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Yokkao Breaks New Ground with 4K Ultra HD Saenchai Promo

  • Published in Muay Thai

You know, I consider myself pretty up on my PC stuff, considering I game on my PC, but even I don't have a monitor and video card to handle 4k Ultra HD video. That isn't stopping Yokkao from investing in 4K cameras to film their videos, though. Yokkao became the first muay thai apparel brand to launch 4K Ultra HD videos on YouTube this week with their new promo for the PK Saenchaimuaythaigym Yokkao Training center promo video.

If you are like me you can still watch the video in normal, boring HD, but I feel that we might be missing out on something. This is just another in a long line of big things from Yokkao, after opening up one of the biggest manufacturing centers to date for muay thai products, rolling out a multilingual website and having many, many international shops around the world where their products are available.

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VIDEO: Former NBA Player Darko Milicic Loses Kickboxing Debut

  • Published in Kickboxing

This is one of those weird, only-in-kickboxing types of stories. Darko Milicic, former NBA player, made his kickboxing debut in an exhibition on Wednesday in Serbia, fighting under the WKA banner. There was some fanfare and hype around it, considering his profile, but WKA's global presence isn't quite what it's cracked up to be.

Anyway, he made his debut and things didn't go so well for the awkwardly tall basketball player when the doctors stopped it after a cut opened up on his shin.

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Rico Verhoeven, Murthel Groenhart and Andy Souwer on KhunLun Fight 15

  • Published in Kickboxing

Rico Verhoeven is supposed to fight Errol Zimmerman at GLORY 19 in February, so we still don't have a time or date, but it is interesting to learn that he'll be fighting for another promotion in China on January 4th. Rico Verhoeven will be fighting on January 4th for Khunlun Fight 15, as well as Andy Souwer, Murthel Groenhart and many others. While we don't have a full card just yet, what we know thus far is exciting;

A 4-man 70kg tournament;

Sittichai Sitsongpeenong vs Murthal Groenheart
Andy souwer vs Jaio Fukai
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Yokkao return to the UK in March 2015

  • Published in Muay Thai

Following on from their highly successful double event this past October, Yokkao have announced their return to the UK for the 21st of March 2015. Once again the event will feature two cards and will be taking place from the same venue at the Macron Stadium in Bolton, Manchester.

Yokkao announced via their website that most of the fighters have already been confirmed for the event however no names have been released as of yet.

In addition to the announcement, Yokkao have organised a contest whereby the winner can get their hands on some Yokkao merchandise of their choice. To participate, head over to Yokkao's Facebook page take a guess at who'll be the match-ups in the main events of Yokkao 12 and 13.

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Top King World Series unveil tournament bracket

  • Published in Muay Thai

As previously announced, Top King World Series will be hosting their third and final event of 2014 from the Asia World Expo in Hong Kong on December 20th. The match-ups have now been unveiled for the quarter finals of their 70kg tournament.

Buakaw is a strong favorite to win the tournament and has coincidentally been given the easiest route to the final. Buakaw will take on Dmytro Konstantynov of Ukraine. Buakaw decimated Moxon in the opening round, ruining the Australian with knees to the body before eventually finishing him with an elbow. Konstantynov defeated Giorgio Petrosyan's younger brother Armen via unanimous decision. 

The winner will go on to face the winner Khayal Dzhaniev and Andrei Kulebin who both won their previous contests via decision.

The match-up of the round is without a doubt Niclas Larsen vs. Marat Grigorian. Both are two of the best prospects at 70kg and made it to the quarter finals with very impressive performances. Larsen destroyed Vladimir Konsky with his patented right hand in the first round 

whereas Grigorian defeated karate stylist Abraham Roqueni via unanimous decision. This should play out to be a terrific stylistic clash, as Larsen will likely aim to finish this within the distance with his heavy hands meanwhile Grigorian will look to

utilize his immaculate technique and pinpoint accuracy to out-land Larsen over the course of three rounds.

Providing no one is injured or unable to continue in the tournament the winner of Grigorian/Larsen will meet either Reece McAllister or Marcin Parcheta in the semi-finals. McAllister turned in a career-best performance in the opening round, blitzing hometown favorite Crice Boussoukou with a combination of punches and knees in the opening round. Parcheta also scored an impressive stoppage as he knocked out Azize Hlali in the third round.

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Lion Fight 20 announced for February 20th 2015

  • Published in Muay Thai

Lion Fight Promotions have just announced their first show of 2015. Lion Fight 20 will take place on February 20th at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

In the main event Jorina Baars will get to defend her title for the first time since winning it at Lion Fight 14 against Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino. She will face Casey Bohrman who only has a record of 8 wins and 5 losses but has fought big names like Germaine DeRandamie.

