LiverKick

Switch to desktop Register Login

Muay Thai Legend Jomhod Kiatadisak Set to Compete in MMA at Full Metal Dojo 4

  • Published in Muay Thai

Jomhod Kiatadisak is a former Lumpinee and Rajadamnern champion and after making a name for himself at the stadiums in Bangkok he moved to Finland and became one of the biggest names on the Muay Thai and kickboxing scene in Europe.

Jomhod was last seen coming out of retirement to face former Olympic gold medalist Somluck Khamsing in two high stakes matches that attracted a lot of attention in the Thai media but the next challenge for the 44 year old will be making his pro MMA debut.

Jomhod will be competing on the card at Full Metal Dojo 4: ‘Once Upon a Time in Bangkok’ at Live House Studios on February 21st and has been training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket in preparation for this late foray into MMA .

Originally from Phang Nga, Jomhod has been a trainer in Phuket for the past nine years and still fights occasionally at the stadiums there. He is rapidly approaching the age of retirement but reportedly wants to become an MMA trainer and is looking to get a couple of fights under his belt first.

Although he has only fought sporadically in the last few years Jomhod is always in excellent shape and is known for his diverse striking arsenal, mixing up spinning back kicks with the more traditional Muay Thai strikes.

His two matches with Somluck were both big successes at the box office and Full Metal Dojo, which was founded last year and has already put on cards in both Phuket and Bangkok, will be hoping that the presence of a Muay Thai legend on next month’s show will help bring in the punters.

For more information about Full Metal Dojo visit: http://www.fullmetaldojo.com/

Read more...

Video: Nieky Holzken Pre-Fight Interview for Glory 19

  • Published in Glory

Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia will include a 4 man Welterweight tournament where we will finally get to see the return of Nieky "The Natural" Holzken. Holzken believes he is already the champion considering he knocked out current champion Joseph Valtellini and has expressed the fact that he is surprised he still has to go through a tournament to fight for the belt again.

He was on the sidelines last year and couldn't compete in Glory due to a shoulder injury caused partly by his fight with Karapet Karapetyan and partly by a car accident. According to him Nieky's shoulder is not causing him pain anymore and he is prepared to win this tournament.

Nieky Holzken is the favourite in this tournament by far, he also has easily the best hair.

Read more...

GLORY Renews Two Key Television Deals in Europe

  • Published in Glory

GLORY announced earlier today that they have renewed two of their key television contracts in Europe. While GLORY puts a lot of promotional effort into the United States, Europe is still one of their main focuses and will continue to be moving forward. The first deal was with French-based Kombat Sport and the second the Croatian-based Fight Channel.

Both of these networks give them key coverage throughout many parts of Europe and will be a home to their GLORY SuperFight Series cards as well.

"Europe is a very important market for us, where some of our most loyal and hungry fan-bases exist," said Jon Franklin, CEO of GLORY. "This partnership with Kombat Sport and Fight Channel will satisfy that desire for world class kickboxing through an exciting time in company history. GLORY 19 is one of our strongest cards ever from top-to-bottom and then we keeping rolling in April with GLORY 20. We can't wait to show viewers around the world what GLORY looks like in the new year."

Read more...

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
Read more...

Yokkao Fighters Saenchai and Pakorn Book Seminar Dates For NYC in February

  • Published in Muay Thai

This February New Yorkers have another thing to brag about to non-New Yorkers, this time it is three big seminar dates with Yokkao fight team members Saenchai and Pakorn. On February 13th, 14th and 15th at the Striking 101 Gym you'll be able to sit in on a seminar with the two famous Thais as they show the world some of their secrets and years of experience. 

Yokkao promoter Stefania Picelli will also be in New York to help secure a deal with a local gym to form a partnership, but those details will be available later. For now here are the details from the seminars.

LOCATION
York College Sports Arena – 9420 Guy R Brewer BLVD Jamaica – New York
DATES:
Friday 13th February 2015 >> 7:00pm 9:30pm
Saturday 14th February 2015 >> 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Sunday 15th February 2014 >> 12:00pm to 2:30pm
 
Tickets are on sale at: http://www.striking-101.com/seminar use the promo code TEAMYOKKAO to get 15% off ticket price.
 

Read more...

Four More Superfights added to Glory 19

  • Published in Glory

Glory Sports International have added four more superfights to the card this week. It seems they are bringing in quite a few new American fighters to test out the talent and hope for another American star to emerge.

Brian Collette will be back in action for the first time since getting knocked out by Zack Mwekassa in Oklahoma, last year. He will be facing Myron Dennis who won the Legacy Fighting Championship light heavyweight title last year against Paul Buentello and has an MMA record of 11-4. Dennis took part in the very first "Road to Glory" scouting event but lost his first fight, he also lost to Randy Blake in 2011.

Francois Ambang is also back after his crazy KO loss to Raymond Daniels. He will face Stephen Richards who has fought on Lion Fights before and is usually more of a Muay Thai practitioner but this time will make his Glory Debut.

Superfights

Andy Ristie vs. Steve Moxon

Josh Jauncey vs. Max Baumert

Brian Collette vs. Myron Dennis

Francois Ambang vs. Stephen Richards

Xavier Vigney vs. Everett Sims

Mitch ***** vs. Cedric *****

Read more...

Giorgio Petrosyan Returns This Weekend, Plus ANOTHER Fight in April Against Enriko Kehl

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's been a long time since we've seen Giorgio Petrosyan in the ring. In fact, I'd argue that it has been too long. The last time that we saw Petrosyan in the ring was December of 2013 when Andy Ristie was able to overcome the best fighter at 70kg via knockout. It was shocking at the time, but now we've all settled into this reality. This coming Saturday Petrosyan finally returns to the ring at Thai Boxe Mania 2015 against Erkan Varol in Turin, Italy.

