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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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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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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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All Fighters Make Weight For It's Showtime: Sporthallen Zuid Amsterdam

  • Published in Kickboxing

Hesdy/GhitaToday It's Showtime held their weigh-ins for March 6th's big event; Fighting Stars presents: It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid Amsterdam, taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands tomorrow, at 8pm Amsterdam time/2pm Eastern US time. The event will be streamed on http://www.showtimefights.com for 10 euros/$15 USD and should absolutely be worth it. Make sure to go to the site early and register for the event and to have a browser that is capable of running Microsoft Silverlight applications.

The weigh-ins took place in the VIP lounge of the Sporthallen Zuid, with all of the fighters making weight for their fights. The biggest stretch was for L'houcine "Aussie" Ougzni, who had to cut a considerable amount of weight and has fought as high as 77kg, having to make the cut to 70kg.

For the main event, Hesdy Gerges weighed in at 103kg and Daniel Ghita weighed in at 112kg.

Thanks to Ben Pontier and It's Showtime for the weigh-in photos, check below for a glimpse of all the main card bouts.

 

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K-1 World MAX 2011 70kg Japan Tournament FINAL on September 25

  • Published in Kickboxing

World MAXK-1's recent purchase was bound to lead to more announcements and speculation, and outside of the rumor of the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in October, there has actually been another show scheduled for September, which is looking to be the K-1 World MAX Japan tournament finals for the 70kg weight class. This is the tournament that would usually happen around February, but due to K-1's problemed year, this tournament will be happening in September instead. We've already seen a few fights in this "tournament" and are set to see the rest of the tournament unfold on the 25th of September.

It will happen in Osaka, Japan on September 25 with a host of participants planned for the show; Albert Kraus, Yuya Yamamot, Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima, Yasuhiro Kido, Yuta Kubo, Kizaemon Saiga, Yuji Nashiro, KENTA, Takafumi Morita, YOSHI and Takeshi Yokoyama. As you can tell, a mix of -63kg fighters and 70kg fighters, so it won't strictly be the 70kg tournament, much like there were MAX/70kg fights at the -63kg tournament.

It should also be noted that if K-1 wanted to hold a World MAX tournament around that time it would be impossible for them, as It's Showtime is promoting their Fast and Furious 70kg MAX tournament on September 24th. It will be two incredible days for kickboxing for sure. [source]

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UPDATE: HDnet and It's Showtime Ink Deal; K-1 Soon to Return

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeWith K-1's stunning silence throughout the year 2011 there is no doubt that Dutch promotion It's Showtime has picked up the slack that K-1 left and then some. It's Showtime has grown from a smaller organization that promoted a few scattered events, which from 1999 until 2004 involved one big event a year, which eventually turned into one big event at the Amsterdam ArenA until 2005 when the promotion decided to branch out and run more events. In 2005 they held a series with Gentlemen's Promotion that revolved around a massive 75kg tournament. The next year saw them co-promote with K-1 for the first time in what turned into a longstanding and beneficial relationship for both sides until recently, when K-1 fell upon massive financial woes and It's Showtime decided to move forward in the wake of K-1's absence.

This year is primed to be It's Showtime's biggest year yet, with last year holding 7 events and this year having 6 events already on their calendar and another three to four events in the works, but it doesn't stop there. LiverKick.com has been speaking with It's Showtime officials for a while now, and have understood that It's Showtime was not just happy with European expansion and was indeed looking to expand into the United States. This led to talks with a few television stations and promotional partners, some deals falling apart and then some rumors over the past week of big things brewing for It's Showtime.

Simon Rutz is no fool, as can be seen with the gradual growth of It's Showtime over the past 12 years. It's Showtime was not simply looking for a television deal for the United States, they were looking for promotional partners. Like we've seen with all of It's Showtime's recent events, they partner up with another company for all of their shows; BFN Group, Fight Group, Fighting Stars, Oktagon and even individuals like Yiannis Evgenikos and Kader Marouf. They wanted nothing different when it came to the United States and would not even think about promoting shows here without strong support from another promotion or entity, the same goes with television. They simply did not want to be on television, they wanted a working partnership that would expand the company.

We've dug pretty deep and found out that It's Showtime and HDnet finalized a deal earlier this week that will change the kickboxing world as we know it. It's Showtime has been added to HDnet's fight library, starting as soon as the May 14th Lyon, France show. That event will be aired on the following Friday at 11pm Eastern time. It is not airing live because of the short notice for the deal working itself out. We do know that Michael Schiavello is in Lyon, France right now most likely to commentate live on the event. To say that HDnet is going to give It's Showtime the "K-1 treatment" is an understatement.

Multiple sources have claimed that HDnet actually went and bought It's Showtime, or at least bought into the company. It was announced today that HDnet will begin airing It's Showtime immediately, through an agency called Fighting Spirit. LiverKick.com has also learned that HDnet is very interested in possibly purchasing K-1 to add to their stable of original programming. HDnet has aired K-1 in the past, but this would be different. K-1 has been having financial problems and many have been critical of their management, HDnet would look to have the legendary promotion turn a corner and help fully realize its potential in the United States.

