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W5 Kickboxing Releases Historic Look at Champions

  • Published in Kickboxing

W5 Kickboxing have been onto something since their inception; providing fights between some of the best fighters in the world and building up a stable of champions that are without a doubt some of the best in the world. The promotion decided to do something different. This video was used to promote one of their events last year, but the promotion decided that the themes within it are universal and to share it. It focuses on the concept of being a champion throughout history, be it on the battlefield, as a strategist, an artist or even in modern times achieving peace of mind amidst the chaos of modern life. 

Of course, being a kickboxing champion is one way, as well. Check it out below.

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FFC Results: Robin van Roosmalen Wins Second MMA Bout and More

  • Published in Kickboxing

Final Fight Championship (FFC) held their 28th event in Athens, Greece this past weekend, featuring the usual fare of mixed bouts between kickboxing and MMA. The kickboxing portion of the card featured a number of title fights, including Andi Vrtacic defeating Denis Marjanovic for the FFC Middleweight Championship. The highlight of the evening, for most, was former two-division GLORY kickboxing champion Robin van Roosmalen making his second appearance in MMA rules. Van Roosmalen won via leg kicks in the first round after planting Risto Dimitrov to the mat with a hook, then kicked his leg until he couldn't get up.

Kickboxing:

Samo Petje def. Meletis Kakoubavas

FFC Welterweight Championship: Eyevan Danenberg (C) def. Ivan Bilić

FFC Middleweight Championship: Andi Vrtačić def. Denis Marjanović (C)

Stavros Grigorakakis def. Tomislav Čikotić

Zahid Zairov def. Nikos Hysen

Giannis Fezoulai def. Marios Blanas

MMA:

Robin van Roosmalen def. Risto Dimitrov by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 2:56

Darko Stošić def. Emil Zahariev by TKO (leg kicks). Round 1, 2:07 – heavyweight title

Alexis Savvidis vs. Filip Pejić ruled a draw

Andreas Michailidis def. Borce Talevski by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:25

Stamatis Moroulis def. Edgar Santos by TKO (punches). Round 2, 1:59

Giannis Michalopoulos def. Alexandros Papadimitriou by unanimous decision

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SuperKombat World Grand Prix Elimination Results

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat held the SuperKombat World Grand Prix Elimination event on Sunday, March 12th, featuring both up-and-coming stars and old favorites to kick off their 2017 season. Veterans like Sebastian Ciobanu and Alex Filip had hard evenings, while Sebastian Cozmanca and Robert Constantin continued to forge ahead and harden their reputations as big players in SuperKombat.

Main Card 

Sebastian Cozmanca (R3 - Decision) Simon Ogolla 

Robert Constantin (R3 - Decision) Mihaiţă Golescu 

Cosmin Ionescu (R3 - Decision) Sebastian Ciobanu 

Moribah Kosiah (R2 - KO) Robert Orbocea 

Daniel Stefanovski (R3 - KO) Alex Filip 

SuperKombat NewHeroes

Valentin Bordianu (R3 - Decision) Marius Munteanu 

Eduard Chelariu (R3 - Decision) Andrej Baranovs 

Dumitru Topai (R1 - KO) Adrian Cibu 

Adelin Mihaila (R3 - Decision) Jan Amiri 

Dragos Imbrea (R3 - Decision) Ionut Sandur 

Alexandru Radnev (R1 - TKO) Cosmin Maxin 

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Live Stream and Fight Card for SuperKombat WGP Elimination

  • Published in Kickboxing

On Sunday, March 12th, SuperKombat presents the SuperKombat World Grand Prix Elimination event live from Bucharest. The event will be streamed live and viewable right here on LiverKick. The event starts at 19:00 CET time. Included below is the updated fight card.

NEW HEROES (19:00 CET)

1. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Cosmin Maxin (Romania) vs Alex Radnev (Romania)

2. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus bout (-86 kg)

Dragos Imbrea (Romania) vs Ionut Sandur (Romania)

3. Super Fight - Super Middleweight bout (-77 kg)

Jian Amiri (Sweden) vs Adelin Mihaila (Romania)

4. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus division (-86 kg)

Adrian Cibu (Romania) vs Dumitru Topai (Romania)

5. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-72 kg)

Andrejs Baranov (Norway) vs Eduard Chelariu (Romania)

6. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Marius Munteanu (Romania) vs Valentin Bordianu (Romania)

WGP - ELIMINATION (21:00 CET)

 

7. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight bout (-81 kg)

Daniel Stefanovski (Switzerland) vs Alex Filip (Romania)

 

8. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Moriba Kosiah (Netherlands) vs Robert Orbocea (Romania)

 

9. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus bout (-86 kg)

Cosmin Ionescu (Romania) vs Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania)

 

10. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Robert Constantin (Romania) vs Mihaita Golescu (Romania)

 

11. Super Fight - Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)

Simon Ogolla (Sweden) vs Sebastian Cozmanca (Romania)

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SuperKombat Inks New Partnership and Card for March 12th Event

  • Published in Kickboxing

SuperKombat announced last week that they've inked a new strategic partnership with an events coordinating group called Five's. The first event since the signing of this new deal will take place on March 12th serving as a SuperKombat WGP Eliminator in Bucharest. Their first proper WGP event is scheduled for April 7th, which will air on CBS Sports Network in the United States. The March 12th event will air live on FightBox internationally.

NEW HEROES (19:00 CET)

1. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Cosmin Maxim (Romania) vs Alex Radnev (Romania)

2. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus bout (-86 kg)

Dragos Imbrea (Romania) vs Ionut Sandur (Romania)

3. Super Fight - Super Middleweight bout (-77 kg)

Jian Amiri (Sweden) vs Adelin Mihaila (Romania)

4. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus division (-86 kg)

Nicolai Buceac (Romania) vs Dumitru Topai (Romania)

5. Super Fight - Middleweight bout (-72 kg)

Andrejs Baranov (Norway) vs Eduard Chelariu (Romania)

6. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Marius Munteanu (Romania) vs Valentin Bordianu (Romania)

 

WGP - ELIMINATION (21:00 CET)

7. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight bout (-81 kg)

Daniel Stefanovski (Switzerland) vs Alex Filip (Romania)

8. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Moriba Kosiah (Netherlands) vs Robert Orbocea (Romania)

9. Super Fight - Light Heavyweight plus bout (-86 kg)

Cosmin Ionescu (Romania) vs Sebastian Ciobanu (Romania)

10. Super Fight - Heavyweight bout (+96 kg)

Robert Constantin (Romania) vs Mihaita Golescu (Romania)

11. Super Fight - Super Cruiserweight bout (-95 kg)

Simon Ogolla (Sweden) vs Sebastian Cozmanca (Romania)

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Quick Results: EM Legend 16

  • Published in Kickboxing

EM Legend held their 16th event this past weekend from Xichang Station, Sichuan in China. As always, it featured a blend of top athletes from around the world against Chinese fighters.

