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SuperKombat Kicks Off 2016 Season in Puerto Rico

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat pledged to take on the United States in 2016 and in their season opener they aren't exactly in America yet, but getting closer. Their first event of the year will happen on March 26th in Puerto Rico with a main event featuring Daniel Sam vs. Catalin Morosanu. 

"After months of negotiations, we are happy to announce that Superkombat events will be hosted also in the USA. For that, we have selected a strategic partner in our team, Mr. Richy Miranda – Cortese to support our efforts and who will develop the Superkombat concept in the whole American continent.”

“The first USA event will be in Puerto Rico, but we will continue also in other countries from the American continent and now we are thinking about Colombia, Mexico and Dominican Republic. As we did in Europe, we will discover new heroes in America through the Superkombat academy system which will be developed all around the world. The event for March 26 will be called USA vs Rest of the world," said Mr. Irimia.

There will be more information on this event in the coming weeks. [source]

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Kunlun Fight Sets Sights on Europe

  • Published in Kickboxing

China's Kunlun Fight has one of the best kickboxing products around right now, employing some of the very best fighters from around the world as well as top Chinese prospects. Their tournaments have made new champions and brought to light lesser-known talents who have turned out to be some of the very best in the world. The only problem is that much of their product appeals to a wider audience, just that this wider audience has no way of finding these shows.

That seems to be changing with Kunlun's expansion into Europe. A recent report has slated them as working out television deals in Europe with both Eurosport and Canal+ thanks to a working agreement with Amibo TV productions. 

There have also been talks of running events in Europe as well. Neither of those television deals are going to net big money, but they will make the product more accessible to fans outside of China, at least. This comes hot off of the heels of Kunlun announcing its "Superstar Fight" series that will take place monthly in China and be focused on MMA over kickboxing.

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Free Agent Alistair Overeem Could Revitalize Kickboxing's Heavyweight Division

  • Published in Kickboxing

(C) Dan Herbertson

Today Bellator announced the signing of former WEC and UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. Henderson was a free agent after his UFC contract expired and him moving to Bellator is yet another big deal in the wake of UFC's grasp on the industry starting to wane thanks to Viacom's hefty check book and moves by the UFC like the Reebok deal that made fighting in the UFC a lot less attractive to fighters. There is another free agent out there that has interest from many sides and that free agent also has our interest as well, that is Alistair Overeem. 

Overeem's UFC career has been solid, if not average at 5-3 with big wins over Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir and Junior Dos Santos. But now he finds himself as a free agent and it seemingly comes down to taking a lesser offer from the UFC in hopes of getting a run at the UFC Heavyweight Championship, or to look for greener pastures. 

The question on lots of fans' minds is this; will he end up in Bellator. My question is a bit different; will he kickbox again? 

In a way it seems impossible, right? With all due respect to GLORY, the chances of them paying Overeem what he wants seems slim-to-none at this point and no other big kickboxing organization would really benefit from adding Overeem to their roster at his high price point. That is, if you are looking at things in a traditional, binary way of a promotion having only this or that, or just being MMA or just kickboxing. What if a promotion could offer both?

We've known about Bellator's Scott Coker looking to expand into kickboxing for almost a year now, but the wheels seem to be in motion starting at the April Oktagon event (although Bellator has yet to comment on this yet), with Joe Schilling confirming in his recent Reddit AMA that Bellator was going to venture into kickboxing. All of a sudden Bellator seems not only like a logical destination for a fighter like Alistair Overeem's MMA career, but for the final K-1 World Grand Prix Champion (at least under the FEG banner, I guess, are we counting Cro Cop's win?) to return to kickboxing and shake things up in heavyweight kickboxing. 

A huge part of why heavyweight kickboxing has felt so hollow over the past few years has been not only the dissolution of K-1's legendary heavyweight division, but the retirement or fading away of the stars that made that division so great. Alistair Overeem was the man to win the last real K-1 World Grand Prix while K-1 still had its roster in tact. A big part of why the division hasn't felt as vibrant would have to be that for years the champion would continue fighting in tournaments and when a new champion was crowned there were no lingering doubts because the system was clear. The system was incredibly simple; the champion won a one-night, eight man tournament each year. Period. That's it. 

GLORY has held tournaments since then, and K-1 held a World Grand Prix in 2012 that Mirko Cro Cop won, but all of these tournaments felt like they were missing something. In that period of time Rico Verhoeven has risen up to the very top of the food chain, but finding someone to challenge him has been a chore for GLORY. On top of that, some fans still don't accept him as the "real" champion for god know's what reason. I'd argue that a big part of that feeling is that the chain was broken and the champion didn't go on to fight in another tournament. There was no passing of the torch, so to speak. 

If Bellator is truly going to have their own kickboxing promotion this year who better to help build that promotion around than Alistair Overeem, former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion? And yes, he could do that while still fighting in MMA for them as well. Overeem's star power is undeniable at this point and while promotional logistics would make a potential clash between Overeem and Verhoeven difficult, never say never. 

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Opponent Announced for Robin van Roosmalen's MMA Debut and More at FFC 22

  • Published in Kickboxing

Robin van Roosmalen will be making his MMA debut at FFC 22 in Athens on February 19th, that much we knew, but his opponent was unknown still. Now we know that he'll be fighting 6-5 Greek fighter Theo Michailidis, currently fighting out of the UK at -66kg. This should be an interesting challenge for van Roosmalen as it'll involve weight cutting as well as fighting an opponent who is experienced in MMA, although not seemingly a world beater. 

Another fight to look forward to is at -95kg in kickboxing between Pavel Zhuravlev and Brian Douwes. Douwes has proven himself many times over after a few mediocre showings in It's Showtime early on in his career and this fight is a pretty big deal at -95kg.

FFC 22  Athens

19/2/2015, 8PM

 

MMA:

Robin Van Roosmalen (NED) vs. Theo Michailidis (GRE), -66kg

Darko Stošić (SER) vs. Emil Zahariev (BUL), HW

Pavel Doroftei (MOL) vs. TBA, -84kg

David Vasić (CRO) vs. Zauri Maisuradze (GE), -84kg

Alexander Papadimitriou (GRE) vs. Vladislav Genov (BUL), -70kg

TBA vs. TBA

KB:

Pavel Zhuravlev (UKR) vs. Brian Douwes (NED), -95kg

Samo Petje (SLO) vs. Meletis Kakaoubavas (GRE), -70kg

Antonio Plazibat (CRO) vs. Sergei Masloboev (LT), -95kg

Tomislav Čikotić (CRO) vs. Marius Munteanu (ROM), HW

Marko Adamović (SER) vs. Florian Marku (ALB), -70kg

JAsmin Bajrović (CRO) vs. Dimitris Chiotis (GRE), -77kg

 

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Full Card for Jan. 23 Wu Lin Feng Card Featuring Petrosyan and More

  • Published in Kickboxing

China, man, are they starting to get a vice grip on kickboxing or what? Wu Lin Feng's upcoming show on January 23rd is proof enough that they are doing some big things. That 67kg tournament is truly interesting, with names like Andrei Kubelin, Xie Lei, UMA and Nathan Robson. On top of that the legendary Yi Long is competing against Eyedisa Alamdarnezam and Pakorn is fighting Wei Rui.

