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Pat Barry Introduces Joey Beltran to "K-1 Level Striking"

  • Published in Kickboxing

Pat BarryPat Barry got a chance to show off his stand up without breaking his hands and feet tonight, against fellow UFC Heavyweight Joey Beltran in one of those fights that makes UFC President Dana White proud to be a fight promoter and me confused as to why more UFC fans aren't dashing to watch K-1 events whenever they can to see better stand up wars. Barry took it to Beltran, who wasn't afraid to stand and bang with Barry.

This was a fight custom made for Pat Barry to show off his striking and I'm sincerely not sure that he accomplished what he wanted to do. Going into the Cro Cop fight one of the big stories for kickboxing fans was two K-1 deserters facing off, and Barry was completely trashed by Ernesto Hoost and the rest of the VOS gym for simply not being good enough to hang. Barry went out to prove himself and broke enough bones on Cro Cop's head to where a lazy choke took him out. Cro Cop choked him out.

Joey Beltran took it to Barry in round 1, Barry landing a few strong leg kicks but his dirty boxing was enough to secure him the round. Beltran was introduced to Barry's mean streak in the second round, to easily secure the round for him, but the third round saw a lot more of Joey Beltran dirty boxing and some great body shots while Barry simply winged head kicks at him looking to take his head off. The distinct lack of aggression was hurting Barry until he started landing some leg kicks, and unfortunately poked Beltran in the eye. setting up the kick.

The damage Barry had done to Beltran's legs over the three rounds accumulated in the third after Beltran recovered from the eye poke, to the point where every time Barry chopped away at the legs, Beltran shouted in pain and collapsed. Barry pulled off just enough to get the decision, winning the second and third rounds.

Pat gives an emotional speech after the bout about his father, who was in the military and passed away 25 years ago, which all but makes up for the fact that he really wasn't fighting up to his potential. Honestly, he has a height disadvantage and a cut to 205 could do wonders for him.

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Why You Should Support the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP

  • Published in Kickboxing

Fedor and Silva (C) M-1Tomorrow night marks the kickoff of one of the biggest tournaments in MMA history. That sounds like grandstanding, doesn't it? It sounds over-the-top and like a simple tournament is being made to sound bigger than it actually is. The only problem with that logic is that the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP is one of the biggest tournaments to happen on American soil in MMA, and is the biggest tournament to happen since PRIDE ran its last Grand Prix. Stay with me, because I've received a few complaints from LiverKick.com's faithful readers in regards to the Strikeforce coverage. No, Strikeforce is indeed not kickboxing or muay thai, but it is being covered for a very distinct reason; we care about the global fight scene, a lot.

Zuffa did something incredible when they took over the UFC and helped to rehabilitate the image of Mixed Martial Arts and worked to bring it into prominence in the United States. Along the way, something happened, though. UFC was expanding and growing, but it had nothing to do with Mixed Martial Arts and everything to do with UFC. UFC grew, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts became the afterthought. Every promotion that has popped up since the UFC's initial boom has been left in the dust, purchased by Zuffa or driven out of business. UFC grew, MMA died on the vine. The only promoter who was able to make a real impact and not drive his company into the dirt was Scott Coker with Stikeforce. Strikeforce began as a kickboxing promotion, with Scott serving as the head of K-1 USA beforehand. Scott knew what he was doing with kickboxing and still has strong ties to the industry.

Do you see where I'm headed yet? The global fight industry is what it is, we are seeing a once super power in Japan begin to wither and die, which no one really wants to see happen, outside of the UFC. The UFC is looking to take over the world, and picking over the scraps of the Japanese fight scene makes life a lot easier. The fight scene in the United States is sparse at best, boxing is holding strong for the big names, but for the smaller names the market is showing some serious cracks. Kickboxing and Muay Thai have some strong markets, but they are very much local and can't really compete on the global level.

The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP that begins this weekend has a big fight feel to it, something that even huge UFC events haven't had that past few years. UFC has put on big events, but not since UFC 100 have I personally felt the sort of buzz surrounding a show like this. A non-UFC show getting this kind of attention, praise ad hype is rare and quite honestly, it is up to Strikeforce to take advantage of this and the not only deliver but follow up on this initial show with more strong shows.