1) Han Bingquan (CHN) defeat Liu Qifan (CHN) – 60 kg

2) Ji Duo Yi Bu (CHN) defeat Zhou Chenglin (CHN) by TKO – 60 kg

3) Li Shenshen (CHN) defeat Lu Jun (CHN) by KO – 65 kg

4) Zhan Chuanlin (CHN) defeat He Biao (CHN) – 65 kg

5) Rasul Eshivov (RUS) defeat Zhong Weipeng (CHN) – 70 kg

6) Zhao Xiaoyu (CHN) defeat Rafael Gorka (POL) – 70 kg

7) Manas (THA) defeat Odil (TJK) by KO – 65 kg

8) Zhang Chenglong (CHN) defeat Mr. Sompoch (THA) – 65 kg

9) Rasul (RUS) defeat Mr. Narongchai (THA) – 65 kg

10) Zhu Xu (CHN) defeat Zou Xixi (CHN) – 60 kg

11) Wang Wanben (CHN) defeat Liu Lianfeng (CHN – 60 kg

12) Andrei Leustean (ROM) defeat Umar Semata (UGA) – 70 kg

13) Sosefo Falekaono (NZL) defeat Liu Jintao (CHN) – 70 kg

14) Aleksandr Dmitrienko (RUS) defeat Mbamba Cauwenbergh (BEL) – 80 kg

15) Carlos Ulberg (NZL) defeat Stanislav (UKR) – 93 kg

16) Mohammad Ghaedibardeh (IRI) defeat Ivan Grigoriev (RUS) by TKO – 75 kg

17) Lang Tinggui (CHN) defeat Imviset Pornnarai (THA) – 70 kg

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Full Card for Tomorrow's W5 KITEK Event Featuring Giorgio Petrosyan

  • Published in Kickboxing

This Saturday in Moscow one of the most-decorated champions of all-time, Giorgio Petrosyan, will head to Russia to leave his mark on the country. The bout will be contested at 71kg against Artem Pashporin for the W5 World Championship. Pashporin is the current world champion and interestingly enough, will be an underdog going into this fight, as just about everyone is against the legendary Petrosyan. But it should be an incredible bout considering Pashporin's recent accomplishments and Petrosyan's return to form since his return to the ring.

Also featured are two other world title fights, at 81kg and 61kg, featuring the 81kg World Champion Alexander Stetsurenko against Vladimir Idranyi and the 61kg World Champion Sergio Wielzen against Timur Nadrov. 

This, plus the host of super fights makes for an interesting card. The card will air on W5kick.tv at 5pm CET/9am Eastern.

Full fight card of the W5 Grand Prix Moscow “KITEK” 

W5 World title bout

71 kg, Artem Pashporin (Russia) Vs. Giorgio Petrosyan (Italy), 5 rounds, W5 World Championship belt

W5 World title bout

81 kg, Alexander Stetsurenko (Russia) Vs. Vladimir Idranyi (Slovakia), 5 rounds, W5 World Championship belt

W5 World title bout

61 kg, Sergio Wielzen (the Netherlands) Vs Timur Nadrov (Russia), 5 rounds, W5 World Championship belt

Superfights

95+ Turpal Tokarev (Russia) Vs. Coulibaly Abderhmane (France)

71 kg, Vladislav Tuinov (Russia) Vs. Ali Cakir (Turkey)

Stanislav Kazancev (Russia) Vs. Marko Adamovic (Serbia)

Rashid Salikhov (Russia) Vs. Max Spodarenko (the Republic of Belarus)

Rating fights

Ivan Semiglyadov (Russia) Vs. Ruslan Ataev (Russia)

Danil Gavrilov (Russia) Vs. Ilya Bikmaev (Russia)

Vadim Davydov (Russia) Vs. Nikita Surovezhkin (Russia)

 

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KNOCK OUT vol.1 Delivers More KOs with Promotion's Second Show

  • Published in Kickboxing

In just their second event, Japanese promotion KNOCK OUT has delivered another exciting event featuring a host of big knock out finishes to the world. The show was headlined by Japanese legend Genji Umeno taking on Juan Mario Kaewsamrit, taking Juan Mario to the limit before walking away with the decision. The co-main saw Japanese rising star Tenshin Nasukawa defeat Amnat Ruenroeng via KO in the fourth round with a brutal array of body shots that put Amnat down and out. 

KNOCK OUT vol.1

Genji Umeno (R5 - Decision) Juan Mario Kaewsamrit

Tenshin Nasukawa (R4 - KO) Amnat Ruenroeng

Yuma Yamaguchi (R3 - TKO) Hikari Machida 

Tosuke Morii (R5 - Draw) Hirotoshi Murata

Kenta (R5 - TKO) Shinya Indo

Eisaku Ogasawara (R2 - TKO) Hiroya Haga

Fukashi (R3 - TKO) Hiroto Yamaguchi

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Enfusion Live #46 Card For February 18th

  • Published in Kickboxing

On February 18th Enfusion presents one of their best cards to date with Enfusion Live #46 from Eindhoven. The card, headlined by Ilias Bulaid looking to defend the Enfusion 67kg championship against Zakaria Zouggary, should be packed with action from top-to-bottom. A rematch of the 2016 LiverKick Fight of the Year between Nordin Ben Moh and Mohammed Jaraya takes place as the co-main event for the Enfusion League

Kickboxing Talents #28 Eindhoven The Netherlands Saturday 18.2.2017

Local start time 18.30

 1. 3X3 67Kg

Khalid El Moukadam (Morocco)     Vs Anass Aaras (Morocco)

 2. 3X3 72.5Kg

Marcel Verhaar (The Netherlands)            Vs Marvin Monteiro (Cape Verde)

 3. 3X3 85Kg

Boubaker El Bakouri (Morocco)      Vs Rinus Douma (The Netherlands)

 4. 3X3 63Kg

Soufiane Kaddouri (Morocco)         Vs Pascal Koster  (The Netherlands)

5. 3X3 85Kg

Khalid El Bakouri (Morocco)           Vs        Nick Morsink (Germany)

6. 3X3 72.5Kg

Aziz Kallah (Morocco)                       Vs        Endy Semeleer (The Netherlands)

7. 3X3 Heavyweight

Fikri Ameziane (Morocco)                Vs        Daniel Sam (England)