The man that knocked out Simon Marcus, Fang Bian, is in action as well, taking on France's Cedric Doumbe. The big fight for most of us is Giorgio Petrosyan's first bout of the year against Jiao Fukai in what is looking to be an incredibly busy year for the Doctor early on.

Card is courtesy of our friends at Kiksie.

Wu Lin Feng

January 23, 2016

Shanghai, China

Broadcast on Henan TV

Tournament Quarterfinal #1 - 67kg

Qiu Jiangliang (China) vs. Nathan Robson (Australia)

Tournament Quarterfinal #2 - 67kg

Lu Jianbo (China) vs. Melsik Bagdasaryan (USA)

Tournament Quarterfinal #3 - 67kg

Xie Lei (China) vs. UMA (Japan)

Tournament Quarterfinal #4 - 67kg

Feng Jie (China) vs. Andrei Kulebin (Belarus)

65kg

Deng Zeqi (China) vs. Jomthong Chuwattana (Thailand)

67kg

Yang Zhuo (China) vs. Craig Dickson (United Kingdom)

73kg

Yi Long (China) vs. Seyedisa Alamdarnezam (Iran)

63kg

Wei Rui (China) vs. Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym (Thailand)

Tournament Semifinal #1 - 67kg

Quarterfinal #1 Winner vs. Quarterfinal #2 Winner

Tournament Semifinal #2 - 67kg

Quarterfinal #3 Winner  vs. Quarterfinal #4 Winner

81kg

Wang Honxiang (China) vs. TBA

71kg

Jiao Fukai (China) vs. Giorgio Petrosyan (Italy)

80kg

Fang Bian (China) vs. Cedric Doumbe (France)

Tournament Final - 67kg

Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner

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A Look at the Oktagon/Bellator/Victory World Series April 16th Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

While Giorgio Petrosyan will be fighting Enriko Gogokhia on April 16th, there are going to be a lot more fights going on that night. In fact, there are essentially three events featured during that show in Bellator, Victory World Series and a "Made in the USA" kickboxing portion of the card. 

Now, before you get overly excited about the prospects of seeing some of this kickboxing on Spike TV remember that absolutely none of that has been confirmed yet. It hasn't. There are also fighters that, last time that I checked, had exclusive deals for the United States in kickboxing or muay thai, making a show in Italy possible for them to fight on, but if it aired on US TV chances are that their contracts with their respective promotions have ended. We're looking into that right now. 

So here's what you can look forward to on April 16th. 

Made in the USA (5 kickboxing fights promised)

Melvin Manhoef (NL) cat - 86 Kg

Kevin Ross (USA) cat - 65 Kg    

Raymond Daniels (USA) cat - 77 kg 

Victory World Series (7 kickboxing fights promised)

Giorgio Petrosyan (ITA) vs Enrikho Gogokiia (Georgia) 

Chingis Allazov (AZ) WAKO PRO World Champion - 72.5 Kg

Haida Mustapha (MAR) Winner of Venum Victory World Series PRO ISKA World Champion - 72.5 Kg

More when it's available.

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Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Enriko Gogokhia Set for Bellator/Oktagon Event in Italy

  • Published in Kickboxing

A cursory glance at Giorgio Petrosyan's schedule for this year would make any sane person wonder if the Doctor has lost his mind. In just a matter of days Petrosyan will be competing in China for Hero Legend's and has at least one other fight that we've heard of, two more rumored. This all being said, the Doctor being back in full force is a welcome change after his relative inactivity and gradual return in 2015. 

At Oktagon's big April 16th event Petrosyan will fight Enriko Gogokhia. While there were rumors of a possible showdown with Yodsanklai for many months, his opponent is of a different flavor, Enriko Gogokhia. Gogokhia might not have a big name from competing in leagues like GLORY, but he is absolutely one of the best fighters in the world at this weight class and should prove to be an interesting challenge to the fighter that many consider one of the greatest of all time. 

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The April WFL Card is Amazing

  • Published in Kickboxing

Remember Melvin Manhoef's World Fighting League? Well they aren't going anywhere any time soon, that's for sure. They have announced their first card for this year in April and there isn't much to say about it other than this; wow. What they have scheduled thus far is a pretty big deal, and there are a lot of solid names without opponents yet as well, meaning that only more great fights will be added. Of course, unless you are in the Netherlands the chances of ever seeing this card are pretty close to nil, but hey.

The main attraction is Andy Souwer vs. Mohammed Khamal in what is an absolutely incredible bout. Khamal has been in some of the most exciting bouts of the last five years or so and Andy Souwer is just coming off of a big MMA debut win at Rizin FF against Jienotsu Nagashima, showing that he's still young and has a lot of years left in him. The other exciting fight is that Enfusion's Ilias Bulaid is about to get the test of a lifetime against Shoot Boxing star Zakari Zouggary.

Andy Souwer VS Mohammed Khamal

Heavyweight Tournament: Raul Catinas VS Brian Douwes

Heavyweight Tournament: Marcello Adriaansz VS Sam Tevette

Zakaria Zouggary VS Ilias Bulaid

Ibrahim El Bouni VS Fred Sikking

Chahid Oulad El Hadj VS Mohammed Messaoudi

Also on the card are Marco Pique, Kevin Hessling and Murthel Groenhart.

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Kunlun Fight 37 Fight Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kunlun Fight 37 will take place on January 23rd 2016 in Sanya, China. This card includes the semi finals of the Kunlun 70kg max tournament where Sittichai Sitsongpeenong will be matched against fellow countryman Superball Banchamek and Enriko Gogokhia will take on Victor Nagbe.

Full Card

70kg Max Semifinal - Superbon "Superball" Banchamek (THA) vs Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (THA)

70kg Max Semifinal - Enriko Gogokhia (UKR) vs Victor Nagbe (AUS)

Jonay Risco (SPA) vs Anatoly Moiseev (RUS)

Aikpracha Meenayothin (THA) vs Dzhabar Askerov (RUS)

Jason Wilnis (NLD) vs Wang Chongyang (CHN)

Nurla Mulali (CHN) vs Xu Zhen Guang (CHN)

Yang Yu (CHN) vs Ivan Bartek (SVK)

Sung Hyun Lee (KOR) vs Jlao Daobo (CHN)

Zhang Lipeng (CHN) vs Beibit Nazarov (HAK)

Martizandra Hersisia (NLD) vs. Liu Lingling (CHN)

 

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Robin van Roosmalen's MMA Debut Gets Dated; FFC 22 on Feb. 19th

  • Published in Kickboxing

GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen is set to make his MMA debut this year at an FFC event, we knew this much, but today it was announced that van Roosmalen will headline FFC's 22nd event in Athens, Greece on February 19th. The card will also feature Pavel Zhuravlev, Samo Petje and Igor Pokrajac. 

His debut opponent has not been announced yet, but we assume that will be coming shortly. 

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Giorgio Petrosyan Scheduled for Fight in China on January 23rd

  • Published in Kickboxing

When it comes to being a top level kickboxer activity is important, especially if you are as good as Giorgio Petrosyan. Giorgio Petrosyan may have just fought Josh Jauncey at GLORY 25, but he's already set to start the new year off right with a fight in China. It's been known for a few weeks now that Petrosyan was scheduled to fight at WLF on January 23rd, but the rumored opponent was the legendary monk, Yi Long.

This week he finally got an opponent in Jiao Fukai. China is yet again bringing the goods when it comes to delivering on big name fighters and starting 2016 off with a bit of a bang. There are other rumors for where else we'll see Petrosyan in the coming months, but that is still in progress.

