Lots of professional MMA fighters have gotten the itch to bring over high level Kickboxers into their camps over the past year. Well, it appears that Jerome Le Banner is finally getting the call and is in the United States. He keeps good company. JLB has apparently been training at KINGS MMA now with Rafael Cordiero. It feels like Chute Boxe all over again, go figure. Maybe Jerome Le Banner is training for a fight in December at GENKI DESUKA!, even. We went ahead and asked him as soon as the show was announced, and he said that he is definitely onboard if they want him.
K-1 is still on hiatus, with a possible update from K-1 this coming week, but that doesn't mean that K-1 fighters aren't still making waves in Japan. Jerome Le Banner headed to Japan this week and was a part of Antonio Inoki's pro wrestling show, Inoki Genome Federation. Le Banner wrestled under "Special K-1 Rules" against Shinnichi Suzukawa, an ex-sumo who has had some interesting bouts in IGF over the past few months. There was a well-publicized bout with Mark Coleman where Suzukawa legitimately brutalized Coleman and then a match with Bob Sapp that was by-the-books pro wrestling. Le Banner came into this wearing his K-1 gloves and did a number on Suzukawa, KO'ing him in 5:39 with a hard punch. There is also some rough video available, so decide for yourself, real or fake punch. [source]
There have been persisting rumors over the past few weeks over who Jerome Le Banner will square off with in his next fight. Le Banner has not fought since his disappointing bout with Kyotaro in October for K-1 where Le Banner had clearly won the bout in his mind and the judges voted for an extension round. As opposed to continuing on like most men do, despite protesting, Le Banner opted to simply walk out. K-1 has a long history of "gift decisions" that would make MMA fighters like Leonard Garcia even cringe. Since then, the return of Le Banner has been hotly debated, with long-standing rumors that his next fight would be for It's Showtime on May 14th. We were able to confirm with Le Banner a few weeks ago that he was not going to be fighting for It's Showtime any time soon.
Someone had leaked out over the past few weeks that there was a promoter putting together a super fight between Jerome Le Banner and Stefan "Blitz" Leko. Leko, just vacating a WKA World title due to not defending it, and not exactly being the most active fighter over the past few years was not the most promising candidate for a bout with Le Banner it seemed. Thankfully, the fight has materialized and will indeed happen in Geneva on June 11th.
Leko and Le Banner met back in 2001 for K-1 with Jerome Le Banner pulling off the 5-round decision after a war. This was during Le Banner's prime and Le Banner looked ready to take a K-1 World Grand Prix title. Think of Alistair Overeem's 2010 and how huge of a star he is in Japan, how much of a celebrity he is, and that is where Le Banner was at that point. This is yet another huge bout to look forward to, but one that might be difficult to acquire a video of for a while. It will be interesting to see where both men stand almost exactly ten years later. Watch the first below. [source]
There has been a persisting rumor about K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner and his next fight possibly being in his home country of France for kickboxing's new powerhouse, It's Showtime. There was actually a rumor that he was the leading name to fight Badr Hari for his comeback fight. The reality is, a fight like Le Banner is incredibly risky for a fighter who is still a top prospect at this point and has yet to reach the top of the mountain. No one wants a guy to lose momentum taking a KO to a tough vet like JLB.
So, there have been talks of JLB still fighting on the card and a few people have flat out asked me if he will be fighting or if we know anything. Since It's Showtime also dangled a possible JLB fight over our heads at the recent Amsterdam card with a JLB sighting in the crowd and the announcers making a rather crass reference to us "seeing more from him soon," the rumors have just strengthened. It has gone as far as people saying it was a done deal that JLB was fighting in May.
Sadly, LiverKick.com today confirmed that just is not true. We spoke with the Hyper Battle Cyborg himself to see if this strong, persisting rumor held any weight and the sad truth is that Jerome Le Banner will not be fighting on the card and for right now, you might want to power down on the Hyper Battle Cyborg hype train coming to It's Showtime. Just for the time being, though. Expect more Jerome Le Banner news shortly, but just not for the It's Showtime Lyon show.
Kickboxing news in the summer is always kind of at a lull. In the past we'd usually see a K-1 MAX show and maybe an It's Showtime event, but it looks like Glory 9 was the last big show for a while before things go back into full swing in September with K-1 putting on the K-1 World MAX Final 16 and GLORY 10 LA going down.
With that being said, Kickboxing never truly sleeps in Europe. On August 4th in France there will be a pretty cool card going down featuring Jerome Le Banner, Arnold Oborotov and Stefan Leko at Fight Night Saint-Tropez.
