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Remy Bonjasky Accuses 80 - 90% of High Level Kickboxers of Doping

  • Published in Kickboxing

If you follow sports outside of kickboxing you know how much of a problem performance enhancing drugs are. Hell, we even had our first positive drug test at a GLORY event at GLORY 17. It is kind of the nature of sports, in a way; you want to be bigger, better, stronger and to be able to compete. If you think that everyone else is doping, you find yourself needing to do it to compete. There haven't been a ton of cases of kickboxers in trouble for PEDs, but there have always been rumors and accusations.

Remy Bonjasky this weekend added fuel to the fire by claiming that 80 - 90% of K-1 fighters were juicing and that he was never a part of that club. He cites wider jaws and added muscle mass as visual cues that someone is on steroids, which seems like a pretty broad statement. 

"I do not use and have never done so. I've always said that if I do not succeed in a normal way, I should quit [fighting.] I always want to win and if I can not win with eating normally then it stops." [source]

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Glory Moving Forward After GLORY 9 New York

  • Published in Glory

Glory9

If there is one reason why I will never leave the kickboxing sport, it is because the product rarely fails to deliver. This was accomplished once again in New York, as the best kickboxing promotion in the world made its way to the States for the first time. Glory 9 featured a 8-man Light Heavyweight tournament, bringing in a lot of the best 209 pound (95kgs) kick boxers from around the world. They also filled the super fights with top ten heavyweight competitors and a chance to look at several of the Road to Glory products on the biggest stage. The main Glory card used a representative from each US Road to Glory tournament, with the exception of the recent Super Heavyweight tournament done a week earlier.

As I mentioned in the opener, and despite the black eye left by the Ref decision in the last bout of the night, the product delivered. A fighter announced himself to the world, as Wayne Barrett, 1-0 into his pro career, took out middleweight Road to Glory winner Mike Lemaire. Wayne introduced an awkward style and exceptional athleticism, making himself one to watch moving forward. We got confirmation; Joseph Valtellini performing as advertised with his dominate low kick win, Rico Verhoeven overcoming a mental lapse to out-kickbox Errol Zimmerman, and Danya Illunga showing why he was so hittable, yet incredible in his run to the top of 95kgs. The stars performed, Daniel Ghita delivering a multi shot combo KO, just a few months removed from being on the other end of one. His win showed the crowd just what an elite top 3 fighter in the heavyweight class looks like. Finally, they had their moment, as tournament favorite and kickboxing super star Tyrone Spong was dropped ten second into the bout as a right hand caught him while he was firing an inside low kick. After seeing several "WTF" tweets dominate my twitter wall, Spong got up, measured with his left while loading up his right hand, then sent a bomb that dropped opponent Michael Dutt. Adding to the legend of the moment, Dutt got up, beating the count, but then feeling the concussion roll over him, returned to the mat. You couldn't have scripted a better opening moment.

So night complete, how does Glory move forward? As the event ended, a flood of ideas went through my head. Most of those thoughts were about the bad stoppage at the end of the final bought, but the other ones were solid to the subject of moving forward.

 

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Final Card for K-1 Japan on January 18th

  • Published in K-1

K-1’s Japan contingent have promised us what looks to be a pretty amazing card on January 18th. The event features a classic K-1 one night tournament, this time at 60kg. It features a mix of names that we know from the Japanese scene to some heavy hitters from around the world including Javier Hernandez, Karim Bennoui and Denis Puric.

The rest of the card is an awesome, eclectic mix of styles with some really fascinating fights on the card. Kaew Fairtex vs. Minoru Kimura is an awesome, awesome fight and I’m very happy to see Sanny Dahlbeck back in the mix against the very awesome Yoshihiro Sato. This event will be broadcast on NicoNico on the 18th.

HW: Manabu vs Fujita Tomoya
60kg: Yuma vs Kanbe Shota
65kg: Goto Masanobu vs Saito Yuta
65kg: Hiramoto Ren vs Ishikawa Yuki
60kg GP Reserve Fight: TOSHI vs Kim Hun Jae
60kg GP: Shimano Kotaro vs Javier Hernandez
60kg GP: Urabe Hirotaka vs Karim Bennoui
60kg GP: Yamamoto Masahiro vs Gagny Baradji
60kg GP: Urabe Koya vs Denis Puric
65kg: Kaew Fairtex vs Kimura Minoru
70kg: Sato Yoshihiro vs Sanny Dahlbeck
55kg: Takiya Shota vs Shou Rong
55kg: Tobe Ryuma vs Horio Ryuji
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Live Stream for WGP #22 Tonight

  • Published in Kickboxing

Today at 8pm Eastern time WGP Kickboxing in Brazil will present WGP#22 live via internet PPV. You will be able to view the event for $10 via their website or by purchasing the event below. The card is as follows.

