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LiverKick Podcast - Volume 7

  • Published in LK Podcast

LiverKick is on top of your kickboxing needs, as always, and after a weekend like this, well, your needs should be met. If they aren't, we are here to help. If you aren't one of those guys who frequents forums, then there is a chance that you haven't had your fill of banter, you are in the right place. That's right, instead of resting on our laurels, Rian Scalia and myself sat down and talked the talk that was needed after the two big shows this weekend. We dissect both the Glory World Series event as well as the K-1 card, take a look at the good, the bad and the downright ugly, as well as what to look for in the future.

without further ado, go ahead and take a listen.

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Watch GLORY World Series LIVE on LiverKick May 26th

  • Published in Kickboxing

GloryWe are very pleased to announce that on May 26th LiverKick.com will be partnering with Glory Sports International to bring you the live stream of the big Glory event in Stockholm, Sweden. On May 26th Glory will kickoff their World Series of Kickboxing tournaments with the First 16 for the 70kg division while also hosting a slew of super fights, including Gokhan Saki vs. Carter Williams and Semmy Schilt vs. Errol Zimmerman.

Head over to Glory's newly-redesigned site to get a glimpse of the rest of the card.

As mentioned, we will be partnering with Glory to host the PPV right here on LiverKick, so you do not need to leave your favorite source for Kickboxing news and coverage on fight day. The event costs $15 and will begin at 12:30pm Eastern time/9:30am Pacific time/18:30 GMT +2. Go ahead and bookmark this page, as this will be where you go to order the event on fight day. All you have to do is click the "play" arrow on the video and then click the "Buy Access to this Event" button and it should be pretty straightforward from there. If you just want to watch the event, make sure to click "Single Video Access" when you're in the process of buying it.

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LiverKick.com Podcast - Volume 5

  • Published in LK Podcast

podcast

It has been too long, hasn't it? The LiverKick Podcast makes its return after a few weeks of absence with all of the latest news from the Kickboxing world. This week we take a look at the Final Fight card that went down in Croatia, including the bout between Mirko Cro Cop and Ray Sefo, Daniel Ghita taking on Sergei Lascenko and more. Rian Scalia (@rianscalia) and myself (@liverkickdotcom / @locuststar) give our thoughts on the card, from the good to the bad to the downright ugly.

Then we turn our attention to some of the bigger news, including a possible date for the first K-1 show of 2012, Remy Bonjasky making a return to Kickboxing and a whole hell of a lot more.

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LiverKick Podcast - Vol. 3

  • Published in LK Podcast

After a bit of a break for the holidays and other assorted nonsense the LiverKick Podcast makes it's [mildly] glorious return. As always, Rian Scalia (@rianscalia) joins myself (@LiverKickdotcom / @LocustStar) as we discuss the latest happenings in the world of Kickboxing. We take a look at some of the huge announcements from Golden Glory, including a card announcement for March 23rd as well as them announcing three huge tournaments and the whole saga of them and the K-1 name. Then we move on to look at the Yokkao Extreme card that went down yesterday before bringing it all back to It's Showtime which goes down next week.

Fight the good fight and listen to the LiverKick Podcast. Intro and outtro music provided by Night Terrain (@nightterrain).

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Shin on Shin Series: Episodes 1 - 4

  • Published in Kickboxing

Our bud Steven Wright has always made it clear how much he loves the sport of kickboxing. He makes his money by helping out some of the best MMA fighters in the world to hone their standup, but his passion has always been kickboxing. For about as long as I've known Steven he has been talking about his documentary. Steven is a lot like me in the regards of he always has a lot going on, but he always stuck to his guns; he was going to release his epic kickboxing documentary at some point. 

So we waited and waited and I at times wondered if he had forgotten about it. He hasn't, not at all. Here is the first four episodes of Shin on Shin Series, with the focus on Europe. 

Shin on Shin Series: EP1 The Fall, Hated Dominance, Unappreciated Brilliance

Shin on Shin Series: EP2 Alexey Ignashov The First Next Big Thing, Badr Hari The People's Champ

Shin on Shin Series: EP3 The Wages of the Wars, In Honor of those we lost...

Shin on Shin Series: EP4 They Call it a War

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A Layman's Guide to Scoring a Muay Thai Fight

  • Published in Kickboxing

I wanted to write this article after seeing the scorecards for the Saenchai vs Kevin Ross fight and also in light of the scoring on the Cosmo Alexandre vs Cyrus Washington fight which was held in the US earlier this year.

Before I get started I should make it clear that I am not a qualified judge. For a definitive guide to how a Muay Thai fight should be scored you should check out this article by Tony Myers:

Judging a Muay Thai fight part onepart two

This is only intended to be a quick and rough guide for those who (like the judges in the US...) don't understand how a Muay Thai fight should be scored.