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'The Godfather of Kickboxing' Thom Harinck Back Into the Mix

  • Published in Kickboxing

In 1972, director Francis Ford Coppola breathed life into Mario Puzo's most famous crime drama, The Godfather. The story and its subsequent sequels chronicled the story of the Corleone family from their origins in Sicily, rise to power and finally the efforts of the family to legitimize the family's name and fortune. One of the best scenes in trilogy is when an exasperated Michael Corleone exclaims, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

Why even bring up The Godfather on a kickboxing site?

Why, because sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, something else big was happening in 1972, the founding of Chakuriki Gym in Amsterdam by Thom Harinck. The 'Chakuriki' style which represents a fusion of techniques from boxing, Kyokushin karate, judo, jujitsu wrestling, Muay Thai and Savate for over forty years became a dominant influence on the fighting styles of many of the biggest names in kickboxing. Among his many talented pupils standouts such as Peter Aerts, Andy Hug, Badr Hari, Melvin Manhoef, Branko Cikatic, Hesdy Gerges, Pedro Rizzo, Jerome LeBanner and countless others have had their careers and fighting style shaped by Harinck's Chakuriki philosophy. In 2013, however, one of the most influential men in the sport decided to retire. At that time Harinck stated that he would continue to support the sport from the sidelines focusing his energy on the completion of a book about his life, spending time with his family, participating in European forums regarding kickboxing, and of course doing seminars all over the world.

During his first year of retirement, Thom Harinck was still one of the busiest retirees I had ever met. In 2015, one of his former pupils, current Glory light heavyweight champion, Saulo Cavalari reached out to him for management services. Always one to support the sport and his former pupils, Harinck agreed. With one foot already back in the game, 2016, Thom Harinck has decided to take Chakuriki full throttle again, coaching a small number of his former pupils including Saulo Cavalari, Hesdy Gerges and Amir Zeyada. Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. His comeback has not been unconditional. While Harinck has sold his old gym in Amsterdam, he has found another place to train and it, like before, is under the Chakuriki system: hard training, no talking, no drugs. The Chakuriki style according to Harinck is not just a fight style, it's a lifestyle and in 2016 it begins again. For forty years Thom Harinck dedicated his life to training boys to be the best men in the ring and as long as he has his health, he's dedicated to training for many more. Watch out Glory, K-1, SuperKombat......Harinck's back.

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Robin van Roosmalen Signs with FFC for Upcoming MMA Debut

  • Published in Kickboxing

GLORY Lightweight Champion Robin van Roosmalen has been training to make his MMA debut for a while now. He's been one of those names that has come up as training with high profile UFC fighters, sparring with big names and has been one of the few kickboxers that many fans see having potential to be a big crossover star. That MMA debut will happen in 2016 and the promotion that it will happen in with be FFC.

FFC, Final Fight Championship, based out of Croatia, blend together MMA and kickboxing on their shows, booking some higher profile stars across both sports in Europe over the past few years. Van Roosmalen signing with them allows him the flexibility to compete in MMA for them while still remaining the GLORY Lightweight Champion.

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Robin van Roosmalen, Benjamin Adegbuyi, Alex Pereira and More Reflect on 2015 and Look forward to 2016

  • Published in Kickboxing

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016! This article has to be one of my favorites to write each year. Every year I try to evaluate my progress towards my goals or lack thereof. It was hit and miss for me this year, but I'm always going to keep trying. But, should I subject only myself to this sometimes angst filled exercise? As usual I've invited some people from the combat sports community to share with the fans at Liverkick an assessment of the year that was and give us a sneak peek of what's to come in 2016.

Mike Lemaire:

2015 was a successful year for me going 4-0 and improving my record to 17-2. The last two fights were absolute wars and both fights of the night. My goal for 2016 is to get some big fights and go undefeated.

Frank Mach:

2015: On a personal level, it was in some cases a disappointing year. I had to deal with a lot of setbacks like health issues, cancellation of K1 Royal and the workshop with Remy, Ernesto and Peter. On the other hand, I made a successful transition into the soccer business by accompanying approximately 15 young talents as well as continuing to manage known top fighters. I also look back on good points like the last Glory event in Amsterdam which was amazing. I don' t mean Danyo' s result, its more the atmosphere and to see that big events are back in Europe. All in all 2015 was a more than grateful year. I learned from my personal defeats and setbacks and will come out stronger in 2016. In 2016, I am really looking forward to placing my fighters at big events all over the world and soccer players into clubs in higher leagues. Especially I am looking forward to work with Danyo Ilunga, Janosch Nietlispach, Bilal Messoudi and my teammates Asmir Burgic and Remy Bonjasky. I personally have a good feeling about big events and challenges coming for the three fighters. I am very confident with Stefan Leko, and will be placing him in events in 2016. I am really proud of working with these people and look forward to the Glory events as well., but also other big promotions are in my focus. For our Rough Diamonds League it looks as though we have already fixed the first two dates of 2016. Besides the sports business I run a small consulting business specializing on small startups. I hope to help lots of people to realize their goals and dreams regarding entrepreneurship. My message for not only the readers of Liverkick is to follow your dreams, work hard and be patient when you fail. Always stand up one more time. Wishing all the fight sports fans a merry Christmas time and happy new year 2016.

Robin van Roosmalen:

2015 was a difficult year for me, in my personal life but also in sports. I fought 3 fights, won them all, but they didn't go how I wanted. I think my career has just started and there is still a lot to come. I'm not close to my prime yet. 2016 I will stay the champion , and I will make my name in MMA.

Birol Topuz:

In 2015 we at Topuz Sports Management mainly concentrated on Boxing and Kickboxing. In Kickboxing our athletes competed in Glory, W5 and SuperKombat. In Boxing we worked as a consultant and as a reporter for the Amateur Boxing Associations AIBA. We helped them organize the APB Pro Boxing organizations in Turkey with upmost effort and devotion. In 2016 we will organize our brand organization called Ring Masters Olympia in the International Boxing and the Kickboxing arena. We also decided to invest in Professional Boxing together with our Heavy weight and Middle weight boxers by finding the best possible sponsors in Turkey. Turkey is a very strategic area close to Europe, Asia and Middle East and we can use this to our advantage by being a fast acting mobile company. We feel that Topuz Sports Management Company is the best candidate in Turkey to contribute and fulfill the sports organizations plans and needs for 2016 due to the fact that we have the best local and international connections. Best regards, Birol Topuz and Topuz Sports Management

Alex Pereira:

Hi, I am Alex Pereira, currently 5th on Glory’s middleweight division. And current WGP (biggest kickboxing event on Latin America) champion. This year I’ve had good fights, here in Brazil everything went as expected, I’ve waged fierce battles and achieved satisfying results. In Glory I’ve had a chance to rematch against Jason Wilnis, unfortunately I couldn’t get the victory even having made a great fight. My expectation was to be able to have more fights on Glory, however I didn’t have the opportunity to display my work. A very important happening on 2015 was to have my first MMA fight and I intend to continue in those two modalities as other fighters have. My plans for 2016 is to chase Glory champion belt and honor my people and ancestors, even with the possibility to move to EUA and be nearer to my dream, which is to be the best middleweight in the world.