The other big news is that Petrosyan's next fight is already lined up and it's going to be a big one. At Oktagon's 20th anniversary event on April 11th Petrosyan is set to face 2014 K-1 World MAX Champion Enriko Kehl in what should be an awesome bout. The young Kehl has proven himself as a worthy contender and a rising star of his own over the past few years and it will be quite the test for Petrosyan after such a long layoff.

Read more...

Mike Tyson Eats an Apple and Unveils He'll Help Call GLORY 19

  • Published in Glory

Yes, you heard that correctly, former Heavyweight Boxing champion and all-around controversial figure Mike Tyson has signed on to be a part of GLORY's broadcast team beginning at the upcoming GLORY 19. GLORY had been hyping some mystery guest interviewing both Errol Zimmerman and Rico Verhoeven in preparation for GLORY 19 and now it has come out that Mike Tyson will be joining the GLORY team as an analyst.

Mike Tyson almost moved into the realm of kickboxing many years ago to fight Bob Sapp, only for things to fall through. There was even talk of him having a contract with PRIDE at one point but nothing coming of it. Mike Tyson has been an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts and a good friend of Dana White, so he's no stranger to the world outside of Boxing that involves kicks and knees. It'll be interesting to see if he brings more positive attention to the GLORY product or if fans aren't interested anymore.

Read more...

New Year's Resolutions From GLORY Stars Zack Mwekassa, Randy Blake, Errol Zimmerman and More

  • Published in Glory

For as long as I can remember, at the beginning of each year I set goals and outlined projects I would like to complete during the coming twelve months. At the close of each year I then took on the angst inducing task of evaluating my progress toward those previously set goals. While sometimes I could give myself a pat on the back for a job well done, other times I had to analyze the how and why of what went wrong and also to find a way to possibly reshape those goals. This year, instead of engaging in this task alone I asked several of Glory's fighters to take a look at the year that was as well as give us a sneak preview of 2015.

Zack Mwekassa:

Hello to all fight fans that are taking time to read this.

I have no word big enough to demonstrate my appreciation for my friends, fans and supporters.

If I had to sum up my 2014 experience in one word it would be " stupendous".

It has been a phenomenal year for me, probably the best year in my fighting career.

From Johannesburg South Africa to Denver Colorado to take on the much respected, UFC veteran Pat "HD" Barry in a what was meant to be an absolute mismatch based on the fighting style "Kickboxing". To winning "Glory knockout of the year" and the hearts of thousands of fans across the world after that very fight. I can’t express well enough my gratitude to God and to the people who gave me credit. Shortly after Glory 16, across the ocean, on the African continent, in the most brutal fashion winning the Africa heavyweight championship was another highlight for me. It was for me a dream come true, especially because it was on the land that hosted "Rumble in the Jungle" the fight of the century between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman in 1974.

Looking back at where I come from gives a even bigger sense of gratitude.

Who I am ?

Who is Zack Mwekassa ?

A war survivor.

A man that fled his home country at age 19 due to war and tribulations.

A man that lost all he and his family had due to a volcanic eruption.

A man that survived gun shots during the mayhem in eastern Congo.

A man that survived venomous snake bites.

A man that still lives after being poisoned 3 times.

I may not be the best fighter in the world or even the most financially successful across the globe, but I probably am one of the best achievers there is.

From a modest family in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to world prominence, I thank God the creator of all things.

To my fans I would like to say one thing.

Don't be disappointed for not accomplishing what you swore to accomplish in 2014.

Try, try again. Just remember, you can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Try again, but try to do it differently this time.

For me 2015 will be the year I reach outstanding heights or I am going to die on the 31st of December. Yes I am dead serious. Watch me! Be my witness.

God bless you, we still need a dedicated sponsor to join our brutal team, will you be the one?

Happy 2015 to you and your loved ones

Randy Blake:

2014 was a great and busy year for me . I had five fights this year and to sum it all up everything was a success! I learned some things in every fight, I grew and evolved racking up a 4-1 record for the year. For me that is a success to continue to grow as not only a fighter but a martial artist.

I have many goals for 2015. I have been offered to train with some awesome camps , I am looking forward to that and to continue to grow. Most importantly I plan to stay active and fight as much as I can and not only fight on a local circuit to stay busy and continue to fight, compete and win for GLORY!

Danyo Ilunga:

2014 was, I can not say a bad year for me, but a difficult year. I had several concerns. I didn't fight a lot and I lost one of my three fights. I have learned more then in all my career though and this kind of thing will never happen again..

For 2015 it is my plan to have the Glory belt, I will focus on it. The last two years I have lost one fight every year, this is one thing I will be training for, this will be my year!

Marc DeBonte:

2014 started bad for me with my fight for the world title getting pushed back a few times because of injury problems from my opponent ( Nieky Holzken). After some time Glory stripped Holzken of the title and vacated it, this ended with me fighting Karapet Karapetyan for the title. This fight was really tough not only because we know each other really well, but mostly with the location they held the fight, Denver which has a big altitude difference over Belgium. I came to Denver a week before the fight to get used to the altitude difference a bit, I would have preferred to do my entire camp there, but I don’t make enough money for that. During the fight I gassed very quickly but I noticed Karapet having a similar problem. So after round two it was the most I have ever suffered in a fight. In the end I won the title clearly and I couldn’t have been happier, everything I had worked for was finally there, I still daydream about that moment sometimes.

My second fight of the year was my title defense against Joseph Valtellini five weeks after I won the title. I still had some small injuries which made it a bit hard to keep training 100 percent, but we managed. The fight itself was a good fight I got a knocked down in the third round and gave one back in the fourth. After the fight I was surprised by the decision and I still am to this day , The judges gave the decision to Valtellini. Not just me but fans, commentators, famous trainers were shocked by that, but it is what it is and now we just have to move forward.

