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Todd Duffee vs. Alistair Overeem is Off, Finally?

  • Published in K-1

I feel like we've been crushing dreams lately when it comes to Alistair Overeem. LiverKick.com has barely been up a week and we've been able to assure you that Bobby Lashley would not fight Alistair Overeem, Satoshi Ishii and were pretty skeptical of Todd Duffee happening. Overeem's people seemed less-than-confident of the fight happening after all of the nonsense, and apparently as of today, the fight is officially off. We haven't been able to officially confirm what happened this morning, but all signs are indeed pointing to Todd Duffee turning down the contract at the last minute.

Around the Octogon has decided to pit their credibility for this story (note the one comment from "Monte Cox"). As always, grains, salt, use them.

Todd Duffee and DREAM officials had a verbal agreement in place for him to face Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem at Dream Dynamite 2010 on New Years Eve. But when he received the contract this morning the money wasn’t right and Duffee decided to pass on the fight. ATO learned of the situation earlier today through a source close to Duffee

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Golden Glory's Cor Hemmers Calls Overeem Situation a "Setup"

  • Published in K-1

Cor HemmersGolden Glory fires yet another shot over the bow in the legal situation that is brewing between former Golden Glory team member Alistair Overeem and Golden Glory management. Overeem claims that Golden Glory was dishonest with him and were bad management to him, while Golden Glory is claiming that Alistair owes them quite a substantial amount of money as per part of his agreement with them. Now MixFight.nl has spoken with Cor Hemmers about the situation, and he feels like Overeem is way out of line.

"The management made a great deal for Alistair with the UFC. Alistair was very happy with this deal himself. During the negotiations the management spoke with Alistair about the changes being made to all of the agreements, and during the final stages of the negotiations both the management and UFC sent Alistair all of the documents for his comments and approval. Alistair went on his way to ZUFFA headquarters in Las Vegas where he would sign the contract himself. And that’s where Alistair decided to change course…”

“I feel it’s a setup” says Cor, “because Alistair wasn’t satisfied with the percentages for the trainers and the management . In fact, he tried to lower the percentages for the trainers when it became clear that his income would increase in the near future. Alistair wanted to discuss a new compensation system more in the form of a fixed fee and not based on percentages. Although we have no say in this – it’s a deal between the management and Alistair – he talked about this with Martijn de Jong and me after a training session. I am disappointed in the way he acts now and the financial proposal that he made to Martijn which was way below the regular percentage for trainers. I have always felt it’s a team effort to get these boys including Alistair to the highest level of the sport."

He ends the interview with "a contract is a contract," which seems to be the prevailing mindset within the camp. From what Cor says here, it appears that Overeem was looking to alter his contract with Golden Glory to make it look more like a management contract from the United States, including paying the trainers separately, based on a flat fee as opposed to the percentage of the management contracts that they are currently paid per fighter. We'll have more on this story when it is available. [source]

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Photo of the Day: Golden Glory Team Photo

  • Published in K-1

As if you ever had any doubt as to how awesome Golden Glory was, here is the Golden Glory team photograph to celebrate new years. After the break is another image of team Golden Glory all suited up.

 

 

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Alistair Overeem and Masato Heading to K-1' s Open Tryouts

  • Published in K-1

OvereemWhen looking back at the collapse of FEG, one figure stood out in the United States when it came to publicly speaking about the problems with K-1/FEG, and that was Alistair Overeem. Alistair, the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, had very publicly stated on numerous occasions that he was still owed a large sum of money by K-1. For him, working for the UFC meant job security and not having to worry about those past follies, and he had been heard talking about never wanting to work with companies like K-1 again. So for K-1 to announce that Alistair Overeem, one of the top Heavyweights in the UFC, will be in attendance for the K-1 Open Tryouts in Los Angeles, it is a big deal.

Think of it as a show of faith and letting sleeping dogs rest for K-1, as Alistair Overeem was a very vocal critic but still believes in the brand and the sport, and is willing to make a public showing like this with them. That is a big deal.

