GLORY 13 might still be a ways off, but that doesn't mean that we can't want to know more about it, right? We already know that it will feature the GLORY Welterweight tournament, featuring Nieky Holzken, Joseph Valtellini, Marc DeBonte and Karapet Karapetyan, but still nothing about Super Fights just yet. There have been names flying around for a while now; Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner, you know, the ones that you'd expect for a show in Japan. It turns out that Peter Aerts will indeed be fighting on the GLORY 13 card, if this rumor turns out to be true.
What is that rumor? That Peter Aerts will be squaring off against newly-crowned GLORY 11 Heavyweight Champion Rico Verhoeven. That is a huge fight, as Aerts is reaching the twilight of his career and is looking to retire soon while Rico's career is on a serious uptick thanks to his victories over Saki and Ghita at GLORY 11.
FightstarTV is one of the few websites that brings fresh, unique video content from the world of Dutch kickboxing, and never to disappoint, they walked through the opening of Peter Aerts' new gym in the Netherlands where the Dutch Lumberjack has vowed to help other fighters train and learn proper technique.
Watch as Mr. K-1 gives a guide through his new gym including the upstairs with a juice bar and a balcony overlooking the gym floor. [source]
When it comes to Peter Aerts I fear that I'll always be biased, as he was the guy who really got me into Kickboxing. It was one of those memories that I'll never shake free of and never plan on forgetting, the 1994 K-1 World Grand Prix. So this talk of retirement is a bit harrowing, even if he is 43 years old and it might be time to hang 'em up for his own safety.
Put Peter Aerts in a fight and I'll always believe that he has a fighting chance of walking away victorious in that fight. Why? Because he is Peter Aerts. That's why.
The news from Japan today was that Peter Aerts was going to be retiring at GLORY 13, but you know, it is a translation and can be rough. We received confirmation from a GLORY official today that this will be Peter's retirement in Japan, much like his It's Showtime bout against Tyrone Spong was his BeNeLux retirement. This means that this isn't the final curtain call for the Dutch Lumberjack, but still be prepared for that.
Some of our sources are sticking to their guns that this will be Peter's full retirement, but for now, who knows? GLORY's Japanese PR people are also selling this event as a "Farewell to an Era" with Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky and Semmy Schilt. Their retirements could be a very real part of this show.
GLORY 13 has really been shaping up for being the card of the year thus far, with big fights from Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Daniel Ghita, etc. I mean, there is just so much going on for GLORY 13 as it is and they went and just made it a bigger deal with two new fights signed for the event. Those fights, you might ask (and neglected to read the headline)?
Hesdy Gerges vs. Ewerton Teixeira
Mosab Amrani vs. Yuta Kubo
First thing is first, this marks the return of Brazilian K-1 star Ewerton Teixeira who has not been seen in a Kickboxing ring since the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010. For a lot of fans they might see him as a more conservative fighter, or the guy that guy kneed to death by Alistair Overeem, but Teixeira is an incredibly skilled fighter and a great name to have involved in their Heavyweight division. A fight against Gerges is a perfect test for him. The bout between Amrani and Kubo will prove to be an important fight for the 65kg division as Kubo won the GLORY 65kg tournament this year, while Amrani lost to the runner up, Masaaki Noiri.
Today in Dubai Badr Hari competed in the Global FC 3 Heavyweight Kickboxing tournament in a field that saw Hari, Leko, Oborotov and Graham, making for an interesting blend of old talent and new talent. The big news is that Badr Hari walked away from Global FC 3 with a new belt and some more money in his pocket after he was able to knock out both opponents in short order. First up was Stefan Leko, a guy who used to be one of the world's elite and is now competing beyond his means, to the extent where I almost refuse to watch him fight anymore.
Leko almost had nothing to offer Hari, almost being put down immediately in the first round. He fought back to his feet, though, only to be dropped again and for the referee to stop the bout. Badr Hari's second fight of the evening saw him meeting an old foe in Peter Graham. The two had traded wins over seven years ago, but time was not kind to Peter Graham who found himself knocked down twice in round one as well and Badr Hari having a relatively easy night.
On the other side of the spectrum, Peter Aerts tore his hamstring against Dewey Cooper and both men had a clinch-heavy fight that saw the judges render it a draw. Tough break for Peter Aerts, but it might be time for him to consider spending time with his family, his gym and wrestling more in Japan.
Well, some feuds just die hard, don't they? The last time that Peter Aerts and Ernesto Hoost stepped into the ring with each other it was 2006 and things were very, very different. Now it is 2014 and while Peter Aerts may be preparing for a fight with Freddy Kemayo in August, that doesn't mean that he can't look to the future. That future is October where he's slated to square off against fellow legend Ernesto Hoost in Osaka, Japan.
Hoost and Aerts will be competing for the WKO Heavyweight Championship. [source]
We've been keeping our ears to the ground over the past few months in regards to everything GLORY, from possible television deals to upcoming shows to the format for their big Heavyweight tournament for this year. Last year's GLORY Grand Slam tournament was interesting, to say the least, using a one-night, sixteen man format with shorter rounds. It led to some quick action, but some of the more methodical, technical fighters like Remy Bonjasky were really hurt by such a ruleset and four fights in one night is just a lot of fights.