I took some vacation after fighting twice in 5-6 weeks to heal , but during the holiday I got contacted by a big German boxing manager, who said that he wanted to make me an offer after hearing that I also wanted to turn pro in boxing, ( this had been on my mind for a long time ). After meeting him and hearing what he had to say, we decided to sign to fight solely pro boxing with this manager and promoter. To part from Glory is still hard for me since I still wanted to fight a few names there, but this was an offer that made it possible to live purely for the sport and focus on it.

I have but one goal at the moment for 2015 and that is achieving what I did in kickboxing but now in pro boxing, to become world champion. We will go for it in steps, the first one is European champion. I believe in myself and my team is confident I can do it.

But who knows, anything can happen maybe a comeback to kickboxing is possible someday.

Benny Adegbuyi:

2014 was one of my best years in my career with three wins and my debut in Glory one of my big dreams came true, and I did it in a great way by knock out. I had no injuries this year. In my second fight against Daniel Sam, a big man and a difficult fight, but I won again by KO! I am very happy because people have started to look at as a rising star who can attack the title and the number1 spot in the world. This motivates me more! Finally my last fight for the year was a title elimination fight against a big fighter, I can say a star, Hesdy Gerges. Normally I would be the underdog, but I knew I was going to win. The result was another victory, this time by unanimous decision. Not a KO, but it's still good so my 2014 was a good one I think I have accomplished more than I had planned!

2015 I expect to be the best year! I want to take that title and keep it a few years and I will do all to accomplish this. I will push my limits and do what ever it takes to be the best. I think talent is on my side I only need a little luck and hard work! So don't miss 2015 to see me becoming the champion! Osu!!!

Francois Ambang:

2014 wasn’t my best year in the ring. I fought once in May at Glory 16 ending in a very disappointing loss to Raymond Daniels. To be on the other side of such a highly publicized knockout, was a tough pill to swallow. I have watched that fight numerous times. Not taking away from him, but I’ve had a lot of time to process what happened and what I could have done differently. Since that time I have re-focused, switched up my team a bit, and actually was hoping for a chance at a title, and a rematch, in the upcoming Glory 19 Welterweight Contender Tournament. Certainly, it has ALWAYS been my goal to gain a title. I embrace the opportunity to face the top contenders in my weight class, and again was hoping for a chance at redemption.

I will be in the ring again early in the year, as part of the Super Fight Series at Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia. I am anticipating a great start to the new year. In 2015, I hope to have a more time in the ring. I am dedicated to introducing new fighters to kickboxing, as well helping individuals reach their fitness/training goals in my kickboxing program.

Errol Zimmerman:

In 2015, my number one priority is finishing Rico Verhoeven and that I will be champion. I'm looking forward to fighting everybody. That's my only thing, that's what I want to do is to fight and fight and fight. I want to show the people what I can do! I want to entertain the people! So, this is what I will do in 2015 also, 16, 17, 18....and then we will look further. I only want to train and beat people up and entertain the people!

Read more...

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
Read more...

Steven Wright's 2014 Year in Kickfighting Highlight

  • Published in Video

The year 2014 was a pretty strange one for kickboxing. There were some great things that happened and there was a lot of downtime and doom and gloom hanging over the sport as a whole. This year feels a lot different, a lot better thus far. Things are looking up. We have schedules from both K-1 and GLORY, we have promise popping up in China and the sport seems to be correcting itself and its trajectory. I spoke about all of this with Patrick Wyman on Steven Wright's podcast last week, where we delved into the year that was and the year that will be. It's interesting to hear us start geeking out about all of the things that are happening in China as well as all of the good from 2014. Check it out here.

Steven also put together a really awesome highlight video from last year showcasing some of the best fights that went down and the most memorable moments.

Read more...

Video: Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller's latest boxing fight

  • Published in Video

Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller extended his Boxing win streak to 11-0 this weekend with a victory over the granite chinned Aaron Kinch. I couldn't help but think of brain damage when I watched this fight, it was 6 rounds of Miller just landing clean punches while Kinch was able to stay on his feet and survive I have no idea how. Miller weighed in at a heavy 281 lbs for this fight which could mean two things, either his strength and conditioning training is going perfectly, or he had a really good Christmas and New Years. No matter what even at 281 lbs this was a dominant victory for Big Baby that I feel could have been stopped at a few points during the fight, hope to see him back in the kickboxing ring soon.

Read more...

Glory: Analyzing the struggles

  • Published in News

Now I'm sure as most fans and followers of Glory are aware things haven't been going too swimmingly for the worlds premiere kickboxing organisation. The promotion has seemed to be struggling ever since a failed attempt at venturing into the pay-per-view market last June. Whilst the event itself could be deemed as a success- a new middleweight champion was crowned and the fights on the night were superb- the pay-per-view numbers would clearly disagree with that assumption.

Since then things have gone from bad to worse. The promotion only managed to produce one event in the second half of 2014 in comparison to the four events held in the opening six months of the year. This significant decrease was likely a result of the financial losses caused by Glory 17, their debut pay-per-view event. 

After hosting Glory 18 in early November the promotion announced that the subsequent event would take place a little over six weeks later, only for the location never to be confirmed and the event consequently scrapped. Cancelling an event is obviously never a good sign and there were numerous rumours circling around on the internet that the promotion may have indeed been in a spot of bother. Representatives from Glory were quick to negate the rumours however, suggesting it was merely an issue with the location. Albeit seemingly out of the promotions hands, hosting one event in the latter half of 2014 is not the kind of tactic you'd recommend employing if you were an up-and-coming business looking to build your brand let alone an international organisation attempting to breakthrough into mainstream America. 

Due to their lack of events Glory allowed several of their fighters to compete on the Kunlun Fights 15 card this past week in China, where unfortunately things continued to worsen for the promotion. Current Heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven lost decisively to heavy underdog Andrej Herasimchuk and Murthel Groenhart- a recent addition to their upcoming Welterweight contender tournament- was thoroughly beaten and eventually knocked out by Sittichai Sitsongpeenong.