The Co-main event will feature Chris Mauceri coming off his win over Coke Chunhawat against another tough test originally from Thailand but now training in Atlanta Sittisak. Maybe a win in this fight will give one of them a chance to take the title from Kevin Ross.

The card will be broadcast on AXS TV which means we will get our dose of Michael “The Voice” Schiavello and he will be joined by UFC hall of famer Pat Miletich to do the commentary.

The card will also include:

  • 123 lbs. Bout: Jason Andrada (Las Vegas, NV) vs. John Nofer (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 140 lbs. Bout: Tom Evans (Central Fall, RI) vs. Julio Pena (Boston, MA)
  • 135lbs. Bout: Tim Amorim (Philadelphia, PA) vs. Bryce Lawrence (Naples, FL)
  • 143 lbs. Bout: Gaston Bolanos (Dublin, CA) vs. TBD 
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WGP #24 on December 20th Featuring Alex Pereira and Felipe Micheletti

  • Published in Kickboxing

WGP Kickboxing in Brazil plan to close out 2014 with a bang with WGP #24 on December 20th featuring some of their biggest stars competing at the highest level. WGP has taken to streaming their events of late on internet PPV for cheap, which means that you should be able to catch the event on LiverKick on December 20th.

The big fight is featuring GLORY standout Alex Pereira, who is set to square off against Ivan Galaz. Also on the card will be Felipe Micheletti against Toni Milanovic. There will also be a one-night Grand Prix for the 71.8kg title, featuring Bruno Gazani vs. Ravy Brunow and Weber Shrek vs. San Martino. 

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Top King World Series Final 8 Fight Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

Top King World Series will be holding their Final 8 event at the Asia World Expo in Hong Kong on December 20th at 23:30 (UTC +7 Thailand) and will be broadcast on Mordern 9 TV Thailand. So far the first two shows they have done to determine who the final 8 would be have been nothing short of amazing. Now we are down to all the top name guys and we get to see the fights that we have been waiting for. The tournament match ups have yet to be announced but the participants and super fights are here for you too look forward too. It's Great to see them bringing in more fighters from Thailand to introduce to the World.

TOPKING World Series Final 8 Full Fight Card.

Final 8 Tournament.

  • Buakaw Banchamek (THAI)
  • Andrei Kulebin (BEL)
  • Nicolas R. Larsen (DEN)
  • Reece MCallister UK)
  • Khayal Dzhaniev (RUS)
  • Dmytro Konstantynov (UKR)
  • Marat Grigorian (AMR)
  • Marcin Parcheta (POL)

SuperFights

  1. Pornsanae Sitmonchai vs. Denis Puric
  2. Sangmanee Sor Tiempoe vs. Ka Man Kwok
  3. Sam-A Kaiyanghadaogym vs. Irshaad Sayed
  4. Peemai  Jitmuangnon vs. Mostafa Abdolahi
  5. Kaito Fukada VS. Chan Kai Tik
  6. Yusuke Otahara VS. Ming Tang
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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Video: Andy Souwer Vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka 2014 S-Cup

  • Published in Video

Well after watching that 8 hour S-Cup show last night until 4 am, I woke up with with one thought on my mind, if you fight a Japanese fighter in Japan you have to knock him out to win no matter what. Andy Souwer is a man that has fought in Japan so many times and he understands this and it shows. Even though I feel that Japan has probably adopted him as their own by now you can never be sure which Souwer always proves by knocking his opponents senseless. 

We are lucky enough to have a video of his fight for everyone to watch where u can see his urgency in the 3rd round to score a KO and make sure to keep the Japanese judges out of the equation. Souwer fought last Sunday on Enfusion Live and now here he is a week later scoring his 2nd knockout in 7 days, not much more we need to say about why Andy Souwer is such a legend.

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Liverkick Exclusive: Glory 18 Calm Before The Storm Video

  • Published in Video

So our one man camera crew (Carlo) managed to get all the pre and post fight interviews while taking behind the scenes footage which I like call the calm before the storm. I saw him running around like a maniac trying to get footage of everyone, but after watching this video, man was it worth it. It really captures the feeling of being back stage before these shows, the way everyone warms up differently, some super calm, some screaming and smashing the pads. There is always tension especially when everyone's change rooms were right beside each other and most people could hear their opponent warming up. It's great to see how the fighters that we love to watch fight their hearts out, prepare right before putting on an amazing show for us. 

This is just a sample of the videos that we will be making for the upcoming Glory shows, Enjoy!

