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Remembering Masato's Awesome Career, New StillWill Highlight Reel

  • Published in Video

Our good friend Will, known as StillWill has made yet another of his highlight reels. You might remember his Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki or Melvin Manhoef videos. Well, this time around it is the retired, yet incredible, Masato. Masato was the kingpin of the K-1 MAX division since the inception of the division. The division was actually created with him in mind, a conglomeration of TBS and FEG, knowing that they had a huge star at their disposal by the way of Masato.

Masato was a rare combination of raw talent, skill, refinement, looks, charisma and just being a likable guy. Masato was a cultural icon in Japan; he appeared in films, television shows, newspapers, advertisements, everything. When Masato changed his hair, every major television personality had to follow suit, emulating his look. Masato was a trend-setter, really. Then there was his kickboxing career, as he is truly one of the greats in the 70kgs division. Many would argue the Greatest of all Time, and I'd be hard-pressed to argue that right now.

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Adidas Announces Partnership with Friday Night Fights

  • Published in Muay Thai

Sports apparel brand adidas has been making a big push into the world of Martial Arts over the past few months with their latest move being an interesting one, to say the least. Today adidas announced that they are teaming up with New York muay thai promotion Friday Night Fights. Adidas seems inspired to look outside of the box in their sponsorships and teaming with Friday Night Fights is a tremendous opportunity for the New York-based promotion that has been making waves for years.

“From our perspective as a brand that so many expect so much from, connecting with the right grass roots fight promotion means everything. Our objective is support the core audience and everyday blue & white collar warriors,”  “The women and men who embrace what it means to face your goals and improve yourself every night you hit the gym are who we care about. This is our company obsession. How do we serve these dedicated people and their beloved sport?  The answer is clear.: We form an alliance with Friday Night Fight’s.”

ACS’s Managing Director Scott Viscomi continues, “when you come to their events, you can feel the energy in the room, it’s electrifying! Justin and his team are long term pro’s who know what it takes to match great athletes, and entertain the people buying seats.  As we work to remind the core market of adidas’ long and rich history in Olympic Judo, Tae Kwon Do, and Boxing to Professional Boxing, MMA, and Kickboxing, we couldn’t have a better strategic partner than FNF to relaunch our Muay Thai programs."

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Weekend Results: Enfusion April 5th

  • Published in Europe

Enfusion

In what was a busy weekend for the Kickboxing world, Enfusion LIVE held an event in The Hague, Netherlands this Saturday that saw their unique blend of younger and established fighters putting on quite a show for the crowd.

  • Paolo Renna (R3 - Dec.) Reda Narain
  • Marieke Post (R3 - Dec.) Kristy Ooms
  • Ismael Benali (R3 - Dec.) Kevin Miruka
  • Hicham El Gaoui (R2 - TKO) Andrii Panov
  • Mohamed Boubkari (R4 - KO) Sam Tevette
  • Enfusion -67kg World Title: Mohammed Jaraya (R2 - TKO) Mohamed Galaoui

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FundAFighter Launches Campaign For Muay Thai Trainer Peter Sisomphou

  • Published in Muay Thai

Legendary Muay Thai trainer Peter Sisomphou has worked with countless top names in the world of martial arts over the years, including Firas Zahabi, David Loiseau, Ivan Menjivar and more. He's been a name within the world of martial arts for a very long time now and recently had to undergo a quadruple bypass surgery, which has a very long road to recovery. For a guy like Sisomphou, being in the gym and training fighters is how he makes his living and right now he is unable to do that.

FundAFighter has launched a campaign to raise money for Sisomphou while he is recovering to help to pay for his bills while he waits to get back into the gym and working again. Remember, the world of martial arts is not one that includes 401ks, sick pay and other luxuries found in desk jobs. So head over to FundAFighter to read more about Masta Peter Sisomphou and how you can help. 

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LiverKick Throwback: Peter Cunningham Takes the Fight to Dida Diafat in Paris in 1992

  • Published in Kickboxing

The world of kickboxing has a rich history to fall back upon so we here at LiverKick figure, why not? Why not give a glimpse into some of the fights from the past that have made up this wonderful sport and tie it all in to the present. The kids on the Instagram and Twitter like to call Thursdays "Throwback Thursdays," I'm just going to say that this is a LiverKick Throwback.