Now whilst neither loss will be particularly devastating to either fighters career- Herasimchuk albeit a relative unknown is  clearly very talented and Sittichai is regarded by most as a top 10 ranked competitor in his division- these results deeply hamper Glory's next event whereby both Verhoeven and Groenhart are scheduled to compete. Its quite unlikely the bulk of their viewers on Spike will be aware of the results due to the limited exposure kickboxing receives, however for the rest of us who are avid followers of the sport it just doesn't sit well. 

Whilst I am far from an expert on running an martial arts promotion let alone an international firm with the magnitude of Glory's, I can't help but thinks there's a few things that they could be doing differently.

Firstly the issue of having fighters competing for rival promotions could be solved with more consistency with their live events. Fighters would obviously not feel the need to compete in other promotions should Glory be able to provide them with enough fights annually to make ends meet and Glory's current yearly schedule just doesn't allow them to do that. 

Glory doesn't have a roster that's overflowing with fighters so filling cards could potentially be difficult for them, especially if they were able to churn out events on a monthly basis. We've seen on numerous occasions over the years that kickboxers have the ability and desire to fight in excess of three times per year and I can't imagine there'd be many fighters on Glory's roster that would turn down the opportunity to compete more frequently.

Venturing into the pay-per-view market was clearly a naive move on Glory's part and attempting to do so again could be financially catastrophic. I can't foresee the promotion attempting a second pay-per-view any time soon so its blatantly obvious this is something they should avoid completely for the time being.

I also believe focusing less on hosting events in America could be very beneficial to the promotion. Whilst Glory has worked endlessly to bring the sport into the mainstream in America through their influx of hosting of live events in several different states, it might be time for a change of tactics. Unfortunately Glory just doesn't have any American fighters currently capable of drawing in big gates like they've been able to internationally. 

Canada for example has a strong base of martial arts fans who take a passionate nationalistic approach to supporting their own. Currently, they have a decent contingency of Canadian kickboxers emerging through their ranks with 'Bazooka' Joe Valtellini being their current Welterweight Champion, Gabriel Varga is a likely challenger for their uncrowned Featherweight title and the likes of Robert Thomas and Josh Jauncey poised to be breakout stars in the future. The waters in Canada remain untested by Glory though. 

Whilst the support is ostensibly not as popular as some may think in the Netherlands, you can't help but think with the plethora of Dutch talent Glory has at their disposal that they'd be able to sell-out at least one event annually in kickboxing's second home. Out of the twenty-six events Glory have hosted none have been in the Netherlands.

Other countries like Turkey and Croatia have provided strong attendances previously for Glory and should the promotion return with their respective hometown favourites in Gohkan Saki and Mirko Cro Cop, the events would likely sell-out again. Even the UK should be viewed as a more viable market based purely on the success Muay Thai promotion Yokkao have managed over the past twelve months.

My suggestion is not to saturate the market as the recent criticism and backlash the UFC has received for its torrid schedule is a clear display of why that might not be the smartest move. I do think however increasing the number of events annually whilst reducing the number of events specifically taking place in America could be not only beneficial from a marketing standpoint, but financially too as revenue generated from ticket sales is one of Glory's primary sources of income.

These strategies would allow Glory to simultaneously continue to build their brand and fan base on Spike TV, but also by only keeping their roster happier by allowing them to compete frequently. Hosting more events would also give Glory more of an opportunity to nurture talent. It's no secret that mainstream success in America is the eventual goal, however with a clear deficit of talent emerging from America perhaps its time to go back to the drawing board for Glory with the reintroduction or adaptation of their Road to Glory series. 

I hope this comes as an innocuous message to Glory. I'm not trying to lament on the promotions recent struggles, however I'm merely trying to mitigate the potential issues they could be facing. I sincerely hope my analysis of Glory has been over-exaggerated and the promotion remains robust, having just decided to reduce the number of events as a means of recovering from the fallout of Glory 17. Unfortunately though as these obstacles continue to develop for our beloved Glory, I can't help but wonder whether or not my paranoia is justified and the promotions days could be indeed numbered.

 

Read more...

Videos: Kunlun Fights #15

  • Published in Video

Well, we had some very interesting results this weekend in China at Kunlun #15, that really mess with the kickboxing rankings. Glory's heavyweight champ and #1 ranked Rico Verhoeven lost a decision after getting two 8 counts in the 2nd round at the hands of Andrei Herasimchuk. So where does this put Herasimchuk in the ranks? is he #1 now? Rico never really got into a groove during the fight and the same can be said about Murthel Groenhart. He seemed to have nothing to offer his opponent Sittichai Sitsongpeenong, which led to the Thai fighter landing a perfect left head kick and ending the fight. Now without a doubt Sittichai deserves to be in the top 10 of the kickboxing rankings after beating Andy Souwer and Groenhart in one night.

Here are the videos thanks to our friends at http://www.fightstadium.com/

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Video: Buakaw Banchamek vs. Dmytro konstantynov Top King Dec 20/2014

  • Published in Video

TopKing World Series had their Final 8 tournament last night. Not sure what the plan was but they only broadcast 1 hour of the event which included Pornsanae getting Ko'd within 5 seconds, Buakaw Banachamek dismantling Dmytro Konstantynov, and Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym as a the main event. I was a little disappointed that I woke up at 5:50am to only watch the last 3 fights when I was looking forward to seeing other names like Nicolas Larsen, Marat Grigorian, and Reece McAllister.

Anyway here is Buakaw's fight, once again he looks very scary under Muay Thai rules, I really noticed his right elbow counter especially to the left hook to the body, it was so quick that it almost seemed not worth throwing the liver punch anymore. I wonder who his next tournament fight will be, I'm hoping it's Grigorian.

