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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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LiverKick.com Podcast Episode 24 - GLORY 13 and Joseph Valtellini

  • Published in LK Podcast

Podcast

GLORY 13 Tokyo is this weekend, featuring the GLORY Welterweight tournament. The GLORY Welterweight tournament features some of the best and brightest in GLORY's Welterweight division,  including Nieky Holzken, Karapet Karapetyan, Raymond Daniels and Joseph Valtellini. I had the pleasure of speaking with Joe on Friday as he was preparing to leave for Japan where we discussed his upcoming fight(s) as well as how it feels to be fighting on yet another card with Kickboxing legends.

I also run down the GLORY 13 and SuperFight Series cards for you because, well, you really care what I think, right? Maybe?

{enclose lk_ep24.mp3}

Also, for those who have phones, etc. that don't support flash, here it is on SoundCloud.

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K-1 Final 16 Matches Unveiled

  • Published in K-1

K-1

This is the moment that Kickboxing fans across the world have been waiting for (or at least one of them), as today on K-1's [Japanese] website the matchups for the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 were posted. There will be some surprises, as a popular name associated with the K-1 World Grand Prix so far in Daniel Ghita does not appear anywhere on this bout sheet. On top of that, it was long-rumored that four fighters from the Los Angeles GP show would move on to the Final 16, but it looks like Rick Roufus will be fighting on the event, but will not be a part of the actual tournament matchups, facing Los Angeles GP undercard fighter James Wilson after his brutal KO of Doug Souer.

Without further ado...

K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16

Raul Catinas (Romania) vs. Ben Edwards (Australia)

Makoto Uehara (Japan) vs. Hiromi Amada (Japan)

Xavier Vigney (USA) vs. Zabit Samedov (Azerbaijan)

Hesdy Gerges (Egypt) vs. Sergii Laschenko (Ukraine)

Singh Jaideep (India) vs. Ismael Londt (Surinam)

Jarrell Miller (USA) vs. Arnold Oborotov (Lithuania)

Paul Slowinski (Poland) vs. Catalin Morosanu (Romania)

Mirko Flipovic (Croatia) vs. Randy Blake (USA)

 

Super Fights

Genji Umeno (Japan) vs. Chanhyung Lee (Korea)

Jafar Ahmadi (Iran) vs. Benjamin Adegbuyl (Nigeria)

Saulo Cavalari (Brazil) vs. Pavel Zuravliov (Russia)

Rick Roufus (USA) vs. James Wilson (USA)

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Buakaw Por Pramuk Fighting in the United States

  • Published in Kickboxing

BuakawYes, you read that headline right. Buakaw Por. Pramuk, two-time K-1 World MAX Champion and 2010 Shootboxing S-Cup Champion will indeed be fighting in the United States in August of this year. Stand Up Promotions based out of Northern California will be presenting yet another big muay thai card to the area featuring not only Buakaw Por. Pramuk but Saenchai Sinibi Gym, Koaklai Kennorising, Saiyok Pumpanmuang and Rungravee Sasiprapa.

This is a lot of world class muay thai talent for a relatively smaller promotion, but they are going all th way with this event, booking the Anaheim Convention Center. The Arena in the Convention Center can hold upwards of 9,100 people if they are indeed running in the Arena and not a convention hall. All of this goes down on August 13th. MuayThaiAuthority.com did the legwork.

In August Stand Up Promotions will host "World Class Championship Muay Thai" at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 13th in Anaheim, CA. The event will feature Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Saenchai Sinibi Gym, Kaoklai Kennorising, Saiyok Pumpanmuang, and Rungravee Sasiprapa. All five Thai fighters are world class, but most will likely be excited to see former K-1 Max, and WMC champion Buakaw make his United States debut.

No opponents have been confirmed for any of the fighters, but Stand Up Promotions has confirmed with Muay Thai Authority that all five fighters have agreed to fight on the August 13th event.
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Mohamed Khamal and Mosab Amrani Put on FOTYC at It's Showtime 45

  • Published in Kickboxing

Mosab Amrani and Mohamed Khamal went to war at It's Showtime - The Sands, It's Showtime's 45th show on December 18th. It was one of the most anticipated bouts of the evening and was for the "King of Amsterdam" crown. With all of the speculation and anticipation, it ended up being put in the main event slot for the It's Showtime broadcast, which was aired live on http://www.itsshowtimefights.com for around $10 USD. Basically, if you missed this show, make sure to catch the next one.

