So Badr Hari will be fighting in just a matter of hours now (10:00am Eastern time) and yeah, we know, if you live in the United States there is absolutely nothing convenient about the timing for this event. It's early morning on a Thursday, not exactly the same thing as staying up for a K-1 or PRIDE event on the weekends like everyone was used to years ago by a long shot. That being said, if you can do it (or live in Europe), you'll only have to plonk down $5 USD to watch GFC 3 featuring Badr Hari, Peter Aerts, Peter Graham and Stefan Leko.
It's building up to be an interesting show, at least. $5 for an internet PPV (which most of you hate anyway) isn't bad by a longshot. So check it out here. We'll have a full rundown of the event later on in the day.
It's Showtime is tomorrow, coming at us with one of the biggest fights of the year so far in Peter Aerts taking on Tyrone Spong live from Brussels. For Americans, the second half of the card will air on HDnet (soon to be AXS) at 3pm Eastern, for anyone who wants to watch the full card or is in an area where it won't be aired on television, head to ShowtimeFights.com and order the PPV now (clicking that link supports LiverKick!).
This video is courtesy of our friends at Staredown.NL, who will without a doubt be posting some more awesome content over the weekend.
The IGF is a pro wrestling promotion ran out of Japan by former New Japan Pro Wrestling head and MMA pioneer Antonio Inoki. It features his "brand" of pro wrestling, which is a hybrid of real fighting and the theatrics and "booking" (read: scripted nature) of pro wrestling. In the end what it yields is the high drama of pro wrestling with the grit, violence and impact of a real fight. That style goes far back to catch-as-catch-can wrestling and Japan was king of the "shoot-style" with the early UWF, early Pancrase, RINGS, UWF-i and U-Style. Inoki's last show was an eclectic mix, featuring Jerome Le Banner against Kazuyoshi Fujita, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima against pro wrestling legend Masahiro Chono and Peter Aerts against fallen sumo Shinichi Suzukawa.
2010 was a rough year for K-1 MAX. Three of the division's very top stars fought their (for now) last MAX fights in 2009, including Masato, the man MAX had been built around from the start. Shows were planned, then canceled. Only two qualifying Grand Prixs were held, and one of those 2 never aired. Half of the Final 16 fights were shoved onto the 63kg GP finals almost as an afterthought, and at one time, there were rumors that the 2010 MAX Grand Prix might not even happen. Fans of MAX were looking at the year as somewhat of a disaster.
That changed on October 3. Amidst all this chaos and confusion, the MAX Final 16 event in Seoul was a grand slam of an event - an all around fantastic card with every fight delivering. The next day, no one was talking about how K-1 MAX was struggling. Instead, they were talking about what a show it was. And they were talking about one fight.
That fight is your 2010 LiverKick.com Fans' Fight of the Year - "Iron" Mike Zambidis vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj.
Coming into the event, this was a fight that on paper looked like it could be a good one. Both Zambidis and Chahid are exciting fighters who like to push the pace and have turned in plenty of fun bouts. But they are also two men whose presence in the Final 16 was questionable, as neither had claimed a significant K-1 win in some time. From the moment the two men meet in center ring for the staredown, any concerns about them not belonging flew out the window. Because right from the opening, you can tell this is going to be something special. Both men looked hungry, out for redemption, and just plain pissed off. They looked ready to tear into each other. And that's exactly what they did.
For four epic rounds, Zambidis and Chahid engaged in an all out war. By the end of the 3rd, the announcers are all on their feet waiting for the judges' decision. By the end of the 4th, fans are already writing their friends telling them what they just saw. And by the next morning, all the focus was on this classic.
Watching it now, I'm reminded of another all-time K-1 great contest - Ray Sefo vs. Mark Hunt (and if you've never seen that, watch it, seriously, now). Like Sefo vs. Hunt, this is a fight that doesn't need any backstory. It's a moment that stands on its own, where even if you've never heard of either man, the combination of heart, determination, technique, and aggression they show is enough to grab you. At a time in combat sports where the UFC is the clear top dog, and where Dana White's love of wild stand-up brawling has come to define how many fans view stand-up action, this fight is a definitive example of what stand-up can be. Yes it's a brawl, but it's also two supremely skilled fighters never losing track of the technique needed to fight at this level. It's a fight every fan of Griffin vs. Bonnar, Garcia vs. The Korean Zombie, or countless other recent fights really owes it to themselves to watch.
Chances are good you've already seen this fight, probably more than once. But as we say our final good-byes to 2010, do yourself a favor and watch it once more. You'll thank yourself later.