Under Card

K1 Rules (64.5 kg): Samuel Pereira vs Wellington Lopes

K1 Rules (71.800 kg): Fabiano “Mineiro” Silva vs Marcelo Dionisio

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (66.800 kg): Valmir Theiss vs Édipo Herbert Lima 

Main Card

60kg GP Semi-Final - K1 Rules (60 kg): Ignacio Capllonch (ARG) vs Gustavo Piacentini (BRA) 

60kg GP Semi-Final - K1 Rules (60 kg): Rafael “Coruja” Xavier vs Paulo Tebar

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (69.100 kg): Wellington Tom vs Bruno Gazani

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (94,100 kg): Wallyson “Maguila” Carvalho vs Felipe Micheletti

WAKO PRO Brazilian Title - Low Kicks (85 kg): Francisco Araújo vs Cesar Almeida 

60kg GP Finals - K1 Rules (60 kg): Winner Fight 1 x Winner Fight 2

K1 Rules (85 kg): Robert Thomas (CAN) x Alex “Po Atan” Pereira (BRA)

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Fight Card For K-1's China vs. Japan Feb. 1st Event

  • Published in K-1

K-1 is continuing to go full speed ahead with their Chinese home base with their second event of the year in Changsua, China. This time around the theme is China vs. Japan and will feature some of their Chinese standouts against a few Japanese fighters. Sadly a lot of the talent they wanted were already booked due to New Year's and early January events, but they still pulled together a pretty good card.

I assume there will be a free stream via Hunan TV like the last time as well. Stay tuned for that. Also Jungle Koki is the coolest name ever.

60kg Tomohiro Kiyai vs. Wu Ze
63kg Keisuke Nakamura vs. Wang Zhiwei
65kg Kuji Yoshimoto vs. Hanji
70kg Hideaki Kikkawa vs. Tien Xin
70kg K-Jee vs. Zang Lei
70kg Jungle Koki vs. Ba Te Er
53kg Syuri vs. E Meidie
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As Glory Content on Spike Expands, It’s Time to Start Thinking Bigger

  • Published in News

Glory has long accumulated enough content to provide regular programming on SpikeTV, but the extent of its presence has largely been limited to 2-hour live or tape delayed events as well as 30 minute countdown shows. Ratings, while stable overall, have varied the most between long hiatuses with Glory finding it difficult to sustain the momentum generated by a successful event. This is why we’ve maintained that having Spike air Glory content on a more regular basis would help keep the product on the radar of combat sports fans.

Well, it seems like this may be coming to fruition. On July 25, SpikeTV aired a one hour-long special consisting of some of the best Glory fights and highlights thus far. If you tuned in, you might have noticed a small caption reading that the Glory Last Man Standing tournament will be airing Friday, August 8, at 10/9c. In case you missed it before, Glory and Spike are going to bring you the greatest combat sports PPV event of the year for FREE on August 8, filling a relatively quiet night of programming (unless Cops and Jail is your idea of quality prime time entertainment) with must-see TV. While we’re waiting to hear more about Glory’s plans for the second half of 2014, airing the historic LMS event on free TV is more than enough to satisfy Kickboxing fans in the meantime. By the way, if you have friends or know someone who would be interested in Kickboxing, this is the event they need to see.

Could these programming changes possibly signal deepening ties between Glory and Spike? While we don’t know for sure, it is likely. Consider that the once-known “First Network for Men” has lately struggled with its identity as more original programming has been replaced by syndicated content. Its association with the UFC once provided hours of original daytime programming as well as an exclusive live sports entertainment product for primetime. However, it has yet to convincingly compete in this space again, with Bellator achieving only a fraction of the UFC’s former presence. TNA, while not considered a leading brand, has provided steady ratings for Spike with an average of 1-1.2 million viewers every week (as reported on wrestling sites). However, by ending its relationship with TNA, Spike will need to rededicate its efforts to making its original sports programming successful. Bellator and Glory have yet to perform strongly enough on their own, but with the combined strength of these two brands in a co-promotional arrangement, Spike may able to reestablish itself as an outlet for combat sports.

What would be the next step for Glory and Spike? I would personally like to see the 17 or so unaired Super Fight cards that Glory has taped make their way to cable TV. This is ready-made content that could fill any weekend or weekday with solid combat sports action. While The Ultimate Fighter was a breakout promotional vehicle for Spike and the UFC, I would argue that the afternoons full of UFC Unleashed were equally as important because it gave casual and incidental viewers the opportunity to discover the product. The possibility of doing a reality show depends on the viability of the format today; for Glory, I see greater value in developing a television platform for Eldar Gross’s excellent documentary filmmaking than I do for a game show with an uninspired gimmick (Enfusion Reality included). If you doubt this, just consider the star-making impact of Eldar’s documentaries on Alistair Overeem and Tyrone Spong and imagine this in the format of a serious multi-part series with AMC/HBO-style marketing--there’s a chance to reach a wider audience here. This would be the type of promotion that Glory has been looking for with a cast of excellent subjects who have already been chosen.

