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Toby Imada Successful in Shoot Boxing, RENA Falls Again

  • Published in Asia

Shishido kicks Imada / (C) Dan HerbertsonLast night's Shoot Boxing event in Japan is looking to be one of the better shows coming from Japan recently, and it featured Toby Imada's return to the Shoot Boxing ring. Many will remember that Imada made his way into the S-Cup last year and surprised the world by making it to the Finals against Buakaw Por. Pramuk, with Buakaw able to overcome him. Imada squared off with two-time champion Hiroki Shishido last night, with the first round being Shishido's superior standup giving Imada trouble. In the second round Imada was able to execute a great slam, and continued to use his Judo to pull of the decision victory.

The other big upset of the night was for the Shoot Boxing Ladies Championship, a vacant title that was brought about by the recent rush in popularity for Shootboxing at the hands of RENA. RENA had a rematch with Ai Takahashi, who was able to best RENA this time in the Shootboxing ring. It was Takahashi's jabs and throws that were enough to exhaust RENA and lead to a decision victory.

The rest of the results are courtesy of Dan Herbertson.

Shoot Boxing 169: 2011 Act 3 - June 5, 2011 at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Toby Imada def. Hiroki Shishido by Unanimous Decision
Henri Opstal def. Satoru Suzuki by TKO (Hook and Low Kick) – Round 2

Shoot Boxing Ladies Title Match
Ai Takahashi def. Rena Kubota by Unanimous Decision

Kenji Kanai def. Masatoshi Hyakutake by Unanimous Decision
Tatsuya Tsuda def Hiroaki Okuwa by Unanimous Decision (Extra Round)
Kazuyuki Fushimi def. Masanori Minato by Unanimous Decision
Yuji Sugawara def. Norifumi Yamamura By KO (Knee), Round 1
Yuki Sakamoto def. Tatsuya Shiozaki by KO (Punch) - Round 1
Masaya Matsuhana def. Kazutaka Takahashi By TKO (Corner Stoppage) – Round 2
Miyo Yoshida def. Natsuka by Unanimous Decision
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Why Kickboxing Fans Should Rejoice About Bellator's Changes

  • Published in News

In case you haven’t heard already, it was announced today by Bellator that Bjorn Rebney has departed from the organization and that his replacement is former Strikeforce head Scott Coker. Coker was restricted under his deal with Zuffa from competing with them until March of this year, which was when Viacom began making a play to push Rebney out and to replace him with Coker. The rumors are no longer rumors and it is indeed now fact; Scott Coker is the new head of Bellator and Bjorn Rebney is out.

Now, I’m sure that you are asking yourself; why does this matter to Kickboxing. The answer is a long one, which you already knew because I only give long answers. GLORY is on Spike TV and in case you haven’t noticed, GLORY has had problems gaining much power with Spike TV since they joined up with the network. GLORY’s ratings have been just as good as Bellator’s have been and they’ve done so with a whole lot less backing compared to Bellator.

See, Bellator had a majority share sold off to Viacom a few years ago, making them not only a part of the Spike TV family, but embedded into the very essence of the network. Viacom now had a stake in not only Bellator’s survival, but its growth and prosperity. While I can’t speak firsthand of Bjorn Rebney, there have been reports for years about how he does business and that the way in which he handled Bellator wasn’t much different. I remember balking at the leaked Bellator contracts when the promotion first began, then we all remember the contract disputes with guys like Eddie Alvarez and Ben Askren.

It’s safe to say that not many in the fight world are big fans of Bjorn Rebney. Kickboxing fans shouldn’t be, either. You’d think that with GLORY under the Spike TV umbrella that there were natural crossover appeals for Bellator and GLORY, in fact, better crossover appeal than between Bellator and TNA Wrestling. Yet the crossovers that we saw were between Bellator and TNA Wrestling, TNA being a distant second place to the WWE and has been in constant financial and creative turmoil for years now. Not even pro wrestling fans like TNA Wrestling (you could argue that MMA fans don’t like Bellator, either, but that’s another story). 

So why not work with GLORY?

The answer is simple; GLORY is a great, polished and professional product. It offers something exciting and if people watch it, they fall in love with it. Bellator on the other hand has had to struggle for any gains in viewers and at times had to sacrifice their “vision” of tournaments to even attract marginal attention from the MMA press and fan base. We’ve had many reports that Rebney considered GLORY as the competition for Spike’s and Viacom’s affections, not something that he could work with and form mutually-beneficial deals with.