While some within the GLORY organization were steadfast in saying that they would repeat the format again this year, we've heard some conflicting reports on the format of the tournament. As GLORY gets closer to a larger American television deal (no insult to CBS Sports, but tape delay at 1am is simply not good enough for shows like this) they have to be concerned with time constraints and putting on a tighter, more unified production. GLORY already do a fantastic job with their pacing on their events, with the fights following each other in quick succession in a way that doesn't feel rushed, but natural. We can at least expect the quirks of last year's Grand Slam to not return.
So according to our source, who wishes to remain unnamed, this year's tournament will be shrunk down from sixteen men to just four to be able to properly fit on a two to three hour American television slot while putting on entertaining fights and being able to properly present the fighters to the audience. The first three participants will be based upon the GLORY World Rankings, although it should be noted that word is that Semmy Schilt will not participate. That means that Gokhan Saki, Daniel Ghita and Tyrone Spong are guaranteed spots in the tournament, with the fourth spot being a "Wildcard." That "Wildcard" spot will be determined by another tournament that will take place before the event, a Qualifying tournament. It is not clear who will participate in this tournament, but the next four in the rankings are Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Jerome Le Banner and Errol Zimmerman (although I believe that Rico Verhoeven is actually in that spot now after his win over Errol).
So, what do you think? Would you be upset to see the Final 8 format disappear, or is it time for something new?
It's Showtime is tomorrow, coming at us with one of the biggest fights of the year so far in Peter Aerts taking on Tyrone Spong live from Brussels. For Americans, the second half of the card will air on HDnet (soon to be AXS) at 3pm Eastern, for anyone who wants to watch the full card or is in an area where it won't be aired on television, head to ShowtimeFights.com and order the PPV now (clicking that link supports LiverKick!).
This video is courtesy of our friends at Staredown.NL, who will without a doubt be posting some more awesome content over the weekend.
So Badr Hari will be fighting in just a matter of hours now (10:00am Eastern time) and yeah, we know, if you live in the United States there is absolutely nothing convenient about the timing for this event. It's early morning on a Thursday, not exactly the same thing as staying up for a K-1 or PRIDE event on the weekends like everyone was used to years ago by a long shot. That being said, if you can do it (or live in Europe), you'll only have to plonk down $5 USD to watch GFC 3 featuring Badr Hari, Peter Aerts, Peter Graham and Stefan Leko.
It's building up to be an interesting show, at least. $5 for an internet PPV (which most of you hate anyway) isn't bad by a longshot. So check it out here. We'll have a full rundown of the event later on in the day.
2010 was a rough year for K-1 MAX. Three of the division's very top stars fought their (for now) last MAX fights in 2009, including Masato, the man MAX had been built around from the start. Shows were planned, then canceled. Only two qualifying Grand Prixs were held, and one of those 2 never aired. Half of the Final 16 fights were shoved onto the 63kg GP finals almost as an afterthought, and at one time, there were rumors that the 2010 MAX Grand Prix might not even happen. Fans of MAX were looking at the year as somewhat of a disaster.
That changed on October 3. Amidst all this chaos and confusion, the MAX Final 16 event in Seoul was a grand slam of an event - an all around fantastic card with every fight delivering. The next day, no one was talking about how K-1 MAX was struggling. Instead, they were talking about what a show it was. And they were talking about one fight.
That fight is your 2010 LiverKick.com Fans' Fight of the Year - "Iron" Mike Zambidis vs. Chahid Oulad El Hadj.
Coming into the event, this was a fight that on paper looked like it could be a good one. Both Zambidis and Chahid are exciting fighters who like to push the pace and have turned in plenty of fun bouts. But they are also two men whose presence in the Final 16 was questionable, as neither had claimed a significant K-1 win in some time. From the moment the two men meet in center ring for the staredown, any concerns about them not belonging flew out the window. Because right from the opening, you can tell this is going to be something special. Both men looked hungry, out for redemption, and just plain pissed off. They looked ready to tear into each other. And that's exactly what they did.
For four epic rounds, Zambidis and Chahid engaged in an all out war. By the end of the 3rd, the announcers are all on their feet waiting for the judges' decision. By the end of the 4th, fans are already writing their friends telling them what they just saw. And by the next morning, all the focus was on this classic.
Watching it now, I'm reminded of another all-time K-1 great contest - Ray Sefo vs. Mark Hunt (and if you've never seen that, watch it, seriously, now). Like Sefo vs. Hunt, this is a fight that doesn't need any backstory. It's a moment that stands on its own, where even if you've never heard of either man, the combination of heart, determination, technique, and aggression they show is enough to grab you. At a time in combat sports where the UFC is the clear top dog, and where Dana White's love of wild stand-up brawling has come to define how many fans view stand-up action, this fight is a definitive example of what stand-up can be. Yes it's a brawl, but it's also two supremely skilled fighters never losing track of the technique needed to fight at this level. It's a fight every fan of Griffin vs. Bonnar, Garcia vs. The Korean Zombie, or countless other recent fights really owes it to themselves to watch.
Chances are good you've already seen this fight, probably more than once. But as we say our final good-byes to 2010, do yourself a favor and watch it once more. You'll thank yourself later.
A big thanks to all our fans who voted in this poll. In the end, Zambidis vs. Chahid was the clear winner, drawing 34% of the vote. #2 and #3 were only separated by a handful of votes, with the sentimental favorite Peter Aerts vs. Semmy Schilt at #2, and the battle of the new guard in Gokhan Saki vs. Daniel Ghita at #3. For full results, click here, and don't forget to vote on our new polls every week here at LiverKick.com.