Read more...

Video: Robert Thomas vs. Mike Lemaire Glory 18

  • Published in Video

Glory released another superfight this one is between Canada's Robert "White Dragon" Thomas and USA's Mike Lemaire. Thomas has more of a traditional Muay Thai style but we were told he had been working his hands a lot recently. It took him 2 rounds to finally let his hands go, but once he did in the 3rd Lemaire was in big trouble in what was a close fight up until then. I hope to see Thomas get more confidence in his hands after this KO victory.

Read more...

Video: Hesdy Gerges vs. Benjamin Adegbuyi from Glory 18

  • Published in Video

Glory has finally released probably the most anticipated superfight from Glory 18 in Oklahoma. We have the talented, young, rising star in Benjamin Adegbuyi against the experienced veteran that is Hesdy Gerges. 

First of all, the pace in this fight for two huge men was incredible. Watching this fight I remember thinking "This is only round 1!?!" Both men were throwing from bell to bell all 3 rounds in what ended as a very close fight. The fight really could have gone either way but I think what may have swayed the judges was the more flashy stuff from Benny. Glory does state during their rules meeting that flashy kicks like back kicks, high kicks, and flying knees will score higher with the judges. Hesdy was quite unhappy with the decision to say the least.

Anyway judge it for yourself tell us what you think.

Read more...

Video: Josh Jauncey vs. Jae-Gil Noh From GLORY 18

  • Published in Video

GLORY 18 might be in the books and we might be kind of frustrated with the lack of information about GLORY 19, but we can at least bask in the glory (no pun intended) of watching from the SuperFight Series the fight between Josh Jauncey and Jae-Gil Noh. Watch Jauncey just dismantle Noh in the second round here in what was just a beautiful display.

Read more...

WGP #23 Knockout Gifs

  • Published in Video

There were some really great knockouts this weekend on the WGP #23 event. Figured at least these two needed to be shared.

This first one was done by Ravy Brunow from Brazil

The Second one is an amazing flying knee by Anderson Buzika.

Read more...

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
Read more...

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
Read more...

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.

Read more...

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. 

Read more...

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
Read more...

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.

Read more...

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)

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Video: Nieky Holzken Pre-Fight Interview for Glory 19

  • Published in Glory

Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia will include a 4 man Welterweight tournament where we will finally get to see the return of Nieky "The Natural" Holzken. Holzken believes he is already the champion considering he knocked out current champion Joseph Valtellini and has expressed the fact that he is surprised he still has to go through a tournament to fight for the belt again.

He was on the sidelines last year and couldn't compete in Glory due to a shoulder injury caused partly by his fight with Karapet Karapetyan and partly by a car accident. According to him Nieky's shoulder is not causing him pain anymore and he is prepared to win this tournament.

Nieky Holzken is the favourite in this tournament by far, he also has easily the best hair.

Read more...

GLORY Renews Two Key Television Deals in Europe

  • Published in Glory

GLORY announced earlier today that they have renewed two of their key television contracts in Europe. While GLORY puts a lot of promotional effort into the United States, Europe is still one of their main focuses and will continue to be moving forward. The first deal was with French-based Kombat Sport and the second the Croatian-based Fight Channel.

Both of these networks give them key coverage throughout many parts of Europe and will be a home to their GLORY SuperFight Series cards as well.

"Europe is a very important market for us, where some of our most loyal and hungry fan-bases exist," said Jon Franklin, CEO of GLORY. "This partnership with Kombat Sport and Fight Channel will satisfy that desire for world class kickboxing through an exciting time in company history. GLORY 19 is one of our strongest cards ever from top-to-bottom and then we keeping rolling in April with GLORY 20. We can't wait to show viewers around the world what GLORY looks like in the new year."

Read more...

Four More Superfights added to Glory 19

  • Published in Glory

Glory Sports International have added four more superfights to the card this week. It seems they are bringing in quite a few new American fighters to test out the talent and hope for another American star to emerge.

Brian Collette will be back in action for the first time since getting knocked out by Zack Mwekassa in Oklahoma, last year. He will be facing Myron Dennis who won the Legacy Fighting Championship light heavyweight title last year against Paul Buentello and has an MMA record of 11-4. Dennis took part in the very first "Road to Glory" scouting event but lost his first fight, he also lost to Randy Blake in 2011.

Francois Ambang is also back after his crazy KO loss to Raymond Daniels. He will face Stephen Richards who has fought on Lion Fights before and is usually more of a Muay Thai practitioner but this time will make his Glory Debut.

Superfights

Andy Ristie vs. Steve Moxon

Josh Jauncey vs. Max Baumert

Brian Collette vs. Myron Dennis

Francois Ambang vs. Stephen Richards

Xavier Vigney vs. Everett Sims

Mitch ***** vs. Cedric *****

Read more...

Mike Tyson Eats an Apple and Unveils He'll Help Call GLORY 19

  • Published in Glory

Yes, you heard that correctly, former Heavyweight Boxing champion and all-around controversial figure Mike Tyson has signed on to be a part of GLORY's broadcast team beginning at the upcoming GLORY 19. GLORY had been hyping some mystery guest interviewing both Errol Zimmerman and Rico Verhoeven in preparation for GLORY 19 and now it has come out that Mike Tyson will be joining the GLORY team as an analyst.

Mike Tyson almost moved into the realm of kickboxing many years ago to fight Bob Sapp, only for things to fall through. There was even talk of him having a contract with PRIDE at one point but nothing coming of it. Mike Tyson has been an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts and a good friend of Dana White, so he's no stranger to the world outside of Boxing that involves kicks and knees. It'll be interesting to see if he brings more positive attention to the GLORY product or if fans aren't interested anymore.

Read more...