GLORY is on the rise and is doing so through rather modest means, while Bellator has had to dip into Viacom’s coffers to push expensive stars like Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz as real competition. While I can’t speak to boardroom affairs or meetings that happened behind closed doors, there has been a sense that a reason why we haven’t seen more GLORY programming on Spike TV or more support for the GLORY brand had a lot to do with Rebney’s attitude towards Kickboxing and GLORY. 

This is why the inclusion of Scott Coker is like a beam of light through a cloudy day for GLORY and Kickboxing fans right now. Scott Coker’s history is one that is rich not only in Mixed Martial Arts, but Martial Arts in general. Scott Coker was a longtime Kickboxing promoter, even working for K-1 on their US events. Before you rag on those events, remember that K-1 gave him extremely limited resources for those events and that any of the good that came for K-1 USA came through Scott and his very talented and motivated team (later on Mike Kogan had similar struggles but did an admirable job as well).

Scott Coker isn’t afraid of Kickboxing, in fact, Scott Coker loves Kickboxing. Kickboxing is how he broke into the world of promoting fights and nobody in the United States did it as successfully as Coker did it. Scott Coker also isn’t afraid of working with other brands on mutually-beneficial arrangements. Strikeforce came into prominence through a landmark deal with EliteXC that brought Strikeforce’s fighters, following and respect to PPV with some of EliteXC’s big names that they had signed, making for truly memorable events. It later led to Strikeforce absorbing EliteXC and becoming the #2 promotion in the world overnight. 

Now, do we think that things are going to immediately get better? Probably not. In fact, it might take a while. Scott Coker might bring about change, but Scott Coker still has to answer to Viacom at the end of the day and without a financial stake in GLORY they might not see the value in pushing it too hard. Then again, there is a contract in place and they are paying GLORY for the programming, so it makes sense to maximize the brand to its fullest and I see no reason why Scott Coker and Bellator would turn away a chance at working with another successful, unique brand to help build credibility for both. 

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Watch Cosmo Alexandre's First Pro MMA Win

  • Published in Video

Cosmo Alexandre made his MMA debut a few weeks ago, and it was a tentative and downright terrible affair for all involved. His opponent was able to do enough to pull off the decision victory while Cosmo seemed afraid to let his hands go and open up the takedown. Sometimes in MMA it is just a matter of experience, or getting your sea legs. It doesn't matter how good you are in the gym, it is different in the ring. Cosmo has such a great standing skill set that his grappling was a clear weakness and had him worried, but come this weekend and his second fight, that was something of the past. Watch as Cosmo shows the MMA world what the Kickboxing and Muay Thai worlds already knew.

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Former Bellator Champ Zoila Frausto Makes Muay Thai Debut

  • Published in Muay Thai

WCK

Former Bellator 115lbs Champion Zoila Frausto will make her Muay Thai debut this weekend on a Dennis Warner WCK Muay Thai event. The event goes down at 7pm on Saturday, February 15th from the Pechanga Resort and Casino. For those that live in the San Diego area or know how to dial in their satellite dish to pick up regional Fox Sports networks the event will air on Fox Sports San Diego live.

Here's hoping to a good showing from Zoila Frausto, who trains out of the CSA Gym in Dublin, California, and hopefully we see yet another star MMA fighter turn to Kickboxing and Muay Thai as a viable path as there are more and more options out there in the wild right now, from Lion Fight to GLORY. If you are in the area or get Fox Sports San Diego the WCK event looks like something definitely worth checking out.

Zoila

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Programming Note: Peter Graham Fights Cheick Kongo Tomorrow Night in Bellator

  • Published in Kickboxing

Graham

If you would have told me in 2006 that Peter Graham would be fighting in MMA regularly and that he'd not only do okay, but do pretty well, I'd probably not believe you. Not because Peter Graham isn't an awesome fighter, but because I just couldn't imagine the man behind the Rolling Thunder navigating the waters of wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Peter has always been known as an exciting, no-nonsense fighter who isn't afraid to pull out all of the stops.

Well, here we are in 2013 and the 38 year old Graham is making a serious go at Heavyweight MMA as he'll fight his second fight under the Bellator banner this Friday night against none other than Cheick Kongo. Kongo is himself known for being an exciting striker with a Kickboxing past, but then again, he doesn't have a KO win over Badr Hari with a Rolling Thunder, now does he? Graham's hard work and dedication to MMA have shown in his recent MMA outings, with him picking up a decision victory over Eric Prindle in his Bellator debut. He also isn't at all deterred from Kongo's size or reputation.