A big thanks to all our fans who voted in this poll. In the end, Zambidis vs. Chahid was the clear winner, drawing 34% of the vote. #2 and #3 were only separated by a handful of votes, with the sentimental favorite Peter Aerts vs. Semmy Schilt at #2, and the battle of the new guard in Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita at #3. For full results, click here, and don't forget to vote on our new polls every week here at LiverKick.com.
Results from last week's question: Who is K-1's greatest of all time?
42% - Peter Aerts
27% - Ernesto Hoost
11% - Semmy Schilt
9% - Andy Hug
7% - Remy Bonjasky
2% - Jerome Le Banner
2% - Ray Sefo
This week: Coming up this Saturday will be the first truly major card of 2011 as It's Showtime kicks off their year. Headlining the event is a great top 10 battle with #8 Daniel Ghita vs. #9 Hesdy Gerges. So, who wins?
Sadly Peter Aerts Lost again by TKO at the Saint Tropez Fight Night II this weeekend. Freddy Kemayo seemed like a bad match up for him after his last fight since Kemayo is younger and fresher than Dewey Cooper. On the other hand, Jerome Le Banner Won by KO over Colin George from Mike's Gym, Nicolas Wamba got back into the win column with a second round KO, and Filip Verlinden won by Decision. Now we just wait for the videos to be released.
Jerome Le Banner wins by KO R2 vs Colin George
Nicolas Wamba wins by KO R2 vs Arnold Oborotov
Yoann Kongolo wins on points Nicola Gallo
Freddy Kemayo wins by TKO R2 vs Peter Aerts
Vladimir Mineev wins on points vs Mikahail Tuterev
Manneenoi Ekkarit wins by KO R1 vs Michel Texeira
Filip Verlinden wins on points Corentin Jallon
Samsamut Kietchongkao wins on points vs Kevin Eiderg
Taehiran Chommanee wins on points Irina Mazepa
Here is a Video it doesn't show much, but its something.
Our good friend Jacob, better known as IQ Wrestler in internet circles has gone ahead and made another of his fine highlight reels, this one dedicated to the man, the myth, the legend Peter Aerts, Mr. K-1 himself. Aerts has a fight coming up in December, sadly not for K-1, but in his home away from home in Japan and it is hard not to support him. Go ahead and take a peek at this video and marvel at Mr. K-1.
This weekend It's Showtime has a huge event coming up, including the "Benelux retirement" of Peter Aerts against internationally-acclaimed Tyrone Spong. The twenty-six year old Spong is possibly looking to make the transition to MMA, but not before settling his debts in the Kickboxing world and making his way to the top. Fighting Peter Aerts in one of his retirement fights is a huge honor for Spong, and would be one of his biggest wins at Heavyweight to date, which he very much needs. Spong has been training in Florida with Rashad Evan's "Blackzilian" camp, including fighters like former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Alistair Overeem, so he will without a doubt be in good shape and will have had a decent sparring partner, to say the least.
“I came all the way out here 2 Brussels, Belgium to corner @Tyrone_Spong & he got me out here like The Notorious Bum! I'm not trying 2 be high maintenance but could a brutha at least get a bed?! Lol” [source]
Fight #5 in our fight of the year series is the first of two Final 16 fights, and a bit of an overlooked fight from the year...
Ewerton Teixeira v. Peter Aerts (K-1 Grand Prix Final 16, October 2)
Heading into this fight, both men were in serious need of a win. Teixeira had ended 2009 on a bad note: a notoriously boring fight with Singh Jaideep, followed by an all time highlight reel KO loss to Alistair Overeem. He had rebounded with a win at K-1 Oceania, but no one saw that show, so the lasting image most fans had was Ewerton face down, his hair pooled around him. Aerts too was a recent KO victim, his coming at the hands of Kyotaro. After missing his first ever GP in 2009, a 2nd missed GP could mean the end of an era for Aerts. Both men needed the win, and both men came in fighting that way.
This fight may not have the fireworks of the last few we've looked at, but it really is a fabulous technical display between two experts at their craft. This fight shows a bit of everything - clinch fighting, kicks, punches, defense, aggression... it's all here, and it's all executed flawlessly. For Aerts, this would be the beginning of what will go down as a legendary Grand Prix run, while Teixeira gained momentum even in his loss and has since defeated Errol Zimmerman.
There will be 10 fights total posted. Fights 5 & 6 on Monday, 7 & 8 on Tuesday, and 9 & 10 conclude on Wednesday. Fights are featured in chronological order moving through the year. Voting will be open Wednesday night to determine the winner.
We have known that GLORY was going to go all-out for GLORY 13 for a while now, but with the impending not-so-retirement of Peter Aerts coming up they are really going heavy on the advertisements. How much so? How about a GIANT ad in the Shibuya Train Station? Yeah, because that is exactly what they did, with it measuring 30 meters long and having some crazy Aerts imagery. You've really got to see the whole thing.