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Strikeforce: The MMA World's Purgatorio

  • Published in Kickboxing

In the realm of Mixed Martial Arts, there are some clear levels, much like Dante Alighieri wrote in his epic La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy). For Dante, there was a clear progression as he toiled through the afterlife, he was first led through Hell, then he was led through Purgatory before finally having a glimpse at Heaven. If you wanted to compare it to MMA, the smaller, regional promotions are the veritable Hell. Low pay, bad attendance, poorly organized and promoted, but for most fighters, a necessity to move on to the “big leagues.” For many fighters, the biggest achievement is to be accepted into the UFC, to walk amongst the gods themselves beyond the steel gates of the Octagon. For fighters, the UFC is Heaven.

For a promotion like Strikeforce, though, there is a sense of being left-behind, like a middle child. Strikeforce finds itself not a containing the same rigors and lack of pay like the small minor leagues, but does not include the perks and the money that comes with fighting for the UFC. Instead, it is a virtual Purgatory for fighters. Fighters are left to reflect on their careers and see that they aren’t deemed as good enough to be called into the UFC, but are beyond the toiling in the reigional promotions.

Last night proved to be the first bigger Strikeforce event since the Showtime deal was re-negotiated, and something about the show did not come off as planned. On paper, the card was exciting and showed a lot of promise, but in execution it was a mess. If a fighter is competing within a promotion that stands on its own, there is something for them to achieve, but when the promotion is a feeder league with parallel divisions, the whole scope of the game changes. Part of what helped with Strikeforce’s charm was the attitude and identity of the promotion. It felt like a spiritual successor to some of the bigger Japanese events, with a focus on entertainment and promoting the fighters, not just the brand.

Continue Reading about the Harrowing of Strikeforce...

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Valentijn Chokes Ray Sefo Out of Reserve Contention at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva

  • Published in Americas

ValentijnSugar Ray Sefo, a K-1 star unlike most entered into his third professional MMA bout tonight, against the big brother of Alistair Overeem, Valentijn Overeem. Valentijn has been removed from the world of elite fighters for a while, while Sefo has yet to move up to elite competition in MMA. Both men met in a reserve bout, to see in case of an injury or draw situation who could possibly fill in during the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP.

Ray Sefo came in looking to counterstrike against the bigger and younger Valentijn, but Overeem was able to get Sefo onto the ground within one minute and twenty seconds, and about ten seconds later ha a neck crank on Ray Sefo against the cage and Sefo had no choice but to tap out. Sometimes it is heart-breaking to be a fan of Sugar Ray, as a lot of his focus of late has been on training other fighters in the fairer sport that is kickboxing, and there were rumors that he did not train as much as he should have for this bout.

Next time, Sugar Ray, next time.

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United Glory's Jan. 30th Show Postponed Due to Gokhan Saki's Injury

  • Published in Kickboxing

United GloryWith Gokhan Saki and John Alessio injured entering into the January 30th United Glory card, held by the Golden Glory team, they've decided to postpone the show until March. They put up a notice on their website on the 21st and will announce a make-up date on the 25th.

UG has taken this decision in the light of the news that Gokhan Saki has not recovered sufficiently from his broken hand (an injury sustained during the K1 final held in Japan). As a result of the injury, Saki would have been unable to fight in the Glory World Series on 30 January 2011.
In view of his unique kickboxing skills and enormous public popularity, UG believes that the event cannot continue without him. UG aims to prevent the major disappointment among fans that would result if he was not given a fair chance to prove himself in the Glory World Series. The recommendation to postpone the event in order to ensure that the favourite Gokhan Saki can still take part was also made for the sake of the TV companies who broadcast the Glory World Series to countless fans. The move is also of major importance for the sponsors of the Glory World Series.

Read the entire release on the United Glory website. Keep your eyes glued to LiverKick.com for more information when we have it.

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New Trailer for K-1 Rising on May 27th

  • Published in K-1

K- is back and the time is drawing increasingly near. On May 27th the K-1 World MAX Final 16 goes down after a year's absence, and on top of that, two big heavyweight bouts including some of the biggest names like Daniel Ghita and Badr Hari. After a few weeks of radio silence, we are treated to a trailer which seems official but sounds and looks a lot like an It's Showtime promo video.

