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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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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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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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Badr Hari to Return to Action in May

  • Published in Kickboxing

After a year of inactivity, Badr Hari will make his return to action in the It's Showtime ring. With K-1 on a hiatus for the moment, and nothing planned or announced as of yet, It's Showtime has been reeling off the show announcements, with a tentative plan for ten or more shows within 2011. In May It's Showtime will make their way to Lyon, France, where Badr Hari will make his return to action against a to-be-decided opponent.

According to Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, Simon Rutz has gotten a verbal agreement for the bout and the opponent should be decided within the next two weeks.

"Badr makes his comeback in May," Rutz commented to De Telegraaf. "Hopefully Badr will be doing what he does best: fighting in the ring. He must show that he is among the best fighters in the world."

The fight that fans want to see the most would be against Hesdy Gerges, who is currently booked to fight on March 6th, taking on Daniel Ghita. At It's Showtime's christmas show at the Sands, they also announced that he would be defending his title, most likely at the ArenA show. With the ArenA show not happening, one can only speculate that they will try to assemble a rematch between the two a year later.

There are a plethora of match-ups involving Badr Hari that fans would love to see, including a rubber match against current K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, Alistair Overeem, but Overeem might be tied up in the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP and be unable to make a fight in May. Nod to Simon Raedts for diligently reading de Telegraaf and alerting us to the news.

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GLORY 11 Main Event Confirmed as Corbett vs. Spong

  • Published in Glory

glory

Today is a breakneck big news day, which we here at LiverKick are very okay with. The fight that we've been hearing for GLORY 11 Chicago for a while now has been Australian superstar Nathan Corbett vs. Tyrone Spong, and yes, it is official! On top of that there will also be the rumored Heavyweight Grand Slam Tournament, featuring Daniel Ghita, Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Rico Verhoeven and Gokhan Saki.

This one night, four man tournament will crown the king of the Heavyweight division (with Semmy Schilt retired) and will bring an incredible night of top level competition to the Chicago area. This will crown the new GLORY Heavyweight Champion and do so on US soil airing live on Spike TV! Stay tuned for more updates on GLORY 11, including the rest of the card.

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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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Remy Bonjasky Preparing for Return to the K-1 Ring

  • Published in K-1

Bonjasky Returns

Never say never in the fighting world, and in the case of Remy Bonjasky being retired, chalk that up to "not yet." Bonjasky had to bow out of action a few years ago due to an eye injury as well as a few others that have plagued him for the last few years of his career. It had looked like that was the end of the line for the three-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion. There were talks of a possible retirement fight for the thirty-six year old "Flying Gentleman" but that he was looking for a cool million dollar payout for that last fight. With K-1 in dire straits over the last year and It's Showtime not having that kind of money at their disposal, it looked like we had heard the last of Bonjasky for a while.

There have been reports of a possible return for Remy Bonjasky, as well as a million dollar prize for this year's K-1 World Grand Prix that looks to be pulling Bonjasky back into action. After speaking with a few of our sources, we can confirm that Remy Bonjasky will be back in action this year with K-1, but that the rumored fight with Daniel Ghita is simply not happening yet. Bonjasky was offered the fight with Ghita, but instead turned it down citing it being too big of a challenge for a comeback fight. The date being tossed around circles in Europe right now is May 27th will be the comeback of K-1, and could possibly be when Bonjasky competes for K-1 next, although there is talk of him taking a warmup fight in April before jumping into the deep end of the pool.

I've always felt Bonjasky to be incredibly underrated by fans, mostly for the 2008 World Grand Prix finals where Badr Hari stomped on him and Bonjasky refused to keep fighting. I understand fans' frustration, but at the same time to discredit Bonjasky's incredible career because of that seems to be a bit crass. Bonjasky has three K-1 World Grand Prix wins under his belt, it is impossible to deny that the title of one of the all-time greats goes to him for that alone.

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K-1 Striking vs. MMA Striking: The Tired, Worthless Debate

  • Published in K-1

Kyotaro vs. MousasiI've finally had a chance to sit down and watch Dynamite!! and there is a lot to say reflecting upon the events from that show. There has been a bit of an ongoing debate over the "level" of K-1 strikers and how they compare to MMA strikers. The general fallout from the internet seems to be that the disparity between K-1 kickboxers and MMA fighters is slim, with K-1 fighters being overrated by fans and the talent pool being shallow at this point in time.