Muay Thai is not scored in the same way as boxing, K-1 or MMA so trying to apply the same criteria to a Muay Thai fight that you would any another combat sport is a waste of time.

The first two rounds of a Muay Thai fight are always scored a draw, unless one fighter absolutely dominates or visibly hurts his opponent. The opening rounds are only intended to be used as a feeling out process and good fighters will almost always treat them as such. Rounds one and two are an opportunity to size up your opponents and to begin to demonstrate your superiority to the judges BUT will generally have no effect on the scoring of the fight.

Rounds three, four and five are the decisive rounds and the result of them will settle the outcome of the fight unless there is a stoppage. Muay Thai rounds are not scored in isolation though so, for instance, if one fighter looked stronger in rounds one and two but round three is even the judges will often give round three to the fighter who looked stronger in the opening rounds.

A fighter who is already ahead normally seems to get the benefit of the doubt in a close round which means that once a fighter has taken a lead on the scorecards he only needs to be as good as his opponent to win the fight, whereas the opponent needs to clearly demonstrate that he is better. This may seem like merely a semantic difference but it is never the less an important one.

Another way that Muay Thai differs dramatically from other combat sports is in the way that different techniques are scored. Any strike which lands cleanly scores points but straight knees and kicks to the mid section seem to score more points than any other techniques.

Read more after the break...

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Video: Artem Levin vs. Kaoklai

  • Published in Kickboxing

Here is a fight from last weekend that slipped under the radar: It's Showtime 77kg champion Artem Levin vs. WBC Muay Thai World Light Heavyweight champion Kaoklai Kaennorsing.  The fight was 5 rounds, full Muay Thai rules for Kaoklai's WBC title and took place at an event in Russia.

Levin came in off a career best year in 2010 that saw him quickly rise up the ranks.  In the last year, Levin claimed both the It's Showtime title and the Gold medal at the SportAccord Combat Games. Along the way he defeated two men who could each make a solid claim for being #1 at 77kg: Yodsaenklai Fairtex and L'houcine Ouzgni.  He's on a 12 fight win streak, and has to be considered the top man at 77kg at this point.

Kaoklai is a Muay Thai legend who K-1 fans may best know for his surprising 2004/2005 K-1 Grand Prix runs.  He's in the twilight of his superb career, although he did put together a 5-0 record in 2010 and is not yet completely finished.

Analysis after the jump.

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Badr Hari Returns to the Ring on November 9th Against Alexey Ignashov

  • Published in Kickboxing

Badr

The rumor over the past week or so was that Badr Hari would be back in the ring for the LEGEND promotion, based out of Russia, but let's be honest with ourselves here, it felt like a longshot at best. Badr Hari is due in court in October for his trial which will decide his fate for the brutal beating of Koen Everink at the Amsterdam ArenA last year. So when rumors of him participating in the next LEGEND event, which was scheduled for October 31st, started sprouting it up it seemed that they were overly confident in his court case.

That confidence has not wavered, though, as it looks like these rumors were true. According to De Telegraaf in the Netherlands, Badr Hari is set to fight for LEGEND on November 9th against none other than Alexey Ignashov. One would have to think that this could fall through if Badr is found guilty, but maybe not, who knows? Golden Glory founder Ron Nyqvist escaped from prison in July when he was given a "break" from prison (yes, a break from prison!) and was apprehended this last week, so it feels like anything is possible with how international judicial systems work.

The last time that Badr Hari was in the ring was in May at LEGEND against Zabit Samedov, with Samedov stopping Hari and shocking the world.

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K-1 Issues a Press Release: Seven Events This Year, Los Angeles and New York City

  • Published in K-1

K-1

After almost a year of speculation as to what will become of K-1, the picture is finally beginning to come into focus in many aspects. While the Kickboxing world is being divided and conquered by two factions; It's Showtime working with the new K-1 Global, and Golden Glory building their own Glory World Series, one will clearly come out on top if both sides do not work together. GLORY recently announced that 2012 would house six big events without any real set-in-stone dates, and as of today, K-1 has fired back and fired back big time.

If you are a fan of martial arts and kickboxing and you live in the United States, your day might be coming and very soon. The same can be said for fighters within the US who are sick of fighting for paltry sums of money in the regional muay thai scene, as part of K-1's press release today, two events within the United States were listed. Of the seven projected dates, two are within the United States. Early September is penciled in for the U.S. Qualifying Tournament, with the winner being placed within the World Grand Prix. The other event listed within the United States? None other than in December for the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals in New York City. If you've had behind-the-scenes information, there has been talk of K-1 in New York for a few years now, first in a partnership with HDnet, then possibly with a local promotion and now this.

We've reached out to some of our contacts within the U.S. to see if we can confirm the dates and venues and will report back when we have more information, but for now we can look at the rest of K-1's road map for 2012.

