, where he is currently 3-0 thus far. He started the year off the year by defeating the always game Tim Thomas in a rematch of their Glory 5 bout, McAllister defeated Thomas for the second time by decision. He followed up the performance with two second round finishes against Jackson Barkhouse and Dragan Pesic, claiming the WMC World title and the inaugural K1ngs of Glory 67kg strap respectively. 

I sat down with Reece ahead of his bout on Saturday and discussed everything from the fight this weekend, his martial arts journey and his plans for the future.

JS: Good afternoon Reece. This Saturday you'll be facing Vladimir Konsky in the first round of the tournament, where do you see yourself having advantages in this fight?

RM: Hi Jack. Coming into this fight I consider my youth to be a big advantage. I also think my skills are more diverse in comparison to my opponent and I have a much superior camp behind me. I am very hungry coming into this fight.

JS: If you're successful Saturday night is there anyone specifically you'd like to face in the next round?

RM: No there is not anyone specifically I would want to face in the next round as they are all great fighters and I believe I have the skills to beat anyone in the tournament.

JS: Who would you consider to be the favorites in the tournament?

RM: I would say Buakaw is probably considered to be one of the favorites.

JS: Speaking of Buakaw. He was involved in a rather controversial bout against Enriko Kehl  a few weeks back. Did you watch the bout  and what did you think of it?

RM: Kehl had a great performance in that fight but I still think Buakaw deserved the win. It was still bad sportsmanship by Buakaw to walkout and not finish the fight.

JS: I've been following your career for sometime and this year especially you seem to be increasingly more aggressive in your performances. What are the reasons for this?

RM: My increased aggression is  because I'm so hungry to be at the top now.  Having my daughter has driven me even more to be the best, I fight for her now.

JS: Lets talk a little about your martial arts background. You began training in Muay Thai when you were 9, who did you look up to when you were younger?

RM: I have always looked up to my Dad, not just in Muay Thai but also in life too. He was a great fighter himself and has been a great role model to me. 

JS: Throughout your teens you spent a lot of time training and competing in Thailand, have you visited recently or do you have any current plans to?

RM: I haven't visited recently as my daughter is still young but as soon as she is old enough that's a place we'll be visiting for sure.

JS: For someone only 22 years of age you’re already very experienced and well-traveled. Where’s been your favorite location to compete thus far and where’d you like to compete where you haven’t already?

RM: Throughout my career I have had some amazing experiences and traveled to some amazing places so it would be really hard to say just one place out of them all. As for a place I would like to fight in the future, I would really like to compete in China and hopefully I will be visiting there soon!

JS: We've so far seen you compete twice in Glory, when do you plan on competing for them again?

RM: I don't have any fights planned at the moment in Glory but you will see me compete in Glory again. 

JS: A former opponent of yours Steve Moxon fights the aforementioned Buakaw in the main event on Saturday. Is a rematch with Moxon something that is on your radar at the moment?

RM: I definitely want a rematch with Steve Moxon but that time will come, it doesn't matter to me whether it is in 3 fights time or 10 fights time.

JS: This will be your fourth fight in 2014, do you have any other bouts scheduled?

RM: With this tournament being so close to the end of the year I have put everything into this as I really want to make my mark on the division, so I have nothing else scheduled as I plan on winning this tournament.

JS: What’s the plan for 2015?

RM:I have a few fights in the pipeline that have not been confirmed yet but if it all goes to plan 2015 is going to be a big year for me. 

JS: Thank you very much for your time Reece, is there anyone you'd like to thank?

RM: Thank you Jack, I would like to say a massive thank you to all my sponsors who have helped me with my journey. Toxic Fight wear, Auckland Castles, International Waste Metals, Sheltee Industrial Maintenance, North East Spa Hire, DNA Utilities and CB Constructions RedLand Therapy.

Topking World Series host their second event on Saturday the 16th of November from the Velodrome National in Paris, France.

You can watch the event in its entirety from www.epicentre.tv for the small price of just $15.

 

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Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Robert Thomas

  • Published in Interviews

Canadian middleweight Robert Thomas had a fantastic performance against Mike Lemaire this weekend on Glory 18's Super Fight Series. He started off a little slow due to his traditional Thai background, but in the 3rd when he finally let his hands go it was a thing of beauty. He had already softened Lemaire up with hard right knees to the body, then he came in with a hook to the body then hook to the head combo followed by a perfect right high kick to drop Lemaire. Once Lemaire was up Thomas followed up with a hand combination finishing with a short right that finished Lemaire off leaving him draped on the ropes.
We were lucky enough to get a quick chat with a happy Thomas after his 3rd round KO.

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