UPDATE: Andrew Simon clarified that HDnet has only purchased the rights to It's Showtime in the U.S., not outright purchasing the promotion. They will work with the promotion to promote the shows, but won't hold an actual stake in it. As for K-1, HDnet will look to possibly further air their programming when live programming is available.

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How the Arrest of Hesdy Gerges Effects the Kickboxing World

  • Published in Kickboxing

HesdyThe recent arrest of K-1 and It's Showtime star Hesdy Gerges throws a monkey wrench into the whole kickboxing world right now. The first impact felt by the arrest is for the March 6th It's Showtime event, where the scheduled main event was Daniel Ghita vs. Hesdy Gerges. It was a fight that fans around the globe were looking forward to, as it was a meeting of two of the kickboxing world's up-and-coming stars.

The second is that it is a third black mark on It's Showtime within the span of a year. Within a year we saw their biggest star, Badr Hari, jailed for assault on a police officer. Of course with Badr Hari this was not his first time he was in trouble with the law, and with the company that he keeps it was not a surprise to many when it happened. Then later on in the year, Ashwin Balrak, who has fought for It's Showtime, was involved in a cocaine bust. Now comes the arrest of Gerges.

To compound matters, Mayor Van der Laan of Amsterdam has publicly accused kickboxing organizations of bringing with them a criminal element to their shows and has local officials cracking down on these events. To run an event in Amsterdam, according to Simon Rutz in a recent interview, means jumping through lots of hoops to prove they are "clean."

This arrest alone could not come at a worse time for the kickboxing world. Things could get worse if Hesdy is found guilty for being involved in the incident, but for now, it is unclear what, if any, was his involvement. He was questioned last year about the arrest of his half brother, but was not a person of interest. The conjecture and "facts" I've seen floating around the internet are false at best; Hesdy was not found with cocaine at the time of the arrest that we know of, he was not in Belgium when his half brother was arrested last May.

For now we have to wait and see as the situation unfolds.

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Andrei Stoica's Win Overturned; Apologizes for Racist Comments

  • Published in Kickboxing

We've received word from Super Kombat's press team that the controversial decision between Andrei Stoica and Redoun Cairo has been overturned by Super Kombat's team after they evaluated the score cards. At the request of Eduard Irimia the review happened and the bout has been declared a "No Contest." The score cards for the fight were 29-29, 29-29 and 30-29 in Stoica's favor. Since Stoica would need a majority to be declared a winner, Irimia noted that this bout should have gone to an extension round, instead Stoica was declared the winner in haste.

They have also confirmed that the two will meet again at a future date for Super Kombat.

On top of this, Stoica's remarks post-fight were... crass to say the least, as well as uncalled for. During a post-fight interview, Stoica, while explaining his opponent, used the dreaded "n-word" to describe him. Super Kombat officials have urged him to make a public apology. His defense is, apparently, that he has black friends and was just joking, as well as has bad english.

"I want to ask for forgiveness again. There was an error of expression because not speak good English. In addition, two of my best friends are black. I'm not a racist."

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Por Pramuk Gym, the Tralfamadorians and Buakaw Por Pramuk's Indentured Servitude to You

  • Published in Muay Thai

Self worth is something that is hard to describe, especially in an oppressive environment with no end in sight to the abuse. Even worse is when the world is allowed to look in through a picture window and witness the horror that is a life in chains, only to look on with astonishment, without being able to directly interact. It was the same predicament that Billy Pilgrim found himself on Tralfamadore as a human exhibit in a zoo. Billy Pilgrim had the dignity of being unstuck in time and understanding the non-linear nature of the fourth dimension which is time, much like a Time Lord would.

Be it a symptom of post-traumatic stress or a true awakening, Slaughterhouse-Five protagonist Billy Pilgrim's Tralfamadore exhibition exposes how we, as a collective society, view the exceptional figures in the world. We view them as larger-than-life dolls, playthings that live out our fantasies like shadow play on the wall before bed time as a child. The tralfamadorians were hands off in their approach to enslaving Billy Pilgrim and locking him up with Montana Wildhack, where they copulated for their intergalactic onlookers and spawned a child. In a way, the existence of the tralfamadorians did not matter to the narrative Pilgrim spun.

Whether it was escapism, a protest against free will or a way to mentally write off infidelity, Buakaw Por Pramuk is not behind the glass window, us peering into his dysfunctional life with a beautiful porn actress birthing children like Billy Pilgrim was. Buakaw, like Pilgrim, was changed by the battle scars from war and society, with his inability to escape suffocating him into accepting a fate less fitting for someone of his stature. If you watch Kickboxing for Muay Thai, Buakaw Por Pramuk is a hero, a truly exceptional person whose fame and abilities are something to marvel at. Be it you kicking the pads at a gym with a poster of him on the wall or channeling his attitude and style into your mundane daily tasks, if you know Buakaw you know his influence.

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