Tim Hughes:

As 2015 comes to a close we finally have a chance to catch our breath and look back on the year that was for Glory kickboxing. Virginia, Dubai, San Diego, Las Vegas, Lille France, San Jose, Denver, Milan and Amsterdam. It has been an extreme privilege to stand center ring for these great athletes and for all of these hard working and dedicated GSI staff and production members behind the scenes who do what they do every day to accomplish one goal, to shine a spotlight on the most exciting combat sport on the planet. After years of sitting ringside for MMA both in the ring and in the cage, there is no comparison to the speed, power and accuracy of top level kickboxing talent! All we can hope for in 2016 is that more fans will embrace the sport and that with the ESPN platform to showcase these talents, more fans will have the opportunity to see what Glory is all about! The return to kickboxing's spiritual home of Amsterdam was the icing on the 2015 cake and I know that the Glory staff and these amazing athletes have a real Sweet Tooth for what's to come in the New Year!

Benny Adegbuyi:

A week ago, after my loss I had the feeling that everything was bad. But looking back over the entire year I could say I had a good year, with some important wins, also with two title shots that I have lost but my motivation is bigger now. I learned from my mistakes and I know what to change for the next year! For 2016 I'm planning to win all the fights and even though I'm not sure if I will attack the title soon and I have a lack of experience comparing to the others top fighters, I still want to be ranked on the highest position possible.

Dan Black:

Where to begin? 2015 was so busy, it seemed to just fly by, honestly it seemed like one event after another. 2015 started off interestingly as we were a big part of Nick Diaz's camp for the Anderson Silva fight and the timeline was perfect for Xavier's Glory fight in Virginia with Everett Simms. Previously, they were supposed to have fought as amateurs, but the fight never happened for whatever reason. Going into the fight everything was going well up until a few days out when Xavier got injured breaking up a fight with his dogs. That was a bit of stress but luckily he was healed up in time and it didn't affect anything with the fight. Next we were supposed to fight Chi in Dubai, but they also wanted him to fight in San Diego, so we decided to pass on Dubai and just focus on the tournament in San Diego. Things were again a bit interesting going into the fights as we didn't know too much about the opponents other than they were really big guys so we couldn't take them lightly. Xavier, however, had been in tournaments before so I was confident he would be ok. Up next was the fight with Daniel Sam which was a true test for him as he had a lot of obstacles outside the ring going into that fight not to mention the fact Sam is a veteran with more than 3x the experience on an international level. Despite all the roadblocks Xavier was able to blast thru them and was able to pull off the fight with Sam despite him being considered the underdog by most of the international kickboxing community. On the same card I had Matt Baker make his Glory debut as a reserve in the middleweight tournament. He won on points. Matt competed recently on the Legacy kickboxing show as the 209 lbs reserve fighter but his opponent stopped the bout after an accidental head-butt in the first round. Nick Pica made his Bellator MMA debut on this historic Glory/Bellator Dynamite card with a convincing win over veteran fighter, Mauricio Alonso. Xavier won another boxing match bringing his record in boxing to 3-0 with 2 KOs and his kickboxing record to 9-1 with 8 KOs.

2016 I see a lot of big things coming up both on the kickboxing and MMA fronts. Xavier is only going to have harder fights so we are trying to stay busy and have been training hard, preparing the team for what's ahead. I also have Carl Sunamanutafa fighting on an upcoming Bellator show in Fresno and Roy Boughton fighting for the heavyweight title on Westcoast Fighting Championship. With fights booked thru half the year so far so 2016 looks like it will be very busy.

Xavier Vigney:

2015! What a year it has been. It all started in February in Virginia. I believe it was Glory 19. I was matched against American amateur national champion Everett Simms. He was not known on the international scene at all, but a big strong athletic guy like him is always dangerous and he had nothing to lose (except maybe his life) when it came to fighting me. We started the fight getting straight to business throwing punches, kicks, and knees. I tested his chin early dropping him with two right hands in the first round. He had enough after I crumbled him with another right hand and the fight was over. I think the most difficult thing about going into this fight was a fact that I had injured my left knee 10 days prior to the match.. I won't get into it too much on how I injured my knee, but my boxer and my pit bull got into a little scuffle and I had to break it up. Next was Glory in San Diego for the heavyweight qualification tournament. In this four man tournament I was matched up against Maurice Jackson. He was an interesting character. On the other end of the bracket was "Chopper" Lewis-Parry from England vs Demario Dennis. Chi had a mouth on him and he liked to run it a lot, whether it be in interviews, Twitter or Instagram he had something to say. It wasn't the first time I had to deal with something like this, my pro debut in 2012 against Seth Petruzelli was very similar. Petruzelli liked to talk and try to be funny. But it didn't work out so well for him. Really Chi was only making it worse for himself. The night of the tournament I made quick work of Maurice Jackson knocking him out in the first round. He came out throwing some pretty hard and athletic high kicks to my head which I defended and countered with hard punches. This caused him to shell up and turn his back. I managed to sneak in another hard right uppercut as he turned away and it landed right on his chin snapping his head back. He went down and the fight was over. Next was Chopper vs. Dennis. As I was backstage watching the fight I was expecting it to be a war. Demario landed a couple decent shots but when Chi returned fire it hurt him and the fight was over in the first round. Chopper Chi won. Now it was time to shut Chopper's mouth for good. When he entered the ring I didn't take my eyes off him. I could see through the man. We had a very entertaining competitive first round we both landed some good shots on each other, but towards the end of the round I could see and feel him starting to break. The second round came and I started just as strong and hard as I did in the first. He too, was still game but eventually he could not stand the pressure and pace. I got him in the corner and rained down hard shots to the head and body. When he bent over in the corner Big John McCarthy had seen enough and stopped the fight. And I won the tournament.

Next was Glory Las Vegas and here I was matched up against veteran fighter Daniel Sam . He is a massive man and has good experience fighting against a number of the best kick boxers in the world. This was a serious fight for me and also it was a test. Come fight night as I stood across the ring from Sam I felt comfortable, confident and ready to fight. We had a good competitive fight and went distance. I clearly landed more shots and had superior boxing but I will give Sam credit where it is due, the man kicks like a horse and he landed some good kicks on my body and legs. I felt those kicks for a few weeks. When it was all said and done I won the match and perhaps a little bit of respect because a lot of people didn't think I was going to win the fight against such an experienced and powerful guy like Daniel Sam. So after I let my leg heal up a little bit it was time to fight yet again this time pro boxing in a what I consider local match taking place at Cache Creek Casino and Resort in the Sacramento area. I was matched up against a guy named Derrick Williams who had experience in pro kickboxing, boxing and also MMA. When I first met him at the weigh ins I looked him in the eye and I could tell he knew he was in over his head. A guy like that is always dangerous though, because he has nothing to lose by losing to me. Come night of the fight as I stood across from Williams I could see that he would be in there fighting for his life. The fight started and he came out pressing forward trying to land something but I caught him with a few hard shots and he went down. He got back up and a few seconds later I caught him with a left hook that landed flush to his temple he went down the fight was over. That fight was October 24th 2015. Now as I sit back and reflect on 2015, I have to be thankful for going 5-0 and for making it out healthy. It was a good year full of good fights and good learning experiences that will prepare me for what is to come in 2016 and beyond. I am in no rush and I will continue to be patient and take it one day at a time, one training session at a time, and one fight at a time (maybe 2 or 3 if it's a tournament haha). I do have goals and one of them for 2016 is to go 6-0 between both kickboxing and boxing. But even without fighting 2016 will be one of the biggest years of my life this much I know.