ALISTAIR OVEREEM AND MASATOTO ATTEND K-1 OPEN TRYOUTS

K-1 Open Tryouts are July 19 at Muscle Beach - FREE and OPEN to the Public

Los Angeles, CA - With close to 200 men from all over the world pre-registered for the K-1 Open Tryouts, K-1 has reached out to two of its former champions, Alistair Overeem, World Grand Prix Champion and Masato, two-time MAX Champion, to help evaluate and scout all the Hopefuls trying out next week Thursday for a chance to fight in the K-1 organization. Overeem and Masato will head to Muscle Beach on July 19 to alternate as judges during the tryouts, and also will pose for photos with the athletes and fans in attendance. Overeem and Masato join fighting legends Tyrone Spong, Dewey Cooper, Mighty Mo and Rick Roufus who were already scheduled to attend. The K-1 Open Tryouts are FREE and OPEN to the public. With only one week left until the tryouts, Hopefuls should confirm their participation by pre-registering through the K-1 FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/K1GlobalTV.ENG. "We are thrilled that Alistair Overeem and Masato are coming to the K-1 Open Tryouts next Thursday at Muscle Beach," said Doug Kaplan, Chief Executive Officer, K-1. "I have asked Alistair and Masato to join Tyrone Spong, Dewey Cooper, Rick Roufus and Mighty Mo to come out to LA and help K-1 find the next great breed of fighters and world champions."

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Alistair Overeem Mulls the Move to Boxing to Fight Vitali Klitschko

  • Published in Kickboxing

Alistair Overeem is a guy that is always full of surprises. First, he moved up to Heavyweight from Light Heavyweight and went from a very beatable fighter to an unstoppable freight train that is Ubereem. Just when it seemed like he would take the MMA world by storm, Overeem took to the K-1 ring where he saw some luck in his first year, and in his second year he went on to become the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion. So of course he made his return to MMA in the United States by defending his Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship against Brett Rogers then entered into the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix where he was able to defeat Fabricio Werdum in the first round of the tournament.

Fans have been fantasy booking Overeem's potential UFC run for a while now, with him either steamrolling the competition or being steamrolled himself, and in a recent interview he was asked what he would like to do after winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and the answer almost came out of nowhere; he wants to fight Vitali Klitschko, the Heavyweight boxer. Every shred of data that MMA fans and personalities have been pumping out into the public has declared Boxing as a dead sport, but Boxing still has a glamorous sheen that neither kickboxing or MMA present, with it questionable that they will ever catch up.

The logical move for Overeem would be to focus on the Heavyweight Grand Prix and not even imagine boxing, but the thought of one man winning a world championship in the three major combat sports is one that would make Alistair Overeem an instant legend unlike anything we've ever seen before. Vitali Klitschko began his fighting career as a kickboxer, with an apparent record of 34-1 to go with his impressive boxing record of 42-2. [source]

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UPDATE: Alistair Overeem Returns to the Kickboxing Ring in October

  • Published in K-1

Glory World SeriesIf you are an Alistair Overeem fan and a kickboxing fan, there is some good news for you. Much like we speculated after Alistair Overeem had to pull out of the September date for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, Alistair Overeem will be returning to action with his fight team and management at the helm for the October Glory World Series. Alistair Overeem, Sergei Kharitonov, Siyar Bahadurzada and Dion Staring appear on the new poster released today for the October event in Moscow, Russia. The strong rumor that we are hearing is that Alistair Overeem is set to headline the event and that it should be in a kickboxing bout, but no final opponent is set yet and the rules could change for his bout.

This will kick off their second Glory World Series tournament, which will be much like the last one, where there will be a Heavyweight Kickboxing tournament and there will be a MMA tournament, although it is still not clear which weight class it would be in. If they want to feature Siyar again, expect Middleweight.

