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Badr Hari Drops Gokhan Saki Three Times in Impressive Performance at It's Showtime 55

Saki/BadrThis is the fight that everyone has been anxiously awaiting. Badr Hari fought a grand total of once last year, and it wasn’t much of a fight. Since then he has decided to look to the world of Heavyweight Boxing and this could be his last fight in Kickboxing. Saki has had similar rumors surrounding him, but he wants to Kickbox, it is his passion.

The atmosphere is absolutely electric as Saki comes out to an energetic entrance, getting everyone on their feet, and then Badr Hari comes out through the crowd again and the crowd are all on their feet, on their chairs, rushing the guard rail. Another event where they have to tell fans to go back to their seats so they can start the fight.

Saki looks to come in quick with a low kick while Hari starting off slow with Saki moving in and out. Saki actually lands an unintentional takedown on Hari and both men are just measuring each other now. Badr is looking for a home run with his hands while Saki is looking to wait it out and pick his shots. Saki pushes in and Hari lands a knee, then a HUGE uppercut lands from Hari! Saki is down! Saki gets up! Saki goes for a Leko Buster but misses. Hari with a right hand! Saki goes down! Saki looking to slow the fight down but a right uppercut form Badr puts Saki down for a third and final time!

Amazing performance by Badr Hari, looking focused and controlled. This is the Badr Hari that has won the world over and the Badr Hari that we don’t want to see leaving kickboxing.

Badr Hari wins via TKO in R1.

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June 18: Gokhan Saki vs. Sergei Lascenko

  • Published in Kickboxing

Gokhan SakiOver at Dutch forum Mixfight.nl there is news of a new card featuring some high-end fights.  No name or organization known, but the show takes place June 18 in Rotterdam.  In the main event, it will be the #5 ranked Gokhan Saki vs. Sergei Lascenko.  Saki's last fight was his United Glory semi-final victory over Wendell Roche, and before the Lascenko fight, he'll also face Brice Guidon in the UG finals May 21.  Good to see The Rebel staying so active despite the overall lack of options for Heavyweight fighters at the moment.

This marks Lascenko's first high profile opponent since losing to Freddy Kemayo at last year's K-1 Europe GP.  One of the potential break-out K-1 Heavyweights of 2009, Lascenko has seen his career stall out somewhat over the past year.  Since the Kemayo loss, he's gone 1-2, and is coming off a win over Vasile Popovici.  One interesting aspect to this fight is that Lascenko has recently been in the news a bit as he has made the transition to Mike's Gym, where he has been working as the sparring partner to Badr Hari.  Hari vs. Saki is a fight that has come up more than once recently, and is one I wouldn't be surprised to see sooner than later.  Seeing his training partner face off against Saki will certainly be informative for Hari and the team at Mike's Gym.

The other highlight of the card is an 8 man K-1 rules tournament.  Participants include the #20 ranked Anderson "Braddock" Silva, Wendell Roche, Utley Mariana, Dennis Stolzenbach, Tommy van Wijngaarden, Philip van der Linde, Nicolai Vallin, and one more fighter TBD.  I'd call Silva the favorite here, with Roche 2nd.

Rounding out the card are two MMA fights: Djamil Chan vs. Thomas Wichmann, and Tugrul Okay vs. Eric Paulo.

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It's Showtime 55 Set to Air LIVE on HDnet on January 28

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's Showtime is easily one of the world's top kickboxing promotions, putting on some of the best fights within the past few years and having some of the greatest fighters alive today under contract. So when HDnet's schedule finally dropped for the next few weeks, something stood out, and that something was on January 28th that HDnet will be airing It's Showtime 55 absolutely live.

This means that Badr Hari vs. Gokhan Saki will be airing live in the United States at 3pm Eastern time on Saturday, January 28th. On top of that, the It's Showtime Heavyweight Title is on the line between Champion Hesdy Gerges and challenger Daniel Ghita. This also includes Errol Zimmerman vs. Rico Verhoeven, Harut Grigorian vs. Chris Ngimbi, Murat Direcki vs. Robin Van Roosmalen and hopefully more. For some reason Melvin Manhoef vs. Tyrone Spong is on the undercard, but we've reached out to It's Showtime and HDnet to see if there is any way for fans to be able to see one of the fights on the card that is going to provide fireworks, without a doubt.

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LiverKick Talks With Glory's Gokhan Saki

  • Published in Interviews

SakiGokhan Saki put on an impressive performance this weekend against Mourad Bouzidi, his first fight since moving from training with Team Golden Glory under the watchful eye of Cor Hemmers to Mike's Gym under Mike Passenier. This new team switch can be tough for some fighters, but for Saki, it seemed like business-as-usual. Our European correspondents Umut Ismik and Birol Topuz caught up with Saki after his fight to ask him a few questions, and if you know Saki, you know he tells it how it is.

LK: How has training at Mike's Gym been different than training with Golden Glory?

GS: After 10 years of working with Cor it was time for a change and when Cor told me that he accepted a function in the staff of Glory it became clear to me. I needed to think for myself for once in my life so I went to Mike. Everybody said that I was crazy but I believed in myself and in Mike of course. It was hard in the beginning but Mike did his best to make me feel at home so I made an extra effort to fit in and it worked so far. There is no way in hell to compare these two(Mike and Cor), you have to experience it to know.

LK: Is there anything different that fans should expect to see in Gokhan Saki's style since the gym change?

GS: After my first fight everybody including Cor was very excited so there must be something right. I will always fight like the old Saki because that style is what brought me my enormous fanbase. I'll never change that and Mike doesn't want to change that either. I am just evolving. I will take my style to the next level and maybe some levels more. Ha ha ha. So sit back, relax and enjoy. 