Enfusion Live #46 Eindhoven The Netherlands Saturday 18.2.2017

Local start time 21.00

 1. 3X3 54Kg

Samantha va Doorn (The Netherlands) Vs Georgina van der Linden (The Netherlands)

2. 3X3 Heavyweight

Ismael Lazaar (Morocco)                           Vs       Martin Pacas (Slovakia)

3. 3X3 85Kg

Ibrahim El Boustati (Morocco)                  Vs       Ulrik Bokeme (Congo)

4. 3X3 72.5Kg Enfusion League

Yassin Baitar (Belguim)                             Vs       Redouan Laarkoubi (The Netherlands)

5. 3X3 72.5Kg Enfusion League

Tayfun Ozcan (Turkey)                                Vs       Jonay Risco (Spain)

6. 3X3 72.5Kg Enfusion League

Nordin Ben Moh (Morocco)                                    Vs       Mohammed Jaraya (Morocco)

7. 5X3 Enfusion World Title 67KG

Ilias Bualid (Morocco)                                 Vs       Zakaria Zouggary (Morocco)

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FFC Announces Card for FFC 28 Featuring Robin van Roosmalen

  • Published in Kickboxing

FFC will continue with their mixed MMA and kickboxing cards on March 11th with FFC 28: Athens -- Greece vs. the Rest of the World (surely a mouthful). While usually we tend not to post MMA portions of cards, this one is particularly interesting as Robin van Roosmalen is scheduled for his second MMA bout against a to-be-determined opponent. 

The kickboxing portion sees two title matches, including -77kg and -85kg titles.

FFC 28: Athens: Greece vs. Rest of the World

MMA:

Robin Van Roosmalen (NED) vs. TBA, -66kg

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

Filip Pejić (CRO) vs. Alexis Savvidis (GRE), -70kg

Andreas Michailidis (GRE) vs. Duško Todorović (SER), -84kg

Alexandros Papadimitriou (GRE) vs. Giannis Michalopoulos (GRE), -70kg

TBA  vs. TBA

KB:

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

Eyevan Danenberg (NED) vs. Ivan Bilić (CRO), -77kg – title match

Denis Marjanović (CRO) vs. Andi Vrtačić (CRO), -85kg – title match

Stavros Grigorakakis (GRE) vs. Tomislav Čikotić (CRO), HW

Fionis Fotis (GRE) vs. Giannis Fezoulai (ALB), -77kg

TBA vs. TBA

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LiverKick 2016 Awards: Prospect of the Year - Tenshin Nasukawa

  • Published in Kickboxing

Part of kickboxing's struggles has been in introducing new talent in the face of the ongoing growth of MMA. MMA pays better, there are more opportunities in it and for a top-level striker the transition to MMA can often feel like an easy one (until they meet the limitations of their grappling abilities). That's why when a new star is born in kickboxing it feels special. That is what happened this past year with Tenshin Nasukawa. At the tail end of the year the 18-year-old dynamo who made a name for himself as an amateur in Japan and through his limited muay thai fights fought in the new Japanese promotion KNOCK OUT.

The show lived up to its name and Tenshin's fight was perhaps the best example of that. He made short work of Wanchalong and it become one of the most-talked-about knockouts of the year. Then he made his MMA debut in December for RIZIN with a dramatic submission escape only to finish off his opponent. He then took the house mic and demanded another fight in two days at the next event, to which the promotion was happy to oblige. In his second MMA fight he won via submission and, really, he's a muay thai fighter/kickboxer who won via submission in his second MMA fight.

There is a lot of Japanese talent right now in kickboxing, but none of them have broken through like Masato was able to, facilitating the creation of K-1 MAX. Is Tenshin that guy? Perhaps. It is also a lot of pressure to put on a young fighter, but there is a lot of potential there and he has the world's attention.

The 2016 LiverKick Awards

For more, listen to our year-end podcast.

 

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Check Out Steven Wright's 2016 Year in Kickfighting Highlight

  • Published in Kickboxing

There was a lot of really great action in the sports of muay thai and kickboxing over the span of 2016. Promotions sprouted up, powered forward and put forth their best fighters in exciting fights and MMA striking and kickboxing coach Steven Wright has once again put together his annual "Best of Kickfighting" video featuring some of the greatest moments from the past year.

Check it out.

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Andy Souwer Calls Out Giorgio Petrosyan For a Third Clash

  • Published in Kickboxing

When it comes to the world famous Giorgio Petrosyan, there are a number of fights that his fans want to see, but perhaps won't ever get to see those fights happen. Fights with Masato, Buakaw and Yodsanklai are perhaps never going to happen, as most likely we won't see the rematch with Ristie at this point either. Chances of a Sitthichai showdown seem slim considering Sitthichai is with GLORY and Petrosyan is with Bellator.

But what about one of the men that Petrosyan beat to cement his status as one of the all-time greats, Andy Souwer? 

That is the exact question that Andy Souwer posed via Facebook earlier today, when he replied to Petrosyan posting footage from their last clash in K-1 MAX. Andy Souwer would like a third chance to fight Giorgio Petrosyan and honestly, who wouldn't want to see that fight? Petrosyan's next scheduled bout is W5 Grand Prix KITEK XXXIX against Artem Pashporin on February 18th and he'll probably participate in the April Oktagon/Bellator event. Other than that? Things seem rather wide open for a potential rematch with another all-time great.

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Glory of Heroes 6: Genesis Card for January 13th

  • Published in Kickboxing

Glory of Heroes returns at 9am Eastern time streaming on YY.com with Glory of Heroes 6, featuring their 57.5kg tournament finals. The card, featuring recognizable names like Kem Sitsongpeenong, Zhou Zhipeng, Sergio Wielzen, Maykol Yurk and more promises to deliver on action. 

Card via Kiksie.

57.5kg Tournament Semifinals

Wang Junguang (China) vs. Youshida Akira (Japan)

Yun Qi (China) vs. Hamech Hakim

68kg

Tie Yinghua (China) vs. Maykol Yurk (Brazil)

63kg

Deng Zeqi (China) vs. Stavros Exakoustidis (Greece)

67kg

Yang Zhuo (China) vs. Charles Francois (France)

63kg

Wei Rui (China) vs. Petpanomrung Kiatmoo9 (Thailand)

66kg

Qiu Jianliang (China) vs. Kem Sitsongpeenong (Thailand)

73kg

Zhou Zhipeng (China) vs. Seyedisa Alamdarnezam (Iran)

60kg

Li Ning (China) vs. Sergio Wielzen (Netherlands)

57.5kg Tournament Final

TBA vs. TBA

 

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Wu Lin Feng Card including Kaew and Kubo

  • Published in Kickboxing

Wu Lin Feng (WLF) will be holding a show this weekend Jan 14 at the Henan TV Studio 8 in Zhengzhou, Henan, China. Thanks to our friends at kiksie.com we have the full card and still hoping for a link. This card has some huge names like the current K-1 65kgs champ Kaew Weerasakreck, Yi long, Fang Bian, Yuta Kubo, Saiyok plus a great 70kg 4-man tournament featuring Enriko Kehl and also an 8-man 63kgs tournament.