The return of Alistair Overeem to fighting in kickboxing shows a serious disconnect between Overeem and current Strikeforce management in Zuffa, and this reads like a shot across the bow. Hopefully we are able to see Alistair Overeem defend his Strikeforce title soon, or even compete in the UFC, but the news of him fighting for the Glory World Series is a big deal after the May 28th supercard that was offered online streaming view YouTube.

Glory has even gone as far to say if you were one of the fans that purchased the Glory World Series card on YouTube PPV, fill out a survey and they will refund your purchase. Glory is rewarding loyalty to their product and is looking to push forward and put on more big events in the near future. We eagerly await finding out more details on this event.

UPDATE: Martijn de Jong spoke with Ariel Helwani and said "probably a MMA match" but that there was no opponent set yet.

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The Return of Badr Hari: A Look at Badr vs. Alistair Overeem, 2009 WGP Semi-Finals

  • Published in Kickboxing

Badr/ReemOver the past week we've taken a look at some of the fights from Badr Hari's 2009, the year after his meltdown in the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals against Remy Bonjasky and his loss to Alistair Overeem at Dynamite!! in K-1 rules. 2009 was Badr Hari's year for redemption, where he looked to avenge past losses and finally capture the K-1 World Grand Prix Title. He was poised to take over the world at this stage.

Entering into the Semi-Finals of the tournament, Badr Hari had already made short work of Ruslan Karaev in the Quarterfinals earlier that night. He was walking into a big rematch for himself, and a bout that a lot was on the line for Badr himself as well as the K-1 world. At the time, Alistair Overeem was billed as a MMA fighter "invading" K-1 for storyline purposes. His interviews were following the same narrative; he was a MMA fighter and he would prove that MMA was stronger than K-1. For Badr Hari, he was embarrassed in 2008 against Overeem after shaming himself by getting disqualified in a fight that he could have still won.

The Badr Hari that entered the ring against Overeem was a determined fighter, with his eyes not on revenge but on winning the K-1 World Grand Prix. The often-emotional "Bad Boy" was composed during this fight, taking on Overeem's great timing and clinch work with aggression and technical combinations. The fight opens up with Overeem's trademark at the time; clinching and sweeping Badr onto his back. A move like that would score him points in Muay Thai competition or be a takedown in MMA, but in K-1 rules it is just an annoyance. He used this technique throughout 2009 to frustrate his opponents and prevent them from getting their rhythm.

Overeem's movement frustrates Hari during the round, as Hari goes head hunting only for Overeem to time them and move out of the way and clinch before Badr finds an opening and lands a few body shots. Overeem continued to clinch while Badr was finishing his combinations with body shots that connected until Overeem made his first big mistake; throwing Badr Hari into the corner. Literally just throwing him into the corner, giving Badr a few moments to regain his composure and pick himself up. Much like we've seen in the past with Badr, if you plant him to the mat, he gets up and looks to take your head off. Overeem threw a left hook that Badr was able to time perfectly and slip a right hook of his own in that landed square on the temple. Overeem stayed on his feet until another quick, short right planted him face first.

Badr smelled blood at this point, and emotions were running high for both men. Overeem knew he was in trouble and Badr Hari wanted to keep good on his promise of knocking him out in under 3 minutes. Badr Hari swarmed at Overeem with rights and lefts, with the odd body shot to throw off Overeem's rhythm and leave an opening. Badr went for a head kick but overshot it, leaving his leg in Overeem's possession for Overeem to plant him on the mat. Hari followed up using the same combination of throwing a series of lefts and rights and finishing with a right body shot and what finally put Overeem out of the tournament was that combination with a left head kick at the end sending Overeem crashing into the corner.

For Badr Hari he had overcome yet another demon of his past, and left him heading into the 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix Finals against Semmy Schilt, the fighter that he had made short work of earlier in the year. Things were finally looking to fall into place for Badr Hari. Catch the video of the fight after the break.