This time we are going back before even the days of K-1, we are going back to a time when fighters were men and they fought for twelve rounds and beat the snot out of each other. Basically, we are going back to 1992. This was November 21st, 1992 in Paris, France and it was between two world-class fighters at the time; France's Dida Diafat and Canada's Peter "Sugarfoot" Cunningham for the ISKA World Light Welterweight Championship contested under ISKA's "Oriental Rules."

Cunningham might be before the time of some fans now, but it's worth reflecting upon a guy who fought some of the best in the world while representing North America (Canadian, but has resided in Southern California for quite a few years now). Cunningham would fight Diafat in 1996 in what would be his retirement fight, but continues to work as a trainer to this day when he isn't busy in acting, most recently appearing in The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.

Rumor has it that he'll be in attendance this weekend for GLORY 17 and Last Man Standing, so be on the lookout. 

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Five Questions With Lion Fight 21's Tiffany Van Soest

  • Published in Interviews

This Friday evening on AXS TV Lion Fight 21 will be airing live from Los Angeles. The event is set to feature some of Lion Fight's top talents including a co-main event bout between Tiffany Van Soest and Chajma Bellekhal. We spoke with Tiffany during her busy week and got to ask her a few of the burning questions, from talk about the fight this weekend to her last fight in Enfusion.

LK: Women’s fighting has really taken off in a big way over the past few years thanks to the UFC, Invicta and even yourself in Lion Fight, how does it feel to be one of the more-talked about women in combat sports? 

VS: I really don’t feel that Muay Thai gets as much recognition as it deserves. MMA is HUGE and only getting bigger so it tends to cast a shadow over Muay Thai, however it is an honor to be considered one of the best at what I do. I don’t really think that I am talked about that much since I am a Muay Thai fighter and if I am talked about, it is usually about my transition to MMA. To be honest, it’s quite frustrating because although I have poured my heart and soul into Muay Thai. I appreciate that my skills are respected, but I wish people would appreciate Muay Thai for Muay Thai instead of thinking about how I would do in MMA.

LK: How important is it to you to get your rematch down the line for a shot to get your Lion Fight championship back? 

VS: I’m just taking it one fight at a time for now. I know Scott and Christine at Lion Fight will give me my title shot back when they feel the time is right. I know I have already earned it with 4 (soon to be 5) not only wins, but dominant performances since losing my title. It’s only a matter of time.

LK: How was your experience fighting Denise Kielholtz in Enfusion? They use really interesting and different rules compared to most Dutch kickboxing with there being a focus on throws, did it throw you off at all? 

It was a great experience. I got to kickbox in the mecca of kickboxing. And being of Dutch descent, it was really cool to see Holland and meet some of my extended family. The rules of Enfusion totally favored Denise’s style and judo background, but it made no difference to me. I went to her home country and fought under her rules. The throws did throw me off a little (no pun intended). I was hesitant to close the gap because I knew she would try to grab me and throw me when I got close enough. No losses though, just lessons. Of course i’m disappointed I walked away without the title or the win, but overall it was still a great experience. Denise is an amazing fighter.

LK: Where would a win over Bellekhal place you in the division right now, you think? 

VS: I already know I’m at the top of the division. A win will just solidify that even more.

LK: After your experience with Enfusion are you looking to try fighting outside of muay thai again any time soon in kickboxing or MMA, or sticking to muay thai for now? 

VS: Muay Thai it is. My commitment and contractual obligations are with Lion Fight right now.

 

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Check Out the Video From Yokkao 11's Fight of the Night: Brad Stanton vs Crice Boussoukou

  • Published in Video

Exactly one month ago Yokkao held a double-header in the UK with Yokkao 10 and Yokkao 11. Both events featured some crazy action, some of which we've seen thanks to them uploading it to their YouTube channel, now we get to see the fight from Yokkao 11 that has been labeled as the fight of the night; Brad Stanton vs. Crice Boussoukou. 

After Yokkao 10 and 11 Yokkao saw a lot of talent in the UK, which has led for Stefania Picelli and Brian Calder to begin work in creating a Yokkao Fight Team based out of the UK. This fight is just further proof of the talent that the UK possesses, for sure. 

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Saenchai Set to Train UFC Fighters in New York Seminar

  • Published in Muay Thai

Muay Thai legend Saenchai has landed in New York and is all set for his round of seminars that are set to go down on the 13th, 14th and 15th at the Striking 101 Gym in New York City. Pakorn was initially supposed to accompany Saenchai, but due to visa issues Saenchai will be going it alone without Pakorn.