Of course, it didn't help that at Dynamite!! we saw Gegard Mousasi take K-1 Heavyweight Champion Kyotaro to the distance and win the fight via decision. Mousasi even scored a few knockdowns, and this comes off the heels of his 2008 victory over Musashi.

The year 2010 was also the year that saw Alistair Overeem, a fighter primarily known for competing in Mixed Martial Arts take home kickboxing's most coveted prize; the K-1 World Grand Prix Championship. Overeem has long been an interesting topic for debate; is he good? Is he just alright? Do his poor Light Heavyweight performances from a few years ago reflect upon him now? What lengths has he gone to improve his performance? If he isn't that good of a striker, what does it say about K-1 competition?

The truth is, kickboxers are being beaten at their own game. Overeem holds wins over Badr Hari, Peter Aerts (twice), Ewerton Teixeira, Dzevad Poturak, Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki. That list is impressive and contains some of K-1's best fighters. Mousasi only holds two K-1 victories, over an aging and ready to retire Musashi and a sluggish if not exhausted from competing weeks before Kyotaro, but is still being used as an example of a MMA fighter making K-1 look bad.

It seems foolish and unfair to label these fighters as either this or that. What really makes a fighter? Alistair Overeem has been training kickboxing since he was a teenager, making his pro debut at age 17 before switching over to MMA. Gegard Mousasi began his career as a boxer and kickboxer, transitioning to MMA and using his judo background combined with his striking prowess to be successful.

As we saw at Dynamite in Satoshi Ishii vs. Jerome Le Banner and Hideo Tokoro vs. Kazuhisa Watanabe, a striker moving into MMA put in grappling situations can be easily lost and frustrated, while a MMA fighter put in a pure striking situation can appear to be competent.

To use Gegard Mouasasi and Alistair Overeem as examples of Mixed Martial Artists "clowning" K-1 kickboxers is crass and an exercise in semantics at best. As I posed before, what really makes a fighter? Do the fact that both fighters' records in MMA are more prolific mean that they are Mixed MArtial Artists, or does the fact that they began as strikers mean that they are strikers that adapted a grappling game for Mixed Martial Arts, found success in MMA and stuck with it?

Both men train at kickboxing gyms with some of the best kickboxers in the world (Mousasi trains with Golden Glory when preparing for fights). The Golden Glory gym is primarily a kickboxing gym, while they train MMA fighters, they will always be known (rightfully so) as one of the best kickboxing gyms in the world. To me, Alistair Overeem's affiliation with Golden Glory just speaks of how serious he is about his striking.

Kickboxing and Muay Thai are arts in and of themselves and are incorporated, at least partially, into Mixed Martial Arts. If someone wants to make this argument maybe the survey field needs to grow; take a fighter who grapples as their primary art, toss them into a ring with Kyotaro or an injured Gokhan Saki or Peter Aerts and see how they fare. Rinse, repeat, because we all know a survey from a shallow test field does not yield exact results.

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Badr Hari Has Baby Mama Drama

  • Published in K-1

Badr

As our astute readers are well aware now, the bad boy himself, Badr Hari, has become a bit of a celebrity of late in the celeb gossip columns in Europe for his affair with Dutch soccer legend Ruud Gullit's wife, Estelle. Many doubted the validity at first, but Estelle herself has come out and discussed it and even spoke about the two being in love. This apparently came as a shock to his former girlfriend, Daphne, as she had just given birth to their child five weeks ago. Up until last week when the news about Badr and Estelle became public, Daphne was very serious about her relationship with Badr and was planning on their family life together, and is now understandably upset.

It is unclear if Badr has spoken to her at all, as there was a statement issued through a representative of his saying he understood that she is upset and promises to help raise their child.

Many fans have been looking for answers when it comes to his recent performance just three weeks ago at K-1 Rising in Madrid. LiverKick had heard through a confidential source close to Hari that he had recently had a child with his girlfriend, but that the relationship was in trouble and plaguing him weeks prior. A gambling man would bet that issues like this dancing around in his head would not help him prepare for a fight or even participate in one. Heres hoping to a resolution to this and for Badr to be able to enter his next fight with a clear mind.

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