New Year's Resolutions From GLORY Stars Zack Mwekassa, Randy Blake, Errol Zimmerman and More

  • Published in Glory

For as long as I can remember, at the beginning of each year I set goals and outlined projects I would like to complete during the coming twelve months. At the close of each year I then took on the angst inducing task of evaluating my progress toward those previously set goals. While sometimes I could give myself a pat on the back for a job well done, other times I had to analyze the how and why of what went wrong and also to find a way to possibly reshape those goals. This year, instead of engaging in this task alone I asked several of Glory's fighters to take a look at the year that was as well as give us a sneak preview of 2015.

Zack Mwekassa:

Hello to all fight fans that are taking time to read this.

I have no word big enough to demonstrate my appreciation for my friends, fans and supporters.

If I had to sum up my 2014 experience in one word it would be " stupendous".

It has been a phenomenal year for me, probably the best year in my fighting career.

From Johannesburg South Africa to Denver Colorado to take on the much respected, UFC veteran Pat "HD" Barry in a what was meant to be an absolute mismatch based on the fighting style "Kickboxing". To winning "Glory knockout of the year" and the hearts of thousands of fans across the world after that very fight. I can’t express well enough my gratitude to God and to the people who gave me credit. Shortly after Glory 16, across the ocean, on the African continent, in the most brutal fashion winning the Africa heavyweight championship was another highlight for me. It was for me a dream come true, especially because it was on the land that hosted "Rumble in the Jungle" the fight of the century between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman in 1974.

Looking back at where I come from gives a even bigger sense of gratitude.

Who I am ?

Who is Zack Mwekassa ?

A war survivor.

A man that fled his home country at age 19 due to war and tribulations.

A man that lost all he and his family had due to a volcanic eruption.

A man that survived gun shots during the mayhem in eastern Congo.

A man that survived venomous snake bites.

A man that still lives after being poisoned 3 times.

I may not be the best fighter in the world or even the most financially successful across the globe, but I probably am one of the best achievers there is.

From a modest family in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to world prominence, I thank God the creator of all things.

To my fans I would like to say one thing.

Don't be disappointed for not accomplishing what you swore to accomplish in 2014.

Try, try again. Just remember, you can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Try again, but try to do it differently this time.

For me 2015 will be the year I reach outstanding heights or I am going to die on the 31st of December. Yes I am dead serious. Watch me! Be my witness.

God bless you, we still need a dedicated sponsor to join our brutal team, will you be the one?

Happy 2015 to you and your loved ones

Randy Blake:

2014 was a great and busy year for me . I had five fights this year and to sum it all up everything was a success! I learned some things in every fight, I grew and evolved racking up a 4-1 record for the year. For me that is a success to continue to grow as not only a fighter but a martial artist.

I have many goals for 2015. I have been offered to train with some awesome camps , I am looking forward to that and to continue to grow. Most importantly I plan to stay active and fight as much as I can and not only fight on a local circuit to stay busy and continue to fight, compete and win for GLORY!

Danyo Ilunga:

2014 was, I can not say a bad year for me, but a difficult year. I had several concerns. I didn't fight a lot and I lost one of my three fights. I have learned more then in all my career though and this kind of thing will never happen again..

For 2015 it is my plan to have the Glory belt, I will focus on it. The last two years I have lost one fight every year, this is one thing I will be training for, this will be my year!

Marc DeBonte:

2014 started bad for me with my fight for the world title getting pushed back a few times because of injury problems from my opponent ( Nieky Holzken). After some time Glory stripped Holzken of the title and vacated it, this ended with me fighting Karapet Karapetyan for the title. This fight was really tough not only because we know each other really well, but mostly with the location they held the fight, Denver which has a big altitude difference over Belgium. I came to Denver a week before the fight to get used to the altitude difference a bit, I would have preferred to do my entire camp there, but I don’t make enough money for that. During the fight I gassed very quickly but I noticed Karapet having a similar problem. So after round two it was the most I have ever suffered in a fight. In the end I won the title clearly and I couldn’t have been happier, everything I had worked for was finally there, I still daydream about that moment sometimes.

My second fight of the year was my title defense against Joseph Valtellini five weeks after I won the title. I still had some small injuries which made it a bit hard to keep training 100 percent, but we managed. The fight itself was a good fight I got a knocked down in the third round and gave one back in the fourth. After the fight I was surprised by the decision and I still am to this day , The judges gave the decision to Valtellini. Not just me but fans, commentators, famous trainers were shocked by that, but it is what it is and now we just have to move forward.

I took some vacation after fighting twice in 5-6 weeks to heal , but during the holiday I got contacted by a big German boxing manager, who said that he wanted to make me an offer after hearing that I also wanted to turn pro in boxing, ( this had been on my mind for a long time ). After meeting him and hearing what he had to say, we decided to sign to fight solely pro boxing with this manager and promoter. To part from Glory is still hard for me since I still wanted to fight a few names there, but this was an offer that made it possible to live purely for the sport and focus on it.

I have but one goal at the moment for 2015 and that is achieving what I did in kickboxing but now in pro boxing, to become world champion. We will go for it in steps, the first one is European champion. I believe in myself and my team is confident I can do it.

But who knows, anything can happen maybe a comeback to kickboxing is possible someday.

Benny Adegbuyi:

2014 was one of my best years in my career with three wins and my debut in Glory one of my big dreams came true, and I did it in a great way by knock out. I had no injuries this year. In my second fight against Daniel Sam, a big man and a difficult fight, but I won again by KO! I am very happy because people have started to look at as a rising star who can attack the title and the number1 spot in the world. This motivates me more! Finally my last fight for the year was a title elimination fight against a big fighter, I can say a star, Hesdy Gerges. Normally I would be the underdog, but I knew I was going to win. The result was another victory, this time by unanimous decision. Not a KO, but it's still good so my 2014 was a good one I think I have accomplished more than I had planned!