Full Card

70kg Tournament Reserve Fight - Song Shaoqiu (China) vs. Hassan Toy (Netherlands)

16-man 70kg Tournament Semifinals

Semifinal 1 - Farkhad Akhmejanau (Belarus) vs. Enriko Kehl (Germany)

Semifinal 2 - Jiao Fukai (China) vs. Shamil Gasanbekov (Russia)

 

8-man 63kg Tournament Quarterfinals

Quarter Final 1 - Wang Zhiwei (China) vs. Adrian Maxim (Romania)

Quarter Final 2 - Jin Ying (China) vs. Joan Canaveral (Colombia)

Quarter Final 3 - Zhao Fuxiang (China) vs. Joey Baylon (New Zealand)

Quarter Final 4 - Liu Wei (China) vs. Tamerlan Bashirov (Russia)

 

73.5kg - Sun Weiqiang (China) vs. Saiyok Pumpanmuang (Thailand)

67.5kg - Xie Lei (China) vs. Yuta Kubo (Japan)

65kg - Wang Pengfei (China) vs. Kaew Weerasakreck (Thailand)

75kg - Yi Long (China) vs. Marco Piqué (Suriname)

 

63kg Tournament Semifinals

Winner Quarter Final 1 vs. Winner Quarter Final 2

Winner Quarter Final 3 vs. Winner Quarter Final 4

 

70kg Tournament Final - Winner Semifinal 1 vs. Winner Semifinal 2

 

80kg - Fang Bian (China) vs. Berat Aliu (Germany)

93kg - Hao Guanghua (China) vs. Oleg Primachev (Ukraine)

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First Details on February 18th Enfusion Live Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

Enfusion Live returns on February 18th with their next event, Enfusion Live #46, featuring Daniel Sam vs. Fikri Ameziane, Yassin Baitar vs. Crice Boussoukou and the rematch that everyone has been waiting for in Nordin Ben Moh against Mohammed Jaraya. The first fight between the two was perhaps the fight of the year in 2016 and expectations are extremely high for this bout.

Enfusion World Title: Ilias Bulaid vs. Zakaria Zouggary

Ismael Lazaar vs. Martin Pacas

Ibrahim El Boustati vs. Ulrik Bokeme

Enfusion League: Tafun Ozcan vs. Jonay Risco

Enfusion League: Nordin Ben-Moh vs. Mohammed Jaraya

Enfusion League: Yassin Baitar vs. Crice Boussoukou

Samantha Van Doorn vs. Georgina Van Der linden

Fikri Ameziane vs. Daniel Sam

Aziz Kallah vs. Endy Semeleer

Read more...

Card for SuperStar Fight VII on Jan. 13th featuring Cosmo, Nattawut and More

  • Published in Kickboxing

On January 13th Chinese promotion SuperStar Fight will run their seventh event. The promotion, a subsidiary of Chinese congolomerate Huahua Media, looks to meld together entertainment with sport by featuring not only fighting stars of multiple disciplines per show (kickboxing muay thai, MMA), but also featuring film, television and cosplay stars during their events. 

Here's a look at their upcoming card.

Shiqiang Song(CHN) VS Li Yang(CHN)---62Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Wu Zhang(CHN) VS Xuchao Gao(CHN)---66Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Xianchao Zhao(CHN) VS Zhijie Deng(CHN)---65Kg of MMA 3R/5M

Alexin Donnie(USA) VS Riguleng Baoshe(CHN)---75Kg Tournament,Semi-final 3R/3M

Carlos Hicks(NZL) VS Shiyuan Li(CHN)---75Kg Tournament,Semi-final 3R/3M

Jo Nattawut(TH) VS Yan Zhao(CHN)---70Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Cosmo Alexandre(BRA) VS Xiaofeng Tan(CHN)---77Kg of Muay Thai 3R/3M

KANG JIN HEE(KOR) VS Dandan Hu(CHN)---63Kg of MMA (Fighting Goddess)  3R/5M

Naoya Fukuoka(JPN) VS Dongqiang Lu(CHN)---65Kg of Kickboxing 3R/3M

Beno Adamia(GEO) VS Buren Wuliji(CHN)---63Kg of MMA  3R/5M

Mohammadhos Sein Doroudian(IR) VS Zhenyou Huang(CHN)---75Kg of Kickboxing  3R/3M

Nuralizoda Fozil(TJK) VS Rong Fan(CHN)---85Kg of MMA  3R/5M

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VIDEO: Masato's Fight With Takanori Gomi From New Year's Eve

  • Published in Kickboxing

While the legendary Masato may be retired, that doesn't mean that he doesn't like to entertain audiences from time-to-time. For the second year in a row, Masato participated in an exhibition bout for the New Year's Eve variety show Kyokugen in Japan. Last year was a bout with rival KID Yamamoto, while this year was a kickboxing exhibition bout with PRIDE lightweight legend Takanori Gomi.

Both men were a huge part of the boom years of Japan's obsession with kakutougi and this fight did take a back seat to RIZIN due to its nature, but it's still worth a watch and has some really crazy moments for two guys fighting for essentially nothing but fun.

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Updated Card for KNOCK OUT vol.1 on Feb. 12th

  • Published in Kickboxing

KNOCK OUT has provided an updated look at their second event, KNOCK OUT vol.1, which takes place on February 12th from the Ota-city General Gym in Japan. The card features now two-time MMA veteran Tenshin Nasukawa who made his MMA debut at RIZIN in the final days of December, scoring a TKO victory only to come back two days later and score a submission victory, making an even bigger name for himself in Japan. He's still without an opponent, but the main event promises to be a big one with Genji Umeno taking on Juan Mario Kaewsamrit.

UPDATE: 1/11

They've added a few more fights to the mix, including Tenshin Nasukawa getting an opponent in Amnat Ruenroeng. It's another former Thai champion for the young Tenshin.