Badr Hari returns on May 14th at It's Showtime Lyon against Gregory Tony after a year layoff. This series we are doing, "The Return of Badr Hari" looks back at the moments that led to Badr Hari's meltdown and time spent in jail, leading to his one year layoff from the world of kickboxing. The next one will cover the Semmy Schilt rematch from the Finals of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009.

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Amsterdam Mayor NOT Looking to Ban Martial Arts Events

  • Published in Kickboxing

Eberhard van der LaanA while back, it was reported that Amsterdam's new mayor, Eberhard van der Laan had been looking to crack down on organized crime, with a distinct focus on Martial Arts events. He was even quoted talking about mobsters being "VIPs" at Ultimate Glory and It's Showtime events. This, to many, set off alarms as there was talk of outright banning these events to keep criminals out of the public eye like that, being paraded around as important figures.

Thankfully for us, one of the reporters in the Netherlands who posts on Mixfight.nl scheduled an interview with Mr. van der Laan to discuss organized crime and Martial Arts. The picture that he paints is much different than the original article that ran in de Telegraaf (which has been known to be a "sensationalist" newspaper at times). This is very important as Tokyo, Japan goes through a tough time, all eyes are on Amsterdam to be the capitol of the kickboxing world.

"I think that there was a big miscommunication. If we can clearly communicate mutual understanding, and cooperation. " Van der Laan continued this by explaining that he used to participate in a lot of sports. He played a lot, and has learned important things from sports. Things like health, discipline and social development through meeting people, few things. The one issue where he is-strongly opposed, is the connection between upper and lower world that currently takes place in the martial arts events, and robust studies with cooperation of the police has shown that this dynamic of criminals mixing with average citizens indeed takes place at martial arts events. This is the connection that he wants to remove, and to do this would mean that the enthusiastic fighters and government must work together.

I implore you to read the full article, which discusses a meeting that took place between Alistair Overeem, Marloes Coehen and van der Laan about organized crime and martial arts events. The mayor describes Ubereem as a "nice and neat guy." [source]

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Duffee Accepts Fight with Alistair Overeem; U.S. Media Stymied

  • Published in K-1

Apparently, being let in on contract negotiations as they happen is not a good thing, which explains this afternoon's debacle with Todd Duffee. A member of Todd Duffee's fight camp told a blog, AroundTheOctogon.com, that the money offered to Todd Duffee was not as verbally agreed upon, so Duffee was not taking the fight. Now the same site is reporting that Duffee has sorted out the issues and will indeed fight Alistair Overeem on New Year's Eve in Japan.

It is great to finally see Alistair Overeem's opponent for New Year's Eve ironed out, and that apparently Duffee can expect that $60k paycheck from FEG, of course, whenever FEG has the money.

There are a few issues that have arisen from this that should become crystal clear to the casual onlooker, the first and possibly most important is that Japanese MMA has become important in the United States. A few years ago something being passed around message boards, blogs and news sites would be written off as unimportant, but with how the media is now and how the average consumer receives their news, that is not the case. Japanese MMA might be a dying fad in Japan itself, but something new is happening here, and it should be noted. For all of the fatalism paperclipped to MMA's file, I'm not quite sure that anyone expected a fighter from Holland who became a name in the United States fighting in Japan would make such a splash on such an isolated, hard to read country as Japan.

This year's Dynamite!! card will appeal to the hardcore fan, but to the casual MMA fan who might not follow Japanese MMA, Alistair Overeem's name being attached to it has lent it some much-needed credibility and hype. The question that I ask is this; is Alistair Overeem what Japanese MMA needs to survive? Is a fighter becoming a huge name internationally while making Japan their de facto home going to help bring in attention to a sport dying on the vine there? Time will only tell.

The other issue is that, with this, comes a wealth of MMA bloggers and legitimate reporters (I mean this at no slight to bloggers anywhere) who have very little knowledge about just how insane the Japanese MMA world is. Where in the United States, a last minute fight like this would result in a rumor, closed contract negotiations and a resolution, Alistair Overeem's journey for a fight has led to endless rumors, assurances from some of the MMA world's top reporters that fell flat and people squabbling over whose sources are more legitimate than others.