"I know who Cheick Kongo is but I haven't followed his career. He's been a great athlete for a long time. He's got a bit of kickboxing and wrestling skill. It'll be a good fight and I'm ready to go. I hope he doesn't underestimate me. I know he's been famous and had a big name for a while and, when it comes to MMA, I'm somewhat of a newcomer. I've come from the worst record to one of the best heavyweight win streaks there's been. I went from going 1-6 to 9 wins a row with 8 of them being KO's over some really good fighters. I want to get to the top and I'm not there yet, but I'm relentless. He needs to bring his A-game, which I'm sure he will. He's got that inner strength to keep going but I have it more than ever and I've worked harder than ever to make every performance better than the last."

Now if only we could see a Rolling Thunder in the Bellator cage, I'd be a happy, happy man.

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GLORY's Dustin Jacoby Victorious in MMA Return

  • Published in Glory

Dustin Jacoby made a big splash on the kickboxing world when he entered into GLORY after little notice. He entered a Road 2 GLORY tournament without much notice and was able to steamroll it, earning himself a spot on the main GLORY roster. Since then he's gone 1-5, but that has been against some of the best fighters in the world. He is still really learning to love kickboxing and there is definitely a possible future for him if they maybe scale down his competition to something more of his level.

This past weekend he fought for Titan Fighting Championship in his return to MMA where he made short work of Lucas Lopes with his striking. If you were to ask me if his striking has improved I'd probably give a big 'yes.' Jacoby's next fight is September 5th against King Mo Lawal in Bellator.

GIF via ZombieProphet.

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

  • Published in K-1

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

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

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Paul Daley Racks Up Another KO Win in MMA

  • Published in K-1

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

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

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

 

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Miran Fabjan vs. Paul Daley at FFC 12 This Friday

  • Published in Kickboxing

Paul Daley (C) Fight Channel

On Friday Final Fight Championships 12 (FFC 12) will go down in Slovenia. The main event of the evening features recently-signed by K-1 fighter Paul "Semtex" Daley against Miran Fabjan. There were heated words from Daley and Fabjan at each other in the lead up to the event at the official press conference.

"Of course, I watch footage of all my opponents and I was kind of familiar with Miran because he fought one of the guys I fought earlier this year... Alexander Stetsurenko, something like that. Tough Russian guy. Doesn't matter what his name was 'cuz je got knocked out in thirty seconds“, said Daley.

"They call him (Miran Fabjan) the Slovenian Rocky. Rocky is a movie. This is reality. Friday you gonna see what will happen. Friday is reality! No film! No Adrian! Rocky, this ain't a film! This is reality and you will find that out! Trust me. Slovenian Rocky in not a good name to have. Rocky always get f*** up.“, Paul Said.

Miran replied: "He said he doesn't mind taking punches, but I saw the video. He's a really good fighter in attacking mode, but when you get punched in the face, you don't like it! I saw it! When you hit me, I do not care!“

Paul added: "He (Miran) could not beat any of the guys I spar with! You're not even better than my sparring partners! You're not even better than my students! How about that?! You're no better than my students! You're gonna look like an amateur Friday!“

  • FFC 12 MMA
  • Dion Staring (111,7 kg) VS Tomaž Simonič (109,5 kg)
  • Primož Vrbinc (77,5 kg) VS Viktor Halmi (76,8 kg)
  • Bor Bratovž (84,5 kg) VS David Zawada (-)
  • Ivica Trušček (70,3 kg) VS Oleg Bagov (-)
  • Antun Račić (66,5 kg) VS Zoltan Turi (66,4 kg)
  • Luka Jelčić (70,3 kg) VS Valentin Nikolov (-)
  • FFC 12 KICKBOXING
  • Paul Daley (80,5 kg) VS Miran Fabjan (81,5 kg)
  • Mirko Vorkapić (70,6 kg) VS Teo Mikelić (71,1 kg)
  • Denis Chorchyp (88,9 kg) VS Darian Paladin (89,1 kg)
  • Samo Petje (70,5 kg) VS Kevin Hesseling (71,1 kg)
  • Rok Štrucl (109,9 kg) VS Elmir Mehić (105,6 kg)
  • Mladen Kujundžić (95,2 kg) VS Dženan Poturak (93,0 kg)

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