Michael Duut:

Last year in 2015, I had a lot of injuries. I had a hamstring injury as well as an injury with my bicep which I tore completely. The latter injury occurred two weeks before a Glory event during a sparring session. So it was bad luck. For next year, 2016, my plan is first to recover, only having had surgery a few weeks ago and in January I plan to have physical therapy and also to start training a bit and then we have to see. Of course it is my goal to have the light heavyweight belt, but first I have to be fit. I think in September or October I will be ready to fight again.

Niclas Larson:

Unfortunately, I only had one fight on Danish ground in 2015. I was supposed to fight a four man tournament in Glory with Sittichai, Davit Kiria and Josh Jauncey. I became ill with staphylococcus aureus and needed an operation on my foot. Unfortunately this happened two weeks before the tournament. After three weeks of inactivity in the hospital and month of recovering, I am confident I will comeback at the end of February. This will be a fight on Danish ground and then I will be back fighting in all the big promotions for muay thai, including K-1 and Glory. I can't wait to be back !! Glory is an awesome promotion!

Sheri Ellington:

This year has been has amazing. I've had the opportunity to travel to many new places, including several kickboxing events. I've continued to train in Atlanta with my Coach Manu Ntoh. In October, I fought at my 6th World Championship in Spain representing USA National team. This allowed me pick up my 6th World Championship medal. One of the most important events for me this year as a career change. I accepted a position at a dental practice in a different city. This will allow me to have more opportunities and has been a very positive change. 

2016, I will be very focused on my career. I really enjoy designing custom mouth guards for my friends that fight. So...I'm very excited about starting that again. As far as me fighting, I will continue to train with Coach Manu in Atlanta. If the right opportunity comes along and if Coach Manu agrees then I will. I'm interested in helping my teammates at Team Manu behind the scenes, like finding sponsorships, promotions, & training. I will also be helping my friend set up seminars here in the USA. Of course, I will be traveling as often as possible. I plan on visiting my old teammate George Hickman who is coaching at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket.

It is my hope that everyone has come at least one step closer to their dreams in 2015 and will acheive even more in 2016! Osu!

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Enfusion Live #37 Fight Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

Ringfight Promotions and Enfusion Live are putting together a special card for us in Eindhoven, The Netherlands on February 27, 2016. Enfusion said they would be stepping it up in 2016, and they are proving it with their best card to date. Ismael Lazaar will defend his title against his toughest opponent yet in Jahfarr Wilnis. Also they will have the Finals of their 70kg max tournament that was started in 2015 with the winner taking home $25,000.

Fight Card

Hvyweight Title: (c) Ismael Lazaar vs. Jahfarr Wilnis

70kgs Tournament semi-final: Winner semi final #1 vs Winner semi final #2

70kgs Tournament semi-final #2: Mohammed Jaraya vs Nordin Ben Moh

70kgs Tournament semi-final #1: Tayfun Ozcan vs Philippe Salmon

Ilias Bulaid vs Edson Fortes

Mark van den Ouweland vs Koos Kivits

Ibrahim El Boustati vs Yakup Kaya

Horace Boy Boy Martin vs Mohammed Boubkari

Marcel Verhaar vs Bilal Kasrioui

Jeremy Blijd vs Boubaker Elbakouri

Hamza Ahnine vs Reda Narain

Henri Van Opstal vs Mohammed Mezouari

Ali Zoubai vs Soufiane Kaddouri

Khalid Elbakouri vs Ertugrul Bayrak

Fikri Ameziane vs TBA

Samantha van Doorn vs TBA

Ralph Blewanus vs TBA

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Bob Sapp Has a Special Message for Giorgio Petrosyan

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Look, everyone can stop worrying already, Bob Sapp is back on the winning path. He came out of retirement and dispatched of the giant Akebono in one of the strangest fights that we've all seen in years where we got to see Akebono's skull while Sapp pantomimed throwing up. This all happened during the numerous breaks in the fight for the doctor's to work on Akebono's skull. 

Weird fight. Seriously.

Armen Petrosyan was in the corner of Jleana Valentino, who made her MMA debut against Japanese Shoot Boxing star RENA in what was perhaps the best fight of the night at Rizin, with Jleana's stand up proving troublesome for RENA, forcing her to go for a submission, which ended the fight in spectacular fashion. I mean, a flying armbar, cool, right? Anyway, Bob Sapp had a message for Armen's brother, Giorgio, and we all got to see it via Instagram.

Bob Sapp want to kill me

A video posted by Giorgio Petrosyan (@giorgiopetrosyan) on

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Masato and KID Yamamoto the Kings of Fight Sport on NYE, Rizin Did Okay

  • Published in Kickboxing

After many years of not having much to talk about from Japan on New Year's Eve there has been a metric shit-ton to talk about instead. The big event was Rizin FF on New Year's Eve, which pulled out all of the stops to try to emulate the glory days of Japanese MMA and kickboxing. The show was both successful and kind of a mess, all depending on the situation. Fujii TV has not had a NYE event based on fighting in well over ten years, with TBS being the network that aired the K-1/DREAM Dynamite!! cards.

The peak rating for Rizin FF was 7.3%, which many are seeing as a win. Kyokugen, the event that the Masato/KID exhibition happened on drew 9.0%, while the Red and Blue Festival reigned supreme as always with 39%.

Is this a win for Japanese fighting sports, or simply a collective delusion? That much remains to be seen. The next Rizin event is scheduled for April and we'll know more then. Interestingly enough fans were more interested in the return of Masato and KID Yamamoto, in a rematch from the K-1 MAX glory days. 

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Rizin News: Peter Aerts Saves the Day Yet Again

  • Published in Kickboxing

This wouldn't be the first time that Jerome Le Banner has pulled out of a fight without much of an explanation given, nor would it be the first time that Peter Aerts has stepped in on late notice to help to save an event. That's just the kind of guy that Peter Aerts is. Once again Peter Aerts has come to the rescue, just six months after he officially retired from professional fighting. This time it was for Rizin FF's big New Year's Eve spectacular.

Jerome Le Banner was originally slated to fight Kaido Hoovelson in an MMA contest, but has pulled out. Last night at Rizin's first event Nobuhiko Takada stepped into the ring alongside Hoovelson and Peter Aerts to announce that Le Banner was out, officially, and that Aerts was in. 

Those that watched last night's event can attest to it being a violent throwback to the days of PRIDE and K-1 Dynamite!! events that kept the lifeblood flowing through a lot of fans, a stark contrast to the homogeneous UFC events that are pumped out on a weekly basis. 