2015 I expect to be the best year! I want to take that title and keep it a few years and I will do all to accomplish this. I will push my limits and do what ever it takes to be the best. I think talent is on my side I only need a little luck and hard work! So don't miss 2015 to see me becoming the champion! Osu!!!

Francois Ambang:

2014 wasn’t my best year in the ring. I fought once in May at Glory 16 ending in a very disappointing loss to Raymond Daniels. To be on the other side of such a highly publicized knockout, was a tough pill to swallow. I have watched that fight numerous times. Not taking away from him, but I’ve had a lot of time to process what happened and what I could have done differently. Since that time I have re-focused, switched up my team a bit, and actually was hoping for a chance at a title, and a rematch, in the upcoming Glory 19 Welterweight Contender Tournament. Certainly, it has ALWAYS been my goal to gain a title. I embrace the opportunity to face the top contenders in my weight class, and again was hoping for a chance at redemption.

I will be in the ring again early in the year, as part of the Super Fight Series at Glory 19 in Hampton, Virginia. I am anticipating a great start to the new year. In 2015, I hope to have a more time in the ring. I am dedicated to introducing new fighters to kickboxing, as well helping individuals reach their fitness/training goals in my kickboxing program.

Errol Zimmerman:

In 2015, my number one priority is finishing Rico Verhoeven and that I will be champion. I'm looking forward to fighting everybody. That's my only thing, that's what I want to do is to fight and fight and fight. I want to show the people what I can do! I want to entertain the people! So, this is what I will do in 2015 also, 16, 17, 18....and then we will look further. I only want to train and beat people up and entertain the people!

Read more...

Former K-1 and GLORY Fighter Mark Miller Teaching at The Factory in Los Angeles

  • Published in Glory

Mark "Fightshark" Miller has been through hell and back not just once but a number of times now. The most recent clash with his health issues started when he was preparing for a fight at GLORY 12, only to end up in the hospital and since then (GLORY 12 was November of 2013) he's been dealing with daily dialysis, minor surgeries, on-and-off bouts of wearing an eye patch and awaiting a transplant for his kidney. Things haven't been easy.

But now he feels ready to get back out there. Not quite a return to the ring just yet, but instead the former K-1 and GLORY veteran will be training fighters of all experience at The Factory in Sherman Oaks, California inside of Los Angeles. He'll be training six days a week and will be available for one-on-one sessions and personalized training. If you are in the area Mark is a guy with a ton of experience in not only fighting, but life and business as well and it's definitely worth your time to pick up some techniques from him and to pick his brain about the fight industry in general. 

Read more...

GLORY Announces GLORY 20 Dubai for April 3rd

  • Published in Glory

For any major combat sports organization having a clear line-up of events is always the best way to keep fans engaged and ready for more. The key is to not overstimulate your audience but to keep them engaged and excited about what you have to offer. GLORY is doing exactly that with the announcement of GLORY 20 Dubai, which is set to take place in the United Arab Emirates on April 3rd. 

The event will be headlined by the long-awaited GLORY Featherweight Championship bout between Canadian Gabriel Varga and Dutch-Moroccan brawler Mosab Amrani. The card will also mark the return of former UFC fighter Pat "HD" Barry who will be squaring off against the always-dangerous Mourad Bouzidi in a Heavyweight bout.

In keeping with tradition, there will be a Contender's tournament on the card as well, this one being in the stacked Middleweight division. Jason Wilnis will take on the uber-tough Alex Pereira while Wayne Barrett will test his mettle against muay thai standout Simon Marcus. 

Tickets will go on sale on February 1st for those in the area or planning to attend and the event will be airing on Spike TV.

Read more...

GLORY Adds Two Big Fights to GLORY 19 SuperFight Series Card

  • Published in Glory

If there was ever really one big thing that depressed me about GLORY events it is that there is no way to see the GLORY SuperFight Series fights live. That really isn't a terrible problem to have, all things considered. It's still a bummer none-the-less, especially in the age of MMA promotions offering streams of prelims. 

GLORY has announced two interesting fights for the GLORY 19 SuperFight Series undercard that will have kickboxing fans even more excited for the upcoming event. The first is 70kg Canadian sensation Josh Jauncey against Germany's Max Baumert in what should be an explosive battle. Jauncey has two wins under the GLORY banner thus far, a decision win over Warren Stevelmans and a knockout over Jae Gil Noh. Baumert has fought once for GLORY, a win over Ismail Uzuner at GLORY 6.

The other fight -- and this is a big one -- is GLORY 12 Lightweight Champion Andy Ristie taking on Australian brawler Steve Moxon. Both men are well-known at this point and one would have to favor Ristie going into this fight, but Moxon is hungry and coming off of a big win over Aikpracha from Kunlun earlier this month.

Read more...

Aleksandr Stetcurenko Replaces Murthel Groenhart in GLORY 19 Tournament

  • Published in Glory

It looks like Nieky Holzken has a new opponent after Murthel Groenhart was stopped just this past weekend at the Kunlun event in China. That new opponent in the GLORY Welterweight Contender's tournament will be none other than Aleksandr Stetcurenko. Stetcurenko is 1-1 in GLORY, with a loss to Karapet Karapetyan and a win over Kharim Ghajji from GLORY 13 Tokyo. 

Stetcurenko remained active last year going 1-1 outside of GLORY, picking up a win over Sergey Parchinsky in Moscow back in September. 

This is a tough break for Murthel, who took the fight in China to remain active, but was knocked out and became an issue for him moving forward with the GLORY event next month. It should be noted that headliner Rico Verhoeven was on the same card and did lose his fight, being dropped twice, but was not knocked out like Murthel was.

Read more...

Joe Schilling Returns to Action Against Robert Thomas at GLORY 19

  • Published in Glory

The past few months have been filled with rumors, upset fans and fighters looking for opportunities outside of the GLORY banner. The best example of that would have to be Joe Schilling, who made his return to MMA after years away competing in muay thai and kickboxing, to knock out Melvin Manhoef in one of the most exciting KO's of the year. Schilling was one of the stars of GLORY's Last Man Standing tournament back in June, making it to the finals where he rematched Artem Levin with Levin walking away the victor this time.