I hope that everyone has learned something.

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Why You Should Support the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP

  • Published in Kickboxing

Fedor and Silva (C) M-1Tomorrow night marks the kickoff of one of the biggest tournaments in MMA history. That sounds like grandstanding, doesn't it? It sounds over-the-top and like a simple tournament is being made to sound bigger than it actually is. The only problem with that logic is that the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP is one of the biggest tournaments to happen on American soil in MMA, and is the biggest tournament to happen since PRIDE ran its last Grand Prix. Stay with me, because I've received a few complaints from LiverKick.com's faithful readers in regards to the Strikeforce coverage. No, Strikeforce is indeed not kickboxing or muay thai, but it is being covered for a very distinct reason; we care about the global fight scene, a lot.

Zuffa did something incredible when they took over the UFC and helped to rehabilitate the image of Mixed Martial Arts and worked to bring it into prominence in the United States. Along the way, something happened, though. UFC was expanding and growing, but it had nothing to do with Mixed Martial Arts and everything to do with UFC. UFC grew, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts became the afterthought. Every promotion that has popped up since the UFC's initial boom has been left in the dust, purchased by Zuffa or driven out of business. UFC grew, MMA died on the vine. The only promoter who was able to make a real impact and not drive his company into the dirt was Scott Coker with Stikeforce. Strikeforce began as a kickboxing promotion, with Scott serving as the head of K-1 USA beforehand. Scott knew what he was doing with kickboxing and still has strong ties to the industry.

Do you see where I'm headed yet? The global fight industry is what it is, we are seeing a once super power in Japan begin to wither and die, which no one really wants to see happen, outside of the UFC. The UFC is looking to take over the world, and picking over the scraps of the Japanese fight scene makes life a lot easier. The fight scene in the United States is sparse at best, boxing is holding strong for the big names, but for the smaller names the market is showing some serious cracks. Kickboxing and Muay Thai have some strong markets, but they are very much local and can't really compete on the global level.

The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP that begins this weekend has a big fight feel to it, something that even huge UFC events haven't had that past few years. UFC has put on big events, but not since UFC 100 have I personally felt the sort of buzz surrounding a show like this. A non-UFC show getting this kind of attention, praise ad hype is rare and quite honestly, it is up to Strikeforce to take advantage of this and the not only deliver but follow up on this initial show with more strong shows.

Strikeforce's success helps the global fight industry more than most people can imagine, how? UFC is in the business of promoting UFC, the brand. The fighters are almost inconsequential. UFC 100 was not a huge deal for the fighters, sure, Brock Lesnar was on the card and that helped immensely, but it was the allure of UFC's 100th numbered event. Strikeforce is selling shows around the fighters and the fights, which helps raise awareness of the sport itself, not just the promotion.

The over-arching point of this is that someone needs to break UFC's stranglehold on the market, it wasn't EliteXC, K-1 crashed and burned, so for right now the hope is that Strikeforce can at least try. For sports like kickboxing and muay thai to be taken more seriously, it also helps to have Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem involved in this tournament, with talk of their K-1 participation. Promotions like Strikeforce make viewers more aware of the fight world at large, as they do not have a self-contained empire to protect. Strikeforce will talk about UFC, PRIDE, K-1, It's Showtime, wherever their fighters came from and had success. The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP feels like a global affair. UFC events feature fighters from all over the world, but all of the action is contained within the UFC's own branded world that they built.

So tune in tomorrow night to watch Fedor Emelianenko square off with Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski go to war with Sergei Kharitonov. On top of that, there are three reserve bouts for the tournament, including Valentijn Overeem, Alistair's big brother, squaring off with K-1 legend Ray Sefo while prospects Shane Del Rosario and Lavar Johnson compete to see who is a reserve fighter.

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