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Rizin News: Le Banner Might Be Out, Fujita or Aerts Possibly in

  • Published in Kickboxing

Fans of Jerome Le Banner that were looking forward to his return on New Year's Eve in Japan against Kaido Hoovelson in an MMA bout, but it looks like that bout might be in danger now. Reports have been coming in from Japan that Le Banner is injured and won't be able to participate in the show. The only press that we've seen on it seems to be inconclusive, to say the least

The rumored replacement is former PRIDE fighter and New Japan Pro Wrestling star Kazuyuki Fujita and there have been some rumors of Peter Aerts possibly filling in -- and we know that he's in Japan right now -- but it's not clear. Fujita is currently scheduled for a bout on the IGF Inoki Bom-Be-Ye event

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Surprise! Fedor Really is Fighting Jaideep, Plus Masato vs. KID is Still On

  • Published in Kickboxing

New Year's Eve is rapidly approaching and now that Star Wars has been released there is nothing in between us and New Year's Eve. Okay, maybe a few holidays, but still, it's just a matter of days now and we are finally getting some clarification on what we can all expect to go down. Remember how initially it was reported that Fedor Emelianenko would be fighting Jaideep Singh, then RIZIN FF and Jerry Millen denied it? Well, I can't find Millen's tweet anymore, because he's that kind of guy, but that did, indeed happen. 

Now, today, RIZIN FF sent out a press release announcing Fedor vs. Jaideep. 

Go figure, right?

On another front, remember how we said before that it looked like KID Yamamoto vs. Masato was in peril because of KID Yamamoto's tattoos? Apparently that fight is still on and while it will still be an exhibition, it will no longer be just a single round, it will now be three rounds. 

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Full Card for Kunlun Fight 35

  • Published in Kickboxing

On December 19th, after most of us have seen Star Wars, Kunlun Fight will be putting on Kunlun Fight 35. There is a lot going on with this card, so I'm not even going to bother explaining most of it. Seriously, just look at it. Sure, Yodsanklai dropped out of the 70kg tournament, which is a hit, but there's just so much talent there that it's hard to complain. 

Card via Kiksie.

Kunlun Fight 35

December 19, 2015

Luoyang, Henan, China

Tournament Reserve Fight - 80kg

Artur Gorlovs (Latvia) vs. Deng Ningning (China)

Tournament Semifinal #1 - 80kg

Dmitry Valent (Belarus) vs. Arthit Hanchana (Thailand)

Tournament Semifinal #2 - 80kg

Artur Kyshenko (Ukraine) vs. Eyevan Danenberg (Netherlands)

Kickboxing - 64kg

Kim Dongsu (South Korea) vs. Wei Ninghui (China)

MMA - 61kg

Xie Junpeng (China) vs. Zhao Yafei (China)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #1 – 70kg

Kong Lingfeng (China) vs. Victor Nagbe (Australia)

MMA - 61kg

Kirill Medvedovski (Israel) vs. Wu Tieyin (China)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #2 – 70kg

Enriko Gogokhia (Ukraine) vs. Davit Kiria (Georgia)

Kickboxing - 90kg

Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania) vs. Wang Chongyang (China)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #3 – 70kg

Zhang Chunyu (China) vs. Superbon Banchamek (Thailand)

MMA - 61kg

Yan Xibo (China) vs. Daulet Userbay (Kazakhstan)

Middleweight World Championship Tournament Quarterfinal #4 – 70kg

Marat Grigorian (Armenia) vs. Sittichai Sitsongpeenong (Thailand)

Tournament Final - 80kg

Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner

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Rizin FF Announces Jerome Le Banner Fighting MMA on NYE

  • Published in Kickboxing

Remember when Jerome Le Banner retired? Yeah, about that. Combat sports retirements only last as long as there isn't money on the table and Japan's new RIZIN FF promotion has laid out whatever amount of money that it took to get Jerome Le Banner back into the ring for New Year's Eve. The crazy, three-day long event will culminate with a huge NYE event on December 31st that'll air on Spike TV in the United States. 

Jerome Le Banner will be a part of that, fighting his first MMA fight in over five years against former sumo wrestling star Kaido Hoovelson. Le Banner was a huge star in Japan thanks to K-1 and still holds a near god-like status with fans in Japan. This booking is little surprise considering that, even if the fight is a bit, well, strange. It's Japan, it's New Year's Eve, this is the kind of stuff that we've come to expect, know and love.

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GLORY's Mauro Ranallo Announced as Lead Commentator for WWE's Smackdown

  • Published in Kickboxing

Since GLORY's inception the promotion had struggled a bit with finding its voice across its platforms. Over the past few years they've finally put together a solid broadcast team including major finds like Tim Hughes as the ring announcer and the stable-yet-familiar team of Mauro Ranallo as the lead play-by-play man and Stephan Quadros as the color commentator. That team does change at times, but it's usually when Mauro or Quadros have another gig booked in advance. 

Ranallo has been the voice of Showtime boxing over the past year or so, making a solid name for himself in the boxing community while also picking up accolades for his work in professional wrestling calling AXS TV's New Japan Pro Wrestling program. Those accolades have been vast and were enough to raise some eyebrows in Connecticut. The WWE has been looking for a solid announce team for their programs for a while now, with some of their internal candidates either falling flat or simply showing signs of wear and tear. 

So imagine the surprise when it surfaced last night that Mauro Ranallo -- who had been hinting on social media over the past week about taking that "next step" in his career -- was selected as the lead commentator on WWE's Smackdown program. Ranallo, a life-long wrestling fan, seems incredibly happy by this and the deal that he worked out allows for him to continue being the voice of Showtime boxing and GLORY kickboxing as well. 

Congratulations, Mauro, you deserve it.

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Maurice Jackson Exposes the Glaring Holes in the 'Honor System' of Combat Sports

  • Published in Kickboxing

I had never heard of Maurice Jackson, the 31-0-0 phenom of a fighter, until doing my research for GLORY 21. 

When I look back at these notes all that he had a win in Bellator (which I'm still unable to find video of) and that he was big and most likely strong. The little footage that was available of him was old highlights, mostly from MMA or still images. That is usually a pretty bad sign. Even going into the last Denver card where the SuperFight Series was filled with fighters that had little name value or experience there was footage available of prior fights in kickboxing to line up with their rather modest records.

At this point I've gotten rather good at hunting down footage from lesser-known fighters, finding old interviews, promotional material or just going to their team for information. Maurice Jackson, at the time, was an afterthought. There wasn't much to find on him and realistically he was raw meat for Vigney, so who really cares, right? Myself and a few others laughed at the record for being clearly embellished, but life went on. Then the Vigney fight happened and he looked not only like an amateur, but a total amateur. How many professional fighters turtle and turn their back towards an opponent who is raining down blows at them? I've seen a few, but on average, fighters without much experience sparring tend to exhibit such behavior. 

This guy couldn't even take a low kick.

I don't like to criticize fighters because fighting is difficult, it's not an easy job to do nor is it one that comes with a lot of gratitude and money. GLORY booked Jackson under the pretense of his record, his history with Bellator, most likely his size and the game that he spat. Hell, he was scheduled to be one of Jerome Le Banner's final opponents until he pulled out under mysterious circumstances at the last minute, forcing Karl Roberson in, who put up a valiant effort against Le Banner. 

Maurice Jackson is not a fighter who is prepared to fight at this level and wherever that ludicrous record came from is exactly the problem with combat sports today. We've seen MMA leagues that help to inflate the records of younger fighters to help them get into the UFC. Go ahead and search for 'Xplode Fight Series' on Google and you'll be assailed with articles about corruption, lack of oversight, fighters fighting multiple times in one night and everything else a promotion could do that is wrong. 