Afterwards it seemed that a rift had grown between GLORY and Schilling, which became public when Schilling publicly signed with Bellator. 

It seems that everything is in working order now, though, as it came out today that Schilling has a new contract with GLORY and will be fighting at GLORY 19 against Robert Thomas. This is a big move for GLORY considering that Joe Schilling was their most popular US-based fighter and that a rubber match between Levin and Schilling should be a major attraction in their 2015 schedule. First up is Robert Thomas at GLORY 19 on February 6th though, which should be fun.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

 

Read more...

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.

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Brian Collette

  • Published in Interviews

We managed to get a few words from American Light heavyweight Brian Collette about what he thought went wrong in his fight against Zack Mwekassa. Collette tells us he really didn't feel himself, his trainers also told us at the event that even his warm up seemed flat footed. It seems Collette's mind was not in the right place before or during the fight this time. He actually wasn't doing too badly at the start of the fight, but as soon as he started standing still in front of Mwekassa things took a bad turn, not to mention Zack's jab looked as hard as other peoples right hand which Collette admits was a bit surprising.

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Benjamin Adegbuyi

  • Published in Interviews

Benjamin Adegbuyi came away with the decision victory in a hard fought battle with Dutch veteran Hesdy Gerges at Glory 18. This fight was a close one in my eyes and it really was depending on what the judges were looking for. Gerges was walking forward putting pressure on Adegbuyi while throwing lots and lots of low kicks at the same time Benny was throwing big punches and high kicks which was pleasing the crowd and obviously the judges on this one. Adegbuyi was throwing some huge bombs to the body of Hesdy and to be fair I've always wondered why people don't hit Hesdy's body more since his hands are always high, but I got my answer, body punches don't seem to have any effect on Gerges at all.

Anyway, Benny hints to us that there maybe  a possible title fight in the near future for him, and I'm looking forward to that, as I believe Benjamin has what it takes to win the belt.

 

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Hesdy Gerges

  • Published in Interviews

Hesdy Gerges was not very happy about the judges decision on his fight with Benjamin Adegbuyi this weekend. He felt he did enough to win rounds 1 and 3 at least with his pressure, and low kicks. A few people I was with during the fights agreed with Gerges as well and they thought he had won handily so I can see his frustration. Hesdy always seems to have crappy luck, first with the Badr head stomp, then the Ben Saddik head stomp, and now with the judges, I feel for the guy but hes always a wicked fighter to watch and one of the best heavyweights around, hopefully he can catch a break soon, he deserves it.

Read more...

Glory 18: Liverkick Exclusive Post-Fight Interview with Robin van Roosmalen

  • Published in Interviews

After an astounding performance against GLORY Lightweight Champion Davit Kiria at GLORY 18 Robin van Roosmalen walked away from Oklahoma with the ability to call himself the GLORY Lightweight Champion. There was but one moment where things looked bleak for van Roosmalen, but he was able to recover and control the remainder of the fight.

Our cameras caught up with van Roosmalen after his win and he talked about the fight, including that one moment where he let his guard down and found himself down on the mat. Van Roosmalen also talks about what the future might hold for the newly-crowned GLORY Lightweight Champion.

Read more...

Saulo Cavalari Talks About Being GLORY's #1 Light Heavyweight Contender

  • Published in Interviews

It's safe to say that Saulo Cavalari had a good night at GLORY 18. He walked away with two big ones, one over the tournament-favorite Danyo Ilunga and the other a picturesque headkick KO over the much-hyped Zack Mwekassa. 

Outside of being a naturally super nice guy (he tied our camera-dude Carlo's shoe for him and saw seen giving Shar's mom a few pecks on the cheek), Saulo is a scary dude inside of the ring and he talks about his two huge victories at GLORY 18 with us. He has a lot to talk about and sure, he might seem scary, but he's really a nice dude, okay?

Read more...

Josh Jauncey Still Self-Critical After GLORY 18 Win

  • Published in Interviews

It'd be weird to make Jay write an article about Josh, right? If you were somehow unaware, yeah, Jay Jauncey is indeed Josh's brother and trainer, so it felt weird to make him write about an interview done by their bud Carlo with Josh considering that Jay is in the video helping remove the tape from Josh's gloves along with their father, Vincent.

The opening of the video is interesting because you see Josh get untaped while GLORY's Ivan Farneti talks about possibly booking a Canadian event while Jon Bier and his marvelous beard talks about complications, to give you some insight as to what goes on behind those closed doors. Josh is still uber-critical of himself after what was a solid performance (hopefully the SuperFight Series videos are public soon), but it's cool to know that most of these guys are just as critical of themselves even on their best nights just like I'm critical of myself on my good nights. 

Read more...

Danyo Ilunga Sees GLORY 18 as a Chance for Redemption

  • Published in Interviews

Danyo Ilunga was probably the one omission that was kind of frustrating to a lot of fans when it came to GLORY crowning a Light Heavyweight Champion earlier this year. Ilunga fought in a reserve fight at GLORY 15, which left him on the sidelines to watch Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong meet in the ring, which was an interesting call considering he met Spong in the finals of GLORY 9's Light Heavyweight tournament a year before. 

Ilunga is finally getting his due in the GLORY 18 Light Heavyweight Contender's tournament and he seems focused on making the best of his time in the ring on Friday. He's using the omission from the previous tournament and his controversial loss to Spong as a jumping off point for his inspiration on Friday night. Our cameras caught up with him and he dished out what we can expect from him at GLORY 18.

Read more...

Copyright 2010 - 2014 LiverKick.com. All Rights Reserved.

Top Desktop version