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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: Closing Thoughts and Ongoing Narratives

  • Published in News

Glory 18 was an intriguing experience. It didn’t generate as many highlight moments as previous Glory events, but it was nevertheless an event packed full of relentless action and remarkable performances from underdogs who proved that they could step up to the plate and handle a high level of competition. Glory 18 was also a significant chapter in the development of many fighters. We’ll examine this and other ongoing narratives below.

First, let’s talk about Zack Mwekassa. His incredible story of survival and endurance captured our interest, and his explosive KO of Pat Barry captured our attention. He is a figure seemingly poised to breakout as another star in Glory, combining explosive power with boxing technique that trumps that of many experienced kickfighters. He is a fighter with a lot of potential, and tonight, we saw flashes of what he could achieve with that potential, knocking American Muay Thai veteran Brian Collette out cold with a thundering hook. That said, he clearly has much to learn about the kickboxing game, and the challenge for Mwekassa will be to develop a kickboxing style that complements his physical gifts and athleticism and which allows him to make the most of his boxing prowess, perhaps in the vein of his legendary predecessor Mark Bernardo. Incorporating more low kicks would be a good start to counteracting fighters who will look to stay at range from his granite fists. With time, Mwekassa will wisen up to the classic kickboxing tactics, especially the low kick to high kick trap that countless kickboxers including Peter Aerts have used to devastating effect. As Mwekassa learns the kickboxing game, I anticipate that he will only become fiercer and more monstrous as a kickboxer. Until then, he will continue to capture our hearts with his eloquence and personality, both of which are key to establishing himself as a presence in the fight world.

Wayne Barrett similarly finds himself appreciating the depth of the kickboxing game. Coming off of an incredible Middleweight tournament run that saw Barrett KO Bogdan Stoica, Jason Wilnis seemed like a winnable fight for the American, but what we saw revealed a noticeable lack of comfort on Barrett’s part with initiating offense and dictating the pace of the fight. It seems like he expected Wilnis to come forward more aggressively like Robin van Roosmalen, Albert Kraus, and other Dutch combination punchers, but Wilnis turned the tables by letting Barrett initiate exchanges. While Barrett was less tentative offensively in this fight than he was against Joe Schilling, he will need to make more progress because like Jason Wilnis, future opponents will not let Barrett establish his excellent counterpunching game.

Both Jason Wilnis and Saulo Cavalari deserve credit for demonstrating what excellent gameplanning can accomplish in kickboxing. Wilnis shut Wayne Barrett down by allowing Barrett to initiate the offense while punishing him with punches and low kicks. It was a strategy that threw Barrett off of his game completely, demonstrating a brilliance and maturity on part of himself and his team. Similarly, Saulo Cavalari used two very different gameplans to great effect in the LHW contender tournament, smothering Danyo Illunga with offense at close range while using distance, speed, and low kicks against the powerful Mwekassa. Wilnis and Cavalari proved to great effect that playing against the strengths of their opponent can swing the momentum of a fight.

What is there to say about Robin van Roosmalen vs. Davit Kiria 3? The fight played out much the same as their previous bouts, but both fighters acquitted themselves well in the cardio department. Robin van Roosmalen competed in five rounds for the first time tonight, and he proved that he can hit just as hard in the fifth round as he does in the first. As a fighter who weathers the storm in order to find an opening, this was Kiria’s fight to lose as he simply couldn’t match Robin’s work rate. I suspect that Robin will likely draw Andy Ristie next; it will be interesting to see how he plans to avenge one of the most significant losses of his career.

Once again, the SuperFight Series fighters earned their share of the spotlight, which is why it is continually puzzling that Glory keeps some of its most anticipated fights off of Spike. Benny Adegbuyi vs. Hesdy Gerges was a heavyweight barn burner, but unfortunately for many fans who are restricted from accessing Glory’s online stream, this was a great fight that they just couldn’t see. Also worth watching is the development of Josh Jauncey, not only because he’s a friend of the site but also because he is putting a lot of potential on display. Jauncey divides his time between training with his family at Team WKX and Team Souwer in the Netherlands, where he’s impressed Andy Souwer himself. The future looks bright for the young British Canadian; it will be interesting to see how his career unfolds.