Kickboxing and muay thai can, at times, be much worse. I've heard claims that Jackson's record comes from "Full Contact" fights, which is a rule set of kickboxing that doesn't utilize low kicks. This is also a style of kickboxing that is mostly extinct these days when it comes to professional fights. Full Contact mostly exists in small pockets of Europe or as an amateur rule set to help acclimate fighters to being hit and getting comfortable in the ring. I'm not saying that it is a bogus subset of kickboxing, just that it does not exist as it once did in a world where muay thai and K-1 rules are all the rage. Low kicks are an essential part of MMA and MMA is the golden standard of combat sports these days. What I'm saying is that I am doubtful that Jackson has the record that he claims, and if he does, it is most likely an amateur record or from "gym fights."

Look at the records of some kickboxers and muay thai fighters and you'll see crazy records, spanning dozens and sometimes hundreds of fights in a short period of time. Trying to keep track of all of these fights is nearly impossible, making most records the responsibility of the fighter and their team, not anyone else. Vetting a fighter's record is something that rarely comes into play because of how difficult it is. So if a fighter like Jackson felt that he was ready to take on the bigger names, all he had to do was present a winning record and voila, he had a fight in a major kickboxing organization with more to follow. They perhaps went a bit overboard with that 31-0-0, though. Yet, GLORY gave him the benefit of the doubt and the final result was embarrassing. 

That one fight, though, earned him future bookings. He was supposed to fight Jerome Le Banner! He got booked to fight Catalin Morosanu! Crazy the ripple effect that happens, isn't it? Did anyone bother to watch the fight with Vigney, or was the record and being able to put "fought in GLORY" enough?

I'm not sure if Jackson was selected because of a poor performance against Vigney and an impressive sounding resume, or if he was selected just on the merits of resume alone with no intent behind it. What happened in the ring, though, was insanity. Jackson immediately backed up to the corner, much like we saw against Vigney, with his hand outstretched to keep Morosanu at bay. Morosanu landed one looping shot that clipped him on the left side of the head (don't listen to the commentary, it was aimed at the right but Jackson turned his head). Jackson immediately crashed to the canvas, holding the left side of his head and his ear.

Now, it was entirely possible that Morosanu's shot landed on his ear, but what happened next was confusing and strange by any standard. The referee simply urged for Jackson to keep fighting. By the look of it Jackson was taking a dive, he was done, he wanted the fight to be over. He said that he wanted to keep fighting, so the ref took a point away and let the fight continue. Then the same thing happened. There was an official from the promotion right by his corner literally screaming at Jackson, Jackson having an exchange with him before he went back to selling his injury. 

This fight somehow went on, Morosanu hit him, he turtled up and then Morosanu just chopped away at his exposed back before the ref called Morosanu off, Morosanu taking another shot that led to Jackson's corner grabbing his glove and telling him to stop, while that same SK official was shouting obscenities the whole time. Morosanu was then, somehow, announced the winner and Jackson was announced to be banned from SuperKombat for life. 

There are a few possible explanations for this, the first would be that Jackson took a dive and just wanted to collect his money, get a trip to Italy and take off. The second would be that Jackson is an inexperienced fighter who has been in over his head this year, felt that one strong punch from Morosanu and realized he was trapped inside of a nightmare. Morosanu is a tough guy who has hung with some of the greats in the sport, he also hits like a truck and Jackson's trash talk upset him heading into this fight. 

A big part of the problem is that Jackson, no matter what happened, did not belong in that ring with Morosanu. He's risking serious injury by stepping into the ring with actual, qualified professional fighters with a lifetime of experience. Promoters are hungry for talent to fill their cards and the allure of a heavyweight from the United States with a very good record and solid resume is too much for some to resist. In an already crowded and underfunded business fighters like this are taking money away from fighters who have earned their chance to fight in the ring while simultaneously being a danger to themselves and to everyone around them.

We need trainers and managers to not just look for dollar signs, but to be realistic and concerned with the health and well being of their fighters. Maurice Jackson is, intentional or not, a fraud on this level and his team has not only exposed him as such, but have made it difficult for themselves to be taken seriously again in the future. The job of a trainer is to ensure that their fighter is prepared for their fight and if things are going wrong to make sure that they don't get hurt. In the case of Maurice Jackson none of that has happened and that should be scary to everybody in combat sports. 

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A Look at SuperKombat Special Edition on Dec. 12th's Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

On Saturday, December 12th in Turin, Italy SuperKombat will return for a special event featuring some of their biggest stars. The twist? Both MMA and kickboxing fights will be on the card. If you were ask me the purpose of the event, I'd say to debut Raul Catinas in MMA. Catinas announced earlier this year that he would be switching from kickboxing to MMA and this will be his debut. 

Maurice Jackson has been slinging some trash in Morosanu's direction, which will only make the Romanian star more likely to knock him out, which should be a violent affair.

The event will be airing live via YouTube streaming on Saturday, so catch all of the action without worry.

1. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight bout (-81 kg) - SK Rules (3 rounds x 3 minutes)

Stylianos Parathirakis (Greece) vs Giuseppe de Domenico (Italy)

 

2. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-71 kg) - SK Rules (3 rounds x 3 minutes)

Alkid Farruku (Morocco) vs Amansio Paraschiv (Romania)

 

3. Super Fight - Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg) - SK Rules (3 rounds x 3 minutes)

Bilel Messaoudi (France) vs Lucian Danilencu (Romania)

 

4. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight (-81 kg) - SK Rules (3 rounds x 3 minutes)

Tudor Turcan (Rep. Moldova) vs Bogdan Nastase (Romania)

 

5. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus (-86 kg) - SK Rules (3 rounds x 3 minutes)

Imanol Rodriguez (Spain) vs Alexandru Negrea (Romania) 

 

6.Super Fight - Light Heavyweight Plus bout (-84 kg) - MMA rules  (3 rounds x 5 minutes)

Robert Bryczek (Poland) vs Alexander Bergmann (Sweden)

 

7. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight Plus bout (-84 kg) - MMA rules  (3 rounds x 5 minutes)

Ivan Brguljan (Croatia) vs Ion Pascu (Romania)

 

8. Super Fight - Cruiserweight bout (-92 kg) - SK Rules (3 rounds x 3 minutes)

Damian Garcia (Spain) vs Bogdan Stoica (Romania)

 

1. Super Fight — Welterweight bout (-66 kg) — MMA rules  (3 rounds x 5 minutes)

Maja Britvic (Croatia) vs Cristiana Stancu (Romania)

 

10. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg) - MMA rules (3 rounds x 5 minutes)

Janusz Dylewski (Poland) vs Raul Catinas (Romania)

 

11. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg) - SK Rules (3 rounds x 3 minutes)

Maurice Jackson (USA) vs Catalin Morosanu (Romania)

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Enfusion Live #35 on 12/19 Fight Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

On December 19th live from Antwerpen, Belgium, Enfusion returns with their final event of the year in Enfusion Live #35. This definitely looking to be one of the better Enfusion cards on paper for this year, meaning that Enfusion will be ending 2015 with a bang. The show is headlined by Heavyweight champion Ismael Lazaar defending that title against South Africa's Andrew Thomson. Nordin Ben Moh takes on Crice Boussoukou, Daniel Sam fights Kreshnik Rustemi and a -64kg Enfusion World Title is on the line between Anke Van Gestel and Rachida Bouhout.