Strikeforce's success helps the global fight industry more than most people can imagine, how? UFC is in the business of promoting UFC, the brand. The fighters are almost inconsequential. UFC 100 was not a huge deal for the fighters, sure, Brock Lesnar was on the card and that helped immensely, but it was the allure of UFC's 100th numbered event. Strikeforce is selling shows around the fighters and the fights, which helps raise awareness of the sport itself, not just the promotion.

The over-arching point of this is that someone needs to break UFC's stranglehold on the market, it wasn't EliteXC, K-1 crashed and burned, so for right now the hope is that Strikeforce can at least try. For sports like kickboxing and muay thai to be taken more seriously, it also helps to have Sergei Kharitonov and Alistair Overeem involved in this tournament, with talk of their K-1 participation. Promotions like Strikeforce make viewers more aware of the fight world at large, as they do not have a self-contained empire to protect. Strikeforce will talk about UFC, PRIDE, K-1, It's Showtime, wherever their fighters came from and had success. The Strikeforce Heavyweight GP feels like a global affair. UFC events feature fighters from all over the world, but all of the action is contained within the UFC's own branded world that they built.

So tune in tomorrow night to watch Fedor Emelianenko square off with Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski go to war with Sergei Kharitonov. On top of that, there are three reserve bouts for the tournament, including Valentijn Overeem, Alistair's big brother, squaring off with K-1 legend Ray Sefo while prospects Shane Del Rosario and Lavar Johnson compete to see who is a reserve fighter.

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UPDATED: Melvin Manhoef Fighting in Strikeforce March 5

  • Published in Kickboxing

(C) Susumug.comSometimes being Marvelous means people will get confused when they talk about you, apparently that is what is going on with "Marvelous" Melvin Manhoef. Earlier today, MMAJunkie broke some news that Melvin Manhoef will be fighting for Strikeforce on March 5th against Tim Kennedy. Tim was originally slated to fight Luke Rockhold, but that fell through.

Ever the vigilant fight fan, Bloodstain Lane (yes, Bloodstain Lane) so artfully told everyone on Twitter that Melvin Manhoef was not fighting Tim Kennedy, that it was faulty information. Manhoef was going to be fighting on that card, but that is not his opponent. So, now this evening, Manhoef himself cleared the air about his upcoming fight: Melvin Manhoef will be facing Luke Rockhold at Strikeforce: Columbus.

We'll have to wait to see what the official word from Strikeforce is, as well as what will become of Tim Kennedy, but Melvin Manhoef fighting again in the US means that we can expect fireworks for sure. With only one armbar win to his credit, Rockhold does not seem to pose a threat to Manhoef's kryptonite of sorts, but Rockhold is a strong wrestler with an impressive four rear naked choke victories. He has never faced a striker as dynamic, powerful and skilled as Melvin, so he should look out.

Manhoef's career has spanned K-1, It's Showtime, DREAM, HERO*s, Cage Rage and more. Manhoef has knocked opponents out all over the world, 27 times in kickboxing competition, 23 times in MMA competition. Rockhold is in for the fight of his life.

UPDATE: Melvin Manhoef was armbarred by the internet, it seems, as he just moments ago announced on his Twitter that Luke is injured and that he'll be fighting Tim Kennedy. The news, it just comes slower in the Netherlands, alright?

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Alistair Overeem's Toughest Opponent: Himself

  • Published in Kickboxing

Alistair Overeem could very well be done with the world of K-1 for now. A lot of people have been sleeping on this factor, but this could be the fallout from Zuffa purchasing Strikeforce and the fact that many fighters will be offered Zuffa contracts from Joe Silva and Co. almost immediately to lock them in. To say that a fighter like Alistair Overeem wouldn't be on that list would be to not know who he is. Overeem is the current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, and with his desire to fight in the United States and Zuffa currently owning the US MMA scene and FEG not paying him, it would be difficult to assume that he'd turn down a Zuffa contract.

Fight Game, Golden Glory's Clothing and All-Encompassing brand put up a new interview with the Champ where he discusses a few reader-asked topics. We also note that Fight Game has a US-based store now, so if you want one of those bad ass Overeem or Golden Glory shirts you see on all of those K-1, Ultimate Glory, It's Showtime and Strikeforce shows, you now can. Oh, and there is a US-based distribution center, so the shipping is dirt cheap. So head on over there and grab some stuff after you listen to Overeem.