Mosab and Khamal put forth a battle that can easily lay claim to one of the greatest fights in combat sports all year, as both men poured everything into their three rounds with neither man giving an inch of being knocked down. The officials at ringside had no choice but to score the bout a draw and move on to an extension round.

The extension round was incredibly close, with both men standing toe-to-toe and both connecting with clean shots on each other. It was dead even until the last minute of the round where Khamal reached down deep and had Mosab on the ropes. This was enough to impress the judges and score him the big win, in what many might consider an upset with Mosab Amrani being a favorite going into the fight.

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Hesdy Gerges Arrested For Drug Trafficking

  • Published in Kickboxing

Hesdy Gerges Arrested on Drug ChargesThe kickboxing world suffered another huge blow today, as It's Showtime and K-1 fighter Hesdy Gerges was arrested for drug trafficking earlier today. The arrest of Gerges was in relation to a raid by Belgium officials in May, where Hesdy's half brother, Ashraf and his friend were caught with 128 kilos of cocaine in Antwerp, Belgium. Gerges, as well as four more suspects were arrested today at the behest of Belgium officials, who will demand extradition.

Hesdy was asked about this last year and vehemently denied having anything to do with his brother's drug smuggling operation. It is unclear what Hesdy's involvement is at this point, but according to at5.nl, during the raid computers, phones as well as weapons and ammunition were confiscated, but it was not clear what, if anything was taken from Gerges. This comes hot on the heel of Ashwin Balrak's arrest for drug possession in November, found with 82 kg of cocaine on him, as well as Badr Hari's sprawling legal problems involving assault on a bouncer last year.

To compound matters, Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam has been very vocal about kickboxing and martial arts events, and was looking to crack down on organized crime in Amsterdam. He believes that kickboxing events bring organized crime to the city and parade criminals around as VIPs. He is unhappy with the image the city has and is looking to clean it up. There was talk of outright banning events, but Van der Laan has recently went on record stating that is not his intention.

With It's Showtime's next event on March 6th, it appears that Hesdy Gerges will not be able to fight in the main event against Daniel Ghita, as a case like this will take a while to be sorted out, especially because it involves an extradition process. [source]

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Are You Buying or Selling on Steven Seagal Working with Anderson Silva?

  • Published in Kickboxing

Steven Seagal with Anderson SilvaWhen Steven Seagal first was shown with Anderson Silva at UFC 117, we all kind of chuckled and said, "hey that is pretty cool." When he walked out with Anderson at UFC 126, it was kind of funny again, but at this point it began to appear odd. Steven Seagal is an Akido instructor and former martial arts action star who now has his own dubious television series about him being a "lawman."

I grew up on Martial Arts and action films, as I feel like most men my age did. Guys like Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme were the reason to get involved in martial arts; to be as bad ass as they were. Of course, years pass, and as they do, the stark reality set upon me that JCVD had serious substance problems and that Steven Seagal was a terrible fraud. Both men fell off the radar a bit, but Seagal's career seemed to hold strong (still sparse, but it didn't fall off completely) while Van Damme's seemed to all-but disappear. Seagal had long been the butt of the joke when it comes to Hollywood circles, but still got work due to his popularity and how ridiculous of a persona he carried around with him.

Enter the modern day, where JCVD is re-building his career his way and even looks to re-enter the world of fighting, while Steven Seagal is on a reality television series and apparently trying to weasel his way into the fighting world as well. This past weekend, Anderson Silva defeated Vitor Belfort with a front high kick, a staple in just about every form of martial art that involves kicking. So, much to my surprise, Anderson Silva claimed that Steven Seagal taught him the kick. It was funny, worth a chuckle. Then, much to my disdain, this interview with Ariel Helwani came out.

Seagal claims to have taught Anderson Silva one of the most basic kicking techniques, a first week kick in Tae Kwan Do, which incidentally, was Anderson Silva's first martial art that he took when he was fourteen. Now, as anyone who has studied striking will note, there are minute differences between techniques in different forms of martial arts, but generally speaking, one form of kick does not differ too greatly from another. This is a very basic technique that Anderson Silva used almost out of context in a MMA fight, and caught everyone by surprise. For Steven Seagal to claim there is some sort of mystical "death" technique, or that he knew some secret to making the kick work better is, well, par for the course with his history.