There are a host of UFC, MMA and Kickboxing stars that are to be in attendance for Saenchai's NYC seminars, with Uriah Hall's name being tossed around as one of the names that has requested some time with the legendary Thai fighter. We'll have an update with what his schedule looks like further in the coming days. Here's a look at some highlights from his seminar in Kuala Lumpur. 

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Reece McAllister Victorious in Top King Tournament, Buakaw Loses Decision

  • Published in Asia

Image (C) Top King

Last night the Top King TK4 tournament held its big finals for their 154lbs championship. It was a title that many fans felt was a lock for Buakaw Banchamek, but considering the names involved with it there didn't seem to be a clear route for Buakaw to win the whole thing. After Marat Grigorian was forced to pull out we ended up with Buakaw Banchamek vs. Kyahal Dzhaniev and Reece McAllister vs. Dmytro Konstantyov. The visual of the night was a bloody mess of Buakaw losing to Dzhaniev via decision, which of course will be the story of the show to many who saw Banchamek sweeping the whole thing.

The big story should instead be Reece McAllister proving himself once again as one of the best talents in the world. Reece is a tough fighter who has proven himself time and time again who will walk away deserving the Top King 154lbs championship. I'm saying this because McAllister didn't have to fight a second fight. Dzhaniev might've defeated Banchamek but he was too banged up to continue competing, so McAllister was awarded the championship. Weird, right?

Pakorn P.K. Seanchai Muaythai Gym (R3 - Decision) Varats Dzmitry 

Rungravee Sasiprapa (R3 - Dec.) Wei Ning Hui 

Matt Embree (R1 - TKO) Sittisak Petchphayathai 

Thongchai Sitsongpeenong (Rx - TKO) Colin Law 

Semi-Finals: Reece Mcallister (R3 - Dec.) Dmytro Konstantynov 

Semi-Finals: Khayal Dzhaniev (R3 - Dec.) Buakaw Banchamek 

Top King World Series Tournament Final: Reece McAllister (Forfeit) Khayal Dzhaniev 

There is video of Buakaw/Dzhaniev floating around. Here it is while it lasts.

 

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Take­On XXI Recap and Results

  • Published in Americas

TKO

Take­On Productions returned to the Resorts World Casino for its 21st show last night with another great event for the New York fans. Several of the fights, including two of the three professional bouts, ended by TKO.

Jason Van Oijen (Dogen Gym NY) vs Georgui Smaguin (Pride Fitness & MMA NY)

An anticipated rematch after their first fight ended in a draw, both men came out hard, with Van Oijen, who had the distinct height advantage, getting the best of most of the exchanges, particularly in the clinch. After setting a very aggressive pace in the first two rounds, both men slowed considerably going into the latter half of the fight. Smaguin rallied in the 3rd round and threw several punches that sent the sweat spraying, but Van Oijen began unloading with kicks and hard combinations to the body in rounds 4 and 5, giving Van Oijen the win by UD as well as the 175 lbs Take­On title.

Jay Matias (Sitan Gym NY) vs John Vargas (Valor Muay Thai, San Diego, CA)

The co­main event showcased a beautiful technical performance by fan favorite, Jay Matias. Matias started slowly and looked very relaxed, holding most of his arsenal in check and striking mostly with his left side in Round 1. He unloaded with more power shots from his right side and increasingly complex combinations as the fight continued.

While the use of elbows in full rules Muay Thai bouts was only very recently legalized in New York, you wouldn’t know it from the way that Matias put them to work on Vargas, particularly a vicious lunging lead elbow that penetrated Vargas’s defense at will. Those watching closely may have recognized Monlit Sitpodaing in Matias’s corner, who is probably in no small part responsible for the evolution in Matias style. To give Vargas credit, he showed incredible heart and was in the fight pushing forward and hitting back up until the moment that Matias ended it with a spinning back elbow that opened Vargas’ forehead and prompted the guy sitting next to me to say, “Jay Matias wins by destruction.” The fight was stopped at 2:35 in Round 4, with Matias taking the victory by TKO.

Cyrus Washington (Sitan Gym NY) vs J. R. Hines (Unlimited MMA KY)

Many fans were looking forward to watching Washington fight again in New York after catching his last Take­On fight at MSG against Chike Lindsay. Sadly, it was over very quickly, as someone forgot to warn Hines that Washington has a really nasty spinning back kick. It’s only all over his highlight reels, and last night we saw it again, landing flush on Hines’ liver, ending the fight by TKO in Round 1.

Full Card & Results

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