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Jon Jones Earns Shot at Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128

  • Published in Kickboxing

Jon JonesTonight at UFC 126, Jon "Bones" Jones took the fight to Ryan Bader. Both men were seen as huge prospects for UFC's 205lbs division, and after a slick guillotine choke from the top, Ryan Bader moves down the ladder a bit and Jon Jones moves up. Jones demonstrated some superb ground work against Bader and was able to use his reach advantage to keep Bader at bay.

Jones' stand up still leaves a lot to be desired, with his stance, movement and lack of set-ups. All of the big strikes he threw had a lot of power behind them and looked right on target, but not as many connected as could have if he actually set the strikes up. This includes a left high kick, a few big hooks and a Remy Bonjasky-style flying kick.

So what is the point of all of this? In what was a WWE or even Oprah moment for UFC, Joe Rogan came into the cage to tell Jon Jones that Rashad Evans was injured and at UFC 128 the UFC would like Jon Jones to step in for him and challenge Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. It is a huge step up in competition for Jon Jones, and honestly the fight of his life. Shogun's striking, while a bit on the brawling side due to the Chute Boxing style of Muay Thai, is still technically sound and does lots of damage.

Jones has a reach advantage over Rua, but that wouldn't be the first time he has given up reach, and it also isn't the first time he has gone into the fight without a giant hype train behind him. When he challenged Lyoto Machida, Machida had endless momentum and it turns out wasn't prepared for Muay Thai, and now Jon Jones is in the same position. Jones is most definitely a great prospect, but there are serious holes in his stand up that Ryan Bader was able to exploit tonight and not enough time to fix them before the fight.

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UFC's Kenny Florian Works with Cosmo Alexandre for UFC 131, a Paradigm Shift

  • Published in Kickboxing

CosmoThis weekend former UFC Lightweight contender Kenny Florian will officially make the move to Featherweight. Florian’s move to Featherweight is the first of its kind since WEC’s Featherweight division was folded into the UFC, Jose Aldo being crowned as the first UFC Featherweight Champion. For fans, Florian almost immediately becomes a top contender for the Featherweight title, with Diego Nunes his first opponent.

If you are a kickboxing fan, the possibility of a Florian and Aldo clash is a bit different, as both fighters are known for their striking prowess. Aldo is known for his explosive power in his striking, while Florian is known for adding a solid in-tight Muay Thai game to his outstanding jiu-jitsu. What is truly interesting is that both men have incorporated some of the finest kickboxers in the world to their training camps.

Jose Aldo while preparing for his UFC debut went to the Netherlands to train with one of the finest competitors that 70kg has ever seen in Andy Souwer. Andy Souwer can bring an interesting perspective to Aldo’s striking, as Souwer not only has experience in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but he is also one of the best to ever compete in Japan’s strange hybrid sport of Shoot Boxing. Shoot Boxing incorporates the standard Kickboxing rules along with Judo elements of throws and standing submissions. To excel at Shoot Boxing, you not only need a solid stand up game, but you need to have a strong clinch game and grappling defense as well. Aldo went to war with Mark Hominick at UFC 129 to defend his title, with a possible title fight against Chad Mendes on the horizon once his injuries are healed. Aldo has expressed that he will work with Andy Souwer again, and Andy Souwer has also expressed that he’d love to train MMA with Aldo.

In the same vein, Kenny Florian has brought Cosmo Alexandre into his training camp for his Featherweight debut. Cosmo has made it clear that he is very much wanting to get into the world of MMA sometime soon, and aligning himself with Kenny Florian is a great place to start. Cosmo Alexandre is the former It’s Showtime 77MAX Champion, who only lost his title via politics when It’s Showtime was unhappy with him taking another fight close to his next title defense without their consent and he was unhappy with their contract situation. Cosmo has held multiple world Muay Thai titles and fought all over the world, generally considered one of the best Muay Thai fighters who Kickboxes in his weight class, he can provide Florian with a different approach to his Muay Thai. Florian, known for being a Mark DellaGrote Muay Thai student has learned a lot from Mark, but truth be told, training with fighters who not only currently compete, but are seen as some of the best in the world is vastly different.