In closing, let’s talk about Glory itself. This is the first event promoted by the organization after a long period of reorganization that saw the appointment of a new CEO. Jon Franklin had promised changes on the production side, and it’s encouraging to see that the quality of the product remained high. Notable during this broadcast was more prominent sponsorship, from more logos in the ring to new TV commercials built specifically around the Glory product. Glory chose a small venue for this event, and while I doubt the gate was enough to break even, it’s encouraging that Glory can still produce a good night of fights in light of necessary cost cutting. That said, major questions remain: 1) What will happen to Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong, and Joe Schilling? All three fighters have revealed that their contracts with the organization have expired. It has long been rumored that Saki and Spong demand a high asking price for Glory, and based on previous comments by Franklin, it sounds like Glory may be willing to part ways with them. This would be a surprise considering that Saki is the Glory LHW champion--but at this point who knows. Schilling is by far the more shocking case as he is arguably Glory’s first breakout star. It doesn’t bode well for other fighters, especially for other breakouts like Wayne Barrett and Mwekassa, that Schilling and Glory can’t reach a deal. What the future holds in store for us is unclear, but at least for the time being, Glory is still capable of bringing an excellent night of action to you.

Finally, unless he’s involved in community theater or something, referee Al Wichgers really needs to decide on a hair color for himself and to stick to it. Personally, I think he looks perfectly fine with gray hair.

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Check Out the Video From Yokkao 11's Fight of the Night: Brad Stanton vs Crice Boussoukou

  • Published in Video

Exactly one month ago Yokkao held a double-header in the UK with Yokkao 10 and Yokkao 11. Both events featured some crazy action, some of which we've seen thanks to them uploading it to their YouTube channel, now we get to see the fight from Yokkao 11 that has been labeled as the fight of the night; Brad Stanton vs. Crice Boussoukou. 

After Yokkao 10 and 11 Yokkao saw a lot of talent in the UK, which has led for Stefania Picelli and Brian Calder to begin work in creating a Yokkao Fight Team based out of the UK. This fight is just further proof of the talent that the UK possesses, for sure. 

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K-1

K-1 Signs Yodsanklai Fairtex to Two-Year Contract

  • Published in K-1

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

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

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K-1 Announces Deal in China and Three 2015 Events

  • Published in K-1

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

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

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

K-1 has also announced two other events;

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

  • Published in K-1

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

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

Tiffany Van Soest is also announced for the card.

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K-1 Japan 65kgs Tournament Results

  • Published in K-1

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

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

Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Tournament Finals - Kaew Fairtex defeats Soda Yasuomi (decision)

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

  • Published in K-1

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

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

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

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

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

  • Published in K-1

My god, this whole Buakaw fiasco, right? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Published in K-1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Published in K-1

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

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

Paul “Semtex” Daley vs. Mohammad Ghaedibardeh

Rungravee Sasiprapa vs. Dennis Puric

Andrei Kubelin vs. Lee Sung Hyun

Maximo Suarez vs. Tural Bayramov

Andre “Dida” Amade vs. Li Yankun

Artem Pashporin vs. Petmongkol Thor. Thesputin

Xei Lei vs. Yoshimoto

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

  • Published in K-1

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

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

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

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GLORY 19 Moved to February

  • Published in Glory

It's official, GLORY 19 has been pushed back to February. We were informed by GLORY officials yesterday that they were making the decision to push the event forward to give them more time to properly promote the event and were waiting to inform the fighters before making the announcement. The news comes after we had still yet-to-learn where GLORY 19 was planned to take place. We spoke with GLORY's Jon J. Franklin last night for the inside scoop on why GLORY had made the decision to postpone GLORY 19.

"Obviously I'm disappointed that we had to move off the December 19th date. But I'd have been even more disappointed if we continued with the hard work it takes to put on an event like GLORY does and it didn't live up to the standard our fans have come to expect and demand," Franklin explained to us.

"As planned for 2015, we will take January off and then return on SPIKE with GLORY 19 in February. Our Heavyweight World Champion Rico Verhoeven is facing a tough task in Errol Zimmerman and we've also got the buzzsaw that is Nieky Holzken and human highlight reel Raymond Daniels. Once we're able to announce the full card for GLORY 19, it will be worth the wait."

In the coming weeks we'll have more information about the upcoming GLORY 19. 

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Hesdy Gerges Sentenced to Five Years in Prison on 2011 Cocaine Smuggling Case

  • Published in Glory

If you remember all the way back to 2011, you might remember that Hesdy Gerges was arrested for drug trafficking in connection to a case involving his half-brother. Gerges was charged with trafficking 128 kilos of cocaine (not joking). He wasn't actually caught with the drugs, his half-brother was, but he was linked to the case for potential smuggling. That case came back to bite him on Friday, when he was sentenced to five years in prison. 

Gerges made a statement on his Facebook page yesterday refuting the charges yet again.

"I was truly shocked about my conviction today. But trust me, I am NOT guilty! So I will fight this battle in court.

Meanwhile, I will keep training hard, and will be fighting my battles in the ring.

To all my loyal friends and fans: Thanks for your trust and support!!!