2017.2.12 "KNOCK OUT vol.1" Ota-city General Gymnasium

3×5R 61.5kg 135lb

Genji Umeno(37W,7L,3D) vs juan mario kaewsamrit (88W,40L,4D)

3×5R 67kg 147lb

Kenta(44W,16L,4D) vs Indo Shinya(14W,5L,1D)

3×5R 64kg 141lb

Fukashi(28W,8L,2D) vs Yamaguti Hiroto(20W,9L)

Tenshin Nasukawa(17W) vs Amnat Ruenroeng(67勝34敗15D)

Hikaru Machida(30W,12L,3D) vs DJ.taiki(4W2L)

Hirotoshi Murata(21W8L2D) vs Yosuke Morii(36W7L3D)

Hiroya Haga(16W5L3D) vs Eisaku Ogasawara(23W3L)

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Tenshin Nasukawa Makes RIZIN MMA Debut And Cements Superstar Status

  • Published in Kickboxing

Eighteen-year-old Japanese kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa made his MMA debut tonight at RIZIN MMA in Japan, proving himself not only to be a force to be reckoned with in muay thai and kickboxing, but in MMA as well. HEading into the fight there were the usual fears that the kickboxing community has when a star kickboxer decides to try their hand at MMA. You'd need to look no further than the bout that preceded Tenshin's, where Andy Souwer was submitted via armbar in the first round to Kazuyuki Miyata. To say that Japanese matchmakers are ruthless in looking for entertainment is an understatement; they thrive on pairing grapplers against strikers in hopes of a highlight reel knockout or submission.

And Tenshin was almost submitted by Nakita Sapun.

All of that happened because Tenshin was unafraid to go to the ground with an actual MMA fighter. Sapun is not much of a grappler, but does have more experience in the MMA ring than Tenshin does, obviously.

Yet, still, Tenshin felt comfortable taking the fight to the ground while everyone expected it to be a stand-up battle. After surviving that sick armbar, most kickboxers would back off, wait for their opponent to get up and fight their own fight. Tenshin didn't do that. Oh no. Instead, he waited and pounced when he saw his opening, winning via TKO.

Then, in something that is very much uniquely Japanese (and why is it?), he grabbed the microphone and appealed for another fight in two nights at RIZIN's next event, claiming that he'd want to fill in for the injured Krazy Horse against Minoru Kimura. Imagine that, a KNOCK OUT and K-1 showdown in MMA rules. My god. The kid who almost had his arm busted wanted more. There wasn't some sap in a suit jamming a mic in his face asking him what he wanted, or to walk him through the finish, he just expressed himself and was aloud to make himself a bigger star. Nobuhiko Takada claimed if the doctors would clear him he could fight.

His debut knockout victory already made him a viral star, but now at one of the biggest Japanese fighting events of the year he proved himself gutsy, talented and fearless with an incredibly bright future ahead of him. We've been searching high-and-low for the next big Japanese kickboxing star to help spark a resurgence of the sport in Japan and it feels like Tenshin could be that fighter. 

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Kunlun Fight 56 Featuring 70kg Tournament and Buakaw

  • Published in Kickboxing

On January 1st Kunlun Fight will conclude their 70kg tournament with the finals in Sanya, Hainan, China. The tournament, featuring Superbon Banchamek, Davit Kiria, Cedric Manhoef and Jomthong Chuwattana should deliver fireworks, as should Buakaw Banchamek making yet another Kunlun appearance against Tian Xian. As always, Kunlun Fight jams their cards full of names and just about every show has an impact on the world rankings.

70kg Artem Pashporin vs. Arhit

60kg Denis Puric vs. Wang Wenfeng

67kg Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Gu Hui

75kg Perviz Abdullayev vs. Law Chosing

65kg Kim Minsu vs. Wei Ninghui

120kg Andrey Gerasimchuk vs. Felipe Micheletti

70kg Tournament Reserve: Dzianis Zuev vs. Mohamed Mezouari

70kg Andrei Kulebin vs. Wu Xuesong

70kg Tian Xin vs. Buakaw Banchamek

70kg Tournament: Superbon Banchamek vs. Cedric Manhoef

70kg Tournament: Davit Kiria vs. Jomthong Chuwattana

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Mohamed Khamal Makes His Enfusion Live Debut in March

  • Published in Kickboxing

Enfusion Live have promised a bigger and better 2017 and have already announced a slew of signings from Thailand, now their latest acquisition is a Dutch legend at 70kg in Mohamed "Mootje" Khamal. Khamal, who made his name on the Dutch circuit with solid wins over top names like Robin van Roosmalen, Harut Grigorian and Artur Kyshenko. Khamal became an international name with his blistering fights in It's Showtime with Mosab Amrani and van Roosmalen in 2011 before retiring in 2012.

That retirement didn't last long, as most retirements for fighters that young tend to be, with him returning in 2014 and remaining active ever since. His last fight was a loss to legend Andy Souwer in the Netherlands. 

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Fight Card for EM Legend End of the Year Finals

  • Published in Kickboxing

EM Legend will return for one last event in 2016 with the EM Legend End of Year event, featuring the finals of the 65kg Championship Tournament. As always, there is a wide array of kickboxing and muay thai bouts featured on the event, with many of China's best and brightest featured against fighters from all over the world.

Bashirov Bashir (RUS) vs Mr. Adichet (THA) – 70 KG

Wang AoGang (CHN) vs Huo LiHui (CHN) – 75 KG

Mardi T Zulita (PHI) vs Ji Duo Yi Bu (CHN) – 60 KG

Najib (FRA) vs Han Zihao (CHN) – 62 KG

Igor Osinin (LTU) vs Zhao ChuanLin (CHN) – 63 KG

Zuhro Kholova (TJK) vs Zeng XiaoTing (CHN) – 53 KG

Li QiYu (CHN) vs Liang YuanHao (CHN) – 66 KG

Ampo Rukiya (JPN) vs Shi YunFei (CHN) – 65 KG

Chaiwat (THA) vs Xie Wei (CHN) – 67 KG

Vitali Dubina (UKR) vs Zhao Xiaoyu (CHN) – 70 KG

65kg Championship Tournament: Senmanee (THA) vs Manas (THA) – 65 KG

65kg Championship Tournament: Rasul (RUS) vs Anvar (UZB) – 65 KG

Mohammad Boulef (FRA) vs Zhu Xu (CHN) – 60 KG

Mohammad Ghaedibardeh (IRI) vs Aleksandr Shuliak (RUS) – 78 KG

Sherzad Babazhanau (BLG) vs Carlos Ulberg (NZL) – 93 KG

Manabe Ryuta (JPN) vs Chen ChangLin (CHN) – 60 KG

Ali Qaradaghi (IRQ) vs Islam (RUS) – 75 KG

John Kevin (NZL) vs Julius Mocka (LTU) – 100+ KG

Saeki Masaya (JPN) vs Zhang ChengLong (CHN) – 64 KG

Ramil (BLR) vs Denphanom (THA) – 70 KG

Evgenii (RUS) vs Pu Dongdong (CHN) – 70 KG

Magomedov (RUS) vs Wudi (THA) – 70 KG

Ibrahim El Bouni (MAR) vs Davor Matarugic (NZL) – 90 KG 

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Krush 71 Fight Card

  • Published in Kickboxing

Krush 71 takes place on December 18th at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. You can watch Live on AbemaTV, Nico Nico, or Gaora at 4am EST/ 1am PST/ 5pm JST.