What these two UFC fighters looking to some of the elite kickboxers of the world shows is that international kickboxing is gaining more respect in the United States, and elite fighters are realizing that not all stand up training is the same, to train and work with some of the most elite strikers in the world is a vastly different and rewarding experience from the same, cookie-cutter “Stand Up” training that you’ll see at your local MMA gyms across the country. I look forward to the days where more UFC fighters are talking about how incredible these fighters are that we already know are incredible.

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Welcome to WikiKick: Help Us Create the Best Kickboxing Resource Around

  • Published in Kickboxing

WikiKickWe do a lot of things here at LiverKick.com, we keep up relationships with the big promotions around the world, we speak with fighters on a regular basis and we do our best to keep hardcore fans informed and happy as well as break down the sport for newcomers to make them feel welcome to the world of kickboxing. We understand just coming into the kickboxing world completely dry can be a bit of a stretch for some people; it is an entirely different sport, and while some parts will be familiar, like the basics, a lot of the rules, names, promotions, titles and tournaments can be entirely confusing and turn off people who don't have a wealth of information at their finger tips.

I've been following kickboxing for 15 years or so now and even I get frustrated with there being no central place for information and that promotions, camps and fighters themselves don't keep up to date information. For example, Bas Boon of Golden Glory sent out a press release about the Ultimate Glory show this weekend and it listed Wendy Annonay as one of the fighters on the card when he was not at all on the card.

It is this kind of information that frustrates us here at LiverKick.com and could only turn away the average newcomer in a blink of an eye.

So we've had it. One of the tools that a lot of MMA fans reference as helpful for them learning about fighters and promotions is the Sherdog.com Fight Finder. It is an absolutely incredible tool, only recently rivaled by the Wikipedia community. For kickboxing, there is no resource outside of Wikipedia. Wikipedia does indeed have a lot of valuable information, a lot of that we've been using for ourselves recently to help build up a tool for you; the hardcore fan, the newer fan, the promoter, the professional fighter or simply the historians.

Enter WikiKick. WikiKick is our hat being thrown into the ring, for now we are in the process of building up a database, and there will be some information that is redundant to Wikipedia for the time being, but that is where you come in. Are you a fighter and is your record incorrect or simply not on Wikipedia? We want to hear from you. Are you a promoter and want your card listed somewhere available to those looking for information about events? We want to hear from you. Are you a historian and have all of this valuable information inside of a book? We want to hear from you, scan it, type it, do anything! Are you a fan who just wants there to be a resource like that? Then join us.

Use the contact form at the bottom of LiverKick.com and contact us, or simply go to WikiKick and get started, we left all of the information you'll need to get started using Wiki software, and if you don't feel comfortable, don't worry, just email us and we'll take your information and post it for you.

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LiverKick.com Picks Paul "Semtex" Daley to Explode Nick Diaz's Head, Overcoming DSTRYRsg's BJJ

  • Published in News

Let's face facts here, going into tonight's Strikeforce main event, there isn't much left to say about it. You have a clash between two of the MMA world's baddest ass welterweights imaginable. Nick Diaz is a true force to be reckoned with, a BJJ black belt, and no, when I say that I don't mean cookie-cutter. I mean Cesar Gracie gave him that belt and he earned it and knows how to use that belt, that is the kind of jiu-jitsu Nick Diaz knows. On top of that, his boxing is great; Nick has super fast hands, puts together some mean combinations, protects his head and always stays moving. On top of that, he owns a serious trademark on the "mean mug" and has one of the most prolific histories of mouthing off, causing riots and general bad boy behavior in the entire MMA world. In a world where it feels like there are no John Waynes left, Nick Diaz is a John Wayne.

His opponent is Paul "Semtex" Daley, one of the few guys to get cut from the UFC for being a badass (and a poor sport), right up there with one of my favorite fighters, Renato "Babalu" Sobral. Babalu held a choke too long to teach a lesson, and Daley, well, suckerpunched Josh Koscheck after the bell. Sure, Daley's sportsmanship is terrible and he hasn't made weight a total of 5 times in his professional career, but his skills are his skills. Other than mocking any sort of rules and standards of conduct, Daley sports some of the most destructive stand up in MMA. How much so? Daley has 27 wins and 20 of them are via a form of knockout. That is pretty serious power.