Osu!"

His lawyer went on Twitter to express his frustrations, with many believing that Gerges and his legal team are going to fight the charges.

"Unbelievable that Hesdy Gerges is convicted in Belgium about a file case that didn't have any evidence at the time in 2011, for any involvement with coke."

In the meantime all eyes are on GLORY to see if they publicly react to this. Considering the gravity of the charges and the penalty, if Gerges is to spend time in prison chances are he won't be able to compete. It is also a black eye for the promotion who recently had him fight for a chance to challenge for the GLORY Heavyweight Championship. We've heard word that GLORY has privately dismissed Gerges for the time being, but like they dismissed his former opponent, Jamal Ben Saddik, after Ben Saddik attacked him in the ring during a fight for another organization. Although, keep in mind that it is not official until it is announced. 

We hope that this situation is resolved quickly, for the sake of the fans and the sport. 

UPDATE: It looks like Gerges has been officially cut. Here's a statement from Jon J. Franklin to BloodyElbow.

"Hesdy Gerges has been cut from the GLORY roster and removed from its rankings. GLORY does not tolerate any type of illegal activity and will remove athletes that violate our code of conduct in or out of the ring."

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This was Glory 18 - Return to Glory Video

  • Published in Glory

Glory has released their own "This is Glory" after movie for everyone to watch. Since its the Official Glory version they get to include lots of good fight footage which is pretty wicked, and also some short interviews directly after their fights.

We know everyone has busy schedules but taking 10 minutes out of your day to watch this will be well worth your time.

 

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The Ratings are in For GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

GLORY 18 was this past weekend, emanating from Oklahoma and featuring a Light Heavyweight Contender’s tournament as well as a Lightweight title match between Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen. By this point it had been over four months since GLORY had any live programming on Spike TV, another break that may have proven to be a bit too long considering that GLORY is still in its growth phase and doesn’t have the luxury of hoping that fans will stick around for months without much in the way of news. 

Like I mentioned before, the last live programming from GLORY on Spike TV was GLORY 17 Los Angeles on June 21st. After that it was just rumors and conjecture. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the best idea to take that much time to regroup, I don’t know.

There were some definite hurdles for GLORY 18 to overcome on Friday night, the first of which was being off of television for so long. The second factor that came into play here was that the UFC was running a card at the exact same time featuring Michael Bisping vs. Luke Rockhold. In an age of watered down UFC cards, the Bisping vs. Rockhold card turned out to be a pretty damned solid show and honestly, my Twitter timeline was full of people talking about it and it exclusively. Another big factor is moving from Saturday nights to Friday nights, which seemed like a good idea if unopposed, but then UFC happened. The other factor is less starpower on the card, which I’m not sure I take as seriously.

As a kickboxing fan do I love most of these bigger name guys like Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong, Daniel Ghita and a few others, but if we are entirely honest here, none have proven to be television draws here in the United States. It just is what it is. So I’m not sure that I buy that Davit Kiria vs. Robin van Roosmalen isn’t as much of a draw as Nieky Holzken being in a Welterweight tournament or Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki in a Light Heavyweight tournament.

The final numbers for GLORY 18 are 352,000 viewers with a peak of 648,000. Comparatively, those numbers fall in line with what has been the lowest rated GLORY event on Spike TV yet which was GLORY 15 with 354,000 viewers. Like I said before, there are a LOT of factors in play here, but the good news is that the pared-down and scaled back GLORY 18 was still able to hold a steady audience, which is nothing to scoff at.

All that GLORY really needs right now is some momentum. We spoke with GLORY CEO Jon J. Franklin yesterday and he wants fans to remain optimistic and remember the uphill battle that both GLORY and the sport of kickboxing are facing in the US today.

"You have to put this in perspective. We are not just building a brand; we are building a sport in the US and we now will be doing a better job of showcasing our product with regular events to build a fan base not just for GLORY, but for US kickboxing in general. It was a great night of fights and anyone who watched it will be back for our next SPIKE event on December 19th." 

Some might see this as a problem, but with Spike’s ongoing commitment to GLORY and GLORY’s commitment to bringing the best fighters in the world to your television screen this is just another challenge for the company to overcome.

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Post Glory 18 Matchmaking

  • Published in Glory

After 19 weeks without our beloved Glory the promotion returned last night with their 18th event, which took place in Oklahoma, USA.  Glory delivered once again making the wait worthwhile with a fantastic card top to bottom. Not only did Glory make up for lost time in terms of entertainment, but the event also solved several questions regarding title fights we can expect to see in 2015.