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Whoa. Melvin Manhoef and Gokhan Saki Training Together at Mike's Gym

  • Published in Kickboxing

As a Kickboxing fan, there isn't a lot that can give me true pause anymore, but this video that surfaced of Gokhan Saki training at Mike's Gym did. Not because of the ridiculous rumors of Saki leaving Golden Glory, as we've already established that with Cor Hemmers taking on more responsibilities within the GLORY organization, he doesn't have the time to focus on his fighters, which means that Saki has decided to train at Mike's Gym while still fighting for Glory and being a part of the team. Anyway, what gave me pause was the fact that there is already video of Gokhan Saki sparring with Melvin Manhoef at Mike's Gym.

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Keys to Victory: Hesdy Gerges

  • Published in Kickboxing

On March 6th, Daniel Ghita will take on Hesdy Gerges in the main event of It's Showtime Sporthallen Zuid. This is the second in a two-part series where I will lay out the keys to victory for each fighter. Today, we'll look at Hesdy Gerges. You can find the first part of this series here.

Strengths:

Athleticism - Hesdy is the taller and slimmer fighter and he'll have to use that to his advantage against Daniel. Gerges doesn't carry the kind of knockout power that Daniel does in his hands or kicks so he will have to rely on his ability to put combinations together and move in and out of Ghita's range to avoid his big punches and leg kicks. There are times in the past where Daniel has tired in the later rounds of a fight so that's somewhere Hesdy can capitalize if his stamina keeps up.

Range - When a fighter has a reach advantage and has the ability utilize it to their advantage, they often control the standup and dictate the pace. This is an area where Gerges can really control Ghita if he can enforce his will. If Hesdy can keep Ghita at the end of his jab, straight right, and leg kicks, it will pay big dividends as the fight progresses.

Kicks - Though not as devastating as Ghita's kicks, Gerges' kicks are effective and have won him fights in the past. Daniel's legs are like mighty Redwood trees and very durable but well placed kicks will have negative effects on any fighter if they are landed repeatedly. With Ghita relying on his kicks as much as he does, if Hesdy can slow them down even a little bit, that's a big plus for him.

Weaknesses:

Size - It sounds odd to list size as a weakness for the taller fighter but Gerges doesn't carry a lot of mass. Mass that can go a long way in absorbing the brutal body kicks and punches that Ghita brings to the table. We saw what those dangerous strikes did to Gokhan Saki in the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Quarterfinals. Saki's body was so wrecked that he could not continue for more than a moment against Alistair Overeem in the semifinals. This makes Gerges being able to stay out of Ghita's range even more important.

Complacency - When you have nearly half of your wins by way of decision, it can be argued that you should place a bigger emphasis on finishing a fight. Of course, there are a lot of tough fighters out there and you can't finish every fight by brutal KO, but allow a fighter of Daniel Ghita's caliber to hang around and it can cost you in a big way.

Keys to Victory:

For Hesdy Gerges to go home victorious on March 6th, he'll need to use his reach to stay outside of Daniel's range, pepper him with shots, and wear him down. A knockout is always a possibility in kickboxing but with Ghita only being finished by KO once in his career, I wouldn't rely on that. Hesdy needs to avoid Ghita's leg kicks in the early stages of the fight when Daniel is fresh and carrying big power in his legs.

If Hesdy Gerges can apply this gameplan against Daniel Ghita, I believe he can be victorious on March 6th.

Who are you picking to win? Leave me a comment and explain why.

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Gokhan Saki Prepares for War Against Badr Hari

  • Published in Its Showtime

It is hard to believe that Badr Hari vs. Gokhan Saki is just a few days away now, but it is coming and coming on fast like a freight train. 2012 is kicking off with a legitimate Heavyweight bout that fans want to see after being denied a K-1 World Grand Prix. Gokhan Saki and Badr Hari are two of the top Heavyweights in the world and will lock horns for the second time for It's Showtime. We've seen the ballyhoo behind Hari, but now here is video of Saki getting prepared for the fight.

A big part of the narrative leading into this fight is the retirement of Badr Hari and possible departure of Gokhan Saki. Hari will move into professional Boxing for the time being and Saki is going absolutely nowhere, as he has signed a new agreement with TSA and Golden Glory to fight for their upcoming cards or for potential K-1 cards. So the real departure will be Hari, and by the looks of this video, Saki is in some of the best shape that we've ever seen him in, and he is ready to go to war. [source]

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The Fans Want Badr Hari vs. Gokhan Saki, Watch and See

  • Published in Interviews

in just a little over two months from now Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki will square off in one of Heavyweight Kickboxing's most anticipated bouts in a long time. There is a lot of hype leading into it, as well as a running narrative that both men are looking to exit the realm of Kickboxing for the world of Heavyweight Boxing. No one is quite sure how long, if at all that will hold for either man, but the threats need to be taken seriously for now. Personally, I feel like the rise of FIKA and other possible outlets for Kickboxing will quickly draw them back in, but you never know when a fighter will stick to their convictions. In the meantime, watch this hype video made for the upcoming It's Showtime 55 showdown between Badr and Gokhan and enjoy the ride.

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Watch the Mark Fightshark Miller Return Hype Video

  • Published in Kickboxing

Mark Miller comes back to the ring after heart surgery on May 28th in Moscow, Russia for The Glory World Series event. There he will be facing Nikolaj Falin, an accomplished Heavyweight Kickboxer in his own right, while the world will be able to view it. The Glory World Series will air in over 90 countries worldwide, including the United States on HDnet on June 17th. If you aren't already hyped up, this will help. Spread this around, post it onto your Facebook, post it on Twitter, email it to your friends. Get the word out that Mark Miller is coming back.

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