If it came down to which fighter I think is cooler, Nick Diaz wins against everybody in MMA, but when it comes down to who will win, I'm torn and have to go with the stand up guy in this. Our mild-mannered grappling friends who just seem to want to have a good time, roll on the mat and chill at DSTRYRsg decided to throw down the gauntlet and bet some serious BetDSI money that Nick Diaz will triumph over Paul Daley. They bet $200 on our favorite betting site, BetDSI, that Nick Diaz will win this fight. After BetDSI refilled the LiverKick.com coffers after we went all-in on Shogun Rua over Jon Jones (sigh, what were we thinking?!), we have decided to gamely bet $200 of our freshest BetDSI money on Paul Daley to defeat Nick Diaz.

The odds are in our favor if this happens, with the live odds on BetDSI (you can bet live during a fight, the odds update) being at +180. This means for our $200 bet, we would win $360. Sure, DSTRYRsg might have a fancy chart set up for this wager, but the truth is, Paul Daley seeks out other badasses and has trained with the legendary Mike's Gym in the Netherlands, home of Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef and a bunch of other destroyers. That is where you go when you are serious about your stand up, and Daley is serious. Nick Diaz has good hands and scary jiu-jitsu, but he loves to stand and bang, and against a guy like Daley it could mean curtains for him, or at least a nasty cut that could finish the fight. Diaz's jiu-jitsu is what it is, but he has no takedowns to get the fight to the ground and I sincerely doubt Daley pulls a Cyborg and takes Diaz down foolishly.

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The Voice vs. Wanderlei Silva Preview

  • Published in Kickboxing

Yes, it is that time again, as our favorite announcer in combat sports continues his series of interviews on HDnet with The Voice Versus Wanderlei Silva. For many, this is a huge episode, as it should be. Wanderlei Silva is known to be one of the absolute all-time greats when it comes to the 205lbs weight class in MMA. He absolutely dominated PRIDE for years, with his era being right up there with Fedor Emelianenko's. Sadly by the time that he made it to the UFC, his career seemed to be winding down a bit. We, the fans, finally got the dream fight with Chuck Liddell, but it was at the point in both men's careers where the explosiveness and raw power that we came to know and love just wasn't there.

Regardless, any time Wanderlei Silva fights it is a big deal. He has had mixed success in the UFC, but his legend precedes him. So enter Michael Schiavello's interview with Wanderlei Silva. Wanderlei has been living the life of a legend for the past few years, training and living the life in Vegas. On March 25th at 8PM Eastern on HDnet, the latest in the Voice Versus Series makes its debut, and we have two questions between the Voice and Wanderlei, and as always, Schiavello is on point with his MMA internet memes.

Sheer brilliance, as always. MMA needs more of a sense of humor to go with the serious approach, and Schiavello always provides.

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It's Showtime Opens New Web Store, It Rules

  • Published in Kickboxing

Badr Hari Rules.Some might question the newsworthiness of kickboxing promotion It's Showtime opening up a web store in English, but for the hardcore kickboxing fans out there, it is pretty cool. If you want K-1 gear you have to bug someone who knows someone in Japan or just become an elite kickboxer and get invited to compete in K-1. This way is a lot easier for those of us whose better days have passed them and their dreams of kicking people for a living have been dashed through strings of injuries or pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

If you are a fan of the UFC or Strikeforce you have a lot of options, from official clothing to walkout gear from various companies like TapouT, Affliction, Silver Star or Hitman. But for those of us who prefer to idea of Badr Hari gear to Brock Lesnar gear, this is a great solution. The only catch is if you are like me and live in the continental United States, shipping costs around 22 Euros, which is basically $30. So buy in bulk or do a buy with a friend or two if you are just looking to snatch up an awesome kickboxing t-shirt.

How many other web shops have Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Melvin Manhoef, William Diender, Gago Drago and Badr Hari as models? Find me a web store that bad ass and I'll shop there. So if you are interested, head over to http://itsshowtimeshop.com/en/. Yes, that is a picture of Badr Hari in a shirt that says "Kickboxing Couture." You know you need it.

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