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Get Hyped for Diaz vs. Cyborg This Weekend

  • Published in Kickboxing

There has been a lot written about Nick Diaz over the past few years, and his hilarious performance at the recent Strikeforce conference call has helped lead him into the limelight once again. This weekend he defends his Welterweight Championship against Brazilian striker Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. Cyborg has fought just about everywhere, from Brazil to the US and Japan and fights with that crazy, brawling Chute Boxe style that we all know, love and miss in modern MMA. Robbie Lawler is also coming off the destruction of Manhoef last year to take on Jacare. Even if you are just a stand up fan, you are bound to see some awesomeness this weekend.

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Watch Masato's Return to the Ring

  • Published in Video

Stand Up Japan was an event a few days ago held in Japan that was featuring some of the biggest names in Japan's combat sports in exhibition bouts. The two big names at the event were KID Yamamoto and Masato. Masato retired at the ripe age of 30, during the peak of his career and did it on his own terms. Masato retired as a legend, while Yamamoto continues to fight past what many consider his prime and has had no success in the United States fighting for the UFC.

Daniel Herbertson of AOL's MMAFighting.com was live at the event and captured it on video, so sit back and watch clips from this great event. [source]

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Watch the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP Contenders Be Introduced in NYC

  • Published in Kickboxing

This weekend plays host to one of the most exciting heavyweight tournaments in history's opening round, as we get to see Fedor Emelianenko square off with Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski take on Sergei Kharitonov. As the time grows near, it is impossible to not be incredibly excited about it. While at LiverKick.com we pride ourselves on our kickboxing coverage, there is so much crossover within the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP we feel like it is a huge injustice to not get amped about it and tell you all about it. Ariel Helwani just posted up this incredible video of the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP fighters being introduced in NYC by Scott Ferrall (YAMMA represent!). Watch this and try not to drive yourself too crazy. [source]

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Strikeforce Releases Official Trailer for Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva

  • Published in Kickboxing

After weeks of awesome and mediocre fan trailers for the upcoming Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, Strikeforce and Showtime finally released an official trailer for the February 12th showdown between Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. The official trailer is short and to the point, while most of the fan-made ones tend to ramble on a bit. What is cool to think about is while Strikeforce tends to get lost in the shuffle unless the media is downright panning them, there is a ton of fan support for this upcoming tournament and shows that there really is a lot of buzz going around about this tournament. By all means, once all of the weird Coker and SF mishaps are said and done, it is an assembly of 8 of the best Heavyweights outside of UFC and should be great.

We get to watch Fedor Emelianeko, Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski, a former UFC Champion, and K-1 fighter Sergei Kharitonov in one show. [source]

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Overeem and Fedor Play Nice, For Once

  • Published in Kickboxing

I was just reading the mothership, MiddleEasy.com, and saw a photograph that I can only describe as absolutely, 100% insane yet somehow adorable and lovable. If you've been following MMA for a while now, you know that Fedor Emelianenko is a very earnest, down-to-earth and likable guy. He does some really cool things and seems like the kind of guy we could all get along with. From wearing comfy sweaters, double-fisting ice cream cones and just being a sort of goofy dude, he has endeared us all. While he is still a chubby robot bent on destroying your face when his thumb circuits aren't malfunctioning, he is a real guy and shows it a lot more than he ever did in the past.

Then there is Alistair Overeem. Overeem has been making the media rounds like crazy the past few weeks, and it is clear that Overeem is truly becoming a star in the United States. The media have gotten over their rabid questions about PEDs and treating Overeem like they would any other world champion. When the media treat someone like a star, fans see them as a star, and thus, the 2-year long odyssey that is the ascent of Alistair Overeem continues, and his management team, including Bas Boon look brilliant for the PR work they've done and the feeding of "cans" for him to dispatch and build up a highlight reel.

The proposed bout between the two fell apart when Emelianenko was defeated by Fabricio Werdum last year, which led us to where we are today. The fight between the two is still one that fans would love to see and one that Overeem still wants, but he believes, correctly, that Werdum deserves the first crack at him, hence the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP. Enter fight week in New York this week, and we get... well, this incredible photo. [source]

Fedor/Overeem

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