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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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GLORY Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven is Considering a Full-Time Move to MMA

  • Published in Glory

The UFC is in the Netherlands for an event there and that means that the MMA media world has also made its presence shown. MMAJunkie's Mike Bohn is over in the Netherlands posted this video today where he spoke with current GLORY champion Rico Verhoeven.

While there will be some who swarm on the headlines for this that "Rico Verhoeven is going to switch to MMA," nothing is a done deal quite yet. Verhoeven speaks about the possibilities open to him, including saying that Bellator has already expressed interest in his services and that WSOF seems interested. He talks about being excited about MMA because it's so new to him still and he feels that he has a lot to offer. What he does mention is that while his current GLORY deal has ended, there is still a three month negotiation period that they are in the midst of and that he's not technically a free agent until the end of that period. Verhoeven claims that it was a good offer, although he seems to want a bit more.

Having multiple opportunities available to top athletes like Verhoeven is important because it allows for them to have leverage in contract situations. Where Verhoeven ends up is ultimately in his control right now and while he seems interested in the idea of fighting for the UFC, it's unlikely that they make a move for him just yet. Time will only tell where Verhoeven ends up, but my gut tells me that he's not done kickboxing just yet.

As for the Bellator offer? Our bud Stets reached out to Bellator and they denied any sort of offer being made to Verhoeven. 

So time will tell. [source]

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VIDEO: Artur Kyshenko vs. Radoslaw Paczuski

  • Published in Video

Leave it to Artur Kyshenko to keep busy, right? Yesterday Kyshenko fought at the KOK WGP 2014 event in Gdansk against Radoslaw Paczuski in a night that also saw Sergei Laschenko take a Heavyweight tournament. Go ahead and check out Kyshenko's performance and let us know what you thought. Kyshenko has been hit-or-miss at times and jumped around weight classes. 

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Ognjen Topic vs. Sergio Wielzan Set for Lion Fight 28

  • Published in Muay Thai

Lion Fight returns in 2016 on January 29th with Lion Fight 27, but that doesn't mean that they aren't thinking to the future. We already knew that Jo Nattawut would be defending the Lion Fight Super Welterweight Championship against Kem Sitsongpeenong at Lion Fight 28, now we know that there is a second title fight being added to the mix. Ognjen Topic is set to defend his Lion Fight Lightweight Championship against none other than Sergio Wielzan at Lion Fight 28. 

Wielzan is the former It's Showtime 61MAX Champion and the current W5 60kg Champion.

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May 2016 LiverKick Rankings Update: Ch-ch-ch-changes Galore

  • Published in Rankings

There has been a lot going on this year for both Jay and I, so we waited for the rankings to really need an update. The thing is, now that we got to tackle them, they needed a lot of changes. After a rather uneventful early part of the year we are seeing major changes in quite a few divisions. While at times we've been able to let entire divisions stand as they are, this time around each division has at least one big change.

The LiverKick rankings date back to 2010 when Fraser Coffeen and myself began ranking fighters across multiple divisions, with the only way to move up the rankings (or being added to them) being defeating a ranked opponent. Therefore, these rankings are based upon who beats who, not talent, potential or anything else. They are also current, meaning that past wins or losses are not taken into account when ranking a fighter. 

Heavyweight saw some changes, some were good, others were questionable. Brian Douwes had a win over Jamal Ben Saddik to earn his spot, then had an incredible slide that bumped him out. Easy come, easy go. New additions are in WFL tournament winner Fabio Kwasi and GLORY newcomer Guto Inocente. Both had ranked wins that put them on the map here and have taken hold of the middle of the division. Their addition means that Badr Hari once again slides out of the rankings, mirroring his lack of activity against, well, anyone. 

Light Heavyweight saw a big departure in the way of Gokhan Saki. In a way, that was a long time coming. Saki hasn't competed at this weight in a very long time and his last fight was now well over a year ago now, meaning that he has finally been dropped. This makes Artem Vakhitov the undisputed #1 Light Heavyweight in the world. There are two additions to the rankings at this point, one being Mladen Kujundzic thanks to his recent win over Andrei Stoica and Luis Tavares. Middleweight only saw movement really at the top with Marcus and Levin swapping, Wilnis and Schilling swapping and the addition of Cedric Doumbe who is a rare case of a fighter ranked in two divisions.

Welterweight is another division that has seen some shake-ups. While Holzken is still unmoving, Artur Kyshenko is on an incredible run and Cedric Doumbe hasn't tasted defeat in a while now. Mustapha Haida has made some big strides and makes his debut. Lightweight has seen only a few changes, notably the slide of Davit Kiria. Enriko Gogokhia's win over him earns him a rather high spot on the list. Tayfun Ozcan has quietly been making his way into the top ten for a while now and once again, Davit Kiria is welcoming new names into the rankings.

Featherweight is, well, Featherweight. That'll probably change again soon after the next K-1 Japan event. 