In that interview, he discusses with Helwani how MMA is both good and bad for traditional martial arts; first it makes the public more aware, and second, it shows behind the curtain into a "secret world" that you weren't meant to see. I think my eyes nearly rolled back in my head. If anything, Mixed Martial Arts has shown the general public that there is a man behind the curtain, that there is no Oz. There are men like Seagal everywhere, who have conned people into believing that with intense, personal training from masters such as himself, you can learn some crazy secret that will help you transcend reality.

The gall he had to claim he taught Anderson Silva a technique that your average six year old can do (of course not with the force or application) was pure Seagal grandstanding. Seagal showed cracks in his story when Helwani asked him how he met Anderson Silva, he was caught on the spot and said that he didn't remember, then you could almost see the gears turning in his head as Helwani is preparing another question and he corrects himself and claims that Anderson Silva sent him a "memo" that he wanted to learn Steven's secret death techniques.

Anderson Silva and his training partners are not fools, nor are they children, if you believe for one second that this happened, you probably need to review some of the history of Steven Seagal. Seagal has lied about nearly everything in the book, from his place of birth, to adultery, to how many wives he has had, to education, work history, the list goes on and on. There have been an endless stream of interviews, op-eds and exposes on him since he became popular, with Spy Magazine discussing how his "CIA background" is a complete sham, and how he actually had mafia ties and attempted to hire hit men to take care of members of the media who "wronged him." If you search Google for "Steven Seagal Fraud" you get endless results. Check this out for some documented history.

Just because certain people claim to have more knowledge does not mean that they are correct. Understand that basic kinetics dictates that every technique in martial arts is done a certain way, and has been over years, because it is effective. If there was a way to enhance that technique, it would be canonical. Steven Seagal is an aging, overweight actor and stunt man who has nothing real to teach to accomplished martial artists. My question for you is are you buying or selling, and my question for Seagal and Anderson's camp is how much is Seagal paying you? Seriously, he has to be paying them something, right? Because if I were an accomplished martial artist and world champion, I know the last thing I'd need is an over-the-hill actor to tell me how I should fight, especially when said actor has no history fighting himself, unless I was doing so as a big joke or he was paying me to be his friend.

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Basically, Don't Expect Badr Hari to Fight Any Time Soon

  • Published in K-1

BadrAs you may be well aware, Badr Hari is currently behind bars, awaiting sentencing in the brutal beating of Dutch businessman Koen Everink from a party at the Amsterdam ArenA. This came hot on the heels of Badr Hari being outed as Estelle Gullit's secret lover, part of the reason for her divorce from football legend Ruud Gullit. Of course, this all came out after Badr Hari's girlfriend gave birth to their child. To say that Badr Hari has a lot of stuff going on is an understatement; he now has baby mama drama, a famous mistress and is in jail for a very public assault. The drama isn't over, either.

Badr Hari apparently wants to move forward with his life and not live in the shadow of his angry past, as he has confessed to at least four other assault cases that were brought up against him. It looks like one of those is linked with his friend, the famous mobster, Gwenette Martha. This charge includes setting ablaze the home of a pregnant woman, apparently.

We all want to see Badr Hari fight again and soon, but at this point, it is not looking good for that.

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Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Chosen a Promoter and Country for His Fight

  • Published in Kickboxing

JCVDIt was bound to happen sooner or later, and it did. We've been talking about this mythical fight Jean-Claude Van Damme has been preparing for now for just about two years, and it never felt any closer. There were talks of having Golden Boy promote the fight in Vegas, but after contacting the NSAC it was clear that they had never heard from anyone about a JCVD fight, ever, and that it would be a big risk for Oscar De la Hoya and his crew.

There were talks about China, Thailand, Japan, getting K-1 to promote the fight. There were dates, it was pushed back due to JCVD's schedule, trouble finding a suitable promoter. The list goes on and on and on and sadly, on. But it seems like JCVD has finally found suitable business partners and an arena to host such an event as a kickboxing fight against Somluck Kamsing.

Apparently the legendary Fairtex gym will be hosting JCVD's fight in November or December of this year in Thailand. Banjong Bussarakamwong of Fairtex will be promoting the fight and is currently looking for a suitable 30,000 seat arena, possibly the Impact Arena or the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium. There are talks about the fight being broadcast live across the world as well and Kamsing was given a 200,000 baht down payment (about $6,500).

We'll have to see how this shapes up, but for now this is the most concrete news we've heard on this fight, ever. [source]

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