Full Card

-53kg : Yusei Sakurai vs Naoya Otada

-67kg : Hayato Suzuki vs Ryo Tabata

-63kg : Yuki Ishikawa vs MASA

Heavy weight : Hidekazu Kimura vs K-Jee

-60kg GP : Tatsuya Inaishi vs Riku Anpo

-60kg GP : Masanobu Gosyu vs Yoshiki Harada

-60kg GP : Masahiro Yamamoto vs Go Kato/

-60kg GP : Leona Pettas vs Dynamite Yuta Takahashi

-70kg : Yoichi Yamazaki vs Daisuke Fujimura

-65kg : Yukihiro Komiya vs Masanobu

-58kg : Tatsuya Oiwa vs Kento Ito

Krush -53kg Championship Match : Ryusei vs Yoshiki Takei

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The Importance of December 10th 2016 for Kickboxing

  • Published in Kickboxing

In kickboxing we have always had a connection to this weekend. Yearly, the drama has always been around who will win the K-1 WGP, which usually went down in in Japan around this time every year. Will an all time great add on to their resume or will a deserving star finally get the white belt. This Glory Germany event just so happen to fall on the exact weekend that we would enjoy the K-1 Mega heavyweight tournament. As I explored this day in the sport further, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hari/Rico along with a few other narratives added to making December 10th 2016 one of the most important days in the history of Kickboxing. Here is my list of six reason the day was more special than you realize. 

6. French kickboxing

When you think of great French Kickboxers, the list is actually short. You first go to Jerome Lebanner. The heavyweight K-1 Star was awesome and he delivered some of the great kickboxing KOs of all time. Cyril Abidi had some K-1 victories and the Samir Mohammed streak also come to mind. Yet Samir was in international waist high and up kickboxing, which wasn't as popular. Many would say Lebanner if asked about French kickboxing and maybe no one else. Outside of him, most don't think kickboxing, they think Muay Thai. Farid Villaume, Kamel Jamel, Dany Bill, and Chokdee star Dida Diafat are a few of the heroes that pop out at us. 

Enter Nasser Kacem. His gym Nasser-K in Lyon has produced some high level Muay Thai fighters. Fabio Pinca, Yohan Lidon, and Karim and Houcine Bennoui to name a few. However, after years of success in the art of 8 limbs, they started to get calls for kickboxing events. K-1, Shootboxing, Enfusion, Glory, the French team was in high demand. Due to bad match ups and working out the rules, there has been some bumps in the road to being successful kickboxers. Dylan Salvador lost to Makihira Keita due to repeateldy catching the low kick and firing and Karim lost to Hirotaka Urabe in Japan due to a cut as example of loses in big time kickboxing promotions that didn't allow their skill to be showcased. Yet December 10th showed that not just Nasser K, but the French may have figured the game out. Fabio Pinca won a clear decision over aggressive Moroccan/Dutch fighter Mosab Amrani, who has the style and volume to get up on kickboxing cards. Fabio was up to the task with effective offense and slick movement to limit the scores. He took a clear decision. Dylan Salvador was a late addition to the card, but he beat tournament favorite Anotoly Moiseev and Hynsi Beqiri to take his first major kickboxing promotion tournament win. It wasn't just the Nasser K team. Female fighter Amel Dehby made it to the Glory women's title match and Cedric Doumbe(more on him later) won the 77kgs Title from long time champ Nieky Holzken. It was truly a great day in kickboxing for France, who has some of the best promoters in the world and they sell out shows on a regular basis. These promoters can develop and showcase the elite stars of France for years to come. 

5. They old guard still has it. 

I knew that Giorgio Petrosyan would be headlining the Bellator/Oktagon Kickboxing card. I knew that Badr Hari was of course fighting on the Glory card. I had no idea that Buakaw was fighting. I watched him fight solid journeyman fighter Andre Kulebin on auto pilot for a kickboxing promotion in Lebanon of all places. He beat Kulebin with very little effort and when Kulebin attempted to turn up the pace, the far superior Buakaw just swept him or caught him with a counter kick, easy work for Buakaw who also has a victory over Dylan Salvador this year. Badr Hari may have injured himself, but before it he showed great poise and clean kickboxing. Giorgio Petrosyan, fighting at home, once again put on a memorable performance by stopping the very talented Jordan Watson. KO pop in both hands (when he doesn't break them), he found his right hook early and closed the show. At one period of time these men were considered the best in their weight classes on the planet and Giorgio may still be the best. All three men are in their 30s.

4. The Women Emerge

Overall it was a failed tournament. There was very few exciting moments or memorable fights. Best female fighter in the world Anissa Mekson was excluded from the tournament and Iman Barlow's Enfusion contract was in conflict with the Glory schedule so she was out too. Add a few injuries and the Glory tournament was not great. But the moment they announced Tiffany van Soest as the winner, her celebration and tears made you forget it all. The crowd was not very moved during her fight, but the moment she began to talk about accomplishing a dream, white belt larger than her torso, the crowd found applause. Adding to this night, Denise Kielholtz avenged a loss that she shouldn't have had to Gloria Peritore. It can be tough to bounce back when he cards wrongfully go the other way, but Denise beat Gloria in her back yard to win the inaugural 125 Bellator kickboxing championship in Florence Italy. Women's kickboxing was almost non existent in televised form. Yet the emergence of female success in the UFC has opened the door for kickboxing to showcase athletes that otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity. It was great seeing both of these ladies wearing titles and I am excited to see what the future holds. 