LiverKick Rankings Updated on 5/26/2016

Heavyweight (Per 5/16)

1 Rico Verhoeven
2 Benjamin Adegbuyi
3 Ismael Londt
4 Jahfarr Wilnis
5 Fabio Kwasi
6 Guto Inocente
7 Jamal Ben Saddik
8 Anderson Silva
9 Andrei Gerasmichuk
10 Zabit Samedov

Light

Heavyweight (Per 5/16)

1 Artem Vakhitov
2 Saulo Cavalari
3 Mourad Bouzidi
4 Danyo Ilunga
5 Mladen Kujundzic
6 Jorge Loren
7 Andrei Stoica
8 Zack Mwekassa
9 Luis Tavares
10 Reduon Cairo
Middleweight (Per 5/16)

1 Simon Marcus
2 Artem Levin
3 Jason Wilnis
4 Joe Schilling
5 Filip Verlinden
6 Alex Pereira
7 Dustin Jacoby
8 Israel Adesanya
9 Cedric Doumbe
10 Fang Bian
Welterweight (Per 5/16)

1 Nieky Holzken
2 Artur Kyshenko
3 Cedric Doumbe
4 Murthel Groenhart
5 Hicham El Gaoui
6 Raymond Daniels
7 Yoann Kongolo
8 Mustapha Haida
9 Karim Ghajji
10 Bai Jinbin
Lightweight (Per 5/16)

1 Robin van Roosmalen
2 Sitthichai
3 Enriko Gogokhia
4 Giorgio Petrosyan
5 Yodsanklai Fairtex
6 Marat Grigorian
7 Wu Xuesong
8 Tayfun Ozcan
9 Dzhabar Askerov
10 Josh Jauncey
Featherweight (Per 5/16)

1 Kaew Fairtex
2 Hidaeki Yamazaki
3 Masaaki Noiri
4 Minoru Kimura
5 Massaro Glunder
6 Yasuomi Soda
7 Yuta Kubo
8 Serhiy Adamchuk
9 Gabriel Varga
10 Qui Jian Liang
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Eduard Irimia Explains that SUPERKOMBAT Fighters Can Fight for Anyone

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat

SUPERKOMBAT has an interesting stable of fighters at its disposal, guys like Benjamin Adegbuyi, Bogdan and Andrei Stoica, Catalin Morosanu, Raul Catinas and Sebastien Ciobanu. While lots of promoters force fighters into exclusive contracts, Eduard Irimia would like to make it clear that fighters under the employ of SUPERKOMBAT are not held to those kinds of restrictions. In fact, he encourages fighters under the SK banner to gain experience outside of the SUPERKOMBAT organization.

In the article, which was posted to Romanian luptatorii.ro, Irimia talks about his "gentlemen's agreement" with Pierre Andurand and GLORY, stating that they are not rivals and that he would be happy to send some of his fighters to GLORY. There is also a brief mention that Irimia would allow fighters to fight for K-1 as well.

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GLORY 26 Airing Live on ESPN3, Two Day Delay on ESPN2

  • Published in Glory

There has been some speculation online about the future of GLORY and if the ESPN deal was a "one and done." GLORY CEO Jon Franklin discussed that there was a verbal agreement between GLORY and ESPN to air GLORY 26 as well while they continued with negotiations and now, today, according to ESPN's WatchESPN website, we know when it will be airing on ESPN platforms. 

GLORY 26 will air live on ESPN3 once again, this time at 4pm Eastern. Much like the previous event, it will air on ESPN2 via tape delay, only this time it won't be 1:30am in the morning. Instead it will air on Sunday, December 6th at 8pm Eastern time. This is a two day tape delay, but on prime time. Airing on a Sunday during football season seems like a hard win for kickboxing, with the Packers vs. the Lions airing at 6:30pm eastern on the same evening. 

We'll have to see how it turns out, but it is good to see that GLORY and ESPN have gotten things ironed out for the next event. 

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Rizin Night 2 Results: Fedor is Back, Souwer Power in MMA and RENA is the GOAT

  • Published in Asia

My god, what a show. 

If you were reading Twitter throughout the Rizin FF broadcast you'll either be under the impression that this was the greatest show to ever grace this good Earth or the biggest monstrosity to ever happen to mankind. That's the kind of divisiveness Japanese fight sports brings to the table. What I can say is that this was one of the most entertaining nights of fights in perhaps years. As someone who gave up watching MMA after the UFC's homogenization went into full force I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded of just how exciting that MMA really can be. 

Jiki Prochazka vs. Vadim Nemkov was perhaps one of the most exciting and active MMA fights that I've seen in a very long time, a stark contrast from the weekly fights that turned me away from the sport over the past few years. 

Of course, kickboxing was represented in quite a few ways throughout the show as well. In fact, the show began with Shoot Boxing superstar RENA making her MMA debut against the very tough Jleanna Valentino. Many quickly wrote off Valentino, but she is a decent muay thai fighter who trains in Italy with Giorgio and Armen Petrosyan, which has to count for something. What we got was a really good striking display from both women before RENA pulled off a flying armbar for the amazing win. 