Saulo Cavalari

This one is quite obvious but for anyone who missed it, Cavalari defeated both Danyo Illunga and Zack Mwekessa last night to win the Glory Lightheavyweight Contender Tournament. Whilst Cavalari isn’t the most technically gifted striker at Lightheavyweight, he makes up for it with his aggressive approach and excellent output. He’ll be facing the current champion Gohkan Saki at some point in 2015 in what should be an absolute treat. 

Zack Mwekessa

Mwekessa’s boxing is not only some of the best at Lightheavyweight, but pound for pound he’s one of the best boxers in Glory at the moment. Cavalari exposed Mwekessa’s lack of kicking offence and defense, showing that he still needs to work on his overall game if he ever wants a crack at the belt. I think a bout with Andrei Stoica would be a good match for Mwekessa next.

Robin van Roosmalen

Van Roosmalen snatched the lightweight title from Kiria after defeating the Georgian for the third time. After 5 rounds of action it was van Roosmalen’s output that earned him the nod over the former champion, in a technically superb back and forth contest. Van Roosmalen first title defense will likely come against the last man to defeat him in Andy Ristie.

Davit Kiria

Unfortunately for Kiria it wasn’t third time lucky against Van Roosmalen. Despite scoring the only knockdown of the fight and remaining competitive throughout, Kiria lost the Majoirty Decision and his Lightweight title to the Dutchman last night. Unfortunately for Kiria this puts him in an awkward position so long as Van Roosmalen’s champion, as I doubt many will be calling for a fourth encounter between the two. Given that Ky Hollenbeck is also coming off of a loss a bout between him and Kiria makes a lot of sense, with the winner instantly being propelled back into title contention. 

Jason Wilnis

In what was the nights biggest upset, young Dutchman Jason Wilnis shocked the kickboxing world by defeating the #2 ranked Wayne Barrett. Wilnis refused to give Barrett the space he required and as a result he was able to capitalize with two knockdowns that swung the bout in his favor. With the win Wilnis evens his Glory record to 2-2 and will find himself knocking on the door of title contention. Due to the one-sided nature of his first loss to the current champ Artem Levin he’ll likely need at least one more convincing victory before he’s granted a rematch. A bout with Alex Perreira would not only give us a strong indication of where Wilnis stands within the Middleweight division, but it’d also be guaranteed fireworks.

Wayne Barrett

Barrett was heavily favored prior to the bout and looked to be on the cusp of a title shot. Wilnis’ aggressive approach appeared to be the answer to Barrett’s usual elusiveness as Barrett was hurt badly with punches in the opening two rounds. Even with a loss last night Barrett is one of the few Middleweights who’s yet to fight the champion, a win over a respectable opponent like Filip Verlinden would move him right back into title conversation.   

Danyo Illunga

In what was a disappointing performance by the perennial top 5 Lightheavyweight, Illunga was outworked and outpointed by eventual tournament winner Saulo Cavalari. The loss moves Illunga down in the pecking order, however with a few wins under his belt he could easily be knocking on the door of a title shot. A bout with fellow tournament semi-finalist Brian Collette would make a lot of sense.

Benjamin Adegbuyi

Another one that is fairly obvious. Adegbuyi defeated veteran Hesdy Gerges over the course of three rounds in a bout that was declared by Glory as a number one contenders bout. With the win Adegbuyi stays undefeated under the Glory banner and will move on to face the winner of the Rico Verhoeven vs. Errol Zimmerman III, which headlines Glory 19 on the 19th of December. 

 

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GLORY 19 Officially Announced

  • Published in Glory

Along with yet another successful card Glory also announced their next event which will take place on Friday the 19th of December. Glory 19 is rumoured to take place in the USA however no official location is confirmed at the moment.

Headlining the card will be the Heavyweight title bout between the current  champion Rico Verhoeven as he takes on Errol Zimmerman for the third time. Zimmerman won the initial encounter with a brutal KO in less than a minute at It's Showtime in January of 2012 with Verhoeven leveling the score with a points victory in New York at Glory 9 in June of last year. 

Zimmerman earned the right to fight for the belt after winning the Heavyweight Contender tournament back in May at Glory 16. Zimmerman, who's been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career, needed just a single round on both occasions to finish both Anderson Silva and Ben Edwards. Zimmerman aims to finally live up to his potential and put a convincing end to his trilogy with Verhoeven.

Verhoeven is currently riding a 6-fight win streak with all victories coming by decision. Verhoeven has only competed once this year under the Glory promotion, defeating Daniel Ghita for a second time in a highly anticipated rematch at Glory's marquee event this past June. Verhoeven has kept busy in 2014 though, making his professional boxing debut back in April where he KO'd Hungarian fighter Janos Finfera inside two rounds. Verhoeven will be looking for his first stoppage victory since May 2011. 