3. Cedric Doumbe 

I predicted that Cedric Doumbe would beat Yoann Kongolo in his Glory debut. I thought he had the tools and the charisma to be a future star in the sport. He came up short that night, but did not let it stop him. He won 14 of 15 fights in the last year and a half and the one loss was a robbery to Fang Bian. In that list includes a win over Murthel Groenhart, who fought with emotion and looked for the KO, while Cedric intelligently played the points game. Cedric looked to antagonize again, witty tea shirts and trash talk lead up to this bout. Nieky Holzken walked him down and looked for power punching opportunities. Doumbe again played smart, combinations to kicks and movement gave him a clear decision and made him the Glory Welterweight Champion. Holzken wasn't just champion, he was the Glory brand's most celebrated star and he has also produced the most memorable results in the past three years. Cedric beat the biggest somebody in the sport. Cedric has all the tools and he is an active champ, fighting for Glory or whoever. His natural charisma and ability to sell himself means that kickboxing once again has a young star to carry it into the future. Cedric is only 24 years old

2. The Long Card

Glory has stayed with a TV model of 4 or 5 fights on the undercard, and 5 fights on the televised US card. Yet in the history of kickboxing, co-promoting has created some mega cards. I watched Errol Zimmerman win the K-1 European GP and was blessed to see that Its Showtime attached a card that had Holzken vs Mes, Giorgio Petrosyan and much more on that day in Amsterdam. This Glory card had 14 fights and two tournaments in it. I do not think that they are ready to commit to a PPV model, but I do think they will add to their ticket sales if they are giving such a wealth of product for the price. 

1. Hari vs Rico

Lets exclude how it finished. Glory has been unlucky with several of their final fights. Injuries, bad stoppages, and even having an athlete quit in frustration with ref interference. Now that that has been acknowledged, lets move on to the great. Glory 36 put together a great card that ended with an injury victory for Rico Verhoeven over Badr Hari. Until the injury, it was what we hoped for and then some. The preflight in itself was almost worth the PPV.  Badr Hari, coming to the ring with his mob and personal Dutch rap song blaring, created a buzz and tension that literally had my heart racing. I knew I was about to watch something special. Adding to the moment, Badr gets into the ring, and whether it was mental game or fan fair, a crowd of people approached the ropes and yelled just outside the ring. Security had to calm the supporters down, while several cornermen attempted to help by directing the audience back to their seat. The announcer made several attempts to pacify the crowd before the fight started. It was of no good. The crowd was crazy until the end and even started a few fights of their own. This was all before the fight. The kickboxing action was fast and technical, making a great fight by both guys until the injury stopped it. 

I have never experienced buzz for a fight like this. It was the best kickboxer against the biggest star in the sport. Badr, who many in the US do not even know, proved that he is still a big deal in Europe and his followers will travel to support him with their voices and their fists if it comes down to it. The usually K-1 Buzz was special, but we haven't had one in years. Since Glory has had title fights instead of tournaments, the buzz was more about the consistency of the fight cards than the fights. Last year bringing major kickboxing back to Amsterdam was the big win. This year it was putting together the "I'll believe it when I see it" fight. Injury aside, it was a fantastic moment for the sport and it brought back the special feeling we are use to having in this sport, on this weekend. 

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SuperKombat Announces US Television Deal with CBS Sports Network

  • Published in Kickboxing

After the rumors had been around for a few months that SuperKombat had worked out a television deal in the United States, they finally announced the deal on December 14th, confirming that they had inked a deal with CBS Sports Network. CBS Sports Network has aired combat sports in the past, including MMA promotions like Titan MMA, Cage Fury and others, as well as formerly airing the GLORY SuperFight Series. 

The deal for 2017 is for CBS Sports Network to air six SuperKombat events and that the events will be kickboxing with some MMA sprinkled in as well. Eduard Irimia issued a statement in a press release today. “We are very excited to have CBS Sports Network air Superkombat and to have our brand exposed through a major sports network in the United States. After six years of live events broadcast in 95 countries, five continents, and commentary in 22 languages, we are proud to bring Superkombat to CBS Sports Network and provide exposure for the brand across the United States and Canada.” 

CBS Sports Network is in approximately 60 million homes in the United States and Canada.

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Early Card For KNOCK OUT vol.1 Plus 2017 Schedule

  • Published in Kickboxing

After what was an exciting inaugural event for the Japanese promotion KNOCK OUT with their vol.0 event, featuring Tenshin Nasukawa's insane spinning back kick knockout and a six-fight event that featured a staggering five knockouts, the promotion is ready to march into 2017 by announcing their next four events. They will be running three events in Ota-City General Gymnasium, which can accommodate for 4,100 spectators, while once again running Tokyo Dome City Hall (formerly JCB Hall) in the summer, which they ran their first event at and can hold about 3,100 fans. 

What they've released of the card thus far is merely a list of names, but the inclusion of Genji Umeno and Tenshin Nasukawa once again should definitely be a crowd pleaser.

KNOCK OUT 2017 event schedule

2017.2.12 "KNOCK OUT vol.1" Ota-city General Gymnasium

2017.4.1 "KNOCK OUT vol.2" Ota-city General Gymnasium

2017 6.17 "KNOCK OUT vol.3" TOKYO DOME CITY HALL

2017.8.20 "KNOCK OUT vol.4" Ota-city General Gymnasium

KNOCK OUT vol.1

Genji Umeno vs TBA

Tenshin Nasukawa vs TBA

Hikaru Machida vs TBA

Taison Maegchi vs TBA

Indo Shinya vs TBA

 

 

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Enfusion Aims for 2017 Expansion With Buakaw, Yodsanklai and More

  • Published in Kickboxing

Today at their latest live event, Enfusion Live announced massive plans for 2017. After running a number of successful shows in 2016, they will be expanding to 20 shows in 2017, including three leagues at 67kg, 72.5kg and 85kg. On top of that, they announced a set of new signings for the promotion that are sure to entice fans, the biggest of which is former K-1 World MAX Champion Buakaw Banchamek. Buakaw has mainly been fighting in China, including a series of fights with Chinese legend Yi Long that has set the world on fire. 

Buakaw has been a draw anywhere he's gone since the dissolving of FEG's K-1, making worldwide headlines for his many (and I do mean many) problems with management, business partners, promotions and more, including a scandal with K-1 in Pattaya where Banchamek and his team claimed K-1 was fixing fights, changing the rules late and a plethora of other claims. This came hot-off-the-heels of his departures from Thai Fight and MAX Muay Thai before moving on temporarily to Topking, then to Kunlun Fight and WLF in China where he's currently been competing. 

They've also added Thai legend Yodsanklai Fairtex who has carved out a name for himself all over the world, although things have been quiet for Yod over the past year thanks to a nagging injury. On top of that they've snagged Superbon and Jomhod. If Enfusion somehow isn't planning on running a show or two in Thailand they'd be nuts.