We’re at a point now where the Glory product itself is in need of no further major refinement. The challenge now is making a connection with a television audience, and while this is a daunting task, there are a few things that we might consider. Let’s think about a time in combat sports when big fights made big news and big names mattered to little people. We talk about combat sports legends like the often-named boxers of bygone generations--men who became icons not only because of their accomplishments (after all, what cultural value do these accomplishments have if no one knows about or appreciates them?) but because of how they were sold to the public. The legend of Muhammad Ali had as much to do with the man as the people who promoted him and publicized him. Television in the cable era is far more fragmented than it was in the broadcast network era, but every now and then, when talent, interest, and marketing come together at the right time, a figure is able to transcend the boundaries of their medium. Far less well-spoken people who compete in sports more obscure than kickboxing get made into national heroes every Olympics; what stops our champions? Is the story of some dopy middle class suburban kid who spent all of their free time swimming more compelling than that of Zack Mwekassa? NBC sells the hell out of stories like that. Maybe it’s time to stop waiting for the mainstream to find us--let’s go after their hearts. This product and the people who compete are just as compelling as anything that could get sold on TV; it’s time to market the product with inspiration and creativity. It’s time to think bigger.

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Mirko Cro Cop Finishes Satoshi Ishii in Japan

  • Published in Kickboxing

New Year's Eve in Japan has been a tradition in combat sports for years now. Sadly, after the fall of FEG we've seen very little in the way of what we used to get with the huge Dynamite!! events in Japan. The days of Kakutougi being king in Japan have come and gone, but that doesn't mean that people don't try. 

There were a handful of events in Japan today, with the bigger ones being run by DEEP and Inoki Genome Federation. IGF featured the bigger names like Cro Cop, Satoshi Ishii, Shinya Aoki, Josh Barnett (pro wrestling, not MMA) and even hosting Fedor Emelianenko and Wanderlei Silva as special guests. The story coming away from the event is that Mirko Cro Cop finished Satoshi Ishii with a left head kick to knock him off balance then following up with a flurry of punches to put him down and out. 

This means that Mirko Cro Cop begins 2015 by holding onto the IGF World Championship.

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Liverkick Throwback: Buakaw Banchamek's K-1 MAX Debut Vs. Jordan Tai

  • Published in K-1

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.

Since Buakaw is fighting in another K-1 Final this weekend I figured it would be good time to look back at when it all started. In 2004 Buakaw Banchamek (Por Pramuk at that time) made his K-1 Max debut against New Zealand's Jordan Tai, who trained with Ray Sefo. It's hard to remember a day when Buakaw wasn't a name that every fight fan knew, but this video shows us it existed. First of all his name is spelled wrong, secondly his record says this is his pro debut, (there is a not chance that's true) and listening to the commentator calling him "the Thai fighter" felt strange to me. The commentator is also very bias against Buakaw but then again it doesn't seem like he has much idea of whats going on anyway. It's interesting to see that Buakaw's style really hasn't changed a lot over the years, his stamina has improved and he uses his hands a little more now, but otherwise not a big difference. He also lands the same liver punch he recently finished David Calvo off with but Jordan Tai toughs it out and stays on his feet even after getting hit with two more.

Enjoy the fight and allow it to prepare you for this weekends K-1 Final.

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Rumors of K-1's Strike Back Emerge

  • Published in K-1

K-1

It is safe to say that being in the fight game is sort of like a game of chess. I'm not sure that it is the most complicated or graceful game of chess ever imagined, but a game of chess it is no matter. This weekend Bas Boon and Simon Rutz made their strike against K-1. We live in a world where, as much as many would like to believe otherwise, no fight promoter is paying the press for good coverage. We simply publish the news as we take it, and if someone refuses to respond to something, well, it is taken at face value. K-1 has yet to refute any of the claims from Simon Rutz and Bas Boon, but it appears they have been regrouping and will launch a counterattack tomorrow.

This counterattack was told to the world by a forum member of MixFight.nl whom many in the industry know to be a reliable source.

Apparently, K-1 is ready to place the blame for the US shows on the shoulders of Rutz, as well as expose some other believed falsehoods to the world. On top of this, they are set to announce a few of their big name fighters, which appear to be Badr Hari, Mirko CroCop, Tyrone Spong, Kyotaro Maeda, Ruslan Kareav, Mighty Mo, Gerard Mousasi and another, yet to be named Japanese fighter. There is also a chance that the US shows are scrapped entirely, so if you were looking forward to K-1 in Los Angeles or the World Grand Prix Finals in New York, you will have to look elsewhere. It looks like K-1 will retreat to Japan or Korea for the time being.

They are cooking up a press release as well as a video. Let us hope that this video does not include Masato speaking English again, as it does not appear to be his thing.

There was a Japanese press release, which states that Rutz did not supply the correct bank account information to them, otherwise they would have paid him.

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