The first event is in Madrid, Spain on May 27th, and looks to be the opening of the K-1 MAX tournament (so says K-1's new website).

June - September will be the qualifying tournaments for Asia and Europe.

October will be the Final 16 in Asia.

November will be the K-1 WORLD MAX Finals with $300,000 up for grabs for the winner and $200,000 in other prizes for runners-up.

December will of course be the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals in New York, with $1,000,000 on the line for the winner and another $500,000 up for grabs for the runners-up.

Of course, this isn't the first time that we've seen promises about K-1, but this is at least a good, solid start.

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Japan Gets Embarrassed By Shoot Boxing's S-Cup

  • Published in Kickboxing

There’s a belief in the fight community that when you go to Japan that you need to be prepared for anything. You could say that for any fighter going into another country where they are to fight local fighters they have their backs against the wall and fear the “hometown decision,” but in Japan it always seems amplified. A part of that is the marriage of professional wrestling and professional fighting that has existed for a very long time in the world of “kakutougi.”

In fact, if you were to look at Shoot Boxing’s S-Cup event there was a professional wrestling bout on the card featuring New Japan Pro Wrestling Junior Heavyweight sensation Kota Ibushi against former DDT Pro Wrestling colleague Michael Nakazawa. It was originally labeled as an “exhibition match” under Shoot Boxing rules and was scheduled to be against Kazushi Sakuraba, but that fell through thanks to Metamoris 5. 

That should set the tone for you.

This S-Cup was one of the few that I’ve seen more than the usual fans excited over, which was in part due to the card that they put together. Mosab Amrani, Pornasae, Hiroaki Suzuki, Michiko Omigawa, Hiroki Shishido and American Muay Thai fighter Kevin Ross were all a part of the tournament, while legend Andy Souwer and Shoot Boxing hero RENA were in Super Fights. 

It felt like one of the bigger shows that Shoot Boxing had put on in a very, very long time and then Shoot Boxing went and put on a shameful display for all of the world to see. 

The draw for American fans was muay thai standout Kevin Ross being in the tournament. Ross went into the tournament against his toughest test by the way of former Sengoku, DREAM and UFC alumnus Michihiro Omigawa. Omigawa was a champion Judoka who rose to prominence in the Japanese MMA scene and after his UFC stint gave a shot at Shoot Boxing. Much like Toby Imada in the past, his grappling skills were able to help him against seasoned kickboxers and 2014 was his second attempt at Shoot Boxing gold.

By all accounts Omigawa was winning the first round handily thanks to his throws, which score heavily under Shoot Boxing rules, but there was a clash of heads that led to a nasty cut on Omigawa's face. In the second round the cut was a major factor, leading the ref to stopping the bout. The referee awarded the fight in favor of Ross due to the stoppage, while backstage there was a different story and Shoot Boxing organizers informed Ross that the fight was being rendered a No Contest and that he would not continue on in the tournament. 

The rules are a bit unclear at a time like this, where it isn’t clear who was at fault, or if it was accidental. What the referee most likely saw and ruled was that the cut was due to Omigawa’s own “negligence” (section 10) and ruled it in favor of Ross. Shoot Boxing might have been arguing that it was due to both men, which would make things a lot muddier. The truth of the matter is, the referee awarded Ross the win in the ring and any time the decision is reversed backstage it will be a tough sell to anyone that it was on the up-and-up.

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, then there is the story of Zakaria Zouggari. Don’t know who Zakaria Zouggari is? Neither did we, but we sure as hell know now. Rob Emerson of MMA fame (fame?!) was scheduled to take part, but at the last minute was unable to secure a visa, which left Shoot Boxing in a bind and called up relative unknown Zakaria Zouggari to fill in for Emerson in a reserve bout. 

Zouggari defeated Shoot Boxing’s resident punching bag Bovy Sor. Udomson via cut stoppage in round two and, thanks to the Kevin Ross/Omigawa shenanigans, was called upon to fight in the tournament moving forward. 

That led to a fight with internationally-renowned Houcine Bennoui and for this amazing display.

Seriously. God damn.

So this unknown would move onto the finals. According to Andy Souwer after the event Zouggari literally got off of the plane, dropped his bag off in his hotel room then hopped on a bus and headed to the event without time to rest, eat or get acclimated. This was the man who went on to the finals against 2013 65kg S-Cup Champion Hiroaki Suzuki. This is where things went from bad to worse. Zouggari clearly had the fight won after three rounds, only for an extension round to be ordered. When that was too close a SECOND extension round happened where Suzuki was finally able to score a TKO over Zouggari and it looked like Shoot Boxing’s hand-picked champion had won again.

It was almost like they weren't trying to hide the favoritism and that they really, really wanted Suzuki vs. Omigawa in a rematch of last year's finals. 

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