Enfusion Live #35 Antwerpen, Belgium Saturday 19.12.2015

Local start time 21.00 (20.00 GMT Time) 

1. 3X3 -75Kg

Johan Tkac (France) Vs Zakaria Baitar (Morocco)

2. 3X3 -70Kg

Youssef El Haji (Morocco) Vs Rafal Dudek (Poland)

3. 3X3 Heavyweight  

Mohamed Boubkari (Morocco) Vs Mathieu Kongolo (Belgium)

4. 5X2 ENFUSION WORLD TITLE -64Kg  

Anke Van Gestel (Belgium) Vs Rachida Bouhout (NL)

5. 3X3 Heavyweight  

Kreshnik Rustemi (Albania) Vs Daniel Sam (England)

6. 3X3 -70Kg 

Nordin Ben Moh (Morocco) Vs Crice Boussoukou (France)

7. 5X3 ENFUSION WORLD TITLE Heavyweight 

Ismael Lazaar (Morocco) Vs Andrew Thomson (South Africa)

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WLF on December 5th to Crown a 63kg Champion Featuring Pakorn and Rungravee

  • Published in Kickboxing

Kickboxing fans might be more familiar with the heavily-western influenced Kunlun Fight in China, but WLF is one of the true heavyweights in combat sports in China. Since August they've been running a 63kg World Championship tournament and on December 5th we'll see the culmination of this tournament in what looks to be an explosive one-night tournament. China's Wei Rui takes on Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym in the first semi-final and Deng Zegi fights Rungravee Sasiprapa on the other side of the tournament. 

Card courtesy of Kiksie.

60kg

Kong Long (China) vs. Kodai Inatsu (Japan)

WLF World Championship Tournament Semifinal #1 - 63kg

Wei Rui (China) vs. Pakorn PKSaenchaimuaythaigym (Thailand)

WLF World Championship Tournament Semifinal Semifinal #2 - 63kg

Deng Zeqi (China) vs. Rungravee Sasiprapa (Thailand)

69kg

Xie Lei (China) vs. Nour Edinne Kasrioui (Netherlands)

67kg

Liu Xiangming (China) vs. Hassan Toy (Netherlands)

77kg

Wang Anying (China) vs. Regian Eersel (Netherlands)

WLF World Championship Tournament Final - 63kg

Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner

75kg

Wang Hesong (China) vs. Marco Piqué (Netherlands)

80kg

Cao Lujian (China) vs. Alexei Liubchenko (Ukraine)

91kg

Zhang Chang (China) vs. Oleg Primachev (Ukraine)

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New Year's Eve Roundup: Akebono vs. Sapp Rematch, KID/Masato Off and More

  • Published in Kickboxing

For the first time in a while it feels like there is a lot of movement in Japan when it comes to New Year's Eve. Inoki will be holding his annual Inoki Bom Ba Ye event, Nobuyuki Sakikabara has returned with RIZIN FF and there has been talk of TBS's Kyokugen airing a special exhibition bout between KID Yamamoto and MASATO.

The KID Yamamoto vs. Masato bout was lining up to be a bit of a strange one. Kyokugen is not a fight show, in fact, it's just a New Year's Eve variety show, but TBS, remembering the crazy ratings that they got from KID vs. Masato before, were dedicated to trying to rekindle some sort of spark with a rematch of sorts. Of sorts. The bout was originally planned to be an exhibition bout between the two men, most likely happening in a television studio and not in an arena. Oh yeah, and it was scheduled to be one round. There was never going to be a real fight because Yamamoto is under contract to the UFC. But none of that matters now as it looks like the fight is in danger due to KID Yamamoto's chest tattoo. Over the past few years Yamamoto has gone deeper into the realm of tattoos and now has a giant bird and snake on his torso and this is a big deal in Japan. I'm not sure that I get it, either, just make him wear a rash guard. For what it's worth the fight is still listed on TBS's official site.

IGF Inoki Bom Ba Ye will the the standard issue Inoki event that mixes MMA fights with professional wrestling and hopefully he bring in some bigger name kickboxers for pro wrestling like he has in the past. Not that the wrestling is ever good, just that it's a pretty cool spectacle is all. There are currently only two matches on the card thus far, one of which is a pro wrestling match, the other is Shinya Aoki against former K-1 kickboxer Montonha Silva. 

As for RIZIN, man, who even knows. There is so much going on with RIZIN right now and most of it is just crazy. Fedor Emelianenko was originally to fight Jaideep Singh and then we heard that they changed that because fans were upset, then we heard that Jaideep was out of shape anyway, so he couldn't fight. Then it was Tsuyoshi Kosakha, but now TK is fighting someone else instead. 

On the 29th RIZIN will hold an event that supposedly is Sakuraba's retirement (yeah, right). Sakuraba is scheduled to face Shinya Aoki. Tsuyoki Kosakha is scheduled to fight James "The Colossus" Thompson, AJ Matthews against Anatoly Tokov and Yuki Motoya vs. Nam Jin Jo.

The 31st is the big one, though. That is the event that is featuring Fedor Emelianenko against a mysterious question mark, Estonian sumo wrestler Kaido Hoovelson will step into the ring against another set of question marks as well, hoping to usher in a new era of sumo superstardom not seen since Akebono. BJJ dynamo Gabi Garcia makes her MMA debut against professional wrestler Lei'd Tapa and RENA from Shootboxing is scheduled to fight Jleana Valentino.

Just announced today was the rematch to end all rematches in Bob Sapp vs. Akebono. Originally they met at K-1 PREMIUM 2003 Dynamite!! in a bout that saw Sapp take the win during his rise to prominence in Japan. Now, many years later, both men will meet again. This time not in K-1 rules, but instead MMA rules. Yikes.

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Oktagon Co-Promoting with Bellator in 2016

  • Published in Kickboxing

Italian promoter and manager Carlo di Blasi has been a very busy man of late. If you were to look at his plate right now you'd see the recent K-1 Global World Amateurs, GLORY 25 and Venum Victory World Series events. He had a hand in all of those (and the upcoming Venum Victory World Series event as well) and he has shown no signs of stopping yet. The April Oktagon event has been a staple for Italian fans for a while now and this upcoming year will be no different. On April 16th in Torino we'll see the next Oktagon event, for which we can probably expect a big Giorgio Petrosyan fight, but the big news today was that Bellator announced that they will be co-promoting that event with Oktagon.

The card will be a split one, half Bellator, half Oktagon kickboxing, but from what it looks like only the Bellator MMA part will be airing on Spike TV, which is kind of a bummer. Still, di Blasi is hard at work again and this is truly an interesting partnership to look out for in the future.

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Venum Victory World Series News: Maria Lobo to Challenge Anissa Peksen

  • Published in Kickboxing

On Saturday, November 28 in Paris at the Levallois Perret Arena the 28 year old Portuguese Maria Lobo will challenge the champion, Anissa Peksen, at the tournament finals for Venum Victory World Series. 

Mario Lobo from Lisbon, Portugal fights out of Team Dynamite and is coached by Dina Pedro has been a world champion under the Muay Thai WMF banner in 2013 and 2014 and has won world championships under K-1 rules as well. Throughout her 24-fight career she boasts 17 victories, 6 losses and only one draw thus far.

Previously she has fought in other large organizations such as Kunlun Fight and WLF in China, as well as Real Fighter. Her background is primarily in muay thai but she adapted her style towards kickboxing rules in an aggressive manner, making her a force to be reckoned with under any set of rules. This world title fight at Venum Victory World Series in Paris should deliver on action while fans around the world watch this closely-contested battle to see which of the two world class fighters walks out victorious.

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