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Card for Enfusion Live #44 Featuring the Return of Andrew Tate

  • Published in Kickboxing

Enfusion returns on Saturday, December 3rd with Enfusion #44, featuring the return of "The Cobra" Andrew Tate challenging for the Enfusion -90kg world title against Ibrahim El Boustati. Tate is perhaps one of the most colorful fighters in the UK scene who has been calling out Joe Schilling for the better part of a year. If he wanted to get Schilling's attention, this would a good way to get that ball rolling a bit further. Tate is returning from some down time after pursuing some business ventures and coping with the loss of his father. 

Kickboxing Talents #26, The Hague, The Netherlands, Saturday

03.12.2016

18.30 local start time (17.30 GMT)

1. 3X3 Tournament  -67Kg

Lofogo Sarour (South Sudan)  Vs Tarik Lyachat (Morocco) 

2. 3X3 Tournament  -67Kg

Samir Lopes (Cape Verde)  Vs Tony Jas (The Netherlands) 

3. 3X3 Tournament  -67Kg  

Wail Karroumi (Morocco)  Vs Juan Javier Barragan (Spain) 

4.   3X3 Tournament  -67Kg

Walid Hamid (Morocco)  Vs Richaymond Lopez (The Netherlands) 

5.   3X3 -63Kg    

Reda Narain (Surinam)  Vs   Mohammed Dadda (Morocco)

6.  3X3 Heavyweight

Ashraf Houssini (Morocco) Vs Balhor Nasim (Belgium)

7.  3X3 -70KG

Jassem Al Djilawi (Egypt)  Vs Romano Bakboord (The Netherlands) 

The winners from the tournament will face one another in 2017. The winner will secure their spot in the -67kg Enfusion League.

Enfusion Live #44, The Hague, The Netherlands, Saturday 3.12.2016

21.00 local start time  (20.00 GMT) 

1. 3X3    -54Kg FEMALE

Fadma Basrir (France)  Vs Sanne Strabbing (The Netherlands)

2. 3X3  -72.5Kg

Patrick van Rees (The Netherlands)  Vs Reda Zaidi (Morocco)

3. 3X3   -70Kg 

Bilal Kasrioui (Morocco)  Vs William Diender (The Netherlands)

4.  3X3   -72.5Kg

Yassin Baitar (Morocco) Vs Redouan Laarkoubi (Morocco)

5.  3X3    -72.5Kg    

Aziz Kallah (Morocco)  Vs   Marcel Verhaar (The Netherlands)

6.  3X3      Heavyweight

Hicham Achalhi (Morocco) Vs Vladimir Tok (Germany)

7.  5X3            ENFUSION WORLD TITLE               -90Kg

Andrew Tate (USA)  Vs Ibrahim El Boustati (Morocco)

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Remembering Former GLORY Champion Marc de Bonte

  • Published in Kickboxing

There's no easy way to talk about the sudden and untimely passing of someone young who had a bright future ahead of them, especially when the individual had already shown flashes of brilliance in a short life. The sport of kickboxing is one of the most thrilling in the world, with action that keeps fans on the edge of their seats and enough intrigue, flash and politics in play to enrapt even the least sport-minded of fans. 

Without a doubt, Marc de Bonte was a special fighter and person who left an indelible mark in his short time in the limelight. Fighting inside of a division that has been ruled over by Nieky Holzken for as long as there have been championships in major organizations, de Bonte rose up to prominence within the GLORY ranks and after a few cancellations, the trigger was pulled for Marc to fight for the title at GLORY 16. The fight was supposed to be against Holzken, but injury had plagued him throughout the year, meaning the clash wouldn't happen just yet. This set the stage for de Bonte to fight Karapet Karapetyan at GLORY 16 Denver where he won the world championship. He was just 24-years-old at the time.

As a writer (sometimes even a journalist) a part of my job is to remain impartial, which includes not publicly claiming favorites and avoiding discouraging fighters I'm not quite fond of. That night I was there live for what was Marc de Bonte's crowning achievement of his professional career, I got to see him emotional over winning the world title, to see the look in his eyes, the relief and the determination and it felt special. While I only briefly spoke with him that night, congratulating him and seeing how proud he was has taken on new meaning in the light of his passing. It was difficult not to feel his passion and get swept up in it, to feel like we had all witnessed something important from someone special.

He was only a few years into his professional career and was so ready to take on Nieky Holzken, a man that was almost ten years his elder and who had fought the best in the world in multiple weight classes before paving the way for a welterweight division, but he wasn't afraid, he was ready to prove himself. Even though he knew that people were expecting Holzken to take his title, he was still there and he was still proud of his accomplishments. 

What struck me about Marc was that he was soft-spoken and respectful, even in the face of the biggest victory of his entire career. Even when he spoke about Nieky Holzken -- and I can remember the thick accent that he pronounced the name "Holzken" in like it was yesterday -- it was almost in reverence. That fight never materialized, as de Bonte lost the title just over a month later to Joseph Valtellini and shifted his focus towards professional boxing. Much like the rest of us, he faced his share of setbacks in his career.

The few times that I spoke with him afterwards he was always exactly as I had remembered him; kind, respectful and down-to-Earth. Perhaps that is what makes his passing all-the-more difficult to comprehend and process. Marc de Bonte wasn't a guy with a long rap sheet, a guy snatching headlines for assaulting anyone or smuggling drugs. There weren't hushed rumors about what sort of people he ran with or how he played gangster when the lights were off him. He had a girlfriend that he'd post photos with on Instagram regularly, his family thinks the world of him and he didn't even drink. This wasn't one of those "bad seeds" that we regularly have to talk about.

Instead he had returned to kickboxing and was chasing his second world title. The sport had genuinely missed him and his return was something that caught everyone's attention. In fact, he was scheduled to fight in just a matter of weeks from now in China, where he was involved in a tournament for a world title. So when he was reported missing on November 4th there was a lot of speculation, but the reality was that Marc was on the upswing again and everyone was pulling for him. He'd turn up eventually, right? 

The weeks dragged on without word, his family and friends became increasingly desperate and finally, on November 24th, a body was found near his car, twenty days after his disappearance, with police confirming his identity days later. There will be speculation, investigations, allegations and everything in between in the coming weeks, months and years about what happened to Marc. Hopefully his family and close friends will get the closure that they need while the rest of us remember Marc for the brief, fleeting impact that he had on the sport and just how brightly his light burned for someone as young as he was. 

Marc was a glowing reminder that these larger-than-life characters in the sports world are just as vulnerable and fallible as the rest of us are. They feel the same range of emotions that we do, face the same daily struggles and have to fight for inspiration not only in their careers, but themselves as well. Marc came back to kickboxing and was going to leave his mark on the sport, his friends and family have spoken about how excited he was to fight again, to entertain us and to prove himself to the world. 

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