On the K-1 front K-1 55kg champion Takeru came in and destroyed Yang Ming just like you thought that he would. Peter Aerts stepped in on two days notice against sumo wrestler Kaido Hoovelson in what was an ugly bout, especially considering the kinds of injuries that Aerts has been suffering from and having to watch this behemoth of a man just fall on Aerts and put him in all sorts of awful circumstances. That being said, Aerts went for a choke and an armbar, which was entertaining. 

Speaking of entertainment, Cesar Takeshi, the founder of Shoot Boxing, was out in full force to be the special guest referee in a Shoot Boxing rules bout between Bob Sapp and Akebono. Yes. This happened. Sapp hit Akebono so hard in the back of the head that a cut literally exploded open and Sapp spent the rest of the fight hitting him in the back of the head and Takeshi pausing the fight to let Stitch Duran work on Akebono. This happened like eight times. Sapp eventually won and nobody understood how or what happened to make that happen. 

Andy Souwer, after years of waiting, finally made his MMA debut and he did it against Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima. Nagashima was looking for submissions against Souwer but Souwer had a pretty solid ground game, all things considered, and was pounding and kneeing Jienotsu in the face. When they got back up to their feet Souwer landed a crazy combination and knocked Jienotsu out with body shots. Damn.

The main event saw Fedor Emelianenko make short work of former K-1 and GLORY fighter Jaideep "Heart" Singh. Former New Japan Pro Wrestling star and current Minister of Education Hiroshi Hase came to the ring to present Fedor with the WCW International Heavyweight Championship. I'm not kidding. He presented Fedor with the big gold belt from when NJPW had a working relationship with WCW and Hase briefly held WCW's kind of world championship. Anyway, he gave that belt to Fedor and it was weird but it owned. 

Seriously, that was an amazing night of fights. 

Rizin FF GP Final: King Mo (R1 - TKO) Jiri Prochazka
Fedor Emelianenko (R1 - TKO) Jaideep Singh
Kron Gracie (R1 - Submission) Asen Yamamoto
Andy Souwer (R1 - KO) Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima
Kaido "Baruto" Hoovelson (R2 - Decision) Peter Aerts
Shoot Boxing Rules: Bob Sapp (R3 - Decision) Akebono
Gabi Garcia (R1 - KO) Lei'd Tapa
K-1 Rules: Takeru (R2 - TKO) Yang Ming
Soo Chul Kim (R2 - Decision)
Bellator Rules: Brennan Ward (R2 - Submission) Ken Hasegawa
Rizin FF GP: Jiri Prochazka (R1 - TKO) Vadim Nemkov
Rizin FF GP: King Mo (R2 - Decision) Teodoras Aukstuolis
RENA (R2 - Submission) Jleana Valentino

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Report: Andy Souwer Suffers Compressed Nerve in Leg

  • Published in K-1

Andy SouwerAndy Souwer put forth a valiant display this weekend at the It's Showtime Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament, making it to the semi-finals against Artur Kyshenko before losing the fight. Souwer and Kyshenko were easily the two favorites going into the tournament this weekend, with Robin Van Roosmalen as a possible spoiler in the mix who did exactly that by defeating Kyshenko in the Finals.

There were reports of Andy Souwer's condition post-fight claiming that he had possibly fracturing his shin bone, which to many of us made Souwer look tougher than nails as he was competing on a severe injury and still didn't look bad. There was even video of Souwer being strapped into a stretcher and being taken from the arena (8:00 in) to confirm the story.

We are now told this afternoon that the extent of Souwer's injuries are not as bad as originally believed. Instead of a fracturing shin he suffered a compacted or trapped nerve in his shin. Basically, if you've ever had a pinched nerve before think of it like that, only this happens from an outside force pushing on a nerve so hard that it becomes compacted. Your nerves serve as the communication device between your nervous system and your brain. They recognize things like hot, cold and pain, so if they become compacted they are only reporting one thing to your brain; pain. Intense, overwhelming pain.

So if Andy Souwer looked wobbly in the third round, the fact that he was even able to stand was amazing, never mind fight by throwing kicks and knees. Hats off to Andy Souwer who should be back up and running within three weeks.

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K-1 Rising in Los Angeles Tickets on Sale Now

  • Published in K-1

K-1

Not only is today the day of the K-1 Open Tryouts at Muscle Beach, but apparently today is also the day that the tickets for K-1 Rising 2012 USA WGP in Los Angeles go on sale. That's right, if you are hyped and ready to go to the big K-1 unveiling in LA show on September 8th you can now secure your tickets on Ticketmaster.com.

The ticket prices are $250, $150, $100 and $50.

K-1 officials have told us to expect a card shortly, but in the mean time remember to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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