Fight Night Saint Tropez
Main event +100 kg: Jerome Le Banner (Francja) vs James Smith (USA)
WKN World Championship 100 kg: Vladimir Mineev (Rosja) vs Thiago Beowulf (Brazylia) 95,8 kg: Emmanuel Payet (Francja) vs Arnold Oborotov (Litwa)
Superfight - 4 x 2 min +100 kg: Stefan Leko (Niemcy) vs Nicolas Wamba (Francja) 59,6 kg: Helene Loewinski (Szwecja) vs Alena Hola (Czechy) +100 kg: Thomas Vanneste (Belgia) vs Vladymir Toksyatynov (Rosja/Niemcy)
Extrafight - 3 x 2 min 92 kg: Antony Rea (Francja) vs Laurent Atriffi (Belgia) 70 kg: Philippe Salmon (Francja) vs Sansong Moua (Francja) 100 kg: Marc Vliger (Francja) vs Cédric Ameline (Francja)
Turniej - 82 kg Yoann Koangolo (Szwajcaria) Mourad Hosni (Francja) Freddy Marius Bructer (Francja) Eduard Andronache (Francja)
Bad news for fans of legendary kickboxer Jerome Le Banner who was scheduled to fight Sergei Kharitonov at GLORY 10 Los Angeles on September 28th in Los Angeles, Califorina, as Le Banner has pulled out of the fight due to a neck injury. It was announced today by GLORY that the main event for GLORY 10 of Le Banner vs. Kharitonov is officially off due to Le Banner's injury and that Kharitonov will fight on a future GLORY event instead.
Due to this change, Robin Van Roosmalen vs. Shemsi Beqiri have been bumped up to serve as the event's Main Event fight, with the fight between Davit Kiria and Murthel Groenhart moving to the co-main event slot of the evening. We wish JLB a speedy recovery and hope to see him in the ring again soon.
In Saint-Tropez on August 4th Jerome Le Banner claimed another victim with his nasty liver kick. He was facing off against Colin George a very tall fighter from Mike's gym in Holland. During the first round JLB did seem to be getting a little frustrated with George's height and reach, and having a hard time getting inside but always throwing out that left body kick to wear down George's arm. The second round Le Banner came out much more aggressive and it took him less than 10 seconds to land that liver kick of doom and crumple George, you can feel Colin's pain watching him roll around holding his Liver. JLB executed this kick perfectly by setting it up with his right hook then stepping off to the side so that he can land the entire shin across his opponents body. Le Banner did the same to his last opponent Lucian Danilencu, he first dropped him with the kick, then finished it off by lifting him off the ground with a huge body hook.
I can't express enough how much we enjoy watching Jerome Le Banner destroy people in this fashion and obviously we enjoy a good liver kick. I just wish he could have done that in a K-1 Final.
Jerome Le Banner is an interesting case of a fighter who knows how to maximize his popularity in his home country of France. Jerome Le Banner was at one time one of the greatest fighters in the K-1 ring, although he never won the big one. That didn't matter, though, because Jerome Le Banner was a certified superstar in Japan and his home country of France was extremely proud of his accomplishments. Le Banner is 41 years old now and probably shouldn't be fighting the best guys in the world, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be fighting.
He fought on Friday evening in France against Lucian Danilencu in what was an entertaining bout that saw Le Banner stop him in round two with his deadly body kicks. This was vintage Jerome Le Banner and precisely what we want to see JLB doing in 2014. I don't want to see him in the ring with Rico Verhoeven or Daniel Ghita, but I'm totally cool with him beating the snot out of Lucian Danilencu.
Jerome Le Banner is a man after our own hearts; he fights and he fights as much as he can. The 39 year old warrior has begun what he calls the "Le Banner World Tour" which consists of exactly what it sounds like -- JLB traveling the world and fighting opponents. The next stop for JLB in 2012 seems to be stepping back into the MMA ring after not competing in MMA since late 2010. JLB has been focused on professional wrestling over the past year but has remained competing in Kickboxing.
According to our friend Wojslaw Rysiewski of MMArocks.pl the main event of KSW 18 in Poland on February 25 against Marcin Rozalski. Rozalski is 2-0 in his MMA career while JLB is 3-2.
When reflecting upon the golden days of K-1 in Japan it's hard not to think of the names of the fighters that made K-1 so special. We have reached a point where a lot of those fighters are winding down their careers and Jerome Le Banner is one of them. This past weekend he fought the first of his three retirement bouts of his retirement tour where he fought Claudiu Istrate.
Check out the fight here.
We'll have more on Jerome Le Banner's retirement tour as it is available.