Also due to feature on the card is the Welterweight contender tourney, with the winner facing Joseph Valtellini in his first title defence. The tournament features two intriguing match-ups between Raymonds Daniels vs. Jonatan Oliveria and Nieky Holzken vs. Artur Kyshenko.

Jonatan Oliveira is currently undefeated in Glory, winning both of his contests by decision. He'll be taking a big step up in competition though as he looks to take on the human highlight reel in Raymond Daniels. Daniels is fresh of his ridiculous spinning heel kick KO of Francois Ambang back in May and will be looking to win this tourney so he can take revenge on Valtellini, whom beat him via KO last December.  

Holzken is probably wondering why he wasn't given an immediate shot against the champion, considering he's widely regarded as the best Welterweight on the planet and already has a convincing win over Valtellini. Holzken will take on a man whom has defeated him previously in Artur Kyshenko. Kyshenko has competed twice for Glory, most recently losing a lacklustre decision to Karapet Karapetyan back in March. Kyshenko has always been regarded as supremely talented however his fluctuations in weight class and general inconsistency have held him back from reaching his full potential. 

In the coming weeks look out for more announcements regarding the location of this card as well as additions to the fight card. 

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Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen Have Lots to Prove at GLORY 18

  • Published in Glory

Tomorrow night at GLORY 18 in Oklahoma there will be an epic showdown for the GLORY Lightweight Championship between two of the toughest fighters in the ultra-competitive 70kg division. Davit Kiria comes into the fight against Robin van Roosmalen as the GLORY Lightweight Champion, which should give him an edge, but in the eyes of many this is an uphill battle for the champion. Davit Kiria will be meeting van Roosmalen for the third time, with the previous two encounters ending in decision victories for van Roosmalen and leaving Kiria just out of reach of the top of the division. 

For Kiria he was the unlikely GLORY Lightweight Champion. When reflecting on GLORY's Lightweight division at GLORY 12 in New York, Kiria, out of the four men involved in the tournament, was the least likely to be wearing the GLORY Lightweight Championship any time soon. Why? Because Giorgio Petrosyan was unstoppable, being Robin van Roosmalen is a shrunken Gokhan Saki, because Andy Ristie is fast, powerful and technical. On that night everyone was right and van Roosmalen made it by Kiria for a second time before moving onto the finals against the unlikely opponent that was Andy Ristie, who had just knocked out the greatest 70kg fighter that has ever competed in kickboxing. 

Ristie walked away with his hand raised and when it was announced that Davit Kiria would be his first challenger, many groaned or called for a rematch with Petrosyan or van Roosmalen. Kiria was once again the fourth man in a three-man division. Kiria stepped into the ring at GLORY 14 as a serious underdog against Ristie. Ristie was the man who defeated Giorgio Petrosyan, how could he lose to the slow-starting Kiria? Ristie was doing what Ristie does throughout the early rounds, with Kiria just holding on, picking his spots and landing whatever he could in between the onslaughts by Ristie.

Then something happened; Kiria connected. All of a sudden it was a brand new fight and the last two rounds were not only competitive, but Kiria was making one of the craziest comebacks in kickboxing's history. Kiria then put the cherry on top with a knockout blow that sent Ristie crashed to the canvas and secured him the GLORY Lightweight Championship. He was not the fourth man anymore, he was the top fighter in one of the most competitive divisions in the world.

For Robin van Roosmalen the story is a bit different. Robin's career began slowly, showing lots of promise, but having problems when stepping up in competition. He was aggressive, hit hard, focusing on killer combinations, but he ran into fighters who were able to nullify his gifts and shut him down. He found a nemesis in Mootje Khamal, with many seeing Khamal as the man to take the 70kg kickboxing world by storm. Khamal earned his way into the K-1 World MAX tournament only to run into Gago Drago. But trouble was brewing within the K-1 system and It's Showtime decided to hold their own 70kg tournament -- 70kg Fast and Furious. 

Van Roosmalen entered the tournament, a virtual "Murderer's Row" in the 70kg division, featuring Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko, Gago Drago, Chahid Oulad el Hadj, Murat Direcki, Harut Grigorian and Chris Ngimbi. Of course, missing from that lineup was 70kg ace Giorgio Petrosyan, who was forced to pull out due to the reoccurring injury to his right hand that seems to always gum up the works. Van Roosmalen wasn't expected to win the tournament, even with Petrosyan out. Instead, it was seen that Andy Souwer, Chris Ngimbi or Artur Kyshenko would walk away the victor in what was the "substitute" 2010 K-1 World MAX tournament. 

Van Roosmalen shocked the kickboxing world by knocking out Chahid, fending off Chris Ngimbi's ariel assault and then putting Artur Kyshenko down and out in one round. Robin van Roosmalen went from an interesting prospect to the default #2 fighter in the 70kg division, who was only #2 because of the elephant in the room that was Giorgio Petrosyan. Van Roosmalen wouldn't have to wait long, with GLORY buying out It's Showtime and a good portion of the kickboxing world and staging the GLORY 3 70kg Slam tournament. The fans got exactly what they wanted in a final of Robin van Roosmalen vs. Giorgio Petrosyan for the official title of the #1 70kg fighter in the world. Van Roosmalen fought valiantly, but Petrosyan did as Petrosyan tends to do and walked away with a decisive, clean victory over the slugger.

Robin wasn't done yet, oh no. He ran through everyone that GLORY put in his path, fighting a smarter, more conservative style without as many defensive holes being opened up on his path to GLORY 12's Lightweight tournament. When Petrosyan was knocked out he saw opportunity against Ristie, but on that night Ristie was able to find a hole and put van Roosmalen down and out with a huge uppercut. 

For both men their claim to the throne of 70kg is clear. They've both achieved so much and share one frustrating similarity; they'd be easily considered the best in the world if it wasn't for Giorgio Petrosyan. After Petrosyan's loss to Andy Ristie his claim to the #1 spot has relented, leaving things wide open for either man. Right now Davit Kiria is that man, but many consider van Roosmalen's two prior victories as a Sword of Damocles dangling above his head by a thread, just waiting for it to snap and for van Roosmalen to claim the throne.

For van Roosmalen there is no Petrosyan in his way this time, just a man that he's beaten twice before. A victory here would cement his legacy, but does he have what it takes to dethrone the newly-crowned king in Kiria?

This is why we watch kickboxing and why it's so damned great.

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Watch GLORY 18 Live on LiverKick

  • Published in Glory

On Friday night GLORY will return with GLORY 18 on Spike TV. For those of you outside of the United States that wish to view the event live you'll have the chance to do so by purchasing a PPV stream live via LiverKick. This is guaranteed to be a great show, featuring the GLORY Lightweight Championship between Davit Kiria and Robin van Roosmalen. 

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Glory 18: Liverkick Predictions

  • Published in Glory

With Glory 18 one week away we have decided to do our LiverKick predictions for the main card and the superfight series. We like to hear everyone else's predictions as well so make sure you join in. 

Key: JJ = Jay Jauncey, DW = Dave Walsh

Main Card

Davit Kiria Vs Robin Van roosmalen - JJ: Van Roosmalen decision. DW: Kiria via decision

Wayne Barrett Vs Jason Wilnis - JJ: Barrett decision. DW: Barrett via KO

Brian Collette Vs Zack Mwekassa - JJ: Mwekassa KO. DW: Mwekassa via KO

Saulo Cavalari Vs Danyo Ilunga - JJ: Ilunga Decision. DW: Ilunga via decision

Lightheavyweight Tounament Finals - JJ: Ilunga KO. DW: Ilunga via decision

Superfight Series

Benjamin Adegbuyi vs Hesdy Gerges - JJ: Adegbuyi decision. DW: Benny via KO

Josh Jauncey vs Jae Gil Noh - JJ: Jauncey KO. DW: Jauncey via decision

Robert Thomas vs Mike Lemaire - JJ: Thomas decision. DW: Thomas via decision

Randy Blake vs Warren Thompson - JJ: Blake KO. DW: Blake via decision

Omari Boyd vs Ian Alexander - Alexander decision

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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

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

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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.

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

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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.

 

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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?

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Josh Jauncey Still Self-Critical After GLORY 18 Win

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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. 

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Danyo Ilunga Sees GLORY 18 as a Chance for Redemption

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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.

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Saulo Cavalari is Ready for Anything in GLORY 18's Light Heavyweight Tournament

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On Friday night at GLORY 18 Brazilian Saulo Cavalari will step into the ring at the GLORY Light Heavyweight tournament where he has a chance to win a shot at the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship. It's a tough field, with him fighting Danyo Ilunga first before potentially facing either Zack Mwekassa or Brian Collette in the finals.

Cavalari was last seen in the ring against Tyrone Spong, impressing a lot of people who saw Spong as a clear-cut favorite. Our cameras caught up with him on Thursday to discuss the upcoming tournament where he revealed that he keeps in steady shape so that he doesn't have to cut weight and that he doesn't specifically prepare for any of his opponents, he's just ready for whatever might come.

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